Tips to crush your goals this week

New week, new you right? Here are some tips for keeping on track this week:

  1. Be Prepared – Meal prep is the best and easiest way to stay on track for the week. With healthy already made meals in the fridge it becomes a million times easier to stick to your goals.
  2. Schedule Out Your Week – Grab your planner or print off a calendar, make sure to schedule in workouts, social time and whatever else you need to do or want to do for the week.
  3. Take it One Day at a Time – Don’t stress about the days or the numbers just try and get through one day at a time, one decision at a time.
  4. Prepare for Detours – Think of all the things that could get you off track this week and come up with a plan or plans to avoid getting off track. Maybe this includes bringing snacks wherever you go or drinking more water.
  5. Don’t Reward Yourself With Food – Stop rewarding yourself with food, food is fuel, it is not a reward. Come up with a special reward for yourself, maybe it’s getting your nails done or buying new workout clothes.
  6. Don’t be to Hard on Yourself – If your week doesn’t go as planned don’t put yourself down. Negativity is not the answer, pick out the positives from the day or week and be happy with what you did or achieved, it doesn’t matter if it’s small or large.

Good luck this week guys, I’m rooting for you!

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How to Visualize Success

What is visualization? In short visualization is the formation of a mental image of something. Some naysayers may call it day dreaming and I guarantee you that those people aren’t where they want to be in life. I am a firm believer in visualization and using vision boards to bring those mental images to life. Visualization takes time sometimes days, maybe months and possibly years but keep believing in your mental images, keep focusing on what you want to achieve or where you want to be in life. Yes sometimes visualization actually requires you to do some work to achieve your goals, the things worth having in life often don’t come easy. Visualization helps drive us to grind day in and day out for the life we want for ourselves. I want you to take a minute or longer and visualize where you want to be in 5 years. Maybe you want kids, maybe you want to own your own house or be a millionaire, whatever your goal is, I want you to hang a picture or write a note and hang it somewhere where you’ll see it everyday. I’m a very visual person so I enjoy making vision boards using images that symbolize or represent what I want in life. I update my vision board almost yearly and I look at it daily, when I’m not feeling motivated to wake up and grind I look to my vision board for motivation.

 

Board Your Vision

When it comes to weight loss or fitness related goals, I believe visualization (especially a vision board) is a key component in success. If you’re not visualizing, you’re probably not achieving. Making a vision board isn’t hard, simply go through magazines or look online for images that speak to you and your goals. Now put those images in a collage or on a bulletin board a voila, you have yourself a vision board and an amazing source of motivation. Sometimes making a vision board on Pinterest is really helpful and easy especially for those who aren’t crafty.

I’m also a firm believer in telling others about your goals. I mean maybe don’t tell everyone you meet but definitely find people that support you and let them know what you’re up to. Do not be ashamed of your goals, I use to always shy away from telling people about my goals because I was embarrassed and feared not being able to achieve them, but with the right mind set and support system, you can achieve anything.

What’s on your vision board? Share with me in the comments below!

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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How to Overcome a Protein Bar Addiction

Step 1: Admit you have a problem

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.

 

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.

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.

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

I did the Whole 30 and I didn’t cry

The Whole30 was an amazing experience for me. I was nervous to start, I was afraid I would feel extremely restricted in what I was able to eat. For those of you who don’t know, the Whole 30 is a lifestyle reset, it’s not a diet, the main focus of the Whole 30 is to change bad habits and build a better relationship with food. For 30 days you consume only whole foods (no added sugar not even honey or stevia). Fruit is allowed and best of all potatoes are allowed!  Basically your meals consist of meat, veggie, and healthy fats. It’s so simple that it boggles my mind that more people aren’t doing it and did I mention that you can eat potatoes?! One of the other restrictions which throws people off is that you aren’t allowed to make healthier versions of junk foods, no paleo pop tarts or banana pancakes, or health cookies. The whole philosophy behind this is that your body doesn’t know the difference between the healthy and the junk version, which goes in line with building a better relationship with food. As a person who was once a prisoner to bulimia and binge eating disorder this was just the program I needed to stop feeling bad about eating and start focusing on what feels best for my body.

