Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing

Now that it’s officially summer, all I want are salads. Right now I could eat a salad for every meal. Give me all the veggies, all of them. After I completed my first whole 30, I never wanted to buy store bought salad dressing ever again, that shit is loaded with sugar and additives. Living in Canada, I don’t have access to some of the dressings that American whole 30’rs rave about. Today I decided to experiment with some apple cider vinegar and it turned out delicious, it was a party in my salad bowl.

 

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30 min Summer HIIT Workout

HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a good way to get your ass handed to you in a short amount of time. HIIT workouts are designed to torch calories in a short amount of time and are a fantastic addition to anyone’s workout program. The best part about the HIIT workout I’ve designed for you is that, you don’t need equipment and you can do the workout outside (work on that tan). Also it’s only 30 minutes, everyone has 30 minutes they can spare for a workout.

 

HIIT Workout

 

Squats: Feet hip width apart and push your butt back. Need assistance? You can use a TRX or a bench/chair.

Push Ups: Remember to keep your elbows close to your side. You can go from your knees or toes or you can go from an elevated surface.

Jumping Jacks: An oldie but a goodie.

Lunges: Keep your chest up, core engaged and toes pointed forward.

Burpees: *evil laughter* this isn’t going to be easy but it’ll be worth it.

Sit Ups: Never skip core, I learned the hard way.

Long Jump: It’s like track and field all over again. Squat down and leap forward.

How to Overcome a Protein Bar Addiction

Step 1: Admit you have a problem

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Source: Giphy
  • Do you eat protein bars frequently or in replacement of meals?
  • Do you experience irritability or mood swings when you don’t have a protein bar?

 

Step 2: Seek support

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Source: Giphy
  • There are no registered support groups for this addiction.
  • Reach out to a family member or friend.
  • Always post to social media when you’re making a life change, if it’s not on social media, it probably didn’t happen.

 

Step 3: Rid your house, car and gym bag of all protein bar remains

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  • Get rid of all temptation and by get rid I mean throw out, DO NOT CONSUME.
  • Throw out any left over wrappers, you may be tempted to huff the wrappers.

Step 4: Cold Turkey

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  • Don’t try to slowly ween yourself off, cut it out completely. It’s for the best, I swear.

 

Step 5: Create an action plan

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  • This may include avoiding certain sections of the grocery store or never leaving your house again, find something that works for you and stick with it.

Step 6: Do not go on Pinterest

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  • This might possibly be the hardest step, you think it’s fine to just look up some DIY house decor and next thing you know you’ve pinned 10 protein bar recipes.

Step 7: Unfriend anyone who offers you a protein bar

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Source: fistfightmovie.com
  • Promptly slap that protein bar out of their hand.
  • You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life, besides didn’t they see your post on facebook about not eating protein bars? How rude.

Step 8: Preparing for cravings

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Source: Giphy
  • It’s bound to happen at one point or another, when the craving hits simply stop whatever you are doing, get down on the floor, and curl up into the fetal position.

 

Why Don’t We Teach Self Love in School?

The number of people who suffer from an eating disorder is on the rise. As a society we still have a close minded view of beauty and body standards (I’ll take a moment to applaud all the people who are actively trying to change this). Social media plays a huge role in how we see ourselves and how we see others, we’ve all heard this before. The important thing to remember as we scroll through Facebook and lurk through Instagram is that those people you’re creeping aren’t perfect. Social media allows people to show themselves without flaws, they pick the best angles or the highlights of their life. Like we get it Sarah, your boyfriend loves to spoil you with gifts and love notes, but have you ever thought that maybe “Sarah’s” boyfriend is actually a dick and he buys her all those gifts as apologies? No one is perfect (except maybe Beyoncé), no relationship is perfect and for the love of Oprah, no one has the perfect body. The day you stop comparing yourself to others and start telling yourself that you’re a f***ing rock star is the day you start living a happier life.

I became self conscious about my body in Grade 3, I started developing before any other girl in my class and everyone else thought it was weird. The boys in my class were relentless, making fun of basically everything about me. I had no friends and I was constantly negative towards myself. I hated the things about myself that other people made fun of me for, before Grade 3 I was a fairly confident kid. My biggest regret is letting other people influence how I felt about myself, but how was I supposed to know that these kids were wrong? We don’t teach about body positivity and self love in school so how are kids supposed to know that they’re amazing and unique? Let’s teach kids to be positive about their bodies and stop being assholes to each other.

