Cheat Meals are Bullshit

Donut Curve

Cheat meals are a weird concept “I’m going to eat clean all week and then reward myself for eating clean by eating a large amount of food”. I get not wanting to deprive yourself of food you enjoy, but what if instead of planning out a binge fest you actually ate food when you truly wanted it and not used it as a reward?

Instead of rewarding yourself with food, try out the 80/20 rule, 80% of the time you eat whole foods and 20% of the time you maybe get a little off track and eat a fucking donut or some other food that truly brings you joy. It’s important to find balance in your eating and not reward yourself with food. I find the 80/20 rule to be less stressful and a hell of a lot more enjoyable. Learn how to make healthy decisions as you go throughout life. Learn how to say no to certain foods when you really just don’t want them or they just aren’t worth it. Making healthy decisions will help you to create positive habits and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle long term. Also, a bit of a side note but I try not to refer to foods as good and bad because when you eat a food that you’ve labelled as bad it makes you feel negative after eating it. Eating should not make you feel horrible about yourself, remember that.

I used to plan my life around my weekly cheat meal, I would stress all week trying to decide what I should eat because I literally wanted to eat everything. I would always go way over board on this “cheat” and wind up feeling ill and horrible about myself. Looking back I think there were very few times that I actually enjoyed the cheat meal itself. I’m not judging anyone who chooses to participate in cheat meals, I just truly believe that we shouldn’t be using food as a reward.

Let’s Talk About Carbs

Whenever I hear someone say “carbs are bad for you” I want to punch them. I’m not a violent person but when it comes to people speaking ill of carbohydrates I go full Terminator. Some people act like carbs are the devil and I honestly can’t handle it. Carbs are not bad, carbs will not murder your family so take a seat. If you eat pasta at every meal, then yeah you’re probably not going to lose weight. If you eat the right kind of carbs you can still lose weight and be happy because carbs = happiness. I’ll give you an example, a few months ago I did a whole30 reset and I ate potatoes (sweet and regular) pretty much everyday and I still lost 14 lbs. I was able to lose weight because I was eating only whole foods and exercising regularly, the potatoes I ate gave me the energy I needed to get through a day of work and to get through a workout.

When choosing what carbs to eat look for whole grain or whole food alternative, if it comes from nature, chances are it’s good for you, unless it’s poisonous berries, don’t eat those. Try and eat carbs in as close to their natural state as possible, simply put potato chips are not a healthy choice.

Good Carbs: starchy vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, fruits,  greens.

Bad Carbs: soda, sugary cereals, white pasta, highly processed carbs etc.

There are some popular “diets” that promote low carb plans, but they’re just a quick fix, neglecting carbs in the long term is honestly not sustainable #sorrynotsorry. Some long term affects of low carb diets include weight gain, kidney problems, bowel problems, high cholesterol and the list goes on.

Reasons you should put some carbs in your mouth:

  1. Carbs fill you up – the body digests carbs at a slower rate then protein or fat, which leaves you feeling fuller longer.
  2. Increase Athletic Performance – Wanna be better? faster? stronger? eat some f*cking carbs. The body breaks down sugars in carbohydrates to fuel the body, it’s that simple.
  3. More Food Freedom – you can eat a wider variety of foods and don’t have to feel limited.
  4. Brain Health – people who eat carbs tend to have better memories than those who don’t.
  5. Heart Health – people who eat carbs tend to have lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher HDL (good) cholesterol.

Don’t eat a certain way because it’s trendy, eat in moderation, watch your portion sizes and stop hating on carbs.

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Source: Giphy

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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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”

 

 

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. 

 

 

Back to Basics 

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Recently I’ve been looking for something to change up my normal routine, so I decided to give CrossFit a try. Last night was my first night as a crossfitter (I probably shouldn’t call myself that yet). The class I’m taking is for beginners, in last nights class they taught the basics of squats, push ups and rows. Although I know how to do these movements I learned a very easy way to teach someone how to do these movements, which I will definitely be using in my own practice.

The class started with some warm up exercises one of which was the inch worm. Last night was the night I learned that I hate inch worms. The inch worm looks easy and I think that’s why I hate it so much. My coordination has improved immensely since I started taking working out seriously, I used to fall down the stairs at least once a week and trip over air daily (I always landed gracefully though). The inch worm was a serious test of coordination for me, a test that I failed. Hopefully by week 6 I’ll have this basic movement down pat.

The majority of the first class was spent learning the movements, the last 20 minutes was the official workout. The workout last night looked and sounded easy.

WOD :

200m row

3 rounds (no break), 12 reps of:

Squats

Push Ups

Rows

The workout was very deceiving, by the end of the workout my lungs were burning and my legs were shaking like actual Jell-O. Saying my body is sore today would be an understatement. The workout last night is proof that even the most basic of movements can destroy a person. CrossFit gives you the kind of workout that you hate while you do it, but can’t wait to do again when you finish.

