Posts in Category: Wellness Wednesday
Tea and gum. My weapons of choice (along with love) to help me combat the daily munchies, improve my focus and work mojo. This is a common scene: step into my favourite local coffee shop (and have amazing coffee) and then consume herbal tea by the gallon. It ensures I get my daily water intake keeps me satisfied and below I’ve listed what my personal favourite (apparently there are a plethora) health benefits to drinking green tea (in specific) are:
- Blood Sugar: helps regulate glucose levels slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating! (As a prediabetic, I’m feelin’ this one.)
- Cholesterol: reduces cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
- Tooth Decay: the chemical antioxidant “catechin” in tea can destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental caries and other dental conditions.
- Depression: Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves which provides a relaxing and tranquilizing effect.
- Anti-viral and Anti-bacterial: Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents which make them effective for treating everything from influenza to cancer.
- Skincare: because of the high level of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities in green tea, when applied topically, it can help reduce sun damage Weight Loss: the polyphenol found in green tea works to kick your metabolism into high gear; intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories!Dol YOU love green tea? If you find it bitter, try it with a little bit of honey, ENJOY and GET TO WORK!
The stats are in and this New Year is definitely full of promise, with equal parts intrigue and challenge! Just the way I like it. The Arrow Tribe, (which is the team that my Beachbody mentor founded), finished #35 in the network out of 400, 000!!! That’s the .01% cream of the crop, and it comes from one of the fastest growing industries, yes … MLMs. In an arena in which there are some who give Network Marketing a bad name, Beachbody shines. It’s a company largely dominated by women, empowering other women to take back their health, how it’s defined, and how we can earn income and help and mentor others; from anywhere we damn well please.
2015 marked many changes for me both personally professionally and with my health. Not only have I discovered a career path that I can merge all of these things together with the areas in which I shine (social media, marketing, graphic design, writing, helping others, healthy recipe development), but I’m growing my own enterprise in one of the only businesses where women make dollar for dollar what their male peers make doing the same thing. Where women talk about money and self-worth, everyday liberation, conquering fears and creating success on their own terms.
I’m proud and honoured to be amongst this sisterhood of badass #bossbabes who are genuinely creating their lives by design. It was scary when I took this leap (and continually so) to put myself out there so that I might reach others, like me, who were tired of the struggle: our own self-care on the back burner, our dreams and goals weighed down by the expectation of what a ‘proper’ career looks like according to generations before.
What is your time worth? Your health? Your story? Your family’s security? I come from a history that some might (and have) judge and think I could never make it as a leader, or as a successful businesswoman. I’m kicking those stereotypes to the curb and sharing the very same tools that my mentor shares with me, with the small but mighty tribe of #WellWarriors that I am lucky enough to mentor and guide.
Unleash that delicate monster within! It doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you go! Below is a little video I share in my Inside Coaching Sneak Peek groups that I run each month if you want to know more about the coaching opportunity is:
What other perks are there to becoming a coach before the end of January? I am beyond excited to announce the Success Club Trip that Beachbody Coaches can EARN throughout 2016; to be awarded come 2017 … Punta Cana!
Many of you may not know what that means, but basically, it means holding a standard of helping at least 3 people a month in the very same ways we work on our own personal development, wellness and fitness goals. Before I became a coach I didn’t travel very much, although the wanderlust in me is strong. Money, taking time off work, and then since having children, trying to figure out childcare or family friendly options … there were just too many obstacles to make it happen.
Now, less than a year after I made the leap into this helping profession I’ve earned a retreat to St. Augustine Florida that I went on in November, I have $200 left of the $1200 awarded leadership requirements required to earn a cruise to Jamaica + Haiti in March and back in May 2015 (just 3 months after becoming a coach), I was awarded a free ticket to Summit, which our big industry conference in Nashville this July! I share all of this with you because I want you to know that it’s DOABLE. I don’t have any magic fairy dust or unicorn glitter within making me more special in my specialness to achieve these things. DREAM JOB, indeed.
