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Month: November 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~~*