Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Happy Monday #1!

Hey loveys,

Ok... here's the deal. I've been seriously lacking at everything except going to school and going to work lately. I've been meaning to blog for the longest time.... bahhhhhhhhh.

Life has not been the most healthy lately. I'm going to flat out admit that. I go to school, I come home and do school work and that's literally all I do. It's been a LONG time since I've seen any of my friends outside of work, C and I haven't had a night out together in forever.... thank god the man comes and sees me when I'm working because that's the only time we are social together lol.

Right now I'm in the home stretch of my first semester. What does this mean? My focus is literally 100% on my school. When I find myself watching TV or sitting on my computer doing nothing productive, I feel bad and I instantly start either proof reading an essay that's due soon, or studying marketing online, or making summarized notes from my Business & Human Resources class so that I can study easier (just reading a plain old text book doesn't work for me).

In 3 weeks I will have 2 weeks off before I start my spring semester. YEP... This girl is going to school through the summer. Why?? I started school in January rather than in September so in order to get caught up with my school mates, I go to school during the summer in my first year. I registered for next semesters classes this week.... I'll be taking:

Project Management
Business Presentation Skills
Professional Communication
Business Computer Applications II
Principles of Marketing II
Mathematical Analysis for Marketers
Principles of Accounting

Oh goodie... accounting. Lol. Sounds like SO MUCH FUN!!.... I'm half kidding. I'm kind of a huge math nerd.. as in I love math. The only thing I don't like about accounting is when I can get the silly balance sheet to actually balance but whatever, I will cross that bridge when I get there and not worry about it now.

I was thinking to myself today about how I could entice myself to blog more and be more excited about blogging... and I was then thinking about my week ahead and mainly about tomorrow. I have English from 8-11 and the rest of my day is mine (to study) but it's going to be twelve degrees and sunny out so I might go for a run outside.... and then I thought about how a lot of people hate Monday's because it's basically the 1 day of the week that's furthest from the weekend. I personally love Mondays and I'm thinking that maybe each Monday we can start a group of bloggers to participate in "My Happy Monday"! 
My (Mostly) Healthy Life

So basically my goal with this new weekly posting theme is to try and bring some fun and happiness into Monday, which I know a lot of people don't enjoy. Some things to discuss?

What will be or has been the best part of your Monday?
What was the first thing that made you smile on this Monday?
What are you looking forward to about your Monday?
How did you get your Monday off to a healthy start?
What makes you the most happy about Mondays?
Share a photo of your favourite meal on Monday

The possibilities are endless really. But I want us to get together and really try and see the greatness that are Mondays!!


Ok - this week will be week 1. I understand that this is super short notice... but if you're interested, grab the button up top "My Happy Monday" and add it in your blog post.. Tweet to me @sarahohm and use the hashtag #MyHappyMonday and we can check out each other's posts and share them and spread the Monday Love!! You can add your link as well so we can keep a collection of posts!



I will be participating too - I can't wait to read your posts!
Sarah

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The 1 Exercise I Must Conquer

Hey loveys,

I hope everyone is having a great week! Happy Hump Day!

Today I'm ridiculously sore. I think every single muscle in my entire body was worked in my workout yesterday. Yesterday was my LAST training session with my Personal Trainer at Optimal Body Fitness (WWAHHHHHHH) and I was pushed to my limit for sure! I will talk more about my experience in a couple of days, but today I wanted to write about something I found probably most physically challenging during my 3 months at OBF. Negative Pull Ups.

The reason that this exercise sticks out to me most is because I consistently always ALWAYS was the most sore after doing these bad boys. They are a way to work on progressing to accomplishing an actual pull-up without having to use the "assisted pull up" machine at the gym. Each set I would do would be 6 reps. I vividly remember doing it for the very first time and I could barely get out 4 in my first set (4 sets), and by the end I could only do 1 or 2 in a set. Last night I "completed" all 6 reps in each set. By completed, I mean Deanna helped me with my legs so I could lower myself down slowly, but I didn't just crash and burn which is a huge accomplishment.

So what exactly is a negative pull-up? I searched Google images and found the perfect photo to explain:


So basically you jump from a bench or a box until the "start" position and you slowly lower yourself down into the "end" position, I did it on a count of 4. Then you set your feet back on the bench/box and jump right back up again, six times.

Literally after 1 set of these I could feel the muscles in my ribs already fatiguing. If you're not used to doing pull-ups, this exercise in brutally amazing. There was 1 point in my life where I successfully did 1 pull-up, and I'm hoping if I keep doing negatives I will be able to get it back soon. So why negatives?? Why not just use the assisted pull up machine that you see at the gym? I did some research...

1. You learn proper form to perform a full pull-up. Once you can do a 30 second negative pull-up, you should be able to perform 1 full pull-up. (Holy eff, 30 seconds is a LONG time)

2. You will get greater strength increases. The goal of a negative is to move as slowly as possible, rather than just letting your body drop down, this is called eccentric training. Eccentric training causes greater muscle tissue breakdown which leads to faster increases in muscle strength and size... says Dr. Len Kravitz (Whom I know personally from my years working at canfitpro.. he is AMAZING).

