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The Soup Exchange

One of the things I love most about the holidays is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. In the past I would always host events like cookie exchanges, wine and cheese nights, or some other variation of a sweet treat party. But this year with so many events, school programs, and last minute to-do’s, I decided to switch it up and host a Soup Exchange.

The Soup Exchange idea came to me after a friend sent me a little nutrition reminder on the importance of warming foods this time of the year. Often I hear from clients and friends that they struggle with cravings and lack of energy this time of year. There are many things that can contribute to this, and what we eat is a major player. This time of year our body needs foods that are warm, comforting, and easy on our digestive system. Things like smoothies, cold salads or even cold pressed juice can be too hard on our digestive system leaving us feeling tired, cold, and cravings foods that warm our bodies up.

So, this year I decided to get a couple friends together, make a few soups and do a soup exchange to not only support my warm eating but also to add variety to my weekly meals.

All you need to do is invite a few friends over. Each person brings 1 type of soup, packages for each person attending. If you have 5 friends, you all end up going home with 5 different soups! How good is that?

This is also a great way to prep meals together and support one another in making healthier decisions when it comes to our meals. It’s so much easier to stay on track when your meals are already prepped and you’re not trying to figure our what to make last minue!

I made my soup servings for up to 6 people, this way my friends could feed their family or use it for a couple lunches/dinners that week.

This is currently one of my FAVOURITE soups from Natalieshealth.com!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 large carrots peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup celeriac root peeled and cubed
  • 4 ½ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 inch (2.5cm) fresh ginger root peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • a pinch of himalayan salt
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic, and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring often until onion is translucent.
  2. Add carrots and celeriac root. Sprinkle with pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Don’t let the carrots or onion brown.
  3. Pour in vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Add ginger, cover and cook for at least 20 minutes, or until carrots and celeriac are tender.
  4. Remove from the heat. Puree in blender until very smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in turmeric, cumin and cayenne pepper. Add more salt to taste. Pour the soup into bowls and serve.
  5. Garnish with cumin and/or parsley.

Recipe Notes

Keep refrigerated up to 3 days. Can be frozen up to 3 months.

Serve with a Matchsticks delicious fermented sourdough on the side

Enjoy~~*

Share this post on your social media and tag me! I would love to see your soup exchange!

Photography By: Megan Bustard

In Goop Health

It’s 8:30 am and we are welcomed at the media tent with Mala beads, which based on their color, instructed us what group we will be in for the very first Goop Summit in Vancouver, BC Canada!

Our morning begins with an amazing cold pressed juice from Glory Juice Co, Chia fruit cups, and a delicious assortment of toast options. We move into a brief time of meditation and some body movement to clear our minds and prep our bodies for the day ahead. I couldn’t help but think during the first couple moments “Why do I not start every day like this…and I wonder if Gwyneth moves like this every morning?”

We then head into a series of workshops, speakers and snacks, that absolutely feeds my obsession for healthy treats and trying new things.

Our second workshop was a facial experience, unlike anything I’ve experienced before, with Anastasia Achilleos

This bold, energetic, and extremely informative British woman instantly became one of my new favorite people. I realized in these short 30 minutes together that I had never had someone properly teach me to wash my face, apply face cream, or massage the tension that finds its way into every square each of my facial structure. I was completely in love with her and then it turned into a mild obsession when she personally offered to massage my jaw line! Ladies, that experience alone would have been worth the $400 ticket. The rules, tools, and tricks we learned in that session were game changing.

With my skin glowing, I got to experience both the freedom and adrenaline that comes from being makeup-free in a room of 200 woman with cameras flashing. Side note it was also hilarious that Miss Achilleos, made all of us remove our perfectly done makeup so early in the day. Some handled it better than others J

Next I decided to head over to the Fig Facial station to have them stick a vitamin B12 shot in my butt. For some reason, I thought it wouldn’t hurt. I was very WRONG! I ended up feeling amazing post shot though! Maybe placebo? Maybe not? Either way, I love the Fig Facial team!

