Category Archives: Uncategorized

On Self Image

When I left for the Dominican Republic three weeks ago I didn’t think I was looking my best. In my head I wasn’t lean enough, I didn’t look good enough. The words, “I feel self-conscious” even came out of my mouth when our plane landed in the hot sun.

Still I put on my bikini and walked down to the gorgeous white sandy beach in front of our resort.

The first thing I noticed on this beach  was women of ALL ages, shapes and sizes confidently walking, swimming and tanning in bikinis much smaller than my own (and to tell you the truth…none of my bikini bottoms cover much of my bum!). I admired their confidence and their love for their body at its current shape.

Even elderly women were walking the beach in thong bikinis!

I feel like we are missing something in North America! Everywhere else in the world, women are proud of their body no matter what size it is, while we tend to cover up and shy away from showing off what we should love.

Somewhere during the trip I decided to just enjoy myself and my bikini bottoms that barely cover my tush. I knew that I would be pissed in ten years if I didn’t enjoy my body as it is now!

 

I saw this picture (right) that was taken of me just before we left the Dominican to return home and I suddenly thought, “Wow…you actually look great!” and I decided I am allowed to feel proud of being healthy, strong and fit. I should be and am proud of my body.

This is not a post to gain compliments. I just wanted to share that even if you don’t think your body is what society deems perfect, that there is someone (probably many people) admiring you.

I certainly admired the love those women on the beach showed for their own bodies and I hope we can all be as confident as them!

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Easy Flour-free Pancakes

  
Who doesn’t love pancakes?

I don’t!

Let me rephrase: My gastrointestinal tract does not love traditional pancakes. We do not need to go into details!

I have experimented with many different pancakes over the years: oatmeal pancakes, protein powder pancakes, gluten free flour pancakes, etc. All are ok, but mostly just a great vessel for eating nut butter, berries and pure Canadian maple syrup!

Recently, I discovered the easiest and one of the most tasty pancake recipes! It only has three ingredients, contains no flour and most importantly holds together so you can still layer on your favourite toppings!

In the Arctic we have a significant amount of overripe bananas, which is perfect for making this pancake recipe!

My great friend Rebecca recently posted this recipe on her website after I shared it with her. Find it here:

One Year Without – Meaghan’s Banana Pancakes

Make sure to follow Rebecca and her family as they spend a year without sugar or processed foods. She posts amazing articles about the effects of excess sugar and shares some delicious recipes!

But first, let’s eat pancakes!

Let me know what you think.

 

Eat Clean and Enjoy!

 

 

You Just Have to Move

  
 

It’s July. Summer. Time for tank tops and margaritas on the deck.

Except the temperature says 5 degrees Celcius and it is raining! Summer?

Since June, 2015 I have been living in Iqaluit, Nunavut: the Arctic. I am that person who has lived on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, my whole life. If you know anything about the west coast of Canada, you know that we never have a real ‘Canadian winter’. Therefore, my experiences in cold weather have been extremely limited!

The weather and temperature in Iqaluit for July and August were exactly the same as our winters on Vancouver Island: below 10 degrees and raining. We definitely had some beautiful, sunny days, but most times I found myself with a toque and down jacket on.

Summer is usually the time I take a break from the gym and take my exercise outside: hiking, paddle boarding, sprints and fun, outdoor workouts. This past summer I found myself inside the gym still needing my sweaty fix, but I felt unmotivated and uninspired.

Finding Inspiration

In July, I came across JillFit’s 20×20 Challenge for August: Complete twenty 20 minute workouts for the month of August. It meant quick, intense challenges in the gym which still left tons ofText Box: Ladies! I'm going to do this challenge! Join me? 20 days of 20 minute (at least) higher intensity workouts in August! 20 minutes? Easy...that's like commercials in an hour show or part of a lunch break or scrolling through Facebook! time to explore the icebergs and tundra outside.

I decided to pitch the idea to a group of my closest girlfriends and suddenly five of us were counting our way to getting sweaty twenty days in August.  

