Monday, March 31, 2014

I Challenge....Myself

So, the whole purpose of this blog started when it was a challenge in eating clean and I stayed pretty motivated until the first 30 days were done then I began to fall into traditional habits and life took over.  So, since we are finishing off March today and heading into...what looks like December, but is actually April.  I will be setting my self 30 days of challenges to improve my overall, spirit, and balance.  You are welcome to join in this effort and I would love to see how you do!  I will be creating an album on my Facebook page dedicated to the 30 days of change and you are welcome to follow along there and then comment with a link to your own page and album!!  Without further adieu, here is the Challenge to Change!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ermagerd....Berst Snerck Erver

Thanks to a friend ( currently Facebook only, but fellow Winnipeg photographer so we shall meet at some point I am certain!), I have been introduced to probably the most amazing snack bar EVER!!  Best part is, they are made locally (literally down the street from me!), all natural, and friggin' fabulous.  I seriously just picked up a few samples from Cheryl's home and ate one as soon as I got in the car.  I kid you not, I literally went to Heaven.  I even said, out loud, in the car, by myself "Oooooh. My. God......These are amah-zing."  Today I tried the choco-espresso one and it was so good.  It was moist, tasty (like a brownie) and all natural!!

I truly wanted to eat them all to taste them all today, but decided that it would negate the purpose of having them as a snack.  Instead, I am so excited to get up tomorrow so I can try a new flavor!  Serious, though, you need to check out Cranked Energy and give Cheryl some love!! Besides her pictures are massive motivation to keep "on track" which is a nice bonus to following her page!  Also, if you are not in Winnipeg but want to give these beauties a go, she ships them all over Canada!  You can check out her website for more info on that stuff :D  Seriously, screw the processed bars you see in the shops and get the real thing to help get your energy levels up and keep you fully satisfied!!

Another fantastic delight that I have been treating myself to, to help get rid of my sweet tooth, is the delicious Mint Chocolate Rooibos tea from David's Tea.  I am an avid fan of green tea, but lately have been desiring something a bit different.  For Christmas I received a pack of green tea samples (one tastes like cinnamon heart candies!!) as well as a "Passport" teas (essentially teas that reflect various countries.)  The mint chocolate is delightful to smell, but even more yummy to drink!  

I have been slightly better since I wrote the last blog post...except for last night.  We had a get together at my mom's house and there were TONS of appetizers...little did I know, my sister went a smidge crazy with the cream cheese and it was in everything: cheese ball, veggie dip, etc.  So last night was a slightly uncomfortable evening once the cheese got lodged in my intestinal tract (beautiful image, right?)  Then I woke up and felt like I was hungover, so I drank copious amounts of water with lemon to help cure myself!
I have also gone to pilates 2 days in a row now and they were awesome!! I am trying out new activities there and yesterday was Jump Board, which is essentially jumping on a trampoline, horizontally.  Sounds crazy, but it is hard, but delightful as well!  Today's Pilates activity included mat work which was quite difficult (considering how I was feeling) but I felt 1000 X better afterwards.
love how the jump board turns a pilates class into an awesome cardio workout
So, since my last blog post I have been a bit more diligent in my efforts and I hope to stay motivated and get those habits back!  In the meantime, I found a quote that sums me up quite perfectly:
My life

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oh, Man....

So, if you haven't noticed the blog has taken a bit of a backseat and it seems since the New Year, I really haven't been so great at staying on track and it really sucks.  This is one of the reasons why I haven't written because it is hard to face the fact that I have let my diligence towards my health slip in lieu of myself wanting to stay busy with photography, hating the weather, and just pure laziness.  While I still attended my pilates class, this week I didn't have any and made any excuse possible not to go and therefore have not attended....YET!  Tomorrow and Saturday I am set to try out some new Pilates classes, one called Jump and the other is just a mat workout, similar to what I was doing every Monday/Wednesday for the last few weeks.  At least I am doing it.

Let's talk about my biggest weakness: Food.  I know for most people this is where the lack of diligence comes in.  I have been feeling sick, acidic, and just overly blechy (yes, this is a new word :D).  I have a thousand excuses, but that's all they are.  At the end of the day, it just wasn't important enough.  Until now.  I pulled a muscle in my back today and that was not necessary.  In addition to that, I have a ballet recital coming up and I literally need to get into shape because there is a part that I volunteered to do and I want to make my instructor proud of me!!  Drinking green tea in lieu of coffee, drinking lots of water, eating clean foods, and just....doing it.

