Ain’t nobody got time for that…

“Well I was going to workout, but then I sat down for an hour and got tired”

“I am super busy with work, I just don’t have time to workout”

“Ugh…how much time do you spend preparing and making smoothies?”

“I can’t possibly eat that much fresh food it’s way too expensive”

“You have time to workout because you don’t have any kids, wait til you have some then you’ll understand”

So as you may have guessed, this post is going to examine excuses surrounding healthy eating and exercise. The purpose isn’t to make anyone feel guilty, because at first glance–especially to someone new to these concepts–I imagine it seems rather daunting. Something i’ve discovered over the years is that part of healthy living means finding a balance that works for you–whether you have a gym membership, workout at home, or simply take long walks and replace your dinner bread with a salad it is all about gradual change that you can maintain. Just because someone you know goes to the gym for 2 hours twice a day, eats 15 mangoes a day, and hasn’t touched a slice of bread in 5 years doesn’t mean that’s what’s right for you. I do believe, however, in educating yourself on the importance of various nutrients and aiming to get those daily.

I think part of the problem, especially for individuals just starting out living healthy, is that they associate healthy living (especially clean eating) with this time consuming, bland, utterly expensive ‘cult’ if you will where you need to live off of spinach and kill yourself with cardio. Healthy does not mean flavourless and exercise doesn’t require the most expensive gym equipment or hours of your time. Most people will make time in the evening to curl up with their favourite book or tv show, yet can’t spare 20-30 minutes each day. If you have time for EVERYTHING in your life except exercise (or eating healthy) perhaps it’s time to take a step back and examine what’s a priority to you. Sure today you can get away with not being active and downing that can of coke, but think about your body in 5 years.  And I am not simply referring to weight gain, I mean all of the damage you’ve caused to your insides by ingesting crap and sitting immobilized in front of the television.

Make changes today that work for you. As you slowly see improvements it will encourage you to take it a step further and to keep improving on yourself. Since moving in the direction of a raw vegan (high fruit) diet, I have never felt better. I’m stronger, my mental clarity is amazing, and my stomach ONLY hates me when I eat those fatty, ‘junk’ foods that I sometimes treat myself with.  As for exercise  I do whatever I’m feeling today. I happen to have a gym membership, but often workout at home. This evening, I did a 20 minute workout followed by 10 minutes of abs. I was drenched in sweat and ready to quit by the end–so I assure you that is ALL the time you need.

My workout consisted of Jump Squats, crunches, Jump lunges (split kicks), leg lift and reverse crunch, and tricep dips. 20 reps and 5 sets. Followed by 50 bicycle crunches and 60 second planks 5 times.

I often make up my own workouts depending on what i’m looking to work on or how i’m feeling. Some of my favourite routines are 20 minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. Check  THESE workouts out. They are intense but worth it. When I followed her program more closely I was in the best shape of my life. Clearly need to get back to that.

All i’m saying is the next time you don’t have time for a workout, think about all of the things you DO have time for. Are all of them more important than taking care of your body? And for all of your ladies out there who want a certain body but don’t “have” time for it–stop dreaming about it MAKE time for it. I read somewhere once that “I don’t have time is the grown up equivalent of the dog ate my homework”. Think about that. Oh, and I can make a salad in less time than you can cook a frozen pizza so yeah…not time consuming at all.  😉

Take care everyone! And remember, we DO have time, if we want it bad enough.

 

Happy Chocolate Covered L-O-V-E Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

Whether you’re single, dating, engaged, married, or have more of a relationship with your cat and Chinese takeout than you’d like to admit I hope you genuinely smiled at least once today and felt happy. I know so many girls who become upset at today because they feel ridiculed for being “alone”. Well I am here to say that you can’t possibly be alone or you wouldn’t have anyone to complain to. You felt fine February 12th with your life, your job, your friends why would today be any different? So you’re not 7 months away from walking down the aisle, does that somehow mean you’re living a meaningless life? I certainly hope not, because there are many fabulous single ladies and gents out there who are making waves in this world and i’d like to think they’re not wasting their time. And having friends and family who love you means you’re not really alone. So have a glass of champagne, a few chocolate covered strawberries, maybe a run to get that endorphin rush going and stop your whining. Sorry, but it’s true. Love your self, that’s all the valentine you need today.  ??????????????????????