Just Move

Our group of girls have different levels of exercise experience and enjoyment. A couple of us enjoy lifting weights and doing quick and dirty high intense workouts, some of us thrive on gym classes, some love walking or running outside, some get sweaty in the pool, some enjoy yoga.

You have to enjoy the form of fitness you choose. From my experience, if you don’t have a positive experience in the activity you choose you won’t continue it. Fitness should feel fun! After a workout you should feel sexy, strong and motivated. Text Box: It's August! 20x20 challenge begins today! Good luck!

To me it didn’t matter how we moved,
we just moved.

The Rules

We made a closed group Facebook page. I made up five rules. They were simple:

  • Choose an activity you enjoy
  • This activity should increase your heart rate
  • Do this activity for at least 20 minutes, 20 times in August
  • Post a picture during or after your activity and a short description of what you did
  • No comparing yourself to the others in the group. Everyone was at their own fitness level

 

The OutcomeText Box: #3: lunch workout. Weights and hard ass incline sprints to finish #18 - 30 min stairs. #14- Christmas Eve run! 26 minutes. Nice and quiet, but a little slippery out there. Now it's time to kick back and celebrate! Hope everyone has a great Christmas tomorrow Walked to work in the rain #committedto10000steps #14- worked very hard at my weights class tonight... Feeling strong! 17: Sunday morning kickboxing. Best. I'm disgusting now with sweat #1 Yoga - Didn't get too sweaty but I'm definitely stiff so this felt good. I hauled my ass outta bed at 530 so that right there is amazing #6 Sunday evening swim for 25 minutes. I did laps for 15 minutes and 10 minutes of 5 exercises. Tonight I'm excited to go to Aquafit as well #20!!!! Woohoo!

It is now March 2016. We still have the group. We still have goals of completing 20 workouts each month.

We don’t beat ourselves up if we don’t make all 20 because hitting number 12 in one month is still damn amazing.

My Goals

My goal for pitching this workout idea was simple: I wanted to show my friends that once you start being consistent, you keep going. Consistency: regularity, evenness, steadiness, stability, equilibrium, dependability, reliability.

My initial personal, selfish goal was to increase the intensity of my workouts and have people hold me accountable to that goal. I got that! But suddenly I realized I actually needed to see my friends. I needed to see their gorgeous faces and see them succeed. In almost every post it was either a funny face, declaring themselves drenched in sweat or a big proud, ‘feeling good’ smile!

Text Box: You are all doing so awesome with this challenge!!! Keep it up ladies!! ❤

I have never once asked if anyone has lost weight. Through pictures I can see that they all have, even if they haven’t noticed.

I have never asked them to focus on what they are eating. I knew this would come as they became consistent with getting movement in. And it did.

These girls are maybe not as passionate about fitness as I am and that wasn’t the point of this challenge. What has happened is that some of them are now addicted to the feel and benefits of consistent exercise.

Text Box: #12- 35 minute run. Running seems to be keeping me sane.    

Staying Consistent

At the end of each month I ask the girls if they want to continue with this group. Each month we all answer ‘yes’! So we continue on.

Each of us probably uses this group for something slightly different. I use it to see my friends faces every day and to increase the intensity of my workouts. Someone uses it as a reason to get moving. Someone else likes to make us laugh with their creative posts.

Whatever the reason we have all found motivation and encouragement to just move.

It is amazing how a simple ‘like’ makes your day.  

Text Box: Cue the Rocky theme music.....#20! And done

 

The Comeback

I didn’t know what to write about.

I have all this passion and knowledge inside but I told myself I don’t think I am passionate enough and I don’t know enough.

Then I wrote a couple articles for the Massage Therapy Development Centre, which reaches Massage Therapists and other health care professionals (and non health care professionals) around the world. The owner encouraged me to start up my own blog – for months, maybe years.

Just yesterday this came across my phone:

Dude! You HAVE to get a blog going.”

I was sick of stating I had no idea what to write about and so, on two blizzard days in Iqaluit I began to write.

So I’m going to share my passion and knowledge and see where it goes!

Thank you for joining me!