I am not going to write a big long blog post today, I just had to write A blog post to get me back to being focused on getting back at it.  Tomorrow I will start creating a schedule for myself (I love lists).  I will not edit continually from morning until night.  I will go to Pilates.  I will go outside.  I will clean at least 1 room of my house.  I will finish 1 client's images.  I will write a photography blog post.  Lastly, I will attend an inspirational/motivational meeting at my Mum's house tomorrow night
(yes, I will socialize with other human type beings).  So, look forward to more blog posts coming up to keep me accountable!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Walnut Coconut Nom Noms

So a week has gone by since the last time I posted so that means 1 of 2 things...I have been very bad, or I have been very busy.  Or perhaps a combination of the 2, haha!  Just kidding, I haven't been too horrid these past few days, in fact I have been watching my food intake with a fun little app on my fun that I was alerted to via my sister's hubby.  It's called My Diet Diary and you simply enter what you are eating throughout the day, your water consumption, your goals and then your exercise for the day and it will let you know the approximate amount of calories you should be consuming to achieve your goals.  And yes, I have said it before, calories are not the end all to be all...but I know enough to know that if I eat up my calories by having a delicious piece of super chocolate cake, then I won't be doing myself any favors by starving at the end of the night.  I take it with a grain of sand and it is just more to keep me accountable :D which is the main thing.

Cover art 

In other news, I have been steadily attending my Pilates at a minimum of 3 hours a week at the moment and I am noticing a huge difference in the tightness and flexibility of my muscles which is awesome.  I find that Pilates is incredibly challenging for me because it is way more focused than "gym work" and while I am not saying that weight lifting is horrid (I still do it) but I do it with more precision, control, and focus than I did before, thus making me feel it a lot more and reaping the benefits properly.

My one Pilates workshop is coming to an end next week, but I wanted to fill you in on all the fun stuff that we have been learning about.  In addition to the Pilates workouts, we spend about 15-20 minutes talking about the benefits of different types of foods that help aid in the overall health of our bodies.

This week we have been talking about the importance of probiotics in our daily diet and how we can add more into our bodies via natural routes instead of just the pill form and yogurt.  In fact, Heather was so lovely that she decided to bring us some homemade Kefir to try.  It tasted....neat.  For those you that are not sure what Kefir is, it is essentially the brine of fermented Kefir grains and is a super important probiotic (that is easy to make) and helps maintain our gut health and ensure a proper digestive tract.   While the taste of it will probably take some getting used to, I can see the importance of introducing it into my daily life (or at least weekly!).  I have also heard and read a lot about kombucha, but have yet to give that a go.  I have read that its properties are quite amazing as well!  

Anyhow, you should check out Heather's Facebook page  for some cool information, guidelines and motivation.  I am kind of sad that our course is coming to an end next week, but perhaps she will start another one!  In the meantime, it has been fun talking with somebody who is as passionate about the exciting world of holistic health practices! 
Lastly, in my efforts to curb my sweet tooth these past few days (thanks, PMS), I made a batch of relatively healthy cookies that are flourless, sugarless, and VERY delicious.  I have included the recipe below here for you!

Things you can look forward to from me in the future: trying out some new activities (I have 3 currently lined up....2 of which you probably didn't even know existed in Winnipeg ;) ), more delicious recipes, and soon....a BALLET RECITAL!!!  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gettin' My Hair Did (and other fun stuff!)

 Yesterday I finally went and got my hair did and Les, as per usual, did a fabulous job and I am loving the new light layers.  Sometimes it just takes a bit of a change in things to "refresh" the motivation.

  I also went to Addition-Elle and bought some amazing bras and panties.  Perhaps that is too much information, but for those of you plus size ladies, get your butt in there!!  It is so nice to fit into a proper fitting brazier and feel more put together.  The Ashley Graham line right now is hugely discounted, so get in there and get sexified!  

I have been feeling really good about myself this last week and I think it has to do with me going to the gym, pilates, and ballet...essentially keeping active and getting out of the house more often than I did before.  What I am not feeling good about is the shitty weather outside, but enough people complain about that so I will leave you with a dreary picture and be done with it!!

Let's see what else, what else....oh yes!!  If you have been following the blog you know I like to toss a little bit of lemon into my water from time to time, but I came across this great recipe for an even more beneficial aquatic beverage.  It not only tastes good but includes the following fabulous benefits:

Detox Lemon Water
  • Lemon: Lemon water makes for a powerful detox drink; lemon juice helps to cleanse and alkalize the body. Add one thinly sliced lemon to a large pitcher, or squeeze fresh lemon juice into your glass. Lemon also aides in digestion and boosts your immune system.
  • Mint: Mint adds a touch of sweetness without the sugar, and it also helps settle your stomach and aids in digestion.
  • Cucumber: Adding a few slices of cucumber to your water makes for excellent re-hydration, and cucumber contains anti-inflammatory properties.

