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Year: 2017

A Healthy Balance

motherhood

Setting realistic health goals can be a challenge, and it’s also one of the most important things you will do for your body this upcoming year. I know personally I can often over think the process and in the past have set goals or restrictions on myself that only set me up for failure, leaving my body feeling depleted and on the verge of a physical or mental breakdown.

So how do we find a healthy balance? First of all we need to accept the fact that fitness is always a journey and we are always evolving. What worked last year may not work this year, and change is good not only physically but for our mental wellbeing as well. Maybe you’ve always gone to the same fitness class. Maybe you have always run the same road. Whatever your story may be, your body knows it. Maybe this upcoming year, instead of telling yourself you’re going to hit the gym 6 days a week, find a workout that brings you life. My goal this year is to take my workouts outside 1 day a week. No matter the weather, no matter the time of day. My goal is to experience every season! Studies show that even 10 minutes a day outdoors improves our mental state. When we are healthy mentally our bodies response in positive ways and trigger amazing hormones to keep us going and keep us enjoying life.

Here are some of the big questions I often get asked when it comes time to set health and fitness goals:

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1) Do you need to workout every day to see results?

No, and I would really discourage these types of habits. Our bodies need time to heal and recover from the tension we place on them in workouts. If you’re just starting out I would recommend 2-3 times a week. Start slow and try lots of different styles of fitness to really find what suites you best.

If you’re more advanced, maybe you need to step your fitness up a bit to see results. I would recommend switching up your routine. Something as simple as swapping out a bootcamp class for a set of up hill sprints or adding a power yoga class in exchange for the token spin class you always hit up, may just be the adjustment your body needs to take your fitness to another level.

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2) Is working out for multiple hours at a time necessary?

Short answer is, NO! First off, you need to figure out what your goal is. Do you want to train for a endurance race, become a triathlete or just feel better and more energized in your own skin? Once you have nailed down your goal, do some research to determine what class or program will be the best for you. The workout I’ve included in this article is an awesome way to switch it up. Get outside and boost your energy!! There are countless studies that show that short powerful workouts have countless positive effects on our bodies and mental states .

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3) How do I plan my workouts?

Heading to the gym, park, or sweating it out in the comfort of your own home is going to be twice as hard to get motivated for without a plan. Lack of planning also increases rest breaks, wandering minds, and our workouts are overall less effective. Here is something I always stick to when planning my workouts:

  • Compound movements (works upper and lower body)
  • A mixture of cardio and strength
  • 4-5 movements (keep it simple)
  • Timed or planned reps (this way I don’t stop when it starts to get hard)

I set my timer (typically my workouts are 20-30 minutes long) and repeat my movements for either 1 minute or perform 12-15 reps per movement. I get in as many rounds as I can with little to no rest. If my kids are involved, this is a different story. Sometimes my workouts go smoothly with them and sometimes I want to pull my hair out. Celebrate the good days and know there is always tomorrow!

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4) Does what I eat really produce 80% of my results?

Yes! Food is one of the most important factors in our health journey. Eating a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals will not only positively affect your recovery times and overall fitness results, but your mental wellbeing. Just like your workouts, start small and create habits that are going to last. My family and I recently took on a 10 day smoothie challenge with Jugo Juice. Our life is active and when planning snacks, things like vegetables can get missed. We saw this challenge as a opportunity to increase our vegetable intake and teach our kids to get creative with things they may have never tried (like cauliflower in their smoothie, who knew?) By just adding 1 smoothie after school, we increased their vegetable intake and eliminated the urge to ask for cookies or other sugary treats as they came down from the after school high. Maybe this week you add a smoothie, next week you swap out your normal lunch for a salad and the following week give up snacking after dinner. Small changes create lasting results. Need some motivation?! Right now Jugo Juice is running a contest for 3 prize packs! All you need to do is take a picture of your smoothie and post to Instagram with contest hashtags (#whatsinyoursmoothie #fuelbetter @jugojuice) and be following Jugo Juice on instagram! Winners will be announced Monday December 11th. Head over to Jugo Juice and design your own smoothie! Tag me! I want to see what you guys come up with. Check out my last Instagram post for my current favourite smoothie blend.

This year, instead of beating yourself up for skipping another workout or eating that donut, celebrate the wins! Along with creating my own fitness plan, I also have a huge jar that I place marbles in. Every time I do something positive for myself I put a marble in. On the hard days, when I want to allow negative talk to take over, I look at that jar and remind myself that health is a journey and each day I’m getting 1% better.