Tough love aside, how about a stroll down memory lane. Does anyone else remember spending hours meticulously choosing and customizing homemade valentines for classmates, teachers, and maybe even that one special boy? Or was that just me? This afternoon, while nursing a stomach ache and a fever, I had the strange desire to pull out glue, construction paper, ribbon, and markers and give in to my creative side, but instead I watched Grimm and sipped chamomile tea while waiting to feel better. (Update: Yes, i’m still sick but i’m definitely beginning to feel better another day or 2 and I will probably be good as new).

If we’re going to continue this trip down memory lane, it’s probably only fair that I mention my obsession with cinnamon hearts, strawberry marshmallow candies, and pink Starburst. I used to hoard those around this time of year. Oh the memories–and sugar highs. 🙂 The Starburst obsession actually followed me to university. I would often mindlessly roll the wrappers up and use them as bookmarks in my psychology and sociology textbooks (It’s how years later my mother knows I still only ate the pink and orange ones). I suppose you could say I was eating candy for the greater good–it did after all, help me stay organized with my reading. 😀 Oh, who am I kidding? I had a serious sugar addiction. Now…moving on.

hearts  starburst

As a little girl I would spend hours drawing, cutting, writing and preparing all of my little love notes. My sisters opted for the packs of already made cards but I always felt so much joy from giving something I made myself. You should have seen the disastrous glue messes masterpieces I used to make for my dad. You know you’ve used too much glue when 3 days later, it’s still soggy but I always found that dousing it with glitter helped camouflage the stickiness. I was so proud of those pieces, and you know what? So was my dad. He still has many of them locked away in his sock drawer. Several years ago, I was at home and my mom said she wanted to show me something. Turns out, he has arts and crafts, drawings, poems (I went through a haiku phase), valentines, and birthday cards all made by yours truly stashed away.

Where am I going with all of this? I suppose what i’m saying is it’s not the extravagant gifts (tho they are nice) once a year that show your love, but the simple things you do on a daily basis the make the lasting impression. Be consistent with your partner, friends, even pets and show them you care every day and not just surprise them with $150 worth of candy and a giant teddy bear on the 14th of February. My husband tells me he loves me EVERY day of the year. Hearing ‘I love you’, getting a kiss goodnight, and a bouquet of daisies on a random Thursday in June means so much more to me than a fancy dinner, a dozen roses, and a pair of earrings on a day he feels obligated to do it.

love-inspirational-daily

  One final parting comment–tomorrow happens to be the best day of the year for many women–CHEAP CHOCOLATE AND CANDY DAY. So make wise choices. However, if you’re me and have a sweet tooth, but are also trying to avoid processed garbage (and are vegan/gluten free) you may want to stick to nature’s candy and my personal best friends–Fresh Fruit!

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Soft Kitty, warm kitty. Little ball of fur…

Sick puppy

If you’re familiar with The Big Bang Theory, you may have guessed from the title of this blog post, that I’m still sick. Sheldon Cooper’s mother used to sing him soft kitty when he was sick…I could use a little soft kitty in my life right now–or at least some of my mom’s hot cocoa and oatmeal. *sigh* I went to work this morning, but after only a few hours at the office felt terrible and made a trip to the doctor. Turns out i’m not quite ready to go back to work. I was running a fever and was told to take a few more days to let my body recover. You know what doc? Seeing as how I feel like garbage, I suppose I can accept that. 

No intense workouts for me for a few days, but that’s not why your here is it? Didn’t think so. Enough about me, let’s move on to the 6 week plan i’m putting together for my friends.

The plan is to lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean while building healthy eating habits. The focus will be on eating clean, healthy meals with a few ‘treats’ in the mix to keep everyone motivated. Supplemented by at least 4 days per week of exercise; cardio, hiit, and strength training.

