Monday, December 31, 2012

Toodle-Loo 2012, Hellllllooo 2013!!

Good morning Beautiful,

I wanted to write a quick blog post before I start my day. What do I have planned?? Well I have to fit in this post, a 5km run, laundry, cleaning, packing, some studying, and a 2 hour drive to London, ON all before 5:30pm. I think I'm running a bit behind already, it was totally the Dawson's Creek episode I watched. I knew that wasn't a good idea.. anywho...

First off I wanted to kind of recap my year. A lot has happened this year, a lot more than I could have ever anticipated, that's for sure. Let's see what comes to mind...

1. I started running. I had never run before this year, especially not outside. Now I hate the treadmill and prefer to run outside.
2. I ran 6 races including my first half-marathon. What? A 10km race was so incredibly huge to me at this time last year, as if I ran 21.1km at one time.... it still boggles my mind.
3. I stopped eating grains/gluten/dairy/processed foods for the most part (I'm not perfect and so I would say that I eat a solid paleo diet about 75% of the time).
4. I lost a lot of body fat and became more toned than I have ever been.
5. I enrolled in a Holistic Nutritionist course through the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Never thought I'd go back to school again!!
6. I started a savings plan to ensure I have a good financial future ahead of me.
7. I started a plan to get completely debt free with the assistance of my financial planner.
8. My bloggy turned 1!! :) It's also been really interesting to see how it's taken off and how people are responding to it so far, it's amazing!!

Those are the top 8 things that come to mind when I talk about 2012. That's kind of a big year! For me it is at least... Now to tell you what 2013 already has in store for me.

Last night I was speaking with Michelle from Push.Pump.Progress. and she convinced me to sign up for 13 in 2013. What is that? Well I've committed to 13 different races in 2013. I know... what the hell am I thinking? I did 6 this past year and now I'm more than doubling it? The good news is it doesn't have to be a certain kind of race, I could do 13 5km races if I wanted to... so no pressure to run another half-marathon (which I'm not doing this year). So that's a biggie... and I wanted to share. If you're interested in joining, registration closes tonight but you can click on the badge on the right hand side of my blog to see what it's all about and join in the all the fun! Ok so... Here is what I'm planning for 2013... I'm being realistic, I'm not setting myself up for failure, there's a lot I need to focus on this year.

1. Run 13 races in 2013.
2. Focus on school, map out a plan of what I want to get done by when and stick to it no matter what.
3. Start keeping my food journal again. I feel so much better when I'm tracking what I'm eating, so I actually started that last night.
4. Don't drink EVERY weekend. Seriously. I know, at my age (24) partying is pretty much the norm. I am actually feeling the need to party less and less which is good for my waistline and good for my wallet.
5. Save, save, save! Money that is. I have a plan with my financial planner and he knows what I'm saving for. But I'm also now wanting to save for a pretty pair of shoes by August and ya, I just want to have more $$ in the bank!
6. Exercise! My body has already changed so much for the better since this time last year, and I want to see how much further I can push it! Jenny and I are holding each other accountable at work on our lunch workouts, and I'm sure I'll be racing with Jenny sometimes, but I'm also going to be racing a lot with Michelle, which is good because she runs faster than me. :)
7. Oh yes, I will also be doing The Power of Movement with some fellow bloggers in March as well as the GoodLife Spin For Kids in March (the same weekend, two different days actually), but more on that later.

There you have it folks. That is what I plan on doing in 2013. Not too big, not too small, just right :).

Now because it's the end of the year and I've been doing this blog for now 1.5 years, but only really seriously since January last year I wanted to have a little "Semi-1 year Anniversary" giveaway! The lovely Suzanne over at Nutrition Snob on Etsy provided me with an amazing sweater that says "Strong Is The New Skinny", and it's awesome! Here is a picture of me wearing it!

She was so generous and jumped all over the opportunity to have a giveaway on my blog.... she's so adorable and her clothes are amazing. Check out the Rafflecopter below for how you can enter!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Just a little "thank you" for reading my blog and interacting and being awesome!

Ok, I'm off to get things done before I need to leave to go to London! Happy New Years everyone!! Make it safe and fun!! :)

xoxo S

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hunger For Change!

Good afternoon Beautiful,

Bonjour from the gym!
I just got back from the gym, and it's been my first visit since Christmas Eve! Holy, right? I know - major slacker.. but I'm back and I'm super pumped!! I spent about 20 minutes on the treadmill today in two separate stints of 10 minutes runs, the first at 6.5 and the second at 6.0 since I was tired. I wore my new Asics and they were delicious on my feet... I had no ankle pain, and they were light and comfortable! I want to take them outdoors, I want this darn snow to melt!

After my workout today I wanted to use my new emersion blender that I got for Christmas from my Grandma really badly so I decided to make a "What's In Your Pantry?" shake. Not totally sure why I named it that, but it's fairly self-explanatory. I started with 1 scoop of Sun Warrior protein powder, I added a tbsp of organic hemp hearts, half a tbsp of organic flax seed, added 2 tbsp of shredded coconut, vanilla yogurt made from almond milk, frozen organic berries (cherries, blueberries and blackberries), a splash of pomegranate juice, kale leaves and a glass of Vanilla Rooibos Tazo Tea, oh ya and like 4 mini ice cubes. I used my emersion blender and blended that baby till she was pink! Here is the end result :)

C thinks I oversold it to him when he tasted it, but I really thought it was delicious! I was nervous putting the kale in so I didn't use a ton, but I couldn't taste it and would probably use more next time! Woohoooo! Go me! I will be using my emersion blender VERY often going forward, it's totally awesome!

What did you do this weekend?

Friday night we went out for C's birthday and I totally surprised him (I think!) by setting it up like we were having a date night! I had gone out that day and gotten him his gift (I got him a Burberry tie, it's soooo pretty!) and then played it all cool like we were just going to our favourite place, William's Landing, for some drinks together. Little did he know I arranged to have the guys that he's really close with come down from London and have some of his work people join us! He said he wasn't expecting it and I think he had a good time! We went to Bloke & 4th after Williams Landing and danced the night away! Good times, I'm glad he had fun! :).

Yesterday we decided to hit up Yorkdale mall (my fav!) to look for some NYE stuff for C since I already have my outfit planned. I maaaaay have been a little bit hungover so of course when we got there I instantly wanted food. We ended up eating at this little Indian restaurant in the food court because it was the only place with a table, but I'm so glad we ended up there. The name of the restaurant was Amaya and it was SO GOOD. C got a Butter Chicken bowl and I picked off of their Healthy Menu and ordered a Karra Box. I wasn't totally sure what was it in, the menu said green chicken and a bunch of other things but I went for it. Oh my god - best meal of my entire life. I took a picture (of course!)...

Doesn't it look so colourful and magical? So basically it was a bed of brown rice underneath, topped with this green curry chicken which is on the right hand side of the picture, and corn, chick peas, cucumber, pomegranate seeds, cherry chutney and mint sprinkled on top. It was the perfect meal, the universe definitely had something up it's sleeve when we went in just because they had a table. One of my 2013 goals is to make an entire Indian meal from scratch. Usually if we make Indian food we buy the pre-made sauces, but I want to do it all from scratch. Maybe try and make my own Harra Box!