Small, achievable, and 1% better.

Bring it on 2018!

 

Jump-Start Workout :

 

  • After a 10 minute warm up, set your timer for 1 minute for each move. Repeat circuit 3-4x with little to no rest.
  • Squat
  • Tricep dips
  • Push up
  • Lunge (with back foot elevated on back bench)
  • 30-60 second sprint after each round

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10 Day Smoothie Challenge

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We work hard and we play hard in this house. I’ll be honest, I definitely wish there was more time to kick up my feet, read books and sleep…oh glorious sleep, we shall meet again someday. But right now, that’s not my reality. I have two extremely active boys and one bold, firecracker of a daughter who love to go none stop, explore new things and are some of the most creative little people I know. Learning to fuel their bodies and make the best decisions for us as a family has been extremely challenging at times. When it comes to fueling and trying new things, Troy and I try to keep a balanced approach with our habits. We have found when we allow our kids to be creative with their meals, have balanced amounts of treats and encourage them to listen to their bodies (rather than telling them something is not good for them) our kids make better decisions. Our journey has led us through being paleo, trying vegan, going totally organic, and trying to eat completely local…It’s a journey, we are not perfect, we are learning and I can almost guarantee what we are doing today will probably change at some point. One of the things that will always stay consistent in our house is encouraging our kids to get as many vegetables in their diet as possible and trying to be as creative as we can as parents.

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Mixing up smoothies, green popsicles, dried fruit/veggie snacks and making dessert acai bowls are some of our favourites in this house. We recently teamed up with Jugo Juice to take on a 10-day smoothie challenge and add more greens to our life. Jugo Juice recently changed all their smoothies over to 100% pure juice and has added tons of great options for the “always on the go” lifestyle. Over these past 10 days we have added cauliflower to our smoothies, replaced our weekend ice cream with green acai bowls and encouraged the kids to get creative with their own mixes.

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I love to support my local juice bars and make my own juices/smoothies at home, but these last 10 days of the challenge have really taught me that their is great options for our family when we are on the go and feel stuck on what to give our kids for a snack or fuel option. They also store great! Over these 10 days we have froze smoothies, bought extra and made popsicles or stuck them in the fridge for acai breakfast bowls. If you’re feeling stuck when it comes to snacks, want to grab something healthy on the go, or are scared to make your own cauliflower smoothie;) maybe try your own

Here some of my tips:

1) Ask for half the juice amount and add coconut water for a less sweet option.

2) Add wheat grass for extra nutrition

3) Sub the whey protein for their delicious vegan option (I find this easier on my stomach)

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Powerful Protein Balls

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These delicious chocolate treats not only satisfy your sweet tooth, they also help to balance the hormones and are packed with protein. The combination of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein make these the perfect snack to grab before the gym or when you need something quick on the road. I’m in love with this new Energy Tonic from “Harlow Skin CO” and have been adding it to smoothies, protein balls and morning tea.

I’ve listed the amazing benefits of Energy Tonic in order to help you understand why this potion is so fricken amazing! This information is just the basics, but if you want more info I would defiantly recommend popping into Harlow and chatting with Crystal…She will blow your mind!

Check out the recipe and Energy Tonic benefits below.

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Maca:

  • Balances Hormones
  • Boost Fertility
  • Improves skin and hair
  • Increases Energy
  • Reduces Stress

 

  • Ashtragalus:
  • Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory. …
  • Slows or Prevents the Growth of Tumors. …
  • Protects the Cardiovascular System. …
  • Regulates and Prevents Diabetes and Illnesses Related to Diabetes. …
  • Contains Antioxidative and Anti-Aging Capabilities. …
  • Heals Wounds.

Rhodiola:

  • Burning Belly Fat.
  • Increased Energy and Athletic Performance.
  • Lowering Cortisol.
  • Fighting Depression and Improving Brain Function

Powerful Protein Balls:

All ingredients can be purchased at Natures Fare Market.

  • 1 cup fully cooked (cooled) quinoa
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 4 tsp energy tonic
  • 3/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:

Mix all dry ingredients, then add wet items one by one making sure to mix fully.

Roll into little balls (rolling in chocolate dust if desired.)

Place in the freezer for at least 1 hour and enjoy~~*

 

Spicy Avocado Pizza

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We are prepping for our October cleanse and being as creative as possible for the seasonings that are allowed for the 21 days. This delicious and healthy pizza is a great addition to your “cleanse” recipes or a cleaner way of enjoying “Pizza Night.” Serve on a gluten free crust or a cauliflower crust if grains are not a option for you.