Next, we continued our Goop Wellness journey to the lululemon yoga tent with Cara Ross.

Although I had never taken class with Cara, I instantly liked her.

She not only read the room well, but she also made a room filled with people from all levels feel like they were playing on the same team and gently/playfully encouraged us to let go of our ego and have a good time. If you have not taken a class with Cara, I strongly encourage it. She is a local Vancouver girl and you will not be disappointed whatever level you are at.

After being stopped by Goop protestors and having hot dog water shoved in our faces, (if you missed my Insta story…it was nasty) we headed to the digestive panel discussion with some of the most incredible leaders in the wellness community and although I felt there were some helpful tips and good insight on the topic, I was hoping for a little more of an in-depth discussion. With a panel of three amazing and intelligent nutritional leaders, tI was hoping they would have dove deeper into things like digestive health, what diets are right for certain people, game changing research, hormonal health, adrenal support, sleep, and proper use of supplements.But there is always next time;)

I ended my day with buying some expensive perfume that won’t cause headaches, which I wear almost every day. I also left with an incredible swag bag full of some of my favorite products! I would 100% recommend, if you have the opportunity, to attend a Goop event. There is something truly incredible about being in a room with the game-changers in the health industry.

Goop,

I left feeling refreshed, inspired and glowing.

Thank you for the opportunity to experience this!

 

Special Thanks to Megan Bustard for capturing these images and being the perfect person to experience this day with:)

 

Hello “Mom Bod”

Hello Mom Bod:

@Adrienneneufeld

Hello mom bod! Met up with @dailyroutinefitness for a quick hang and work out and she asked me what my workout goals were and i haven’t really thought about it since being pregnant. My current work out routine consists of breast feeding, keeping up with a toddler and having three flights of stairs in our home.  So fitness isn’t my top priority at the moment but my goals would probably be something like fit into my old jeans and get a six pack.  But if I’m being more realistic it’s to feel good in my own skin and not be completely winded after going up the stairs in my own house. Yes, my tummy hangs over my pants and multiple parts of my body jiggle, and honestly, I’m too tired to care. I know one day I’ll feel more ambitious and my goals will be higher but for now it’s accepting my changing body and pushing the stroller uphill without getting cramps…

Training for Life:

@Dailyroutinefitness

When I sat down with Adrienne and chatter over goals, we focused on obtainable, realistic and things she can do at home. I’m very aware not everyone has access to a gym, have a fancy studio membership or the gift of some alone time to focus on your goals without a child hanging off you. So creating workouts we can do at home while juggling the daily demands of Motherhood is not only important its also essential for our health.

So Adrienne and I put together a workout to keep you sweating (and move out the crazy) over this Holiday season!

Just a couple tips before you get started:

  1. Have grace for yourself. 

If you find you need to take more breaks then you expected, you feel the need to throw up or your child is screaming at you for attention…Have grace. Change is challenging both physically and mentally..Also our kids can add some interesting dynamics to our new workout routine. If at first you don’t succeed, TRY again and again! Your body will adjust, it will get easier and your wonderful little child will realize this is the new routine.

2. Refuel.

Often times we start new routines and then give our bodies nothing to fuel up with, leaving us craving sugar or excess carbohydrates. After sweating it out, make sure you re-hydrate with some H2O and a combination of protein and carbohydrates.

Check out my recipe section for some easy refuel ideas.

3. Write your goals down.

The simple task of writing down what you want, where you are going and what your commitment to yourself is going to be, will keep you on track when motivation gives you the cold shoulder. I promise you will not feel like doing this everyday, but the hard days are often the most important days! This journey is not just about the physical strength it’s also about the mental strength you’re cultivating as you prove to yourself you can do this!

