Resolutions Smesolutions…

December 30th…just a day–hours really–away from a New Year. And like most people, I have been reflecting on the events of the past year, and am looking forward to the next 12 months and what they may hold for me.

The lessons of last year are fresh in our minds, and the resolutions to improve upon ourselves are being drafted. I don’t particularly buy into New Year’s resolutions, and i’ll explain why. I believe that you should take care of anything and everything in your life as it happens. If that means you want to lose 20 lbs, then work towards losing 20 lbs today–the same applies to being happier, spending more time with friends, spending less money on frivolous things, being more adventurous, etc. Why wait for a new year, a new month, even a new day when you have the ability to change things today–Right now?!

I think it’s nice to be able to face a new year with a light heart, and goals to work towards but I have a list of goals that I am constantly working towards, and things that I am always trying to improve upon, whether its April, December, or January 1st of a new year. I have learned over the past year…past several years actually, that many things in life are out of our control and it’s how we handle them that matters. I no longer sweat the small stuff, and try to find the positive in all situations regardless how dark they may appear–luckily I have an amazing family, a wonderful husband, and some of the best friends a girl could ask for to help with that task when I find myself getting lost. At the end of the day, as long as you live life as a good wholesome person, surround yourself with people who uplift and encourage you, have your health, have love, and LOVE HARD whether your waist is  24 or 44 inches or your job pays 15,000 or 150,000/year is irrelevant as long as you’re truly happy.

I am looking forward to a new year however, because it does signify a fresh start. Each new year is the beginning of a new chapter in the story of your life, and it’s up to you to get out there and make sure each chapter is better than the one before.

Speaking of making things better than they were before, I decided my natural lashes just won’t do for New Years and may have purchased these VERY FLAMBOYANT lashes today.

DSC02281I bought more natural lashes, but decided to try these out as well. They are “Tyra” lashes, so I thought maybe I could ‘smize’ (for those of you who don’t know, this term refers to smiling with your eyes, and is Tyra’s catch phrase on America’s Next Top Model) my way through the evening tomorrow night, but honestly they’re so heavy I could barely open my right eye. Going to have to pass on these.

Not to contradict myself, but there are a few things food wise i’d like to try in the new year. Not a new diet, not to try to lose weight, not even to try to eat less sugar (tho that would be nice) but instead–I want to try to eat simply. *Gasp* I’m a foodie–what does ‘SIMPLY’ even mean?!?! It means essentially, eating food the way I pick it up in the market. If I get celery, I eat celery not chilli…if I get apples, I have an apple not apple crisp.

DSC02256

I do not think I am ready to become a full raw vegan at the moment, and don’t  even know that I want to. However, I feel inspired to try it out for a few weeks and I admit I may feel slightly sentimental doing it now because it is the new year. (Shhh…don’t tell my secret). I think the green smoothie challenge is the reason I am giving this a try. I have not felt so energized, alive, and well in a long time and if raw fruit and vegetables, and a juice/smoothie concoction is the way to continue feeling like this then count me in! At the moment, my plan is to try going raw for 1 month and then after that perhaps 1 to 2 weeks per month eat only raw. I’d like to evaluate my health after 6 months of doing that to see if I notice any improvements. I like cooked food so I don’t think I’d be able to do it at least not right away, but after reading several books on the matter it’s something that interests me and i’d like to try. Something else I am planning to start in the new year is JUICING! I should have my juicer tomorrow and I cannot wait to start! I have been interested in juicing for a long time now, and have only just now gotten into it. To me, neither of these 2 new ideas are necessarily resolutions. Sure i’m starting this practice of eating (more) raw, and juicing, but I believe in clean, healthy eating as the best way to fuel one’s body. It only makes logical sense that periodically i’d tweak what i’m doing to improve upon my health and my lifestyle.

What are your thoughts? Did you make resolutions? What are your plans for the new year?

*This was a ridiculously long post, I think my only resolution will be to stop rambling so much… ;)*

Eeek! My green juice looks like dish water!