 

Enjoy~~*

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Spicy Avocado Pizza:

I purchased our gluten free crust from Natures Fare Market. They have some great options for gluten free options and tons of fresh local veggies to top your pizza with!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe peeled avocado, coarsely mashed
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in Vitamix till smooth.

Spread 1 tbsp of coconut oil on your pizza and bake at 350 till pizza crust is slightly crisp.

Spread on avocado mixture on pizza crust, top with your favorite veggies (I used spinach,tomatoes and baby arugula) and enjoy!

 

 

 

Shuswap and Chocolate Chip Cookies

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A couple weeks ago we headed to the Shuswaps with Troy’s family for a little R&R time together.

The days were filled with the little cousins playing in the little creek behind our house, participating in Grandma’s treasure hunt games and taking quality time to reconnect as a family.

We came home feeling refreshed and refuelled as we head into the fall season.

On our last day together I joined Adelaide and her adorable little cousin Myla, in making ice cream sandwiches together .

This cookie recipe is one of my favourites! I triple this recipe to make ice cream sandwiches, snacks for school and last minute desserts when friends pop over.

These little ladies added the perfect amount of sprinkles and probably ate their body weight in ice cream that day.

Enjoy~

The girls are wearing locally made dresses by: Nest & Nurture .

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Post Baby Fitness With Bethany Menzel

 

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When Bethany and I decided to put together a few post-baby workouts, we wanted to focus in on areas where Bethany’s body was needing to be strengthened, as well as more generic workouts that all moms would love (and hate). If you follow Bethany, you would know that she has the most delicious, chubby baby named Skipper. Along with being chubby and delicious, he is also quite a load for Bethany to carry around. The constant stress of holding a baby for any new mom can cause poor posture, back pain and exhaustion. By adding just a few simple exercises to your weekly routine, you can help avoid these issues and build strength at the same time. It is possible to be a mother, fit in your workouts and not feel like you’re spending your life at the gym.

I love bands and body weight workouts because they are easy to throw together while baby naps or plays on the floor.

Bethany wanted to work on her back, core and butt strength, so we put together a circuit that is easy to follow and targets the full body.

The workout:

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Equipment:
Bands
A small child

Each movement should be performed for a four count movement, and for 45-60 seconds based on your fitness level.

The strongest person is the slowest person 😉

Repeat circuit 3-4x

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Leg lifts (with band)
This movement targets the butt primarily while using the arms and core as a stabilizer.

Action:

Leg is straight and in line with the hips. Keep weight even on both sides of the body as you slowly lower the toes of the moving leg to the floor. Once the toes have touched the floor, press against the resistance of the band and return to starting position.

Tips:
Keep your hands directly under your shoulders
Belly into spine
As you lift your leg, think about evening your weight out.

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View More: http://photos.pass.us/tuffSide leg press:

Targets the butt, core and upper body.

Action:

This will be the same position as your leg lifts but instead of lifting your leg up you will press it laterally to the side .

Keep a small bend in your elbows and really engage your core.

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Hamstring lifts.

Primary focus is the hamstrings (muscles along the back side of your legs, which are also very important for reducing back pain.)

Action:

Press your heel into a wall with your heel slightly above your knee joint . Engage your core, squeeze your bum and lift your hips to the sky.
On your final 20 seconds, hold as high as you can and pulse .

Tips:

Make sure to really press your heel against the wall and if you feel pain in the knee, try moving your heel slightly higher on the wall.

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Baby back rows:

Primary focus is mid back, AKA baby carrying muscles .

Action:

Hold your baby or a set of weights. With your elbows close your ribs, shoulders down the back and a small bend in your knees, start to lower the baby and slowly bring the baby towards your chest.

Tips:

Shoulders away from ears, belly in nice and tight and small curve in the lower spine to remove pressure off your back

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Bird Dog:

Primary focus is your abs.

Action:

Start on your hands and knees. Slowly start to raise your left leg straight out behind you as you lift the opposite arm to the wall in front of you . Your arm and leg should come to form a straight line . Squeeze your belly and slowly start to bring your arm and leg into the chest while rounding your belly.

Tips:
Do this slow and controlled. This is an amazing exercise for the post-baby belly while not putting too much strain on your core.

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Superman:

Primary focus is your back.

Action:

Start by laying on your belly. Slowly start to raise your upper body and legs off the floor while stretching your arms out into a superman position. Keep your legs lifted and slowly start to bring your arms back towards your body. Repeat movement.