My Run Away from Running

I have ran three half marathons, a few 10 and 8km races and every Run for the Cure 5km event since it started. I used to run a lot, but I never considered myself a ‘runner’. Why? Because I didn’t love it. Not one second of it! Ok, maybe there was a few moments that I felt good. But for me the good didn’t outweigh the bad!

Here’s my training experience:
I convinced myself that being a runner was the only way to be super fit. Running a half marathon needed to happen.
On a run day I would spend about ten minutes convincing myself that I need to run.
Warm up and start running.
Feel like crap for the first 20-30 minutes.
Once I made it past that time, I would settle into a pace.
Plead with myself the entire run to finish whatever distance or time I needed to do that day.
After finishing my run I would be happy…mostly because it was over.
After long runs, I usually felt sick to my stomach.
I started getting pain in my left sacroiliac joint, glute and hip area. After a while it got so bad that I would have a hard time sleeping at night. It would throb. I was not happy.
I bought expensive orthotics, which made things worse. I convinced myself my body was just getting used to them and that I needed to keep running.

…keep running.

road-runner-1

Since 2010, I haven’t run more than 5km.

Why does everyone think running is the best way to be in shape and lose weight?
I agree that it burns calories and can make you feel great, but so can a lot of other forms of activity. If you get the ‘runner’s high’ and love to run then I not only admire you but am also quite jealous! I really love watching a person cross a finish line of a race and have that proud and happy look on their face! I loved when my sister would shatter her previous half marathon race time! I just didn’t love running. I don’t regret my running experience. It made me realize what I DON’T like to do and I think that’s huge.

I remember finishing my last half marathon. There was no one there to cheer me on. I didn’t beat my last finishing time by very much. I was no star at running and suddenly realized I never would be and even more refreshing…I didn’t WANT to be!

Why couldn’t I strength train like I love? Why couldn’t I learn something new like kettlebells or short hill sprints? Why was I doing something that I didn’t love and didn’t even really like?

So I stopped…that was it. Running ‘career’ over!

It’s funny that people think running gets you in the best shape. It might for some people, I can’t say for sure. But from my experience, I’m far leaner and stronger now than when I was running. I like my body a lot more now that I have more muscle definition and can do 5 pull-ups (on a good day!) unassisted and deadlift far more than my body weight.

Sometimes I still go for a short run, but it’s to get to a destination. For example, the other day I ran 2km to get to a set of stairs. I then sprinted up the stairs a bunch of times until I couldn’t any more. I then walked home. I find if I try to go for a run now, I end up just going as fast as I can. It’s almost like I just want to sprint and stop, sprint and stop. That makes me  feel good. I don’t have to be a runner to be fit. Neither do you, but you can if you want!

domoreofwhatmakesyouhappy

 

Love to Run? Do it!
Love to Strength Train? Do it!
Love to practice Yoga? Do it!
Love to hike or walk? Do it Damnit!


Do what you love, not what you think will make you the fittest.

Train Hard

What do YOU eat?

I get asked a lot about what I eat or what my thoughts are about what to eat and when to eat it. Man…there are so much conflicting information out there. I 100% understand how people can get confused. Here are some things I see daily:

  • eat breakfast, don’t eat breakfast
  • eat egg whites only, eat the whole egg, don’t eat eggs at all
  • eat carbs, don’t eat carbs, don’t eat any white carbs
  • don’t eat fruit because it’s fattening (I hate that this is out there!)
  • eat snacks, don’t eat snacks, snack only on almonds
  • eat gluten free and dairy free to lose weight
  • don’t eat past 6 or 7pm, and if you do it better not be a damn carb!
  • …and on and on and on….

I like to experiment with nutrition and workouts. I think it’s fun and I like to see how my body and energy levels respond. I’ve tried carb cycling, intermittent fasting, low carbohydrate, high protein and fat, etc. I find I have the most energy and feel my absolute best when I have meals consisting of protein (usually meat or eggs), lots of veggies and fruit and a healthy fat (avocado or coconut oil usually). I do eat complex carbs also, but usually around my workouts, which I’ll explain. This DOES NOT mean you have to eat this way. It’s just how I, personally, feel my best.

Please realize all of this info is my educated opinion. You don’t have to agree with me and if you have comments I would love to talk about your views on the matter!