I struggle and have my off days just like anyone else. Now I get to do it alongside others who get me, and accept me and challenge me to succeed and grow. And I do it part-time, from my laptop, while taking care of family, kids and home and pursuing my other creatively professional endeavours. I mentor other women who have full-time jobs and are carving out one to two hours a day to give their Beachbody businesses all they’ve got. Some are single moms who juggle more than I will ever know.
So…Punta Cana, here I come! Who is coming with me? You should be a coach by January 19th to get in when registration opens, lest wait-lists are your jam. Don’t second guess yourself. You’ve no idea of what you’re capable of (I didn’t.) The sky is the limit and a life by design is the life for me. What about you?
Email me today me for more info, or fill out my coach application to hook-up a spot before this dream-trip fills up!
What are your top hair care products? For me, it’s dry shampoo and sea salt spray. Ever since I cut my hair, my hair texture once again changed. I’ve gotten used to it … when I was a little girl I had bone straight hair. With puberty, came the curls. My first pregnancy saw waves and with my second, my hair had gone nearly straight again. Then … all of a sudden, a few years after the birth of my second child, BOOM! Wavy hair again. And when I chopped it, those waves, of course, bounced up even more. It’s never gotten to the full-on curl that it used to be and I’m totally cool with that. The ever-evolving state of my hair, however, has resulted in me playing around with different hair products to suit its current state.
It was somewhere, down one rabbit hole or another on the internets, that I discovered many a woman singing the praises of Sea Salt Sprays to produce a texturized, beach wave look to one’s hair. I saw the photos, I saw the comparisons and read the reviews. I tried a few out and was not pleased. I don’t like crunchy, greased up hair, but I do like some definition and frizz taming action. Shine, luster, and bounce are all good in my books too. I quickly discovered one product that stood out, both in it’s hefty price tag and level of performance. The Bumble and Bumble Sea Salt Spray. A bitty bottle runs about 30 bucks and with my thick head of hair … doesn’t last long. So I purchased one bottle to give it a go: fell in love with the ease of simply spraying it into my wet hair, tousling around and letting air dry.
Towards the last dregs of the glorious bottle did I vow to start experimenting with making my own. I’m no stranger to making my own apothecary items, so I examined those Bumble ingredients and while I couldn’t read half of them and had no desire to duplicate – I felt that I could replicate something fairly similar at a fraction of the cost. Several attempts later and I finally produced something that I’m very happy with! Quite a few of my friends and readers expressed wanting the recipe when I finally mastered it so here you go beauties! (The magic to the WIN factor with this? I went above what most other DIY recipes I saw were calling for, and I noted one stand out ingredient in the Bumble and Bumble spray that I could read. Sea Kelp extract. Get on it. You can find at your local health food store or order from Amazon online. You want all of the magnesium-rich sea botanicals you can get when it comes to attaining that thickness, volume, shine and definition you crave.)
This spray refreshes quite nicely and I’ve gone 3 days MAX in-between washes when I use it and yes, that includes when I workout. That’s what dry shampoo is for! Try it and let me know how much you love it and spread this DIY around with those who are lovers of the Sea Salt Spray action.
As a holistic wellness coach, I can see the pressure such things as ‘before and after’ selfies can put on people. Especially women. You can be anyone on the internet. Pop a hip, wear a proper fitting swimsuit or bra and underwear, use complimentary lighting, work that camera angle, apply a filter … the list goes on how one can make themselves look better in pictures. I’m not necessarily sure what’s WRONG with any of those things. Wearing clothes that fit? Yes, I do that. Do I choose complimentary camera angles when taking selfies? Yup, I do that too. I have a weak chin that I’m fairly self-conscious about, but I’m learning to embrace it. Maybe. As in, I rock that camera angle when I want. No camera angle, including vaulting a tripod from the ceiling to shoot from, will disguise the visual proof that my face has indeed slimmed down from all the ass-kicking workouts I’ve been doing the past 7 months. Do I use filters for my progress shots (which is what I prefer to call them)? Yes indeedy, high contrast, muted black and white is my fave for the side by side action. Does it carve out definition that isn’t there? Don’t think so. Isn’t that what photoshop is for? Do I jut out my hip, twist my torso and suck it in? Yes and no. I stand tall. I stand proud. I stand strong. I get my swerve on. Shoulders back, head held high and I let go of all those years of shame and embarrassment. I rock the self-inflicted photo-shoot, sure … but I don’t go to extremes. I like my curves, I like keeping it real and my tummy is soft in it’s its newly anchored relationship with its core. Sucking it all in would only add to my inner conflict on self-image, self-worth and how I share my story.