I survived 2 spin classes this morning, and although I was too tired to do yoga this evening, I feel great. I love the amount of energy I get from green juice. I don’t think i’ll ever go back to life without them. They’re quickly turning into a daily thing for me. I am going to pick up a juicing book tomorrow since i’ll be adding that to the routine as well. I’m pretty darn excited!

DSC02247My ‘green juice’ is looking rather brown thanks to the addition of a few raspberries, but it tasted great. My husband wasn’t feeling well today, so I shared with him. I made it extra sweet with tons of mango and fresh orange juice so he wouldn’t be completely repulsed by it. I offered to make him something to make him feel better, and when I presented him with a tall glass of this stuff I could tell he had been hoping for soup or even a slice of toast. The colour is off putting I admit… reminiscent of dish water, but the taste is great, and the health benefits even better.

I thought he might complain about it, but he drank it all and even claimed to enjoy it. Hopefully (for his sake) he was being truthful because I am going to be making more of them for him *insert evil laugh here* whether he wants them or not.

Great Canadian Winter 1/Regena 0

Last night:
Energetic Regena:
You know what? I think i’m going to go to the gym in the morning. I know it’s late, I should have gone to bed hours ago, so i’ll probably be tired, but its vacation so I don’t have an excuse not to.
Pack up my gym bag. Set my alarm for 5:15. I’m Definitely going to the gym in the morning…
This Morning:
5:15 AM. !!Beep Beep Beep!!
Half Asleep Regena:
Ugh, I don’t feel like going to the gym, but I suppose I should… *Flip back douvet* Brrrrr…..It’s so warm under the covers tho, and so cold out there. Nope. Not happening, i’ll go to the gym later.

And this my friends is a constant battle Canadians face each morning. It’s -20 outside (or colder), everything is covered in snow and ice, the house is warm, and you find yourself envying the animals that grow a thicker coat of fur. (That last thought is a fleeting one tho, no woman in her right mind wants to have to wax legs covered in a special winter hair…OUCH!!). 95% of the time, the fitness fanatic in me jumps out of bed before my brain has time to say “DON’T DO IT”, but other mornings like today…I am content to reset my alarm, flip over, and snuggle with my furnace of a husband.

In my defence, in the 20 seconds it took me to decide getting out of bed was not going to happen, I remembered that the gym offers a noon spinning class and could just go to that class instead.  Since i’ve never gone (because I work) I didn’t realize there isn’t a class on Friday at 12. ooops. To make up for the lack of spinning yesterday and today (actually it’s been a few days) I am joining several of my girlfriends for a spin-a-thon tomorrow! Okay it’s not really a spin-a-thon but we’re doing 2 back to back classes tomorrow morning. (I’m supposed to do the same thing on Sunday, but I think that’s a little too adventurous for my poor hip flexors).

Since I was not able to go to spinning today I decided to do a 1000 Rep workout. Everyone is doing them these days so clearly that means I should too! This is what I did: 10 Reps 10 Rounds. I am ashamed to say that I only made it to 7 rounds. I’ll do better next time. It takes about 3:30 to complete a round maybe if i’d gone a little slower I would have been able to complete 3 more.

10 Burpees
10 Squats
10 Toe touch sit ups
10 Pushups
10 Jump squats
10 Reverse lunges
10 Plank Jacks
10 Mountain Climbers
10 Split jumps
10 Leg raise with reverse crunch

After the workout, I refuelled with a Green Smoothie.

DSC02244

 

I forgot to mention BUT my husband ordered me a juicer on Boxing Day SOOOOO I am going to be able to make my own orange juice very soon! I get giddy thinking up the different juice blends i’ll be able to make!! I have never been one for vegetable juice so it will take time to find my perfect balance, but i’m sure I can do it. I will make a post about my new toy as soon as I get it.

And finally…I tried out the Ciate Sequined manicure kit!