Tips:

If you’re breast feeding this may be uncomfortable for you. You can try rolling a small towel up and placing it under your breast bone as a support which will remove pressure off your chest.

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Feel free to add cardio bursts or an extra set if you have some additional time on your hands. Or split the workout up between morning and night to make room for chasing and feeding babies.

I love Bethany’s honesty and openness as she has walked the journey of growing little humans, giving birth to three beautiful children and the up’s and down’s along the way. Head over to Bethany’s blog as she shares the her story from pregnancy to post baby workouts.


Both our outfits in this post are from HEMM. HEMM, is a local Canadian company that carries everything you need for yoga, fitness and street style. Some of my favourite brands they carry include Olympia, Strut, Tofino Towels, Body Language and Lilybod! Head over to Hemm.ca and check them out!


Photography by the amazing Kristy at Blush Wedding Photography


Thank you Turf for allowing us to use your beautiful facility and treating us to the most delicious snacks! Thank you for providing a space that inspires our community, fuels our bodies and kicks our butts!

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Summer Fuel

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These are the happiest and most exhausting days I have experienced to date as a mom. I literally could not wait for the kids to get out of school this year so we could spend our days at the park and making memories on new adventures. Although having three children around one another all day every day can be exhausting for all parties involved, I would not change a thing about these days! My heart actually feels like it might explode when I think about these sweet moments with these little souls. This skate park will hold so many memories for us. Scraped knees, Bennett’s first drop in, McCarthy’s countless tricks and Adelaide’s determination to hang with the boys. Our days begin here and almost daily end here with a pre-or-post dinner scooter. The playing never stops and neither does the snacking! Love Child Organics recently came out with these nutrition beverages called “Lil Shake.”  These delicious Lil Shakes contain 8 grams of protein and are fortified with 24 non-GMO vitamins and minerals. Also, another bonus is these shakes have no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives and contain no carrageenan! Along with having to have countless snacks available, I also get asked non-stop for treats these days, so these “Lil Shakes” also go by the name “milk shake” or “chocolate milk” in our house and help this mom steer these growing little bodies in a healthier direction.

What are some of your snack ideas for your kids during the summer?

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Upper Body Bootcamp With Fraichenutrition

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I teamed up again with Tori, from Fraichenutrition again this week and this time we are talking upper body workouts  for moms! Please make sure to send any questions or comments you may have regarding your routine or post baby fitness.

Enjoy~~*

I feel like the upper body is one of the parts, as ladies, that we kind of skip over. We focus so much attention on firm butts and tight abs that we skimp on this very important area. Not only do strong, lean sculpted shoulders look great in tank tops and summer dresses as warmer weather approaches, but strong arms are also essential to our everyday activities.

By adding just 10 minutes of strength training for the upper body 1 or 2 times a week, we can prevent conditions like sore backs, tight necks, and restless sleeps (and who doesn’t need more sleep?).

When your body is constantly tight and sore, our sleep patterns suffer.  When we are not well-rested, our bodies’ hormones, mood, and energy dip very low, causing problems like weight gain, fatigue, and emotional mood swings.

I love these movements because they make sense and are so important for my everyday activities as a mom. Whether you’re lifting children into car seats, carrying groceries, or working a physical job, these movements will help to increase your strength, avoid injury, and create beautiful lean arms for your spring wardrobe.

Here’s how to do it:

For full workout and blog post head to Fraichenutrition .

 

Spring Cleaning The Closet

H&M

This spring I decided to slim by closet down, add more basic colours and thrift some items from Troy’s closet. I love neutral colours and classic men styles that are the perfect pairing for the feminine skinny jeans or a old pair of Levi’s. I also love that I have reduced the amount of clutter in my closet and really focused on purchasing pieces I love and can use a hundred different ways.As I’ve slowly removed the clutter of unused clothing,I’ve also become more aware of where it’s going and how it’s being re-used. H&M, launched a clothing recycle program back in 2013 that I was not even aware of till recently. You can drop off your unwanted garments – no matter what brand and what condition – in all H&M stores across the globe. Their goal is to reduce waste, recycle the unwanted and reduce the natural resources needed to produce a new garment. I’ve listed all the details below! Check it out and I’m also interested to hear what you do with your unwanted garments.

As much as 95% of clothes thrown away could have been re-worn or recycled.

Lets change that!!!

H&M

Outfit Details:

Hat: Get Plenty

Sunglasses: Clearly

Necklace: Melanie Auld

Trench: H&M

Mens Linen Button Up: H&M

Jeans: Gap

Boots: American Eagle

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