Now the workout:

  • Equipment needed: -Bodyweight, free weights or small child
  • Repetitions: 15-20 (We are training for endurance here) 8-12 (For hypertrophy and muscle building)
  • Rounds: 3-4 Depending on our physical fitness
  • For a little extra burn;) Add a cardio element in between each one of these movements. 45-60 seconds of Burpies, jumping jacks, squats jumps or high knees.

Squats

Keep knees over ankles, core engaged and press that booty back

Lunges

Press through your front heel, shoulders over hips and bring that back knee right above the floor

Shoulder press

Core engaged, small bend in knees, press arms above head and keep a small micro bend in that elbow in full extension.

Russian twist

Draw your rib cage down and in to engage your abs. Keep your chest lifted, shoulder blades down the back and slowly twist side to side.

Plank

Shoulders over elbow, core engaged and squeeze through your glutes. Very important for new Moms to watch any tension their lower back on this one and if it feels like its straining your belly, simply perform the hold on your knees.

Tag us in your workout and Enjoy the Holidays friends~~*

Rachel & Adrienne

Special thanks to Bethany Menzel for modelling in these photos;)

And Megan Bustard for her incredible photography skills.

Love you ladies!

 

 

The Perfect Sweet And Salty Appetizer

 

 

With the holidays coming, it can be difficult to stay on track with your fitness goals and healthy eating habits. I recently teamed up with Food Should Taste Good to put together a couple delicious appetizers so that you can actually ENJOY the food you eat, while staying on course with your health over the holidays.

This delicious sweet and salty appetizer is the perfect treat for a holiday party, or a quick snack before enjoying some holiday classics on Netflix.

Click on the video below to watch how easy this recipe is to make!

Sweet and Salty with Food Should Taste Good

Ingredients:

Directions:

Lay your chips out on a tray or baking dish (if you want to warm)

Spread a thin layer of vegan cream cheese, top with a thinly sliced pear, add a walnut, fresh or dried thyme, and finish with a balsamic glaze.

Enjoy!

For our previous appetizer with Food Should Taste Good, click here!

Life and Colour

When I started having kids (almost 8 years go gasp) I was determined to not lose my love for fashion. I’ve always had a love for it, and love to push the envelope when it comes to my own fashion

But then kids happened. Work happens. And you find yourself putting yourself on the back burner when it comes to self-care. Over the past two years I have taken on more projects, work, and clients than I ever have before, and in doing so, I’ve slowly drifted away from what makes me feel like me. I’ve booked clients in my personal workout times, skipped my own quiet time in the mornings, and put things like hair appointments on the “SHOULD DO” list, with no room on my actual “TO DO” list. And slowly I felt my edge start to leave. I’m completely aware that this might sound silly to you if you’ve never found yourself in this place before, but I want to encourage you to actually take a few minutes and ask yourself if your body, mind, or soul is missing. Is it a good sweat? A decent meal? Or maybe it’s giving your wardrobe a little refresh.

Heres my locks before “Christine Leblanc,” gave them a major refresh

 

I knew for a while I wanted to give my hair some love and freshen up my Mom-style a bit. Because I teach so much and am constantly transitioning from sweaty hair to school pick up or meetings, I needed something that would be easy to add some styling product to on the go! Christine Leblanc was highly recommended to me by someone she had previously worked with, their exact words being “If you ever need a stylist there is a woman I know who is perfect for you. She is edgy, crazy talented, and is incredible at listening to what her client really wants!” I didn’t think twice. I went in for a consultation with Christine and knew right away that she was my hair soul sister. She listened, told me what would and would not work, and ultimately brought me to a hair style and cut that was the perfect update for my lifestyle.

One of the things I knew for sure going into the appointment was that I wanted to let go of my brittle, damaged ends. So a good chop of about 5 inches was in order. In the past, cutting even my ends off gave me anxiety, but this time I was so ready to let go of the damage I pushed past the fear. Then I wanted to add some blonde to give my hair more of a beach feel. I love the surfer girl/dirty blonde look and find it’s such a great colour for hiding sweat! haha

For my colour Christine did a root colour, foiled highlights and lowlights, and then a colour melt toned to blend all the goodness together.