Yesterday while we were at the mall I got a tweet from the very smart and informative David Barber from Tech Barber telling me that he'd watched this documentary on Netflix called Hunger for Change and he wanted my thoughts on it! Well David, here are my thoughts...

After the mall I came home and pulled up Hunger for Change on my computer, made myself comfortable on the couch and got into it. I don't think I was 4 minutes in before I was tweeting him back telling him I already love this Doc. Here's the trailer so you can get an idea of the type of movie it is...

I started taking notes about half way through so I could remember what I wanted to talk about today, and just some things that I learned while watching this that I didn't know before. Let me start with something that I didn't know, and that shocked me when I learned about it.... where cocaine comes from (this is relevant, I promise).

Cocaine comes from a plant (point #1 I didn't know... I thought it was all chemically made) called the Coca Plant, which is native to South America. Cocaine basically is 1 part of the coca leaf that has been processed and extracted from the plant and turned into something very addictive obviously. It's 1 nutrient out of a plant that nature provided to us as a nutrient complex and we have gone and made it into 1 isolated "nutrient" or product. High fructose corn syrup is the EXACT SAME THING! High fructose corn syrup is 1 single element pulled from corn. Corn is a nutrient complex full of different nutrients and minerals and vitamins, but when we pull 1 isolated nutrient from it's kernel, it becomes some extremely addictive and it's causing people to become morbidly obese and leads to heart disease, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and ultimately death.

I've seen people argue the fact that they aren't addicted to food. Yes people, you are addicted to food... however this movie explains why it's not your fault. You are programmed to be addicted to food, of "food like products" as the experts in the documentary call it. Basically what is happening is that people are eating themselves to death. Your body is programmed to store fat when fat is available because thousands of years ago, after fat was available then there was a period of famine. Since so much food is available to us now, we never have that "famine" and never lose the fat that our body has strategically put on, and the foods we do eat don't nurture our bodies. There is no nutritional value in processed sugary foods or soda's and so our bodies aren't being fed. When our bodies aren't being fed, naturally it sends signals to our brains telling us that we're hungry, that we haven't been nourished so we continue to eat and eat and eat and never nourish our bodies, we just get bigger and bigger while starving our cells and tissues of the nutrients they need.

The documentary was such an eye opener for me as to how the food companies market things to us and what it does to our bodies and I've been studying and researching it for years! I would 10000% recommend EVERY SINGLE PERSON watch this documentary. It's currently on Canadian Netflix and even if you have to sign up for the first free month it's absolutely worth it.

If you've seen it, I'd absolutely love to know what you thought of it. If you haven't seen it, go watch it and then tell me what you think!

I'm off now to hit the books! I've studied for 6 hours today already and it's time to put in another 3 or 4. I'm studying the greatness that are herbs and how they help our body. It's totally interesting and I actually shared some information I learned over on my Facebook page for my Food For Thought series! If you haven't seen it or checked out my page, click here and "like" it to keep up to date since I share a lot of really interesting information on there!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post. Before I head to London, ON for our annual NYE celebrations, I'll be recapping the last year and hopefully pin pointing what I'm going to do in 2013 and I maaaay have a little fun giveaway planned for you fine people (either tomorrow or the next day!), I can't wait!! :)

Stay healthy,

Thursday, December 27, 2012

BFF Tats & Christmas Confessions

Good afternoon Beautiful,

Wheeew, what a day! If you live close by you'll notice that Toronto all of a sudden has snow! So crazy... we didn't have snow up until today and then BAM!... it's all white and slushy out there!

We didn't get home from Wingham until about 3pm yesterday because I wanted to stop in at Sport Chek and "chek" out their Boxing Day sales. We stopped originally in a small town on the way to Toronto but they didn't have any shoes in my size (seriously, what are the odds) so we ended up stopping just outside of Toronto. It was an absolute jungle out there. It took us like 30 minutes to find a parking spot and we actually went into Best Buy before heading over to Sport Chek. Best Buy was just a gong show. I don't understand why people line up or try and fight for sale items. To be honest, I don't think the sales that were there were worth the time and frustration that accompanies the whole Boxing Day experience. Sport Chek is a bit different because it's not as insane as tech stores... so I managed to keep my cool in that store! Check out what I got....

I'm super excited for them! I haven't used Asics since I started running often but C (who used to work in sporting footwear!) recommended Asics because they have good support which is something I think my current shoes are lacking. They definitely feel a lot more structured then my current Nikes, so hopefully it reduces some of the pain I get when I run. Wish me luck! They're totally motivation because, well, who wouldn't want to put those pretty shoes to good use? :)

We unpacked and put everything away and I instantly got onto my new laptop and transferred all of my personal documents from my work laptop to my new Mac and it took a few hours since I had a ton of photos to transfer! I'm so excited though, it's so much nicer than my work laptop, it's so much faster and so much better for doing all of my blogging and social media "stuff". The memory card from my DSLR camera fits into a slot directly into my laptop so I don't have to connect to the actual camera which is SO MUCH better since I'm trying to take better food photos for when I try new recipes.

After we had been home for a while, my best friend came over to spend the night and spend some time with me and C before she heads back to her home in Nova Scotia. I don't get to see Lauren often so it's always lovely when she comes by for a visit! We had planned to go out last night but then we all wanted to stay in and not go out in the cold and storm so we had some drinks, ordered some Greek food and watched Netflix all night! It was so much fun, I love low key nights in.

Today we made our way downtown Toronto around 11am, stopped for a snack at Starbucks, and became what we call "badasses". We got best friend tattoos! Hahaha, they're the most non-badass type tattoos, but it's funny to call it badass. Check it out!

And here we are WITH our tattoos...

Cute right? :P Our tattoos are a heart with an infinity symbol in the bottom of it. We found it on Google (probably 100% original...) and got it done at a tattoo parlour across the street from the Much Music studios. The tattoo artist literally took like 2 minutes on each of us because the tattoos themselves are so small. I went first and she told us that it would be like 10 minutes which I originally thought was nuts for such a small tattoo but then it took a lot less time. I had to sit so that my arm was behind me so she could get at the spot at the right angle, and held it down so I wouldn't move. There were definitely some tender spots like when she tattooed over the ulna bone but other than that it wasn't too painful. Cool huh? This is my third tattoo, but I'm not going to share my others on my blog (one's an "Om" symbol that I still like, and one is some asian writing for "living inside a dream" which I got when I was 17... oy.).

Now, onto my Christmas Vacation Confessions...