Our bodies are diverse. Not flawless. I’m choosing to embrace that instead of portraying an image of perfection. I’d rather portray an image of health. Of being strong over skinny. I’m not afraid to admit anymore that I’m damn proud of how far I’ve come and no amount of filters or hip poppin’ is going to fake it for me.
Are Before and After Selfies Demoralizing? Shame-Inducing?
It’s all in how it’s done. Am I fisting a bottle of hyped up energy drink, held next to my SWOLL ass while bent over a bathroom sink? No. Am I now living the jet-set life because I workout? Uhm, nope. Before and after pics can be especially annoying when one struggles with eating disorders, emotional eating and/or food addiction, to have someone’s pictures in your social feeds showing you how they’re apparently winning at life more than you. I get it. It took me far too long to admit to myself that I had to make a change. It was easier to snicker and make assumptions about ‘those type of women,’ than to actually get to know them or their stories; or even be real with myself about my own struggles. The truth is, I was overweight and spent way too much time trying to fit someone else’s vision of what healthy should look like most of my life. My relationship with my body will be constantly evolving. I share that unraveling publicly because I know there are other women who struggle in some of the same ways I do. I put myself out there with visuals and in how I articulate myself, because it’s a part of the work that I do in building relationships, gaining new clients and helping other women, just like me. It’s also deeply liberating on a personal level. If you’re not a fan of what I do or what I share, there’s always that little unfollow button you can hit or you know, you can even ‘unfriend’ me! No hard feelings. To tackle the discourse that’s happening in how the fitness industry is perceived is a challenge I meet with gusto. I work in an industry designed to capitalize on the insecurities of many women. And yet, there are exceptions to this ‘norm’ as within ANY industry. The landscape of health and wellness professionals is evolving and growing; and women, in particular, are taking the reigns. We’re aligning ourselves, teaching and supporting each other and taking back gatekeeper status on our body ideals, healthy body image and body positivity.
Fitness Lifestyle IS NOT Anti-Feminist
Feminism and the female body have long been linked. There is absolutely NOTHING anti-feminist about wanting to be healthy. (Let’s just cut straight to the point about that.) Healthy in body, mind and soul. Not all of us can have all three of those things, but it doesn’t mean we can’t work damn hard to attain our best version of that golden trifecta of living the good life, right on into our old age. True long-term healthy living does not mean punishing and denying oneself, to live up to media’s fucked up portrayal of what women (young and old), should look like. That’s a manipulative and unrealistic set of ideas that have been thrust upon us for decades. It means working hard for the health of our minds and bodies, just like we work hard in our relationships, our parenting, or careers; to achieve financial stability, intellectual satisfaction, and enriching, rewarding life experiences. For a long time and in many ways still, women are seen as failing in their duty to be visually pleasing, (while walking the fine line between ‘ladylike’ and titillating), to an audience used to viewing them as public property. From a young age, we … that is all of us — men and women — internalize the idea that women have an obligation to be attractive, particularly if they plan on making a habit of speaking in public or venturing into places where people can see them. When I post before and after pics or progress pics … I am indeed being seen. By more people than I have a clue about. This means, perhaps, that my message is being heard to and that I am contributing to the movement of women who are taking back their natural bodies.
Exercise Is About Much More Than Looking Good
Endorphins are real. Exercising for half an hour does not make me feel worse. In fact, after a workout I feel joyful, strong and ready to tackle my day. So. The haters gonna hate, but I soldier on. If you’re the type of person who is like, ‘I love my body the way it is and I don’t need to fucking exercise,’ then fabulous! Imma keep rollin’ the way I do, as you do yours. I like feeling happy and healthy. I like (more than) helping others get that same quality of life too. There are a plethora of reasons why healthy eating and exercise is important. I’ve found what my WHYS are and showing those reasons to the world via the internets enables me to help others figure that out too.