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Before we get to the plan, let’s discuss a few rules I think are important for anyone just starting out to remember.
Rule#1. We are not DIETING. We are eating healthy, clean food to fuel our bodies to be our best. There will be ‘treats’ but that’s exactly what they are treats. Earn them, and never feel guilty for them. (And you won’t if you make good decisions).
Rule#2. I don’t do calorie counting. Eat until you’re full. If you choose wholesome filling foods that are high in fiber you won’t be hungry, but if you are hungry–EAT. But as I’ve mentioned already, and will probably say 100 more times this month make wise choices as to what you’re eating. Simple as that. Being hungry so you can save an extra 150 calories is not worth it. You might do it today, you might do it tomorrow, but in the long run you’ll make up those calories x 100 and fall off the wagon. Not to mention a restrictive diet messes with your metabolism. 😦
Rule#3. Be honest. I won’t know if you ate half a chocolate cake for dinner or if you had a large salad, but you will–and your body will know. So who’s losing? Well you are, but not in the way you’re hoping for.
Rule#4. No one is perfect. If you mess up and have that large poutine, get over it. Wipe your mouth off, learn from your mistake, and become stronger for it. Instead of beating yourself up for days, acknowledge that it happened, determine WHY it happened, then move on. Who knows, maybe next time the craving arises you’ll have found a better way to quench the craving. Life is too short to be living with guilt. Build healthy habits now so you don’t HAVE to cheat with fatty, cheesy, greasiness later.
Rule#5. Exercise is important DON’T STOP BECAUSE YOU’RE BAD AT IT!! I get it, you’re out of breath, and your legs hurt for 3 days but you won’t see progress unless you stick with it. Give yourself time to improve and you’ll be surprised at what your body can do. Oh, bonus: Choose an activity you like. My ideas are merely suggestions. If you find that you hate running but love the elliptical as long as you challenge yourself, then by all means do the one you’ll actually stick to.
persistance

Each week there will be a different focus. This week is about building a strong foundation.
Week 1. 
Diet Do’s:
-Eat lots of veggies. Preferably salad or steamed veggies.                         Salad
-Drink plenty of water. Aim for 2-3 litres daily.
-Choose clean whole grains.
-Fresh fruit and homemade green smoothies.
-Keep a food journal
-Get Lots of sleep. Aim for 8 full hours each night.

Diet Don’ts:
-No starving
-No processed foods. Or fatty, sugary foods. (Say no to crackers, cookies, waffles, ice cream, etc).
-No dairy
-Ease up on the stress


Exercise:
My only rule for exercise is that at least 4 workouts need to happen in the next 7 days. More workouts can be completed,  but remember to leave your body time to recover, refuel with protein following a workout, and always leave yourself at least 1 rest day per week.

-Routine 1: Run 3 minutes, 25 squats, 25 crunches, 10 pushups. Do for a total of 4 sets.
-Routine 2: Skipping rope for 2 minutes. 10 Burpees, 15 lunges (each leg), 25 bicycle crunches, plank for 30 seconds,  Do for a total of 5 sets.

-Routine 3: (Treadmill or Elliptical workout)

 Treadmill    

-Routine 4:

Exercise routine

Alright girls. You know what we’ve discussed–start slow, and see this through. 6 weeks from now you’ll be well on your way to a fitter healthier you. This sick girl is off to bed. Sweet Dreams.

 

15 oranges a day, keeps the doctor away…right?

Why hello world, it’s been a minute.

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(The picture above is of my balcony in Jamaica. I spent a lot of time on the beach, but I also spent some quality time with an E-reader *sigh*)

My trip to Jamaica was much needed –I have been stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed at work but following my trip I felt relaxed and centered. That is, until I woke up with a pounding headache, a fever so high I could barely see straight, and body aches so bad I couldn’t be sure I wasn’t hit by a car. It really took a toll on my body, I’ve been in bed for a week.