I couldn’t be more thrilled with my new hair and the knowledge I left with!

Christine didn’t just update my look, she also taught me how to care for my colour, take care of my hair, and rinse the salt from my hair without having to shampoo my hair after every workout (I had no idea a product like that even existed.) I’m going to do a follow up post on hair care, how to keep your colour vibrant, and what some of my favourite new products are! So stay tuned.

You can find Life and Colour Salon on Instagram @lifeandcoloursalon

Message them with questions, check out the amazing work their staff does, and do yourself a favor and book an appointment!

To see the complete makeover, check out the whole video and enjoy more photos below.

 

All video and photography was done by the incredible Megan Bustard

 

Thank you so much Christine Leblanc for all the hard work you and your team put into my hair!

Improve Your Health Today-Play

As the air gets cooler and fall sets in, I decided to circle back and review some of the goals I set earlier in the year. One of the goals that stood out to me the most was the challenge to myself to PLAY more. Yes, like kids do. P.L.A.Y. This may seem like a silly or pointless goal, but I think we need to be reminded what play does for us!

Here’s what we daily check off our to do list: Grocery shop, go to work, take care of the kids, try to fit the workout in, run kids to activities, find time to eat, hopefully sleep, and then repeat.

When did we stop playing? We are currently one of the most stressed out generations, and when you look at our lives, one of the major things we have removed is adult play.

Finding time to play is one of the most beneficial things we could do for our mind, body and spirit. I’m all for the new fall workout program, or taking on a cleanse to clean up my body (I’m actually starting one next week), but I think for many of us our body is craving for us to slow down and set aside time to play.

 

Have you laughed today?

Did you know a good chuckle can lower stress levels?! Studies show that when people watch comedy or even walking with a friend and having a good laugh improves your memory! This also lowers your levels of cortisol, the hormone connected to stress. Stress damages the body by causing issues like headaches, anxiety and sleep problems. On the other hand, laughter makes the heart light and is apparently the secret to vitality too. When we play and generate laughter we give our body a much needed immune system boost. The laughter we produce in our bodies trigger happy hormones to the brain, organs, and produces a refreshing oxygen-action to the heart. This not only benefits our health but also gives our skin and eyes a healthy glow. The increased healthy hormones help with things like digestion, better sleep patterns and over all feeling of peace. So making space for things like activities with friends or play time with kids might just be what your body needs!

Solve your problems with play.

Studies now show allowing employees to take small breaks from work for workouts, a quick activity, or even personal creative time, increases their productivity. As a Mom and business owner, I often find this to be one the most difficult things for me to stay accountable to. I’m constantly switching hats from one role to the next, cleaning up after someone else, organizing snacks, or working on client programming. Recently I started to actually schedule white noise into my day. Whether its time just sitting in the sun, reading, or trying a new activity, I need to make space for myself to slow down, dream and get creative. The reality is when I skip this step I’m ¼ of the person I could be, a less enthusiastic wife, and stressed out Mother. This leaves me forgetting to laugh off the small stuff and just roll with the constant changes in behaviour and emotions of my children. As employees, bosses, and caretakers, we need to remind ourselves to step back, breath and allow space for our mind and body to play. Our health is depending on it!

You’re only as young as you feel.

As we get older, it’s easier for us to get stuck in our way of doing things, also known as a rut! As a trainer I have seen this many times with clients. What I love to see are my clients making space for fun activities like painting, a new sport, or some sort of hobby that keeps them learning through play. These clients tend to be my most calm, well balanced and healthy! Coupled with play, they also thoughtfully make wise food choices, exercise not just for aesthetics but for longevity, and are visibly appreciative for their health.