Are you getting enough water each day? Dehydration can actually cause headaches, muscle fatigue, tiredness and even make you feel hungry when really you are just thirsty! TRUST. Most people aren’t drinking enough of it (pop, tea, those “vitamin” waters, and coffee don’t count!).
To find out a good estimate of how much you should be drinking each day take your current weight and divide it by two. That’s how many ounces you should be aiming for! It’s tough at first but in a few days you’ll notice yourself feel less cravings, feel more radiant and energized. You’ll actually start to crave water! I know I do. It’s a pretty cool thing when you get over the hump of ditching other drinks, to come to the day wherein a simple glass of water refreshes and revitalizes you and lifts your spirits up.
➀ Fluid Balance
Roughly 60 percent of the body is composed of water. Drinking enough H2O maintains the body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature, digest food, and more.
➁ Body Fuel
Sweating through exercise causes muscles to lose water. And when the muscles don’t have enough water, they get tired. Hydrating with water helps you push further.
➂ Clearer Skin
Certain toxins in the body can cause the skin to inflame, which results in clogged pores and acne. Water flushes out these toxins and helps reduce blemishes and breakouts.
➃ Kidney Function
Our kidneys process 200 quarts of blood daily, sifting out waste and transporting urine to the bladder! Yet, kidneys need enough fluids to clear away what we don’t need in the body. Cheers to that!
➄ Fatigue Buster
One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is tiredness.
➅ Pain Prevention
A little water can really go a long way. Aching joints and muscle cramps and strains can all occur if the body is dehydrated. Suffering from headaches? Could be that you’re not drinking enough water.
➆ Improved Digestion
Drinking enough each day helps keep the colon happy. Keeping thing moving along smoothly. You pickin’ up what I’m laying down?
➇ Wellness Warrior
Water may help with congestion and dehydration, helping the body bounce back when feeling under the weather.
Water holds the memory of all life. It comes before life, in order to carry life we must have water for our water to break to birth. From gestation to embryo and beyond. We live in water in the womb, in our mothers. Water is akin to the blood that flows through our veins. When we talk about the water in the earth, we talk about the water that flows through Mother Earth. It’s the carrier of spirit (along with air). There is not life without water. It’s the essential ingredient of life and because of this, we shouldn’t separate the importance of it from how it soothes and nurtures our spirit as well as our bodies.
This is why when Indigenous cultures fast out in the bush, we go without water to encounter the intricate state of our mind, body and soul. Essentially water is integral to our well-being and sustaining life. It brings us back to respecting Mother Earth and being so grateful for water!
Ah, at long last … after 5 months of doing the 21 Day Fix (both for myself and in offering this program to my clients as a health and wellness coach), I have some things to say about my experience and have also included some testimonials at the end. So if anything, make sure you scroll to the end of my post. Because you don’t have to take my word for it!
FACT: The 21 Day Fix is an all-inclusive program. It’s a total package that focuses on fitness AND nutrition suitable for a wide range of ages, body-types, lifestyle and food choices. It’s especially adaptable in that those who have dietary restrictions (think paleo, gluten-free, vegan etc.) can really make the nutrition plan work for them.
FICTION: Welcome to making the best decision of your life! In 21 Days, you will transform your bod into steel and after that you can go back to eating brownies, couch surfing and kicking burpees to the curb. NOT. The name (21 Day Fix) alone, does not define the true essence or intent of the program. There is no such thing as a single 21 Day Fix. It is a fierce mantra that is meant to spark a healthy lifestyle change or help those who are already on that path to become stronger and perhaps re-evaluate their relationship with food and their bodies in the long-term. It’s based on the notion that it takes 21 days to break from a bad habit and replace it with a good one. The point is that you don’t just quit after 21 days because you experienced a miracle.