I’m not going to lie I’ve tried many “diets” in my life and they usually ended in tears and self loathing. I knew the Whole 30 was the real deal when I didn’t cry and give up during the first week. In the first week I felt my energy increase, my bloating decreased drastically, and I was feeling satisfied after each meal. My biggest down fall before the Whole 30 was snacking late at night and I still had the same urge to run to the kitchen and grab something to stuff my face with. I soon realized that it was my brain that was making me think I was hungry because my body was still feeling satisfied from my last meal of the day.

During the Whole 30 I never experienced any headaches or intense cravings, I think this is because I slowly eased myself into it. At the beginning of January I set a start date of February 17, I cut things out one at a time so I wouldn’t get the sugar withdrawal most people experience while doing the Whole 30. I don’t know if the creators of the Whole 30 would recommend this but I do. I don’t believe in doing anything cold turkey because I personally usually always fail.

I made it through all 30 days without yelling at anyone, crying, cheating or passing out so all in all it was a damn good experience. Although the Whole 30 isn’t a weight loss program, most people do experience weight loss, personally I lost 14 lbs. I ate potatoes almost everyday and I still lost weight, someone pinch me, I must be dreaming.

The biggest take away from this journey are the non-scale victories you experience. There is a list of non-scale victories on the whole 30 site. Here are just a few of the non scale victories I noticed:

  • Clothes fitting better
  • Whiter teeth (Seriously!)
  • Leaner appearance
  • Confidence
  • Less PMS symptoms
  • Became more creative in the kitchen
  • Improved memory
  • Improved attention span
  • Energy, So. Much. Energy.
  • Actually being able to sleep through the night
  • Flatter stomach
  • Fewer blemishes
  • Eczema started improving!
  • My face got thinner
  • Food tasted better, I never like raspberries and now they’re my favourite.

I could literally go on and on about all the other non-scale victories I experienced but I think you get the point. The non scale victories are way more important to me then the weight on the scale. This is why the whole 30 encourages people not to weigh in during the 30 days. The program is designed to make you feel good, and see what works with your body. I recommend giving this a try, it’s seriously life changing!

Here are some of my tips for a successful Whole 30:

  • Meal Prep – I cooked up big batches of protein, potatoes, veggies. I had easy to grab veggies, fruit and spring mix. I’m all about quick and convenient.
  • Do the Research – Read Food Freedom Forever, print out the shopping lists from the whole 30 site. Research brands that are whole 30 friendly, like Wholly Guacamole (a staple in my whole 30) and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce!
  • Clean – Clean out any foods in your house that may tempt you during the 30 days.
  • Look up Recipes – Pinterest, the Whole 30 cookbook, food bloggers etc. Find recipes that you know you’ll enjoy making.
  • Slowly Ease into it- if you are a sugar fiend, maybe try slowly cutting it out before starting, same with grains or any other food that might be a staple in your current diet.
  • Follow Melissa Hartwig (co-creator of the Whole 30) on Social Media – I was inspired by how she lives and eats and I also have a small girl crush on her.
  • Grab a Friend – have someone close to you join you for the 30 days, it makes it easier when you have a support system!
  • Set a Date- Pick a time that you know you won’t be travelling a lot or pick a time that is less stressful for you.
  • Make Whole 30 Ranch – It’s amazing, such a game changer.

Start Fueling your body with whole foods, it will thank you!

Sweet Potato Deliciousness

I think the first time I had a sweet potato was like 5 years ago and it was love at first bite. That sweet deliciousness changed my life forever. I usually make them during a meal prep to have on the side of whatever else I choose to make (usually just salad and eggs). Sweet potatoes are an excellent food to help heal the stomach, they’re are also jam packed with nutrients and vitamins. Sweet potatoes contain Vitamin D&C, potassium, magnesium, they can actually ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging, and to top it all off they can help support your immune system. If you don’t have sweet potatoes in your house right now, go buy them, seriously.

img_2227I tend to dice my sweet potatoes up, leaving the skin on because the skin adds more fibre and potassium, and then I bake them in the oven until they’re nice and slightly mushy. I try to change up the spices I put on them each week so I don’t get bored, but I doubt that will ever happen. After I dice the sweet potatoes I coat the bottom of a glass pan with coconut oil, to prevent sticking and to add some extra moisture.

 

I usually add garlic because garlic is fantastic and delicious, dried chopped onion, salt, pepper, and this past week I added some Traeger Blackened Saskatchewan seasoning. At this point I also add in some extra coconut oil to sit on top of the sweet potatoes.

 

I pop the sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees and wait and hour and voila most delicious food in the world is ready for consumption.

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