I’m actually really looking forward to all the battle wounds that are coming my way in the next 6 weeks. I’m also hoping I put some more inches on my butt, I’ll keep you all updated on my booty progress.

Meal Prep Like a Pro

I consider Sunday to be the international day of meal prep. Sunday just feels like the perfect day to get shit done, it also feels like the perfect day to stay in bed and watch Netflix so I often spend my Sunday’s having an inner debate with myself. Meal prepping is important to stay on track with your goals, if you already have food cooked up it becomes a lot harder to cheat and a lot easier to stay on track. Preparing food in advance also saves you money and who doesn’t love saving money?!

I learned early on in my fitness journey that I don’t enjoy eating the same meal everyday (unless it’s eggs & or bacon). When I first started meal prepping I would spend a good chunk of the day cooking and then cleaning up my mess, now I have meal prep down to a science. I usually only spend a maximum of two hours on meal prep (and that includes clean up!) so I can spend the rest of the day binge watching Shameless on Netflix. My meal prep consist of cooking up two kinds of protein, cutting up veggies, cooking some veggies and of course cooking up potatoes. Throughout my weight loss journey I’ve learned the art of mix & match meal prep.  I like to mix and match my meals throughout the week, some meals I’ll have a salad, some meals I’ll have a stir-fry or zucchini noodles, and sometimes I’ll eat my protein with a side of raw veggies, variety is key to not getting bored. When I first started losing weight I ate so much ground turkey that even thinking about eating it makes me gag, this is how I learned a very valuable lesson about variety.

Here are some of my tips for a successful meal prep:

  • Try to cook as many things as you can in the same pan or dish. Quickly wash the pan in between cooking, it makes the clean up so much easier.
  • Buy easy to grab spring mix for salads or my new found favourite product Mann’s Broccoli Slaw, it’s amazing. I like to cook it up with some garlic and coconut aminos, it’s ready to go in under 10 min! You can also just eat it as a salad or add it to your salads for some extra crunch. I found it at Wal Mart for like $2, best money I’ve spent.
  • Plan ahead. Pinterest is my go to for quick, healthy, delicious recipes. I spend most Saturday’s on Pinterest dreaming about what I’m going to cook on Sunday.
  • Make a Grocery List – Spend some time thinking about what you want to make for the week. Going to the grocery store without a list is very dangerous and not recommended. Whenever I go to the grocery store without a list I come home with a lot of bacon and not much else.
  • Mix & Match Meal Prep – seriously try it, it’s a life saver and a time saver.
  • Make your Crock Pot your bitch – make a big batch of chili or drumsticks or meat balls or pot roast or basically anything because Crock Pot’s are God’s gift to humans.
  • Crank some Beyoncé and have a dance party while you cook just don’t burn yourself or the food.
  • Invest in glass containers – there’s something seriously wrong with heating up plastic containers. You can buy a full set of glass containers for around $30 and they last a lot longer then plastic, unless you drop them.
  • Cook the complicated or time consuming foods first – I like to get my potatoes cooking first, while they’re in the oven I can cook up a few other things.

Meal prepping doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. Find a method of meal prep that works for you, if you’re the type of person that can eat the same meal all the time and you like it then do it that way. You don’t always have to meal prep on Sunday, sometimes I meal prep on a Tuesday night, make time in your schedule for it and get it done. Here’s to a successful week of crushing goals!

Make good choices everyone!

-B

Product Review: Nomz Energy Bites

I used to be 250 lbs so it’s obvious that I LOVE food. I love all food, I don’t discriminate, give me something savoury and I’ll eat it, give me something sweet and I’ll eat that too. I love carbs but I also love chocolate and jelly beans and basically anything bad for you.

I’m constantly searching for healthy products that are natural and delicious. Two days ago I found the most amazing energy bites, it was a party in my mouth and all of my taste buds were invited. The company that makes them is called Nomz Energy Bites and I want to have a lifetime supply delivered to my house. The energy bites only have six ingredients: Pecans, Almonds, Dates,  Cocoa, Coconut Oil, Sea Salt. Realistically I could probably make these at home but where’s the fun in that? The nutrition info on these bad boys is bomb:

nutritionThe energy bites come in four amazing flavours, Pecan, Coconut, Pistachio and Hazelnut. So far I haven’t met a flavour I didn’t like. All of the flavours are Paleo, Vegan, Gluten free, refined sugar free and Peanut free. These bad ass bites are available at Whole foods in Ontario, various small health food stores, Western University and Pearson Airport (definitely hunting these down before my next flight).
allfoursamesize.pngDid I mention how excited I am about this product!? Because I’m freaking out, they’re that good. If you’re a person who likes food, these are a must have. I discovered that you can purchase the bites in bulk from their website and if that isn’t a sign from God then I don’t know what is. Summary: these bites are perfect for travelling and I have to learn to not eat 10 of them in one sitting.

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!