FACT: The nutritional component features 7 colour coded containers, for measuring food portions. Completely taking the guess-work out of calories in and calories out. The word macro-diet doesn’t even come into play. In fact, it’s not a DIET at all. The containers are meant to be a live-action learning tool wherein one hopefully learns to eat more frequently, in smaller portions to nourish their body with the fuel it needs and deserves to live a happier, healthier life in the long-term. And yea, kick some pounds to the curb. Perhaps many pounds. We all have different goals.
FICTION: You have to obey a strict set of rules wherein you never have any treats or eat more than your allotted containers for the day and never stray from the “safe foods” list. PUHLEASE. There is work involved, yes. It will be challenging, yes. I personally don’t promote the “portionology” as a strict set of rules that all of my clients simply must follow. They are a guide, they are there (and meant) to teach you about proper food portioning. If you don’t have an issue with that, then great! This program probably isn’t for you. But are you really being honest with yourself? Do you really consider nutrition 80% of the game when maintaining (or achieving) a healthy weight?
FACT: The second nutritional component of the program is Shakeology. Shakeology is not just a protein shake. It’s a dense hit of daily nutrition that features over 70 superfoods and is the equivalent to eating 6 bowls of veggies. There are NO artificial sweeteners, NO artificial colors, NO soy, NO artificial stimulants, and NO artificial flavors in that mix whatsoever. One of its main sweeteners is Stevia, which is plant-based. My favourite flavour is vegan chocolate, you can find the complete list of ingredients here.
FICTION: Shakeology is a really expensive protein shake touting that it’s a weight loss / meal replacement shake! Just nope. I personally don’t promote it as such and only use it as a meal replacement shake for the occasional breakfast when I’m on the run. (Because it IS filling.) It is meant to be consumed in unison with a healthy, whole-foods based diet. Shakeology is about HEALTH. When you put the RIGHT nutrients in your body that it needs to develop, heal, recover, repair, and thrive, you may ultimately have MORE energy, LESS cravings, and FEEL better therefore you eat less and become more active. With Shakeology, weight loss becomes a BY-PRODUCT of dense nutrition. Shakeology isn’t MAGIC. It’s just clean dense nutrition made SUPER easy for everyone at a very affordable price when you really look at the ingredients VS. what you’re spending at say … the Starbucks drive-through window. Or the grocery store on all of those synthetic vitamins. Or … if things are really off course – the Mc Dee’s drive-through every day. The place where you don’t ask for a list of ingredients on anything, yet you analyze the ingredients of Shakeology out the wazoo.
FACT: The fitness portion of the program is based upon plyometrics interval training. What’s that? Basically, short bursts of 30-minute workouts. Autumn Calabrese (the creator) has formulated a fantastic fitness regimen that rotates between cardio, strength, hybrid, pilates, and yoga. Basically, this program is the BOMBDIGGS for people who don’t have a lot of time, but still want to yield fantastic results. Moms, this program is your friend.
FICTION: The workouts are hard and people are too busy to workout every day. That’s obsessive anyways. Yes, the workouts are hard. That’s the whole point. There’s also one of Autumn’s homies who shows you how to do modified moves and I followed her every step of the way my first month in and then some with a few of those moves. Holy hell. Sometimes I miss a workout. For the most part, I try to squeeze them in. After all, they’re THIRTY MINUTES. Do you know how much time you spent on FB alone today? Thought so. (Me too.)
What Workouts Come With the At Home Program?
➳ Total Body Cardio Fix: Gets your heart rate up and keeps your metabolism revved
➳ Upper Fix: Targeted resistance training to shape your chest, back, shoulders, arms and abs
➳ Lower Fix: Tones your entire lower body while blasting fat and burning calories
➳ Pilates Fix: Develop long, lean muscles while you target your hips, thighs, and core
➳ Cardio Fix: Exactly what it sounds like. Heart pumping cardio in just half an hour.
➳ Yoga Fix: Improve your balance, flexibility and strength (and get a tiny bit of a break)
➳ BONUS: Dirty 30: 4 rounds of fat burning moves in a mix of cardio and strength!