The summer before high school, I remember telling myself that I needed to lose 10 lbs before I started Grade 9. Looking back, it sounds messed up and distorted, my body was still going through changes (puberty can sometimes take forever) and that “pudge” I had was not a big deal. I allowed myself yet again to be influenced by others. I had peers and even family members that would make comments about my body and it sucked. It felt like every time I gained some small amount of confidence, someone was there to knock me down. I struggled through grade nine, I was counting calories, starving myself, binging, hating myself and throwing up. It was a vicious cycle, a cycle that was extremely hard to stop. In Grade 10 I could feel my self hatred getting worse. I masked my disordered eating by becoming a vegetarian. I figured it would be easier to say no to food without suspicion “oh that casserole has meat in it, guess I won’t eat it”. The rest of high school continued like this, because of my insane eating habits, my metabolism pretty much peaced out. By Grade 12, I had gained what felt like a lot of weight. Most people get excited about prom, I was dreading it. I refused to go prom dress shopping because I was afraid of not fitting into anything. I ended up ordering a dress online and thankfully it fit. During Prom, I felt uncomfortable and self conscious, I hate looking back at photos of that night because it reminds me of the self hatred I was feeling. I wish someone had told me that it’s ok to look different and that the weight on your body doesn’t define you.

In the past year, I’ve been really focusing on thinking more positively when it comes to my body. It may sound lame but reciting a positive mantra a few times a day really helps, it can be as simple as “I am worthy”. Before job interviews I usually sit in my car or stand in front of a mirror and tell myself that I’m Beyoncé, I swear, it’s the best confidence booster.

After following the Whole 30 and reading Melissa Hartwig’s book Food Freedom Forever, I have been able to identify and stop myself when I start slipping into those disordered eating habits. I have also stopped referring to foods as good and bad because why the heck should you be made to feel bad for eating something? If a child grows up thinking that a food is bad then whenever they eat it or see someone else eating it, they’re going to have some judgement towards that person or food.

In closing, let’s teach the future generations about self love and respect. Teach them that it’s ok to be different, it’s ok to be tall, short, big or small, happiness doesn’t come from a certain size, happiness comes from the life you live or maybe even a box of donuts.

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Thoughts I’ve had While Doing CrossFit

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Image via scrubbing.in

I recently started attending a beginner CrossFit bootcamp. I’m now able to understand what all the hype is about. The best part of walking into a CrossFit class is that you don’t have to think about a workout, you just walk in and get your ass handed to you, it I walk into every class with excitement and a little fear. Despite how tough a workout may be, and how much I may hate in the moment, I can’t wait to do it again as soon as the workout is over. I’ve made a list of my most common thoughts (sometimes I say them out loud) during a WOD.

1. “AMRAP 8 min, so easy” – By minute 4 *wheezing* “Is it over yet!!?”

2. “I hope this makes my butt bigger” – every exercise.

3. “F*ck burpees”

4. “Maybe I’ll just play dead during this WOD”

5. “I love wall balls”

6. “F*ck wall balls”

7. “Why do I pay to be tortured like this?”

8. “Where’s my inhaler?”

9. ” I wonder if Beyoncé does Crossfit”

10. “I hope I have abs after this”

 

 

Why I Stopped the Whole 30

I mentioned in a previous post that I was starting my second round of Whole 30. I was extremely excited to start it up again, I had developed a strange rash/eczema outbreak and I was hoping the Whole 30 would get rid of it. In between my two whole 30s I was also experiencing painful stomach burning and pressure, it would happen at any time and it would leave me unable to leave the couch. I went to the hospital one night because the pain was unbearable. The doctor thought it was just a bad case of acid reflux and I went home with a powerful prescription of antacids. Fast forward a week and I was still having pains, I was annoyed and frustrated because I was eating the cleanest I’ve ever eaten. I was hoping that a second round of Whole 30 would eliminate both these issues.

A couple of days in to my second round, my rash was starting to get worse. I started to think that it was something I was eating, I had already eliminated eggs because they made my stomach feel awful, so next, I eliminated potatoes (it was hard). Eliminating potatoes didn’t seem to help either so I eliminated tuna because I had been eating more tuna than usual. I was eating a very limited Whole 30, it wasn’t hard but I missed potatoes.