Jamaica involved my fair share of rum and fries. Followed by last week where I just wanted my mom, and since she lives in a different province and I couldn’t have her, I settled for the next best thing–Comfort food ie. Carbohydrate overload. Tho I must say, I’ve been having my fair share of vitamin C. My husband ordered several crates of oranges and I have been eating them like crazy. So yummy…

Wah.Wah. The pity party ends here–I got a little off track, but who doesn’t get a little distracted with carby goodness from time to time?. I’m still a little shaky from the illness, but i’m feeling stronger and ready to get back on the ABS bandwagon. Speaking of abs, if you remember, I posted a few weeks ago about joining a friend of mine in a competition to get abs. It would appear that much can happen in a few short weeks. Since then, my girlfriend has made a fascinating discovery– she’s expecting. She’s now moved on to more important things, like attempting to keep her breakfast down –which i’ve heard has not been easy the past 2 weeks. Congrats on your pregnancy!!

February is headstand month…actually it’s black history month, but I don’t see why I can’t practice my inversions while reading about the struggles and triumphs of Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr.

Unfortunately, being sick really set me back, and so I may not get into a full headstand until March but I will be working diligently until something happens. I am able to get into a headstand now (technically) but it involves throwing myself at a wall so i’d like to work on control. Ultimately this will require core strength, and core strength means 1 step closer to an ab or 2.

And finally (for tonight at least), one of my younger cousins, and several of my girlfriends from Nova Scotia need a little help getting to their goal weight and have asked for my help. I am going to be working with them to create a 6 week program to get them comfortable with working out, eating more greens and less processed crap, getting more sleep etc. You know, the fundamentals of weight loss and maintenance. I don’t believe in starving or creating workout plans that are so ridiculous you quit after the first day so it will start off easy and slowly build over the course of the 6 weeks. I have faith in the girls…but they can use the encouragement, so if there are any sites, blogs, tips or tricks you find particularly helpful feel free to let me know. Tomorrow is Day 1…I will post the plan for week #1 as soon as possible. I am hoping to help a few friends discover their love for exercise and clean eating, but I am also hoping to get back on my path to better health and better muscle definition–so let’s get started!

Have a wonderful night!

Let’s get together and feel alright…

The sun in my face, the wind in my hair…and what’s this? Sand in my bikini bottoms. Wait, that’s not quite the expression I was going for but it is the truth. Especially when one attempts a victoria secret inspired photo shoot on the beach. It’s decided…those girls earn their money. Posing in the blazing sun, with people staring at you, sand pinching your bum, and the waves slamming into you makes for a rather awkward photo. I channeled my inner Marissa Miller tho and managed to take a few where I don’t look like a crazed (and terribly awkward) baby giraffe just figuring out how to move my limbs for the first time…(more to come soon)

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I’m back in Ottawa ladies and gentlemen and NOT particularly happy about it. The past 7 days were amazing and I am going to miss Jamaica–terribly. However, no Ottawa means no job, and no job means I can’t afford to stay at nice resorts so for now, I shall continue working my 9-5 (in a manner of speaking), and trudging through the snow to make yet another dollar.

Dramatic much? me? Never…

Accept my apologies for the whining, but seriously this past week was a wonderful, relaxing, and much needed break from the cold harsh reality of Canadian winters. On the plus side, i’m feeling recharged and ready to tackle life. I will be spending more time developing the blog, hitting the gym with a new found passion, and putting in MANY overtime hours at work. Okay slight lie there, I don’t feel particularly refueled at this exact moment, but that’s because I have managed to catch a cold. *boo*

Look for more posts this week, as i’ll fill you in more with details of my vacation–complete with photos, and tackle this month’s ‘resolution’ challenge. I’m also behind on the ‘abs’ challenge, but i’ll get there. I had some of the most incredible fruit on vacation…I think out of everything I will miss that the most (tho 29 degree weather, white sand beaches, free flowing rum, and constant Bob Marley make for a very close second).

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I hope everyone had a great week, and I shall be back with more posts very soon!