    Head to the website where I found this for a ton of Q&A information which is fantastic and will answer any questions that you have.  And to the people worried about the acid from the lemon on your teeth, well, you can't have everything ;)

If you are tired of drinking plain 'ol water, then this is a great alternative, but I still ensure to switch it up with plain water every second day.  It is super refreshing!!

In other news, I attended my first Plus-Size Pilates class at Pilates Manitoba and it was a lot of fun.  The 3 ladies that were in my class attend it frequently and are awesomely sarcastic which I thoroughly enjoy.  The instructor is also a great asset to the group because of the intimate setting and the limited movement of some of the ladies everyone does the same exercise, just in a way that suits them best.  For myself, I realized the importance of pulling myself up and being as tall as I can.  My posture is not as great as it could be so this is one of my goals.  I find that I now adjust myself when I am driving, at the computer, or even at the gym to ensure my core is engaged and my body parts aren't going to "what's easiest".  The funny thing is that I thought my legs were the strongest part of my body, but as I am going through pilates I am finding that my leg workouts are the hardest for my thighs, my hips, and movement.
"to achieve the highest accomplishments within the scope of our capabilities in all walks of life we must constantly strive to acquire strong, healthy bodies and develop our minds to the limit of our ability." ~ Joseph Pilates 
With that, I shall bid you adieu for the day!  Have a fabulous Thursday!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Dinosours Fighting in My Belly

Well, let me get this off my chest first.  I ate about 15 dinoSOUR gummies in the span of 10 minutes on Saturday.  I think they are still fighting in my intestines the way I have been feeling.
The funny thing was I was scouring my sister's kitchen for cookies, but she had the candy hidden in the cookie jar.  Either way it was sad.  In addition to that, Saturday was a carb-laden day and not the good kind.  There was not one vegetable ingested on Saturday.  I started with a white bagel with low fat cream cheese, then proceeded to go to Cora's with Ryan and have the sunshine panini crepe with a side of lots of fruit (oh good! More sugar!), then I went dress shopping with my bestie and didn't eat again until about 4:00 at which time Ryan and I stopped at Tim Hortons and I participated in a lemon poppyseed muffin and a cheese biscuit.  Follow me now to Cori's house where I was baby sitting and we had pizza and bread sticks for supper.  I may have also ingested a cranberry gingerale.  Needless to say, Saturday was the culmination of all the things I definitely should be eating in moderation if not at all.  That being said, it happened, it's over and now I have to deal with the consequences of my actions.

Today I started back at pilates as I have signed myself up for a 2Xweek, 4 week course with Heather, a holistic coach at the studio.  Monday and Wednesday we meet at 9:30 (which is good as it forces me out of bed earlier) and then we do a lot of core exercises (the proper way).  And how do I know if I am doing them properly?  First of all, there are only 3 people in this particular workshop so we have one on one attention and secondly I shake like crazy when performing the required activities.  The coolest part about this 4 week long workshop, however, is the nutritional advice provided at every class.  Last week we learned about inflammation and foods that reduce that (it will be separate blog post) and this week is all about immunity and repairing your immune system to help rid the body of free radicals (another blog post on that later!)  So, not only are they exercising my body, but also my knowledge and brain!  I love it!!  Plus I get a fun binder to put all my info in!!  If you are interested in attending any of these wellness courses, keep an eye on the Pilates Manitoba page or the Plus Size Fitness page as this is where they post upcoming events!

On another note, Ryan is working day shifts starting this month so this is a good opportunity for me to get my cooking on!  Tonight I made a delicious stirfry with lean ground bison, orange peppers, onions, celery, fennel seed, garlic, and a ginger beef sauce mix.  I also made lasagna for the first time last week and while it was delicious it is incredibly unhealthy!!  And yes, I know you can make it with eggplant but yuck.  

Lastly, today I was at the organic food store and stumbled upon what I may think to be the best find ever.  Coconut spread.  Yes, you heard right.  Coconut spread.  It can go on anything!!  It looks like Nutella but is amazing.  I may be behind the times on this, but if you also are just hearing about this now, check it out.  It is to die for!!

So yes, quite a bit of misbehaving these days, but hey, it's a new month which means a new gym membership and (hopefully!) warmer weather on the horizon!