This season, instead of adding another to-do task to your list, make a commitment to open up some space to get outside, play with your kids, paint with some friends, or take that cooking class you have been putting off.

Photography by: Megan Bustard

One of the most beneficial things we can do for our body is to take care of the whole package-

Mind, Body and Soul.

 

It’s time to play!

Seeing Clearly

I’ve worn glasses on and off for a couple of years…and by on and off I mean that I go through seasons of straining my eyes, getting headaches and frustration when I don’t wear my glasses.

A couple months back I decided to make an appointment to have my prescription checked with Iris. Along with updating my prescription, I learned that I have a stigmatism which causes my eyes to strain when trying to read things like road signs, as well as causes tension headaches after trying to do things like read, work on my laptop, or concentrate on anything for long periods of time. After figuring out the important details like which style of glasses to get (obviously), Iris helped me navigate which lenses to get as well as recommended a blue light filter for my glasses due to the hours I spend looking at screen for work. This specific coating helps to prevent strain, improves sleep patterns, and prevents long term eye damage.

 

If you currently wear prescription eye glasses or are interested in a blue light filter for your glasses, you need to go check out the solutions that Iris has!

Making Space To Dream~~*

As much as I loved our slow summer mornings complete with sleeping in, no schedules, and PJ’s for hours…fall has arrived and with it comes schedules, alarm clocks and clothes on before 8:30 am.

Scheduling is not one of my greatest strengths, but I’ve learned that a little pre-planning really helps me stay on top of my Mom-game and relieves a lot of my daily parenting stresses.

One of my greatest successes so far this fall has been planning out our family’s weekly meal schedule and preparing parts of it the day before. Having the yams cooked ahead of time, muffins baked for snacks, and breakfast prepped in advance, gives me just the right amount of breathing room to get myself together for the day. It also gives me a chance to sit down and really connect with the kids after school or even just enjoy the silence during quite time instead of running around trying to figure what we are going to eat. Easier said than done, right? I agree. This has taken me years to start putting into practice.

The truth is that I have many times allowed Motherhood stress, daily distractions, and social media water down the goals and dreams I have for myself as a mother and woman. Being a Mother, wife and business owner can often times leave me with this feeling of “THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO” that I end up doing nothing at all. I let dreams fade, opportunities pass me by and find myself saying “When life is less crazy I will be more organized, get back to my goals, and dream again.” But reality is life is not slowing down for us Moms, and chaos will continue unless you take control of your life and start scheduling your freedom while leaving space to breath, dream and work on your goals.

Where to start? Start small.

This week just work on writing all your appointments, to do’s and free time down. Try cutting your social media time down. I’m so guilty of not doing this! Because when the babies nap it’s the perfect time to scroll, but you are also throwing away valuable time for your personal development and missing an opportunity to focus on some of your goals. Don’t go cold turkey on Insta 😉 Just schedule your social media time for the day and when your time is up, get back to YOU!

Make a vision board.

Often times we can even forget what we really want or what we are working towards, so keeping visuals in front of you to remind yourself of where you are going and what is at of the end of the rainbow. This is also a great project to do with your kids to get them involved with your goals, but also encourages them in their dreams.

I’m so excited for you to get started! Dream big dreams and find more breathing room for yourself!

Here’s a delicious over-night oats recipe that I love because it helps get some solid nutrition into the kids before school.

Enjoy~~*

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Rolled oats
  • 1 tsp Chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup Earths Own Almond Milk
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • Fresh fruit, nuts and seeds to top your oatmeal

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients together  (except items to top)
  • Separate mixture into 3 small mason jars (for kids) or into one large one if it’s just for you.
  • Place a lid on your jars and store in fridge overnight.
  • Add a little extra milk in the morning to loosen up the oats and top with your favourite fruit or nuts.