DSC02241I love the way it looks, but my love pretty much ends there. They’re messy (all over my bathroom counter), snag on everything, and chip off easily–but I was willing to overlook that because they reflect the light beautifully, have received a ton of compliments, and well…they look pretty. However, I could not overlook the giant scratch/cut/welts on my sides, legs, and arm from them. Getting dressed, changing clothes, etc they are sharp and unless I put on 5 coats of nail polish the edges are quite jagged. So let me be a cautionary tale, they do scratch. I also got a sequin in my eye this morning. It popped off while I was putting on eye cream and wedged itself in my eye. I was worried it would cut me and i’d go blind (obviously not panicked at all) but I got it out before it could do any noticeable damage.

So verdict at first glance–> They’re really pretty, but they’re a hassle to clean up AND are jagged enough to scratch you. I want to wear them for New Years Eve…but I think the length of time it takes me to remove them tomorrow will determine if I wear sequins on Monday or not. I will probably just do 1 accent nail. But then I have been known to do foolish things for beauty, so who knows…maybe i’ll do my toes too.

Boxing Day…to shop or not to shop?

After going back and forth between staying home and relaxing or braving the crowds to boxing day shop, I gave in to my carnal desires and hit the mall to see what sorts of deals I could hunt down.

I dragged hubby with me –and I know what you’re all thinking it was to hold the bags, and I admit he did carry the bags. However, the reason I asked him to come wasn’t to be my personal bag holder, it was in case I found myself getting in to deep and swiping the plastic a few times too many. I ventured into Townshoes and Aldo, and had an arm full of shoes/boots within 2 minutes, but quickly realized even if I did find several pairs that I liked, the line was 30+ people long and I have a serious problem with waiting that long for platforms that I won’t wear because they’ll cut my feet. I also didn’t want to keep hubby waiting too long, so I shed a quick tear and moved on.

The rest of the shopping trip went well…very, very well. I adopted new Nike Free 3.0’s. How pretty are my new babies?

DSC02225Bought an adorable hat and infinity scarf from an adorable boutique called Milk. Basically saw the bow and was sold.

DSC02222

I may have made a frivolous purchase and picked this up, but can you blame me? Wouldn’t you want sequins on your nails? I’m sure these are going to be RIDICULOUS to remove, but that’s the price of beauty. I will try these out and report back soon!
DSC02220Overall, a successful day of shopping. 😀  What did everyone else do today? Are you a hit malls and brave the crowds or a stay at home and peruse the internet for deals kind of shopper?

Merry Christmas!!

Good evening dear readers, I hope you all had a wonderful day! Whether you spent it with your significant other, family, friends, or curled up in a blanket watching tv alone with a tub of ice cream I hope you were happy and at peace. I suspect, if you are anything like me and millions of other Canadians you probably had a FEW more calories than you normally consume. Don’t worry, I’m not here to make you feel guilty. If you haven’t already done so, slip into a pair of sweat pants, you’ll feel better. 😀 A little indulgence is great–means we’re human. It’s when we start to make it a regular occurrence OR are indulging in the wrong types of things that there is a problem. And that is exactly what i’d like to discuss today.

December 1st sparked a “we should bring chocolates, cookies, cake, caramels” to work every day epidemic. Each morning I was greeted by a smorgasbord of fatty, sugar laden, calorie dense foods. Being a gluten free vegan (and health conscious), I walk by without even glancing at the assorted cakes and cookies but my colleagues are quickly tempted by smells and before you know it, the table has been cleaned. These same colleagues later in the day complain of low energy, bad skin, and of course a scale that is giving them scarier and scarier readings. As I walk to the printer I hear “Whatever, I’ll treat myself over the holidays, then come January 1st, I’m going to diet til I lose the 20 lbs I gained”. If it’s not that, it’s someone pressuring another to eat more “Oh don’t be silly, have 2 or 3, it’s the holidays you’ll have plenty of time to lose the weight in January”.  How about, you only have 1 (if any) and that way you don’t HAVE to lose 20 lbs in January because you don’t gain any weight over the holidays?!