Because of the massive storm I haven't been able to run outside, but I'm planning on fitting in a workout later tonight and tomorrow morning. I feel like an Oompa Loompa since Christmas. I've ate too much, drank a lot of wine (which reminds me, I have to drink the Elderberry Wine that my Aunt Janis made.. YES, she made it, and it's all natural and there's no preservatives in it or anything, so I have to drink it before it goes bad, obviously) and exercised too little. Sound like anyone else? I think it's an all-to-familiar vicious cycle that people fall into over the holiday season. Lucky for me however, the food I ate wasn't BAD food. Granted, I did have a few black liquorice pieces and 1 short bread cookie (I swear to you, it was only 1) and the rest was all good, clean food... just a lot of it. Christmas dinner was a small piece of steak and my first taste of lobster tail, which turned into 2 lobster tails, and some peas and potatoes. I had gluten free organic pizza when everyone else got normal pizza and for breakfast we had bacon and eggs, the classic paleo breakfast.  I drank not nearly enough water as I should have, I drank a lot of tomato juice, tea and wine. The workout on Christmas Eve with my sister was a clutch part of the weekend and it definitely helped. 

I'm glad I got that out, because it's officially time for a fresh start. What is the plan exactly? That I'm still figuring out and will share with you during my next post. Stay tuned! :)

Were you like me over the holidays? Or were you better or worse? Tell me!! I'd love to get more chatter going on this blog via commenting so please check back to see if anyone has responded to your comments after you leave them. Also, I'm really trying to get more interaction over on my Facebook page. I started a "Food For Thought" series where I share some of my favourite foods/spices/herbs that come with amazing benefits and show you why you should be incorporating them into your day to day meal prepping. Click here to be taken there, and please "like" it so we can stay connected and share information together! If you're really feeling generous and wanting to spread the love today, feel free to join my blog via Google Friend Connect (by clicking "join this site" on the right hand side of my blog, it literally takes 1 minute). It's a great way to keep up to date with my blog posts, and of course, if you leave me a comment I'll join your blog too! :) What do you say?

Stay healthy,

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's Christmas! Fitness Goals for 2013

Good afternoon Beautiful,

Merry Christmas!! It's FINALLY Christmas!! I LOVE CHRISTMAS and have been counting down for a long time! We're up in my hometown of Wingham, ON and it's a white, white Christmas here!

We've been here since Sunday and it's been a whirlwind! Sunday was spent just hanging out and relaxing. Not much to share other than we enjoyed some different types of wine and I downloaded Battleship on my iPad and we played it all night - fun times! C beat both me and my mom at it, but I beat my mom so I at least walked away with one win. Phewf.

Yesterday my sister and I woke up and went to the town gym in Wingham and it was a lot busier than I remember it ever being. I used to work there part time actually and I guess at this time of year when everyone is back in town they have to get their workout on because nothing in Wingham is open Christmas day. Brooke and I worked up a nice sweat and I walked out of there with a massive bruise on my leg thanks to a lovely spin bike that jumped out in front of me... seriously, it's like a huge circle on the side of my thigh. I'll share a picture with you tomorrow... We worked on our backs and biceps and shoulders and abs and did a 5 minute warm up on the spin bikes. I pushed myself hard because 1. there was people in the gym that I went to high school with but didn't really know, I knew they would recognize me so I wanted to look intense, and 2, as much as I wanted to workout Christmas morning, I so knew I wouldn't have the willpower to workout before diving into the realm of the gifts under the tree.

After the gym we met my mom at the health food store in Wingham called Pandora's Pantry. I haven't been in that store for years but it has a ton of fun things that I never remember them having, maybe because it wasn't a priority to me at that time. I bought myself a single use protein powder for a shake because I didn't bring any with me, and some hemp hearts! They also had other things such as organic goji berries, maca root powder, tons of holistic supplements, gluten free products and organic foods. My mom bought my some gluten free pizza crusts because everyone was ordering pizza for dinner last night so I made my own homemade version. I got the gluten free crusts along with some organic pepperoni which was also gluten free and some tomato sauce and a sprinkle of cheese! It was delicious and much less guilty than if I were to have regular pizza. Score 1 for Sarah! After I finished my pizza I had a large salad with some hemp hearts sprinkled on just to top my delicious dinner off. Everyone else had chicken wings, I opted out. I really did want some though.

Our Christmas Eve Picture :)
This morning we woke up around 8:15 to texts from my really excited younger sister texting me asking me to wake up (my phone was on silent... for obvious reasons) so C and I got up around 8:15, got ready and were at my parents house before 9am where my little 88 year old grandma was waiting to watch us open out gifts like we are all still 6 years old. She's so cute. Without going into details I will let you know that I was absolutely spoiled rotten. I got a ton of new books (a paleo cook book, 2 fashion books from Nina Garcia and Lauren Conrad and a non-ficton book about the Casey Anthony trial that I found super interesting) and something really big that I may be typing this blog post on right now (I KNOW - SO spoiled...). I was really excited to give out all of my gifts and they were all very well received. Now I'm sipping on some white wine while waiting for some more family to arrive to make Christmas dinner. My family does things a bit differently and we usually BBQ steak for Christmas, but this year we're having steak AND lobster tails. Mmm..... lobster.

I've stuck to my diet quite well with the exception of wine and 2 chocolate coconut goodness that I got from my sister. I couldn't resist those bad boys. I also have been good for workouts, although I didn't keep my promise and workout this morning, the workout yesterday kicked ass and I'm sore today (not JUST my bruise, my muscles are sore too). Tomorrow we're heading back to Toronto and I'm for sure going for a run to try and burn some of this wine off.... sigh. I was thinking about goals for 2013, and what I accomplished in 2012. I want to share with you some of my fitness goals for 2013!

- Run 2 10km races, one in the spring and one in the fall.
- Run other shorter races and build my bling collection.
- Do yoga 1x/week.
- Strength my calf muscles.
- Swim 1x every other weekend, and do CrossFit 1x every other weekend.
- Run 3-4x/week.

I don't think my goals for 2013 are going to be too extreme because of my school work that I'm committed to.... but I think these are some good starting goals and now that I've shared them with you they're basically written in stone. I think they are definitely doable and nothing that I haven't done before, I just want to do them better this year! I think I want to stop and get some new runners tomorrow, hopefully I can get a sweet Boxing Day sale! Think C will be down for stopping en route home for some new shoes? :)

How was your Christmas?

What are your fitness goals for 2013? Share them here! Write them in stone with me so I'm not all alone! :)

Stay healthy,

Friday, December 21, 2012

Vacation, My Kitty & Brussels Sprouts.. Oh My!