Here are my Rules:

1. I eat when I’m HUNGRY! I stop eating when I’m satisfied, not over stuffed. Yes, I sometimes eat too much and am super full. I DON’T follow rules like, “eat 6 small meals a day”, “eat within 20 minutes of waking up and within 30 minutes of your workout”, or “don’t eat past 7pm at night”. If I’m starving at 8am or 8pm, I’m sure as hell going to eat something or I will be bitchy to anyone in my path. If I stay full from three meals a day, then I’m good. If I eat six small meals one day, then great. I eat when I’m hungry…period.

photo

2. I eat CLEAN (90% of the time). I very rarely buy anything that is prepackaged, unless I’m not feeling well, then I may buy a can of soup. When I go to the grocery store this is what I normally buy: asparagus, peppers, cuke, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, apples, bananas, frozen berries, avocado, chicken breasts, eggs, ground turkey or beef, cans of tuna, steaks, salmon (although I normally steal that from my dad’s freezer) , rice milk, yams, quiona, rice. At home I have spices, coconut oil, rice protein powder, coffee and honey. And that’s pretty much it! I cook, bbq, make salads or shakes. I’m honestly pretty boring and don’t love cooking and strongly dislike baking.

10% of the time I have a treat, like an oat fudge bar from starbucks, or a bag of mini eggs or m&m’s, pepperoni or chinese food. I like going out for drinks with friends and also love yam fries.

I’m a firm believer that if you can’t pronounce ingredients on a food label that it’s probably not great. I believe that calories should come from good food and if you have all your calories from pop, booze and junk food you’re going to have a gut. I’m a busy person and still have time to eat clean, so please don’t use the excuse of not having time. I bet your 8:00pm tv show can be PVR’d to prepare food for the next day.

I don’t eat gluten, dairy, nuts or seeds right now because it upsets my stomach, not because I think it’s “bad for you”. I don’t miss dairy much at all, but honestly, I’d love to have a sandwich sometimes!

3. Gluten free doesn’t mean Healthy. Have you read the labels of some gluten free products? Such as gluten free pasta, baked goods, etc. Does it have more sugar or calories than the same product that has gluten? Is it highly processed still? If you’re going gluten free because you think it’s going to help you lose weight, you might want to have a look at things. Eating UNPROCESSED, clean foods, is going to help you more than just having a gluten free product.

4. If you HATE it, don’t eat it. I hate olives, so I don’t eat them. They’re probably great for me, but I honestly don’t care! haha

5. My Workout nutrition. Again this is my opinion and how I feel best. I eat my complex carbs (eg. yams, rice, potatoes) BEFORE and AFTER I do a strength training workout. I eat some before to give me more energy to lift heavy and I eat a lot more after to aid in my recovery and help with replacing lost glycogen. I know people who eat complex carbs only in the morning..great! Doesn’t do it for me! I have the most energy when I have steak, asparagus and avocado for breakfast…no joke. On days that I don’t strength train I tend to eat less complex carbs, but I don’t always cut them out. Again…I listen to my body and eat how I feel.

6. Fruit doesn’t make you fat. Do you know anyone who has gotten fat on eating fruit? Maybe from having ice cream and chocolate sauce under the fruit! Having some fruit salad every day is not a bad thing. I do realize if you’re cutting weight for some sort of physique contest or event, then you take fruit out because it has a lot of sugar. But I don’t think the general population should.

My other personal opinions ( you don’t have to follow them)
– life’s too short to not have something you LOVE. I love chocolate: dark, milk, inside candy coating. Do you think I’m going to deny myself that forever? Not a chance. But I don’t have it every day. Even if your favorite meal or drink may be bad for you, have it once in and while…it most likely won’t kill you!
– I enjoy eating meat. Doesn’t mean I think vegan or vegetarian lifestyles are bad. Just make sure you get enough protein and don’t stuff yourself full of pasta and grains at each meal.
– muffins are like eating a piece of cake and bagels are like eating 3-4 slices of bread. Be careful!

That’s all! I’m simple and I like it that way! Figure out what works for you.

Eat Clean!