Do I treat myself? I sure do. As a matter of fact…

DSC02174

This morning I treated myself to some wonderful pancakes with coconut whipped cream and blackberries.

(These pancakes were actually somewhat disappointing. They turned out fluffy, but the ‘mouth feel’ wasn’t amazing. I am struggling to find a good GF/Vegan recipe that doesn’t taste like bean flour or dirt. *HELP!*)

See, when I treat myself, it’s not really a cheat–it’s more of reward. I am not going to pretend to never have slip ups, but the one thing I CAN promise is that I actually think about the food that goes into my body treat or not. If I want a cookie, I don’t just grab the first box I see on the shelf packed with preservatives, and other crap instead, I make my own and know exactly what goes into them. I don’t use holidays, vacation, or ‘cheat days’ etc as an excuse to a)cancel my hard work or b)fill my body with foods I KNOW shouldn’t be eaten.

Okay well…maybe I sometimes do bad things. I typically eat coconut milk ice cream, but a friend recently introduced this to me. This is my Christmas indulgence. It has lots of sugar in it, and isn’t something I encourage you to do very often, but a girl deserves dessert once in a while. Oh, and let’s not forget the difference here is i’m having a special meal 1 or 2 days out of the month, rather than several times per day EVERY day of the month. DSC02215

Another issue, that comes up ESPECIALLY during this time of year is all of the people who try to force feed you garbage offer food to you.  99% of the time it’s neither gluten free or vegan, but somehow that isn’t good enough. I politely decline but somehow offence is taken nonetheless. For some bizarre reason, declining high fructose corn syrup, cheap tasting chocolate, and food that i’m allergic too/don’t eat for ethical reasons gives me an eating disorder or makes me rude. I have had colleagues openly say to me AS THEY ATE A BAG OF CHIPS that being a vegan is so unhealthy and I will probably become very sick because of all the food I don’t eat. The only thing they really know about food is what has been pushed on them through years of marketing -you get calcium from cow’s milk, protein from meat, and if you prefer vegetables you will be an anaemic sickly hippy.

Whoops, I got a teensy bit side tracked, but basically, don’t use “it’s a holiday” as an excuse to binge eat. Treat your body with respect. Have a few things that you really want and walk past the rest. Don’t be afraid of calories, but don’t pretend you won’t feel like crap in a few days once you can no longer button up your pants then do some unhealthy starvation method to try to quickly lose the weight you gained. At the end of the day, you need to decide which you want more that large pizza, with a plate of greasy fries covered in gravy with a side of pie OR to feel light, healthy, and energized something I assure you, you won’t experience from that feast. So, good readers, I am not here to be condescending  or pretend that I am perfect but rather to encourage good decisions where your stomach, healthy, and happiness are concerned.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Happy Christmas Eve!!

Day before Christmas, how I love thee…breakfast with my unit, a fabulous present from my manager, being sent home early. What’s not to love really? I was so busy this morning, I even had time to take a ‘selfie’.

My go to look as of late. Hair in a high puff (bad hair day be gone), mascara, and a bold vampy lip. :)
My go to look as of late. Hair in a high puff (bad hair day be gone), mascara, and a bold vampy lip. 🙂

After work, I  picked up a few last minute ingredients with hubby and came home ready to get the Christmas feast under way. I am not doing a ‘turkey’ dinner or anything even close to that traditional meal vegan or otherwise. I have been craving spicy comfort food–the type food that reminds me of making a mess helping my grandmother in the kitchen. I contemplated curry, but decided a rice casserole filled with hot peppers, jerk spice, and tons of veggies would do the trick.  I made a lasagna for hubby…yeah, yeah…I spoil him.  AND finished off the Christmas dinner preparation with rhubarb crisp. Tomorrow, all I have to do is pop everything into the oven et voila! None of this sweating over a hot stove all day only to burn the roast.