Good evening Beautiful,

Guess what?
I’M ON HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh my gosh what a long friggen day it’s been. I kept myself UBER busy all day so I didn’t notice the time and managed to answer all of my emails, follow up with some things that don’t need to be followed up on until the new year, and just really tie up any loose ends I had out there and it was GREAT!  Although even though after I left work at 5:05pm I still had emails coming in… it’s never ending really. Because my day was so busy I actually didn’t get to fit in a workout, I didn’t have a single break all day and actually ate my lunch in two parts about 1.5 hours apart and I’m actually fairly hungry right now because of it. I should probably eat soon.
Oh my gosh I’m on vacation and it feels fantastic…. I can’t even describe this to you!
Do you all have anything planned for the weekend? Are you travelling home for the holidays or hanging out until it gets closer to the big day? Tomorrow I’m planning on getting my butt to another hot yoga class downtown at one of our GoodLife locations. I think that the hot yoga at GoodLife is a bit hotter than the hot yoga I went to this week at the Chopra Yoga Center. The last time I did hot yoga at GoodLife I remember sweating out of places I didn’t know could sweat, my shins, in between my fingers and toes, the tops of my feet, it’s pretty crazy. So I’m going to go to do a little detox on my skin (my skin is acne prone and sweating really helps it out!) and start my holidays off on the right foot. Then I plan on spending at least three hours studying my holistic nutrition course! I’ve been really trying to spend more time on it lately and I don’t know if I’m doing much better but I’m getting close to taking my first test so that’s really exciting and I really want to get this course done by the end of my holidays! Wish me luck!
Sunday is the day we’re taking the 2 hour drive to Wingham to see my family until Boxing Day, so we’ll probably just get up, get ready (hopefully I’ll be mostly packed by tomorrow night) pack up the last things that we’ll need and we’ll get on the road! I’m really excited to see my baby, my kitty Louie. I got him when I was living alone in London before C and I started dating. I got him when he was 6 weeks old from a family friend in Wingham who’s cat had a litter of kittens that they didn’t want to keep. This is how big he was when I first got him…

…. How could I not bring this little guy home??? I picked him out instantly, he was the only grey cat in the litter and he was soooo cuddly when I picked him up, he still is to this day. You can see his collar is too big for him in that picture… I had to make him wear it because it had a bell on it and it’s the only way I’d be able to hear where he was in my apartment, although every time I’d come home from work he’d have it off and unbuckled somehow (SO odd). This is how big he grew up to be…

…. But he’s still SO adorable and so cuddly and I love him. He’s about 3ish years old now and I love coming home to see him! My dad seems to get annoyed with him and my mom says she does but I secretly think she really loves him because every time I come home he’s all cuddled up on her lap and is just loving on her. Louie is also best friends with my parent’s 100lbs chocolate lab dog Jake. It’s an odd friendship but apparently I’m never allowed to have Louie back because breaking up the animals would be heartless…. So my family is going to keep him forever and ever!
Louie and Jake, napping together on the couch.
I haven’t talked about food in a while, or rather a specific food to teach you many great things about. I was sitting on the couch watching Ellen and really wasn’t planning on blogging tonight but I thought about what I had made for food this week and what I’m really loving but maybe other people aren’t because they don’t know the benefits! The first thing that came to my mind was brussels sprouts J.
It’s no secret that I’m a lover of brussels sprouts, I boil them, I make brussels sprout chips, I cut them up and put them in stir fries, they’re really just good in most things! A lot of people hate brussels sprouts because they taste like cabbage, but I also happen to enjoy cabbage so maybe that’s why I like Brussels sprouts. So why should you start eating brussels sprouts?
  1. They can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you steam them when cooking. The fiber in Brussels sprouts do a great job of binding with bile acids in the digestive tract when they’ve been steamed, which makes it easier to excrete and lower cholesterol.
  2. A recent study has shown that Brussels sprouts helps improve the stability of DNA inside our white blood cells after daily consumption of about 1.25 cups.
  3. 1 cup of raw Brussels sprouts contains 194% vitamin K, 124% vitamin C, 15% manganese, 13% folate, 13% fiber, 13% vitamin A, 10% potassium, and 10% vitamin B6 of our percentage of daily value.
Some of the benefits that Brussels sprouts provide to our health are:
-          Detox support
Brussels sprouts are a large source of glucosinolates which are a huge part of the enzyme systems in our cells which are required for detoxification of cancer causing substances from the body. Brussels sprouts are rich in sulfur and the body’s detox system needs ample supplies of sulfur to work effectively. Our body’s detox system needs strong antioxidant support and Brussels sprouts are able to provide that support due to the high source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese and vitamin E.
-          Antioxidant Support
Brussels sprouts are an important source of vitamin antioxidants which include vitamins A, C, E. Manganese is also a powerful antioxidant found in Brussels sprouts.
-          Anti-Inflammatory Support
Brussels sprouts can help us avoid chronic, excessive inflammation through a variety of ways. Vitamin K is important found in Brussels sprouts and is a direct regulator of inflammatory responses and we need enough of this vitamin to avoid excess inflammation. The omega-3 fatty acids in Brussels sprouts also help with anti-inflammation because omega-3 fatty acids are the building blocks for one of the body’s most effective families of anti-inflammatory message molecules.
-          There is also potentially promising research to examine the benefits of Brussels sprouts in treatments of Chron’s Disease, IBS, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes and ulcerative colitis. (source)
SEEEE – they’re good for you!
I’m off now though, I’m going to go whip up some Brussels sprouts now (hehe, just kidding) and sip some vino with my lovey! Anderson Cooper of course! J.
Let me know your plans for this weekend – I’m anxious to hear all of your exciting plans!
Stay healthy,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Five Days Till Christmas!! Five Workouts Till Christmas!!

Good evening Beautiful,

I’m sitting here with a glass of merlot in hand, Glee playing on Neflix, my nails freshly done and in my cozy clothes because it is insane cold and insane wet outside, but me… I’m good. J Did you know Glee is on Netflix? I’m super excited, I’m watching form the pilot episode because I never got into it because I know how hooked I’ll get watching it, I’m so in love with every musical thing I’ve ever seen (I know all the words to all the songs of Rent and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat). I’m trying to also get into Mad Men, I’m on episode 11 of season 1 and so far nothing too nuts has happened but I’ve heard a ton of people talk about it and how great it is, so I’m waiting for that to happen. Am I wasting my time? Obviously Glee is a better investment of time because at least I can sing along. J Does anyone want to go see the new Les Miserables movie with me in the New Year?
Guess what? It’s FIVE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Obviously… I’m a little bit excited. It’s 3 days until we’re heading back to Wingham to visit my family and I’m stoked about that as well. I get to workout with my sister (we’ll be sure to snap some photos for you), I might accompany her to her dietician appointment while I’m home just for fun, and then I’ll also be running Christmas morning BEFORE I go to my parents and open gifts (sorry Brooke – you’re a big girl and can wait till I get there J). Ok so I lied, I’m A LOT excited for Christmas, like normal J. I don’t like to admit this, but on Christmas Eve I have to take some Nyquil so I can actually sleep through the whole night, or else I wake up every hour on the hour until 7am and which time my sister is already awake, my dad’s awake and then I wake up C and my sister wakes up my mom. J. It’s like clockwork.
Today I started a new fun project on my Facebook page (if you haven’t “liked” it already, click here and do so!) and basically every day/every other day/whenever I want I’m going to share a tidbit of knowledge about a different food, or spice, or herb, some benefits and why you should use it! Today was about Oil of Oregano because so many people are getting sick now a days whether it be a cold, or a cough/chest thing or the flu. You can go to my Facebook Page and see it!! Anyways, the…. Series I guess (?) is called Food For Thought, so I’d love your feedback on the first post and would love if you can watch for others or give me feedback on what you’d like to see!
Today  because of the crappy weather I decided to do a workout indoors rather than go for a run outside. I started my workout with 5 minutes on the stepper on level 9 to get warm (for some reason my building/office is SO cold this week that I’d be willing to do cardio just to raise my core body temperature). Then I decided I wanted to do shoulders, biceps and back because my lower body is a bit sore from hot yoga yesterday. So this is what I did, I tried to do it really fast because I wanted to get a good sweat on and I needed to get back to my work to make sure I get everything done before the holidays:
Assisted Pull Ups
Lat Pulldown
Lateral Shoulder Raise Machine
Dumbbell Bicep Curls
Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Cable Upright Row
Cable Bicep Curl
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Finished! I upped my weight on a lot of those exercises so when I was done my arms were like jelly. It was hard for me to type when I got back to my desk! I plan on working out every day until Christmas (including my run on Christmas morning) which means I only have 5 workouts left until Christmas. I like counting down in workouts! How many workouts for you until Christmas?
I had my Sun Warrior protein shake when I was done, have I ever mentioned that Sun Warrior is the only protein that doesn’t make me bloated, since I don’t know when? Let me tell you a bit about my protein (no this is not a plus, this is me telling you why I like this protein)…
-          It’s a plant based protein.
-          It has a 98% correlation to mother’s milk and a 98.2% digestion efficiency making it one of the highest digestibility than other proteins.
-          It doesn’t use chemicals or acid hydrolysis, it uses organic enzymes and the process is 100% organic compliant.
-          It increases absorption and effectiveness of vitamins and minerals.
Anyways, the stuff is great and for more of an explanation you can click here to read more about it. I picked mine up at Live Food Bar but I know you can get it at other health food stores as well. It looks like this..