I was miserable before just focusing on losing weight and SPOILER ALERT: everything I tried didn’t work! Until I took a leap of faith in myself and started with this program. You guys, those short burst interval workouts and the portion eating plan changed the way I looked at eating and fitness! I was able to loose 12 pounds in my first month by easily incorporating my preferred way of eating (Paleo).
The science of working out is affecting my BODY CHEMISTRY in ways that have me finally feeling calmer, happier, less stressed and empowered. I was someone who hadn’t stuck to a consistent exercise routine, EVER. Not ever in my life. So the modified moves, being able to do them at home and the short effectiveness of the program made it all so accessible. The “portionology” has taught me to check in with myself about my hunger and address years of using food as a crutch and emo-eating. My goals have nothing to do with attaining a thigh gap and more to do with shedding self-doubt, bad habits (years of emotional eating that didn’t always have to do with savouring taste and nourishing my body) along with some pounds. The slow path to eliminating toxic relationships and the voices of my own inner demons has led me to truly believe in myself and have the strength to help inject others with that too.
There have been ups and downs, gains and losses. Both in my weight and with my business as a leader to other coaches I’ve begun to mentor. I’ve recently launched off a plateau in both areas (my own health journey + my coaching business) and one key element helped me rise from leading with negative emotions of self-doubt: my why … my family. The woman I am today is drastically different than the woman I was 6 months ago and I’m not just talking about improved self-confidence. I’m talking about feeling NOURISHED from the inside out, body, mind + spirit. I’m talking about the shift my health has taken from feeling tired and frazzled with weekly migraines and constant back issues. I’m talking about spiked blood sugar levels moving in the direction of a diagnosis of diabetes if I didn’t spark real change in my life, and FAST. I’m managing my underactive thyroid (not severe, I’m lucky I can manage it on my own) and bouts of depression that come along with it; with diet, exercise, meditation, yoga and personal development.
The best deal going on the 21 Day Fix experience is called a CHALLENGE PACK for $186 CAD. This includes the full 21 Day Fix program and nutrition plan + 1 month of Shakeology (normally $140). So basically you are getting the 21 Day Fix program for just $10. This is what you need to buy to join my monthly challenge groups. The challenge group is the key to long-term success because it connects you with a community, accountability and motivation along with endless resources to guide you on your journey. This is especially important with a program like the 21 Day Fix where you will likely have lots of questions about meal planning and recipes ideas! You get free coaching from me as you go through the program with a group of other people all doing it together. We talk about nutrition and goals and how to create healthy habits. We encourage each other and I strive to create a sacred, safe space. A guilt and shame free zone where the focus is on healing and transformations from the inside out; body mind and soul.
+ Customized assistance with meal planning, grocery lists, recipes + nutrition guides (specializing in working with those with dietary restrictions)
+ Assigned personal development reading (that doesn’t suck!)
+ Daily self-care routines and activities
+ Me checking in with you every single day providing counsel, helping you address demons related to food, emotional road blocks, emotional eating + self-worth
+ Endless support in a guilt and shame free zone
+ Short yet effective workouts that you can do from home
+ Drink daily superfoods
If you’re interested in OWNING your life and taking a leap of faith in yourself, message me email me at: wellnesswarriorsteam@gmail
Fifteen?! Yes FIFTEEN. So bookmark this or PINNIT or whatever. This is a damn good list. Pinky swears. And I scaled back for sequel, so. There could be more, but I didn’t want to be obnoxious about it. Ahem.
So ‘Personal Development.’ The big ‘ole PD. Ugh. Is that what you’re thinking? For the most part, I suppose you could say that’s what I think about that whole world of know-it-all gurus too. It’s a saturated market. But then, aren’t all industries with professionals and would-be professionals? Keep in mind – there are a lot of self-help and PD books out there that DO SUCK. These don’t. You can take it from a converted skeptic who opened up her heart and mind a long time ago, to break free from pain, debilitating self-doubt and self-medication to begin crawling out of a black hole. So many of these book choices may not shout PD, but they’ve impacted my life in REAL and TANGIBLE ways. I’ve savoured all of them, four of which are in my current roster in the midst of being digested.