Yesterday, I went to get a second opinion about my stomach pains and rash, because I was getting more and more frustrated every day. The sparks note version of yesterday is that my Gallbladder isn’t functioning properly and my rash may be caused by my digestive system being out of whack. The gallbladder helps the body digest fat, and my gallbladder isn’t able to digest fat at a normal rate. I was eating all healthy fats (avocado, olive & coconut oil) so it’s shocking to me that my body is rebelling like this. I’ve learned that the best way to heal my body is with whole grains, fruits, little or no fats, super lean meats and certain vegetables. I was feeling super down yesterday about everything but I realized that if I wanted my body to heal I would need to step back from the whole 30 for now. I wouldn’t be completing a true whole 30 without the healthy fats. I still believe that the whole 30 is an extremely effective plan and lifestyle but my body isn’t accepting it at this point in time.

I came home yesterday and I was trying to do some research on my own about foods and recipes and I came to realize that there is a lack of information on this particular subject. I’m determined to find recipes that are going to heal my body and taste delicious.

I am by no means a nutritionist but I like to research and share my findings so here is what I’ve found so far:

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My findings are pretty basic, but it gives me a good guideline. For me personally I can’t eat gluten (I wish I could but that is another thing my body hates) so for whole grains I’ll be sticking to oats, quinoa and rice. I’m going to attempt to make some shrimp pesto without oil today so hopefully it turns out well. I guess this experience just means I have to get a bit more creative in the kitchen.

The Burpee

I avoid burpees like the plague. I am a naturally uncoordinated person so burpees have always been a challenge for me. When I was at my heaviest weight, burpees were extremely awful, I hated the feeling of my body jiggling and my boobs flailing around (even while wearing two sports bras). I know burpees are a fantastic full body exercise and should be incorporated in someone’s workout plan, but I was scarred and embarrassed by my lack of skill with the burpee that I avoided them and avoided making my clients do them.

The other night after avoiding burpees since the beginning of my fitness journey, I was faced with them, 36 of them to be exact. The workout was as follows:

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Thrusters are awful, burpees are awful but I loved every minute of the workout. To my surprise my burpees have improved a lot, I could actually jump my feet to my hands. This may seem small but to me this is a huge accomplishment, in my previous attempts at burpees I could never jump my feet up, I always had to do one foot at a time. My boobs were still flailing and my body jiggled but I was ok with it, we all jiggle and flail when we workout, it’s normal. Safe to say that I am going to be adding burpees into my routine and you should too, especially if you hate them. The things we aren’t good at or the the things we dislike are the things that help us improve the most, this applies to anything but is especially true in a fitness journey.

 

 

9 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights

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The weight section of the gym can be intimidating and that’s exactly why you should go in and make that section your bitch. You can’t build killer curves without lifting weights, cardio isn’t going to give you a head turning booty. I can’t say this enough but lifting weights will NOT make you bulky, I have not met or trained a woman who became bulky from lifting weights. The women who lift weights do add muscle tone to their bodies but they do not turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here are 10 reasons why women should lift weights:

  1. Tone & Tighten – this is usually an obvious point, lifting weights will perk up those buns, tighten the stomach and get rid of those bingo arms.
  2. Burn More Calories – Doing cardio also burns calories but as soon as you stop your body stops burning those cals, when you weightlift your body continues to burn extra calories for several hours after.
  3. Feel Like a Complete Badass – Mastering a new lift or reaching a new PR is the best feeling in the world. You also feel like a bad ass when you can lift better than a dude. Weightlifting is such an empowering experience, you’ll understand it as soon as you try it.
  4. Burn Belly Fat – Studies have shown that the women who lift weights have tighter stomach areas than the women who just do cardio.
  5. Reduce Stress – Feeling stressed? Go to the gym and lift some heavy shit. Working out in general has been proven to reduce stress, weight lifting in particular is extremely good at reducing stress and sending a huge spike in your endorphins.
  6. Strengthen Bones – Lifting weights can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. As you lift weights your bones create more bone cells, which helps increase the density of your bones.
  7. Curves – In today’s society it’s all about the hourglass figure and big badonkadonk. Muscle is what helps women appear curvy, lifting weights helps you keep muscle while losing weight. With weights you can get the Kardashian curves without the surgeries and those stupid effing waist trainers.
  8. Energy – Having energy is so overrated. False. Having energy throughout the day puts you in a better mood and increases your productivity. Personally I feel a greater spike in my energy levels after lifting weights, cardio just doesn’t do it for me.
  9. Beyoncé Lifts – Although I have yet to see photographic evidence of Beyoncé working out, you can bet your ass that she busts her ass in the gym. She might also just be a superhuman who never works out. Slay Queen, slay.

