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Month: April 2016

Life’s Garden

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Seeing people get healthy physically, emotionally, and mentally makes me want to be the best trainer I can be. For me, getting fit isn’t just about what you look like on the outside; it’s also about what’s happening in our hearts. Changing the body is like planting a garden. If we only plant the seeds of life on the surface, we will never see change or growth because wind and storms will sweep them away. But when we get our hands dirty, move away the layers of soil, and dig to plant the seeds deep enough to get the nutrition that makes them thrive, we see change happen.
When we desire change, growth, and nurturance, life will always give us opportunities to invest in ourselves, as long as we’re looking for them. As I’ve mentioned several times in recent posts, during these past couple of years I’ve focused greatly on gardening my own soul, mind, body, and health. What’s in the soil that shouldn’t be there? What rocks are holding back my growth, and what areas do I need extra help with or maybe a little more self-love? What makes me thrive from the inside out? Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s the fact that I’m a mother, or maybe it’s the people who have come along to water my seeds along the way…but I’m so past planting superficial things in my life. I’m here to dig deep, get my hands dirty, and see some growth!
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But as any gardener will tell you….it’s going to take sweat, it’s going to tax your muscles, and it’s going to require patience. In the end, though, you will reap everything you put into yourself!

I wanted to write this blog post to encourage those of you who are allowing your seeds to sit on the surface to get your hands dirty and start rooting around in your garden. What is holding you back from allowing yourself to grow? What previous seeds have you tried to plant that didn’t take root, leaving you with a story that you’re a failure?

I recently started a 10-week course that is all about breaking old habits and creating new, lasting, healthy habits. Within the first session, major issues came up for me that shined light on the areas in which I’ve just tossed down seeds to say I’m gardening but haven’t really put in enough work to activate growth. Why? Why do I want to see myself fail, or why do I hold back in these areas?
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1) They were never my seeds to plant.
We look at our friends’ gardens (or lives) and think, “Oh my, I totally should plant those amazing flowers,” not taking enough time to really dig into whether doing so is right for us or not. We want it, so we take it, try to plant it, and often fail! We allow these situations to create a story that we aren’t good enough, we are failures, and everyone else is better at life than us. In fact, however, your garden could have been awesome…if you had taken the time to figure out what you should have been growing! For me, this has been such a refreshing and fantastic aha moment! I am my own person, and I’m here to create my own story. If you have tried to plant things in your life that you thought were going to make you fit in, feel better about yourself, or solve your personal messes, but they aren’t working…dig those things up! Compost them and take time to mark out your own garden and your own goals. One of the most amazing things about gardening is that not one flower, plant, or seed is like any other one. They are uniquely and beautifully made. Take your inspiration from the seeds in your hand, and plant where you want, when you want, and how you want. Your personal life story will be what inspires people in their own walks.
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2) Don’t be afraid of the weeds.

If you’re going to live, you’re going to get hurt. If you’re going to plant, you’re going to get weeds. We either let the hurt build up, or we put our gloves on and pull out the weeds every so often to avoid their building up and taking over our lives. This is one of the most sensitive areas for me, so I get your hurt and your resistance to even planting or allowing people in for fear of being hurt. Everyone is going to handle pruning and weeding in a different way, but I highly recommend you find someone to work alongside you. This person will see areas you thought were flowers but are actually weeds holding you back from full growth. He or she will lighten the workload and help you to laugh as your muscles ache from the work. Dear friend, the pain is worth the glory in the end. Let go and allow growth to happen.
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3) Be okay with small growth.

Anything that is sustainable is done slowly and with care. Small changes create lasting results in our mind and body while causing very little stress in the process. Don’t try to push the dirt down to make the flowers look taller or harvest your work too soon. Roses are so amazing to me because every fall we trim them down to nothing but a little stick coming out of the ground, yet every spring they grow back ten times more beautiful and vibrant than the year before. Sometimes growth takes pruning yourself down to nothing, going back to the basics, and discovering where your real strength comes from. Allow the pruning to happen, and wait for your buds to fully blossom. Don’t rush yourself because you feel someone is growing faster than you. This is your masterpiece, and getting it right requires time.
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4) Give each other life.

Don’t keep your growth a secret, but before you allow others to come rooting around trying to tell you how to prune, fertilize, and water your seeds, make sure they actually know how to garden. Seek out others who are looking to dig deep and get messy with you. They will sustain you, they will water your soul, and they will help you in your pruning process. We thrive in community, and the most beautiful things take place when we allow others to share their stories and let them into ours. Water each other’s lives and invest in the growth of others, even if their stories and gardens look completely different from yours. I guarantee it will challenge you, inspire you, and best of all…allow you to enjoy the process to its fullest.

Since I’m trying to encourage you to let go of the stories you have allowed to become your identity or have let hold you back, I’d like to share with you a story I created and allowed to hold me back for a very long time.
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I can’t spell very well or punctuate correctly. I did not have very good education in this area, so I have suffered horribly in situations where people could judge me for it and have always felt insecure about it. In the past I allowed myself to believe that if someone knew this about me or caught on to it, he or she wouldn’t want to associate with me, considering me “ignorant” in this area. Some of you have noticed this and joked about it online or publicly left rude comments on my Instagram and blog posts. To which I can only say: Don’t ever judge someone by what you think you know! You have no idea what they struggled with in the past or what they face now every time they confront that mountain they so badly want removed.