In case you’re looking for it of course.
My food today was great as well. Breakfast was leftover green stir-fry from last night with chicken and 4 chunks of sweet potato. My pre-workout snack was an orange and then after my workout I had my protein shake, a chicken breast and cucumber and cherry tomatoes. And now my glass of merlot! For dinner we’re making roasted potatoes and salmon fillets and I’m really excited because salmon is one of my favourite things to eat as I’ve mentioned before.
I’ve started thinking about goals for 2013 – have you made yours yet? Mine will be in a post closer to the end of the year so stay tuned. I can’t wait to be finally held accountable to my goals by all my readers!
Stay healthy,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Finally Did It!... Hot Yoga!!

Good evening Beautiful,

I am feeling SO much better today!! I actually had a WONDERFUL day today! Work was so unbelievably productive, I left work with only 7 emails in my inbox. I have a goal to get certain things done at work before the holidays so that I’m not stressing about it when I should be enjoying time with friends family and my lovely significant other. So, I’m on a roll to accomplish that!  I can’t wait to see what I get done tomorrow, I hope I’m in the same super-productive mood that I was in today.
Today was also AMAZE-BALLS in terms of my meals!! Since it’s Wednesday, I’m going to share “What I Ate Wednesday” even though I didn’t take any pictures…
Breakfast @ 9am – 6 meatballs, 6 sweet potato wedges and a vegetable mixture which included baby corn, snap peas, edamame, green beans, yellow beans and carrots
Lunch @ 2pm (I wasn’t hungry until this time! J) – the rest of my leftover Creamy Tarragon Chicken that I made Sunday night, some organic butternut squash soup (it was FREEZING in my office today so I needed something to warm me up) and some raw organic cherry tomatoes and raw cucumber slices.
Dinner @ 7pm -  I got home around this time from a fun workout I did today (I will touch base on this after I’m done telling you what I ate) and since C is sick, he didn’t want dinner, actually, I forced him to eat chicken noodle soup because he hadn’t ate all day… anyways, I raided the fridge, literally. There was some fresh produce that I know was going to go bad soon so I whipped up some sort of green stir fry which consisted of a quarter of a Spanish onion, butter, lemon grass, parsley, sliced brussel sprouts and baby bok choy. I added a splash of chicken broth, garlic powder and a few red chilli pepper flakes and then added some chicken I had left over and put it over some rice and it was SO GOOD. I wish I had snapped some photos because it was a lot of different shades of green, would have been cool. I was too hungry I suppose.
 Oh ya, I even took a pass on a slice of cake today… BONUS points!
I’ve been drinking a ton of water today along with some 100% organic cranberry juice. Do you know how disgusting 100% cranberry juice is? I dilute it so it’s like 25% juice, 75% water and it still makes my face go funny. First like this..

Then like this..

It’s not pretty, thank goodness I’m hidden in my cubicle all day. Anyways, the point is that I kept myself well hydrated today and that’s always something to brag about. OH! And I haven’t had coffee in like…… 2.5 days!! WHAT! I know, honestly I don’t know how I still have energy? Maybe I’ll give up on coffee all together and just have tea? That seems to be working J.
This past weekend the Chopra Yoga Studio opened on Queen’s Quay here in Toronto and it’s literally a ten minute walk from me. When you go there for the first time the class is free so I decided to do.. wait for it… HOT YOGA tonight!!!!!!! I totally did it, finally!! I’ve been saying how I need to just go and do it and I usually come up with an excuse not to go, but I finally did it and it was waaaaaay easier than I had worked it up to be in my mind. I wore my Canada Goose jacket and I think filling out the waiver in the jacket made me more hot than the actual class. Anyways, I got there and filled out the waiver. I had to borrow a yoga mat, thank goodness they have like 100 in stock. Class was free which was a bonus, but I had left my water bottle at work so had to buy a bottle. It wasn’t cold but it wasn’t an issue. She gave me a tour of the studio, and away I went. I laid out the mat and the mat towel which they also lent me, and laid in corpse pose until the instructor came in.
I was definitely getting a bit warm just lying there but it felt so good because I was freezing cold all day long. The class actually wasn’t as hot as I thought it would have been. I didn’t use the towel I borrowed in case I sweat, and I only drank half a bottle of water. By the end of the class I wasn’t even sweating, I was just nice and warm. There was one point when I felt a drip come to my chin, but that was the only time. I really enjoyed the class, it was Hot Hatha. The instructor was so cool, and he adjusted my body many times to help me out which I always appreciate. Yoga always reminds me how tight my lower body is. It’s getting better, but my hips are the worst. My hips actually used to be the most flexible things on my body when I was in dance. Even in yoga I’ve done before, hip openers were a joke for me because they were so flexible. Not anymore! I think I need a physio or chiro to adjust my right hip. Maybe.
It was so cold when I got out of the room I instantly wanted a big hoodie around me. My Canada Goose coat did fine. I walked on home and then made my fabulous dinner that I mentioned above.
Good day today, huh?
Anyways, I’m off to do some reading and note taking for schooling purposes. What did you do to get your sweat on today?
Stay healthy,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Pre-Holiday Funk