 

 

Don’t Miss A Moment

It comes as no surprise to anyone that I love to be active. Outdoor activities have always been a big part of my life, starting way back while growing up on a farm in Mesopotamia, Ohio. I loved fishing and hunting with my brothers, I showed cattle professionally (yup!), and spent most of my growing up life outside.  As I started to venture out and try different sports, one thing that held me back was my eyesight. My eyes weren’t horrible, but when it came to more precision sports like tennis for instance, not having good eyesight kept me from playing more often. Glasses were a pain, and I wore them when I had to, but having them bounce around on my face was annoying and the ended up on my bathroom counter more than on my face.

I turned 34 this past June, and I finally followed through and did what I’ve wanted to do for years…I got contact lenses! Goodbye to blurry trees flying at my face while snowboarding and goodbye to not seeing moments clearly while I play with my kids. One major factor that pushed me over the edge and got me prioritizing my eyes was the realization that my health is no longer just my own.

Since brining these 3 amazing babies into this world, I’ve been stretched to look beyond myself and follow through on decisions that are best for my family as well. Squinting while I played seemed fine while I was single, or even when it was just Troy and I, but while teaching and protecting the most important little people in my life, this had to change. I made an appointment with an IRIS Optometrist to get an updated prescription, get my eyes measured for contacts, and for the first time in my life, I can see clearly without my glasses! I’ve now hiked, played baseball and swam with my kids no longer worrying about what I’m missing!

I’m so thankful for the IRIS team who has surrounded me through this process and helped me understand the “WHY” behind my eye health, and helped me change the way I see my life (literally!)

 

“Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose!”

– Friday Night Lights

Photography By: Megan Bustard

Bodyweight Workouts And Time Under Tension

Whether it’s in your living room, on vacation, or part of your home workout routine, using your bodyweight requires little to no equipment and can produce serious results. When you think of building muscle and creating definition in your body, our minds might immediately start thinking about all those bootcamp classes that have been missed or the weights that are collecting cobwebs in the garage. You may just need to stop allowing space for excuses, get your body out of bed, and start moving!

Time Under Tension

When your goal reduce your body mass index and create more muscle, the urge can be to move at a quick pace through exercises. Let me introduce to you the concept of Time Under Tension.  The traditional time under tension concept is based on four seconds lowering your weight, 1 second pause, and 2 seconds to raise your weight. Most personal trainers will instruct their clients that sets of 8-12 reps will create muscle hypertrophy and strength in the body. If you rush through the first 8 reps, what happens to your form in the last 4? By slowing down your reps and focusing on time under tension, you are able to focus on what’s really happening in your workout. For your next bodyweight workout, try and hold true to the time under tension principle. 4-1-2. When you are integral with your body movements, you will no doubt complete more efficient workouts and will see start breaking through possible plateaus you have been facing…

Eliminate Plateau With Bodyweight Workouts

If you have done the same weightlifting workout routines for months on end, you have probably experienced a plateau at some point. Taking a break from your weights and gym equipment only doing something as simple as slowing down not only gives your joints a break, it switches things up for your muscles resulting in beneficial muscle confusion. Prior to every photo shoot that I do, I take a 10-14 day break from lifting weights and focus on bodyweight exercises. I do this not only to switch things up but to challenge my muscles in a way that lifting weights often times can’t. So next time you are staring at the wall of dumbbells and feel completely unmotivated, try busting out a high intensity bodyweight workout and bring the fun back to your fitness routine.


These simple bodyweight workouts are a great way to get the body moving and keep things simple.

Bodyweight Workout

Set your timer for 45 seconds for each exercise. Repeat each circuit 3 x. Focus on short rest periods between these sets to keep your heart rate elevated.

Circuit 1

Push Ups
Bench Dips
Wall Squat

Jump Lunges

Circuit 2

Bodyweight Squat
Lunges
Tricep Push Up

Plank on the toes (or knees if you need a modification)

Circuit 3

Shadow Boxing
Burpees
Mountain Climbers
Crunch