Go lift some weights and then once you’re comfortable lift heavier. Pick up a barbell today, it will change your life.

The Pursuit of Abs

I’ve wanted a six pack for as long as I can remember, I won’t say it’s my main goal in life (increasing my booty size is number 1 #dreambig) but it’s ranked pretty high on my list of goals. How cool would it be to just whip off your shirt wherever, whenever and your abs would look like someone could do their laundry on them right then and there. Having abs year round would be the definition of awesome, no need to prepare for bathing suit weather when your body is permanently ready for it. However, a huge enthusiast of “if you have a body, then you have a bikini body” meaning that anyone can and should be able to wear a bikini, free of judgement. I have goals for myself and most of those goals are fitness related because that’s what I’m passionate about. I’m not quite sure what it takes to get abs because well, I’ve never had them but I’m excited to find out. My goal is to have visual ab definition by August and then maintain them through the winter months. I know the main component of maintaining abs is nutrition and I plan to eat the cleanest I’ve ever eaten.

Here’s my game plan to get abs:

  • Cardio – I’ve mentioned my hate for it previously but cardio is effective in fat loss. I’m going to be adding cardio in 3x a week in the morning.
  • Whole 30 – My next whole 30 starts Today, then after I’m finished I’m going to England for 10 days. I’m planning to stay on track with my goals while in England. When I get back from the land of royalty and corgi’s I’m going to do another full blown Whole 30 and then move towards food freedom, keeping to the whole 30 principles with a few exceptions.

  • Crossfit- I’ve been absolutely loving Crossfit so far and I’m hoping to continue it at least 2x per week.
  • Workout 5-6 days a week consistently – I’ve been consistent at the gym for a while now, but now I’m making it mandatory. The trickiest part for me has been making a program for myself the days I’m not at crossfit, I just don’t want to be too sore for the workouts there because well those workouts have been BRUTAL, good but brutal.
  • Do more core – Some people avoid leg day, I avoid core day. 

I’ll keep updating on whether or not my abs have come in. Also do you just wake up with abs one day or like how does that work? I guess I’ll find out. 

 

 

Diaries of a Past Chubby Child: Easter

Squares Are For Squares

For most people Christmas is the worst time of year for eating junk and hating yourself. For me that holiday is Easter, the holiday literally revolves around chocolate (well it actually revolves around Jesus but that’s a discussion for another time). Easter used to be the time of year that everyone stocked up on mini eggs for the year and rationed them until the next time mini eggs would come out of hibernation and wreak havoc on our waistlines. Mini eggs are just so delicious and adorably cute and I just want 500 of them. Back when I was in College Easter coincided with final exams, I’m a stress eater so having a plethora of chocolate available around at an extremely stressful time was a recipe for disaster. Looking back now I am shocked at my lack of self control, I would eat anything and everything. My body pretty much ran on sugar in college and especially during exams and I would crash hard if I didn’t have any.

I grew up in a town that is famous for it’s chocolate and it’s theatre but chocolate is what matters most to me because I will always be a chubby kid at heart. I was never given chalky wal mart Easter bunnies. If you live in Stratford you most likely were given premium chocolate hand crafted Easter bunnies. You haven’t truly eaten chocolate until you’ve had some from Rheo Thompsons or Chocolate Barr’s. When I was a child I probably consumed 20 times the recommended amount of sugar Easter morning. My parent’s would always try and get us to ration out our chocolate but I would eat pretty much all of it in one sitting because even at the age of 8, I had no self control when it came to food.

I am a firm believer in the “treat yo self” motto, I don’t do it everyday because I would be back up to 250lbs but I do believe that if you truly want something and it’s been on your mind for a while, you should have it.  It’s challenging to eat a junk food in moderation, as a person who struggled with weight my whole life, I sometimes find it challenging to not slip back into old habits. The key to not slipping back into old and harmful habits is to constantly be thinking about what your goals are and how you’re going to get there. Not going to lie, I’ll be consuming some chocolate this weekend but I’m going to get right back on track after. Life is about balance, not about being perfect. One thing I learned during my fitness journey is that beating yourself up after eating something “bad” won’t get you anywhere, stay positive, stay calm, and get back to crushing your goals.

Make good Choices!

-B