Good evening Beautiful,

We have officially made it to hump day (tomorrow) and before you know it, I’m going to be on vacation!! Woohoooo! It CAN’T come faster, seriously. This week has been a serious overload at work. The end of December/beginning of January is always an INSANE time in the fitness industry thanks to everyone who wants to join the gym as a New Year’s resolution which means I get to work late every single day this week. J. Last night I worked an extra 2 hours when I got home from work, and tonight I worked an extra hour. I actually worked from home today because I was feeling under the weather this morning. I drank a ton of fluids and took some of my antibiotics that I got at the clinic last night and eventually started to feel a bit better this afternoon.
Because my day consisted of doing a lot of emails and spreadsheets, my eyes started getting super tired and I knew I needed a break. I was feeling good, wasn’t in as much pain as in the morning so I decided to head on out to do a light run. I haven’t ran outside since the Toronto Women’s 8km race at the end of October, so it’s literally been like two months since I’ve ran outdoors. I wore my Adidas compression socks and my Mizuno headband to keep my ears warm and headed out. I wore my GPS watch but as soon as I told it to start tracking it told me “Low Battery!” and died, at least I looked intense with a big watch on my wrist. I may, or may not have, looked at it a few times while running on busy streets to make me look like a very serious runner. J
It was perfect weather for a run. It was cloudy, but the blue sky was peeping out here and there and the sun got through every now and then. I wanted to do just a small run since it’s been a while since I’ve hit the pavement so I aimed for 3km. Since my GPS was dead I just had to wing it. I did a massive circle around my condo and my hip pain only started in the last few minutes of the run! Not bad either! I came home and stretched out for about 5 minutes, I should have stretched for longer while my muscles were warm and flexible but I was excited to hit up Map My Run online to track and see how far I ran. Turns out I ran 3.7km – not bad! Because it was such a good run, it’s making me want to start running more again. That and I feel like I’m gaining weight which is a massive no-no.
I read a post from a fellow health and fitness blogger yesterday (click here for the full blog post – thanks Jennifer!) about how she’s been in such a “funk” lately. She’s been slacking in her workouts, slacking with her blog, slacking with food prep and slacking on Twitter and whatnot. I could NOT relate more to her…. I’ve been in the exact same funk as her, and I’m officially naming it the Pre-Holiday Funk. I’ve been focusing on doing weight training lately and I think I’m getting bored with my program. The run today definitely lit the spark in me again. I’ll be doing a few more runs before Christmas and my goal is to get up and run before heading to my parent’s house on Christmas morning. Seriously – I’m so doing it. I’m committing to 2 10km runs in 2013, and other smaller ones. I’m not going to do another half-marathon this year because it took a lot out of me and I think I would get injured trying to do it again (us tall folks aren’t as good of runners as you shorties!!) and it took a lot of time which I need to put into school.
As for the other things I’ve been slacking with. First off – this blog. I’m used to posting a blog almost every day, at least 5 days a week. I’ve been going 2-3 days without posting and I know it probably doesn’t bother anyone but me, but it reeeeally bothers me. I haven’t been doing nearly as many fun recipes and in turn haven’t been sharing them with you which makes me sad. I haven’t been spending as much time studying my school work and I blame that on being busy at work…. The thing I’m being paid to do must come first, always! I can always catch up on school work over the weekends and stuff… Since I’m off all next week at least 2 days will be dedicated to just reading and learning about the wonderful world of Holistic Nutrition. I’ve been slacking on Twitter, but I’m excited to get on #fitblog tonight and catch up with people I haven’t connected with in a long time!
Honestly, meal prep hasn’t been THAT bad, but what I’m eating is getting boring. I usually eat leftovers which aren’t too bad depending on dinner, but at lunch I ALWAYS have a ton of raw veggies and some form of protein. I’m just getting bored of it so I find myself snacking on not-so-healthy things. Yesterday for example, I worked all day, didn’t work out and nibbled slightly on my lunch. After I was at the clinic and going to get my medication from the pharmacy and decided a bag of dill pickle chips would be so great and I opened the bag as soon as I left the drug store and walked home while eating them, out of a BIG bag of chips, not an individual serving. I couldn’t even wait until I got home was what was really standing out to me! Oy vey.
So anyways, the point of this post is to let you all know how I plan to stay healthy over the holidays, because clearly I’m not doing a good job at it right now.
  1. I’m going to start running again since today totally motivated me to get out and hit the pavement since the weather is cold and there’s no snow this year. Where I’m going for Christmas doesn’t even have snow, and it’s usually the armpit of Ontario. I will be running while back in my town too. Just short runs, 3-5km to get my body used to it again.
  2. I’m going to try and do my runs as early as possible while away for the holidays so that I can get them over with and I won’t need to find time later in the day (when I WON’T want to do it) and eventually just making an excuse to not do it. NO MORE EXCUSES!
  3. I will be avoiding all baked goods and replacing it with fresh fruit or vegetables. I will ensure my breakfasts are packed with protein so I set myself up for success through the whole day. If I’m feeling “hungry” (aka. Bored or “just because) I will have a glass of water instead! A lot of people mistake hunger for thirst, so before I eat I will eliminate the chance that I’m just thirsty!
  4. I will *try* not to consume too many adult beverages. J
Those are my goals until January 1! What is your favourite tip for staying healthy over the holidays? Leave me a comment below and tell me – I’d love to hear it!
PS - Christmas wrapping has been finished.... Look! So pretty :). Now, to figure out how to get them all in the car.......
Stay healthy,

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why Aren't Weekends 5 Days Long?

Good evening Beautiful,

This weekend has absolutely worn me out and I need an extra day of rest. Holy man… I’m struggling to keep my eyes open as I write this, but I haven’t blogged since Thursday and it’s so unlike me, but this weekend was so busy!
When I got home from work on Friday I had full intentions of telling you all my weekend plans, but I literally passed out in bed, woke up to C cooking dinner (good man), ate dinner, watched some How I Met Your Mother and passed out in bed around 11. I’m not sure why I was so exhausted, I guess it’s because of how busy work is getting going into the new year and that and getting ready for the holiday’s seems to be taking a lot out of me! 
Saturday came around and I woke up around 8am. Out of principle that I always want to sleep in, I decided to stay in bed and I curled up and watched Mirror, Mirror with Julia Roberts because it was on tv. It’s another take on the classic Snow White and I totally thought it was great! After it was over I got my butt out of bed and C and I headed out to Etobicoke to go to the mall there to wrap up our Christmas shopping. I got C some stocking stuffers and we had a friend’s birthday party last night so I wanted to find something nice and cheap to wear. I kind of got into a shopping funk (you know, that mood you get when you just aren’t in the shopping zone and you can’t find ANYTHING suitable in a massive mall?) but eventually found last night’s ensemble (I will post pictures momentarily). We went into this watch store because I had asked for a watch for Christmas and C wanted to know exactly which one I wanted because I had given him a lot of options and he didn’t want to mess it up (makes sense). I found the watch I like and C bought it right then!! We got it sized and he told me I could just wear it and it would be an early Christmas present, fine by me! This is my new baby:

Marc by Marc Jacobs, all gold, totally wicked watch. LOVE!
We got home from the mall and I crashed into bed and had a nap. I’m not sure why but every time I go shopping I feel the need to nap afterwards, anyone else the same way? Then last night we went out for our friend Michelle’s birthday which was at Brassaii on King St here in Toronto. I usually only ever go to Brassaii for Michelle’s birthday festivities actually, but it’s a really nice place! This is what one of the bars looked like…

… We got there around 10:30 and stayed and danced till about 3am. I wore my black satin pumps out and thank God I brought my Fast Flats (If you wear heels and you don’t know what Fast Flats are – click here, they are a god sent) because I wore them most of the night, gave my feet a rest and rocked the heels on the walk home pretty comfortably.
Suzanne and I!