The funny thing is, my passion is for writing, for using words and expressing myself through speech. Hence, I started a blog! I love to read, and I believe words are some of the most powerful things we have been given as humans. So I’m going to push through and allow my words to be used! But I’ve invested in someone to come alongside me and help with this area of my life. My wonderful editor, Tanya, edits my posts now and gives me feedback on my articles, which I so appreciate! Sometimes I’m rushed, so I go back to old habits, and other times I take the time to read over my writing, listen to how it sounds, and try to find my own mistakes.
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My purpose in sharing this is to encourage you to let go of questions like: What will people think? What will I become if they know my secret? And stop allowing your stories of insecurity to diminish the gifts you have been given!

I truly believe God uses for his greatest work the things the world views as useless and disregards as nothings!

Photography by the amazing Abby Rose.

With love,

Rachel

 

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

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After a week of exploring Victoria and Vancouver, we are home from our travels and I’m so happy to be back in my kitchen.  Before I leave on trips I do a full clean of our house, fridge and laundry, leaving the perfect environment to come home to and relax in. Knowing my family is going to wake up the first morning back probably hungry and slightly cranky, I always keep these few, delicious ingredients for muffins in the house to throw together. Today we stayed in our PJ’s for hours, drank a pot of coffee to wake up and reminisced. This past week will go down in the memories books as one of my favourite times as a mom, so I totally intend on getting organized tonight so I can share some of my fun photos from our trip tomorrow on the blog.

Photography By: Abbie Rose

Clothing By: Community Folk

Rachel

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins:Ingredients:

You can purchase all these ingredients at Natures Fare.

  • 2 cups gluten-free quick oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup oil coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup none dairy chocolate chips
  • Feel free to add any dried fruit to seeds to these muffins.

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix throughly. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool and enjoy with your java.

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Coconut Nut Butter Surprise

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One week ago, after seeing my Naturopath, I decided to start bringing the whole 30 lifestyle into our daily eating habits. This came with lots of resistance and some tears of frustration over my Vegan attempt not working for my body. After 2 months of not eating meat, I started to feel extremely loopy and couldn’t really think clearly. After seeing my Naturopath, we learned that my body was struggling in many different ways, 0ne of them being my auto immune disorder (Hypo-Thyroid.) To make a long story short, my body was not doing well without the nutrition of meat and I was advised to start eating good quality meat once again, as well as eliminate all sugars, dairy, grains, legumes and everything else in life that is delicious! Haha, I laugh but in that moment I actually was pretty bitter at my body for betraying me once again! My Naturopath gave me a couple different options for executing this plan, one of them being the Whole 30 lifestyle as well as including some methods from “Eating right for your blood type.” I spent days reading, crying and feeling sorry for myself…That’s the honest truth. For anyone who has struggled with a sickness that leaves you depressed, fighting for energy, confused with a foggy brain and emotional from battling hormones that fight you instead of supporting you…I feel your pain friend and I know you feel mine. But in the words of my friend Steph “You are fighting to be whole and I believe you will be.” It may not sound very profound but it always amazes me when the right words we need in a certain moment are spoken, and I am encouraged to put my big girl panties on, pick up my armor and fight again. I’m not giving up! I will continue to experiment, fight and believe there is an amazing plan for this broken body.

It’s been 1 week since I changed my eating and I can honestly say my energy levels have probably tripled, my thoughts are clear and my mood has improved. I miss my old life and I would be lying if I pretended everything was awesome. I’m fighting for balance in all of this, so I’m still giving myself 1 day a week to enjoy wine and paleo desserts. There is still so much to learn and so much work to be done as we try to get my levels to go into the positive…But I can, I will and I must!

If I’ve learned 1 thing in the 9 years of training it’s that what works for one will not necessarily work for another. We are each individual, we each need to find our way and create our own story, That’s why God gave us dessert;)

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I’m beyond thankful for the relationship I have with Natures Fare and the constant support their team offers in my health journey. They are constantly offering helpful tips and encouragement as I fight this battle with my body.

xoxo

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Serves 4

 Ingredients :

All of these ingredients have been purchased at Natures Fare.

1 can coconut cream

4 dates

¼ cup nut butter

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Directions:

Blend full speed until creamy and smooth. Place in freeze until firm, top with raw cacao nibs and enjoy~~*
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5 OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE MOVEMENTS

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If you knew there were only a few things you needed to do this year to change and improve your body and get healthier, would you do them? What if I guaranteed that you only needed to spend a few minutes a day to improve your life? Our lives are filled with unreachable standards and endless to-dos . Even taking time to improve our health can seem like an overwhelming task. But what if we just made things simpler? What if we stopped focusing on everything and just focused on a few things instead? Would we change? YES!  Check out my newest post at JillianHarris.com

Cake Popsicles

 

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This weekend was amazing:) Thank you Kelowna for sun, great friends and for giving me the cutest kids alive….

I hope you enjoy our Friday night treat:

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All ingredients were purchased at Natures Fare.

  • 1 cup none dairy milk
  • 3 cups rice milk ice cream
  • 3/4 cup gluten free cake mix
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Directions:

Blend all ingredients together till smooth. Freeze for 4 hours, top with sprinkles and enjoy!
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