Instead, tomorrow I can now sleep in a little, get in a fabulous workout, spend a little time on my nails and hair (both of which I have neglected lately), and relax with my husband and really enjoy the day together. *sigh*

DSC02171

Umm…I sort of have a confession. It’s possible that I decided to bake the rhubarb crisp tonight, and that said rhubarb crisp smelled AMAZING after it came out of the oven, and it’s also possible that I then convinced myself it was my duty to taste it to ensure it was up to par for tomorrow’s dinner. I was right..It WAS!! Don’t worry, I shared with hubby. We both agree it tasted spectacular. The contrast of the cold vanilla bean coconut ice cream against the warm (okay it was hot, I couldn’t wait)  crisp was phenomenal.

DSC02167

Since i’m on the topic of confessions…I might as well get this off of my chest too. Sparkling wine + Orange juice = Not just a brunch drink! I typically have hot cocoa on Christmas Eve, but “It’s a wonderful life” seemed just as perfect as always even without hot cocoa with dandies (aka the best marshmallows ever)! So perhaps i’ll make this my new tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

On a more somber note, my family lives in Nova Scotia and unfortunately I will not be seeing them this Christmas. It didn’t work out this year, but we will spend many hours on the phone together i’m sure. Most likely discussing the hilarious presents my dad got for my younger sisters, as well as, how each of them had to undo their pants just so they could shovel in another helping of mashed potatoes. You know, typical Christmas behaviour. I miss my family terribly, and so to end my post, I’d just like to remind each of you that regardless of what you may find waiting under the tree tomorrow that you remember none of those gadgets, clothes, or jewels can ever compare to the time spent with your family–so cherish it. Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

Green Smoothie Challenge Wrap up

Where has the time gone? I feel like I just started this challenge a day or 2 ago and it’s already over. When I started, I had a few people tell me that I would be hungry the entire time, weak, moody, etc and it’s been the opposite. I’ve felt full (other than before meal time), had tons of energy, and other than work stress, have been relatively calm.

DSC01863 1. I read on several other blogs that it’s normal to experience headaches, a coated tongue, phlegm, break outs, and other symptoms and expected some of those, but other than a headache on day 3 and 4 (which went away with 1.5 litres of water) I didn’t have any real negative side effects.

2. Another thing I’ve read is that people tend to lose their cravings. I think it would have to go for longer than 10 days. I didn’t have any sugar cravings that were so bad I HAD to have a cookie that very moment, but the cravings definitely came periodically and haven’t really gone away. They just happen to be mild. That being said…I devoured a 1/2 pint of blackberries last night. Oops.

3. I’ve felt light, slim, and have had VERY LITTLE bloating. I don’t eat much salt, but do eat beans/lentils daily and no matter how I prepare them, I always get a certain amount of bloating. I ate very few of them this week and I could tell the difference.

4. I didn’t weigh or measure myself prior to starting the challenge, and I don’t think I’ve lost any weight, but I feel great. My stomach appears flatter, but I think that’s because I haven’t been bloated at all or retaining any water.

Overall, this was a great challenge. I am glad I did it and will probably do a similar ‘detox’ several times during the year. And for those of you who may be nervous…it’s only 10 days!! (and it’s not ONLY green smoothies, you are eating food–veggies and nuts are very filling).

There were a few other issues I was going to talk about in tonight’s post, but didn’t get to. However, tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I get the feeling, my co-workers will be hovering over boxes of chocolates so i’ll save my commentary of holiday eating til then.

DSC02117Finally, remember yesterday when I bragged about doubling up on my spin classes this morning? Yeah, that didn’t happen.

What I forgot to factor into the equation was the fact that I did an insane amount of squats and lunges yesterday. My quads, hamstrings, and glutes were NOT happy with me today. Energy wise, I could have done another class but I was so sore and tight that decided it wasn’t worth torturing myself. It’s also important to note that I have bad knees and although spinning doesn’t usually irritate them, when my hip flexors and IT band are tight, I end up limping for days.

DSC02115

When I was getting ready for class, something sparkly caught my eye…yep, definitely nail polish. 😀