My dress I finally found

Birthday girl

After we ate, we finally got to bed around 4am, only to wake up around 10 this morning for no real reason. I watched a few hours of Mad Men on Netflix and then we headed out to North York to meet up with some of my cousins for our annual Secret Santa gift exchange and “lupper”. We went to The Prop on St. Clair W and it was so adorable. It’s a little café type place and my food was so good! I had baked eggs in a tomato sauce with basil and a side of bacon and fresh fruit along with a green tea. I was super excited about my gift too because my secret Santa got me this:

I don’t have a Paleo cookbook yet so this is my first one! It has so many delicious things in it, I’m actually doing one of the recipes tonight that I will share with you in a bit! Anyways, after our secret Santa date, we went to Canadian Tire to really wrap up the Christmas shopping and I got a few extra roles of wrapping paper because I’m almost all out, stopped at Loblaw’s and here we are, barely keeping my eyes open – tonight will be a GREAT sleep!
I didn’t work out once this weekend and ate like absolutely garbage with the exception of Friday night and my lupper at The Prop today. After Christmas shopping at the mall yesterday we were in Walmart and we were both absolutely starving even thought I had a great breakfast of butternut squash and some steak. We caved and went for the McDonald’s… I had a bottle of water and 20 of those little popcorn chicken pieces that they have out now, and a few bites of C’s Big Mac (oops). You can ask anyone who knows me well, I’m not a huge fan of McDonald’s, and hardly EVER eat there when other people around me do. For the longest time all I ate there were their yogurt parfaits, but these little chicken pieces were pretty darn good! For dinner Saturday night we ordered Mexican food again. I had a burrito bowl which is basically the inner contents of a burrito in a salad form. It was delish! I also ordered a real burrito for after the bar and it was also just as delightful. This morning while dealing with my self-induced flu, I may have ate some Asian ramen noodles. Damn. They were tasty though.
We found out on Friday that for Christmas back in Wingham, we won’t have to bunk in my little sister’s room! Haha, she has a tiny bed and the sleeps that C and I have there are never usually the greatest, but my mom’s friend, I call her Aunt Diane, and her husband are going to Vegas over Christmas and told us we could stay there! It’s literally one street up so it’s like a 3 minute walk to my parents’ house, and they have a king sized bed, a treadmill, a really nice house in general so we jumped at the chance to get a sound sleep at their house! I’m not sure if I told you my goal yet, but my goal is to either get up Christmas morning and go for a 5km run outside, or since we’re staying at Aunt Diane’s house now, to run 5km on their treadmill. It might be funny running through Wingham on Christmas morning but that’s never really stopped me, and they have no snow which is an obvious plus. I might still run outside just for the refreshing feeling of running outside. I’m sure my sister will kill me because that means present opening will be delayed slightly – sorry Brooke!
So the recipe tonight out of my new paleo cookbook is this:
Creamy Tarragon Chicken
1.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of finely chopped tarragon
1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
¼ of a lemon
2 tsp of chicken broth concentrate
1. Cut the chicken into ½-inch slices. Salt and pepper lightly.
2. Put your big heavy skillet over medium-high heat and slosh the oil around. When the oil is hot, add the chicken in batches – don’t crowd it. Saute till it’s done through and has a little golden colour.
3. Return all chicken to the skillet and stir in the tarragon.
4. Pour in the coconut milk, and broth concentrate and stir it up. Let it simmer for a few minutes to cook down a little. Now squeeze in the juice from your lemon wedge and stir it in. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.
They recommend that this would be good over a bed of cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash but it’s up to you. It yield’s 4 servings and has 373 calories, 23g fat, 39g protein, 2g carbohydrate, trace dietary fiber and 2g net carbs per serving. Cool that the book tells you that, right?
Alright folks, I'm calling it a night - I hope you all will sleep as well as I plan to!
Stay healthy,
Oh – I’m not sure if I’ve told you this yet or not but C started a blog too… he now blogs about his experiences with my sleep talking, it’s pretty funny. Click here to go on over and give him some love!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Little Red Wine? Yes, Please!

Good evening Beautiful,

I don’t know about you but I’m about ready for this week to be over, I’m pooped and I still have 1 more day to get through… 1000 apologies but this is going to be short but sweet!
Today was the annual GoodLife Corporate Wellness pot luck lunch! It was delicious and there was SO MUCH FOOD. I should have taken photos but the idea didn’t really come to me. There was turkey, meatballs, potatoes, salad, samosa’s, Mexican taco soup, veggie trays, fruit trays, different casserole type stuff that I’m not sure had an official name, and the desserts…. Sooo…. Much…. Desserts! Someone brought homemade chocolate candy cane ice cream, someone brought a chocolate trifle, there was also this red velvet cheesecake ball with vanilla cookies as “crackers” too. I totally behaved myself and only had a few pieces from the fruit tray for dessert. I actually had a lot more self-control than I thought I would!
We also did a fun gift exchange! I picked a gift and it was a $20 LCBO gift card! Unfortunately people were allowed to steal your gifts if they wanted it, so someone stole my card! Boo. Then I picked a new gift and it was a box of gourmet cookies! My mouth was watering and I wanted one so bad. Unfortunately the whole “paleo” thing and the whole “being diabetic thing” didn’t really go well with the cookies, but I didn’t want to make a fuss. One of my bosses afterwards however knew that I wouldn’t be able to eat the cookies so she traded with me and took the cookies which I’m SURE she will enjoy and gave me the bottle of red wine that she had picked. How nice!!! I was definitely grateful but sad because I wish I could have ate the whole box of cookies.
That being said, thank goodness I didn’t have dessert because I didn’t get to work out today or yesterday. Yesterday I worked from home because I had to go visit a company that has a corporate partnership with us (GoodLife). Cambridge Mercantile is a company that does day trading, so I went in to do a quick speech on the GoodLife program that they have. Have you ever seen the movie “Wallstreet” with Michael Douglas? I believe it’s at the very beginning of the movie where it shows all of the day traders behind hundreds of computers, phones ringing, people yelling for other people to pick up the phone… this is VERY accurate. Cambridge Mercantile I don’t think is as BIG as the place on the movie, but it’s the same idea – ton’s of computers, tons of ringing phones, people moving very quickly and I even heard a few times “Phone! Number 7 for John!!!!!!!!!” (I made up the name John, I can’t remember the actual name).
On a random side note, I think Dr. Phil’s wife is kind of annoying and seems uncomfortable in front of the camera. It bothers me when he puts her on tv, I want to change the channel.
Anywho – tomorrow is WOD day at the gym. I haven’t been to CrossFit in a long time but I’m pretty consistent with doing WODs on my own! I’m not sure which one I’ll be picking, Jenny will want to do one with me and I want to sweat like a pig to make up for these past two days. Which WODs are your favourite? I prefer the body weight ones as I can’t guarantee that we have the right equipment at our gym location. After the WOD I want to get seriously comfortable with the rowing machine and spend like half an hour on it instead of 10 minutes like I did last time.

Today for my Foodie Schoolie (I just came up with that… I might continue using it when I’m about to teach you something cool about food.) I’m going to talk about red wine because of the bottle I got today. Red wine seems to be growing in popularity mostly because people keep talking about the potential health benefits that red wine can provide. It looks like the health benefits of red wine are thanks to the presence of resveratrol, melatonin and flavonoids.

Flavonoids are known to help protect the body from cancer due to the antioxidants that they provide. They help neutralize free radicals in the body which if aren’t neutralized can lead to over stimulation of cell production which in turn could lead to cancer (which is an overproduction of cells in the body). Melatonin helps to delay the oxidative damage and inflammatory processes typical of older age. Resveratrol is produced naturally by the skin of grapes during the fermentation process of wine making. A study in June 2008 found that resveratrol is effective at protecting the heart when consumed in large doses as well as when it’s consumed in low doses starting at middle age which leads to a healthier heart and a better quality of life!
Although red wine has been credited to helping keep the heart healthy, obviously some effects of red wine aren’t as positive. Wine is an alcohol beverage (obviously) and any pregnant females should not consume it. Alcohol may also increase the risk of developing breast cancer in women (2 drinks per day can increase chances by 10%). Red wine may also trigger migraines in people who have had them before due to the accumulation of histamines and tannins from contact with the skin of the grape during the fermentation process over a long period of time. It can also elevate triglycerides (which are associated with diabetes) and increase weight gain if consumed often. (source)
I always say that some things are better in moderation and I think wine is one of them! It would fall under the “mostly” part of your (mostly) healthy life J.
Anyways folks – I’m off to wrap gifts and get some studying in! I hope you’re having a great week and that you have the strength to make it through the last day of the week!
Stay healthy,

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Meat Breakfast & Foodie Photos!

Good evening Beautiful,

I’m sitting here writing while watching Dr. Phil, so I apologize in advanced if it’s a bit choppy, I tend to stop in the middle of paragraphs and try to remember my train of thought while I’m watching the Doc… he’s the best.
Ok so since I wrote about how I had goji berries for breakfast yesterday and mentioned that I usually have steak or chicken for breakfast and had some funny comments about it (yes, you Jenna! Haha!) so I thought I’d give you the low-down on how this all started. When I first moved to Toronto I was working at one of our GoodLife Fitness locations as a Customer Service Rep and worked with a lot of really cool and really passionate personal trainers. All of them were/are avid Paleo enthusiasts and originally I thought it was just some fad thing. I worked there for about 5 months and I actually didn’t even research anything about the Paleo Diet until after I had left to go work in my current position. Because I had worked so closely with said personal trainers, I knew where to start my research, Charles Poliquin. He’s very close with one of my favourite trainers at the club and actually came in to our club for a workout once, he’s a huge, lean, muscle building machine!
The original article that I read about the “Meat and Nuts Breakfast” is found here, but let me share the first paragraph with you:
When people ask me for the best single dietary tip for optimal leanness, energy and sustained mental focus, I invariably tell them to try the rotating meat and nuts breakfast. Clients ranging from NHL & NFL stars to corporate executives rave about the increased mental acuity and focused energy they derive from this food combination. The meat allows for a slow and steady rise in blood sugar. The nuts provide a great source of healthy smart fats that allows the blood sugar to remain stable for an extended period of time.
I’ve also written about this before and these were the few points I posted about...
-          Meat allows for a slow, steady rise in blood sugar rather than a spike.
-          Nuts provide a great source of healthy smart fats that allows blood sugar to remain stable for an extended period of time.
-          Improved mental clarity, increased energy, better appetite control, and reduced cravings throughout the day.
-          Fat loss and muscle gain have also been very noticeable very quickly when making this one change to your diet.
And just to be clear, this doesn’t mean that you just crush a huge steak for breakfast… remember, a serving of meat is the palm of your hand (I think), and I learned it can totally be bigger than the palm of your hand slightly, but ensure the thickest part of the meat is in the palm and that should be pretty close to a serving (thank you Whole30!). Also, you should always be eating more veggies and dark leafy greens than meat… The Paleo Diet is not an excuse to just eat chicken all day so please practice self-control! And eat lots of vegetables and fruits, obviously. J
So last night, like I had mentioned, I went all “photographer” with my dinner and my Cannon camera. I got the camera for Christmas last year from C, however C uses it like 95% more than I do and he knows about 195% more about it than I do about the camera so I told him that he just needs to let me learn how to take a sweet photo because he’s not going to be around to show me every time. For dinner we had salmon fillets, plantains and I had baked kale. These are the photos I got out of it:
Dinner, before it's cooked

Fresh kale ready to get baked

An attempt at being artistic

Another attempt

Did I mention I had some wine?

Delicious plantains after I cooked them
Christmas tree - again, with the artistic thing
Can you see what's in the mirror? :)

Kind of good, right? I’ll be using the Cannon to take more food pictures for sure!
My arms are so tired, and typing seems to be making them tired. Today for our workout, Jenny and I did chest, shoulders and legs. I wrote down all the exercises we did however I left the list at work, so like usual this is coming from memory and I might have missed something, but most likely not. J
Pec Deck
Chest Press Machine
Leg Curl
Leg Extension
Lateral Shoulder Raise Machine
Leg Press Machine
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Lateral shoulder raise with dumbbells
Squats holding a medicine ball in front of us
Squats at the squat rack with barbell and weights
Hammer Strength Chest Press
Walking Lunges
BOOM! And now I’m fatigued, but I guess that was the point right! I 'm doing another photoshoot with the lovely and talented Tara Noelle in the spring (to see some of her work, click on her button on the right hand side of my page!) and so I want to be in primal shape... I might have to start running outside soon again. Every time I run I seem to hurt... how didn't I hurt all through my half-marathon training? Either way, I'm probably going to want some new gear but I'm trying to save... I found a cool website that ships anywhere in the world and they have gear for a ton of sports including running (some seriously cool running gear).. check it out here! It's called Millet Sports and I mostly just love that I can get gear probably not available here in Canada and they'll ship here (tons of on-sale items too!). I really like this jacket for spring/winter running and these shoes to go along with it... so cute. I love purple. Let me know what you think!
Tonight for dinner we’re roasting a whole chicken and I’m going to do some more plantains, squash and brussel sprout chips! I’m also going to make some butternut squash soup which I will be photographing and sharing with you tomorrow! As you may remember if you’ve been reading for a while, the last time I tried to make butternut squash soup it turned out to be more like mashed squash (similar to mashed potatoes) and wasn’t exactly “soup”. If you’re interested, you can read about the whole embarrassing attempt here.
I’m working from home tomorrow because I’m going to visit a trading company to inform them all about their corporate discount at GoodLife and I usually get awkward and really nervous and shy when I’m asked to speak in front of people, so I guess it’s good that I’m going to face my fear even though it never gets easier – wish me luck!
Stay healthy,