3. Core activation! Negative pull-ups mainly focus on upper body, but it also works your core. As you lower yourself slowly, your abs kick in to minimize leg swing, and stop your lower back from arching and giving you a kick ass core workout as well. I can vouch for this.. my abs are SORE.
(source)

This is one exercise I will 100% continue doing because I so want to be able to do pull-ups. I really hope they start getting easier soon....

Have you ever done a negative pull-up? Can you do a full pull-up??
Sarah

Thursday, March 13, 2014

4 Ways To Squeeze In Food When You're Busy At Work!

Hey Lovey,

I don't know why, but today I woke up at 5am... my alarm was set for 5:39 (yes... I never set it for an even time..) so I figured there was probably no point in going back to sleep so I had a shower and for once, I'm not in a massive rush! I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a morning person. Or.. rather... I never USED to be a morning person. Still, if I had my choice between being up at 5am or sleeping until 10, I will choose sleeping in every time. This morning though, I feel awake. I feel like it was a good decision to wake up at 5am, and here I am actually using my time productively and writing this blog!

I was speaking with a woman I went to high school with on Facebook yesterday, and I literally probably haven't talked with her since high school. She reached out to me via a comment on my blog yesterday telling me how she's enjoying my blog and how she's trying to figure out how to make her life a little more healthier because she's finding it difficult since she's working in a hospital and has a little son at home to take care of. She mentioned she doesn't have a ton of time to go to the gym and that quick/easy at-home workouts are her best bet. She was also curious about how to better prep her day so that she's not grabbing food at fast-food places, and stuff like that.

As much as I would like to think I'm super organized when it comes to life, I'm not. I'm actually the worst at food prep... I try it out and 3 days goes past and "life" happens and my meal prep time is out the window. The good news for me is that if I'm out and about here in Toronto, it's not hard to find something healthy to eat like a salad from Freshii or some delicious vegan food at Fresh. For people back in my hometown though, it's a bit harder since all there really is in Wingham is Tim Hortons, Pizza and Subway.

So just because I'm not good at meal prepping myself, doesn't mean I don't know what you should be doing to be successful at it yourself. I'm super glad that this woman reached out to me because I really do enjoy finding out what people like to read best, so today I'm going to share some of my tips on being prepared so that you don't have to buy food at unhealthy food places.

Protein Powder
There are A MILLION different types of protein powder and you can basically buy it anywhere now a
days. When I'm working, I always bring a shaker cup and a scoop of protein powder with me so that I can drink it over the course of a couple hours when I'm helping customers. It helps keep my metabolism going by giving me calories, and helps keep me full due to the protein. However, make sure you READ THE LABELS on your protein. Some protein is meant to help people gain weight (these are called gainers), and there are SO MANY calories in this type of protein (700 as opposed to 120). If your'e lactose intolerant, you want to avoid Whey as it's made from dairy protein. Do some research before you spend $70 on a bunch of protein. I personally try and stick with the most natural form of protein so I use a raw, vegan protein called Sun Warrior. If you're taking protein with you, remember to bring only the dry powder, don't mix it with water until you're actually ready to drink it or the protein will break down and won't be effective (and will taste gross).

BCAA's

BCAA's or Branch Chained Amino Acids are similar to protein (I sip these while I workout) where they provide all of the essential amino acids that your body needs. Since I started using BCAA's, I've been less hungry and I recover a lot better from my workouts than when I don't use them. I sometimes bring a scoop of these to work as well because it's easier to drink than a protein shake. BCAA's come in a million different flavours and taste more like juice than like a protein shake. BCAA's help you to burn fat, maintain muscle during prolonged exercise, helps prevent muscle soreness when training and help keep immunity high. I will bring a scoop in a water bottle and mix it when I'm ready to drink it.

Small Meals
If you have a job (like a job at a hospital) where you're going long shifts and your on your feet all day, it's important to keep your body fuelled so that you can maintain your energy throughout the day. This part will definitely require meal prep. Try and get in a small meal every 3ish hours. I used to make meals that I could mix all together and just shove in my mouth (literally). What I would do is make sure everything is perfectly ready to just eat. I would chop up baby spinach, chop up tomatoes, throw in some ground chicken and half an avocado with sea salt.. and when I was ready, I would just mix it all together and eat it. The avocado is creamy enough that it doubled as my healthy fats and as a salad dressing. Because everything is cut up and the chicken is ground, I didn't have to worry about anything but shoving that food in my mouth. Preparing meals like this is easiest if your day is crazy insane and you don't have time to sit down and eat a meal that way.

Bars
Yes, yes... some people will say that bars aren't a good substitute for food, but I think that they are better than NO food. They are easy to carry in your purse and you can actually find some that taste GOOD :). My favourite snack bar is Coconut Cream Lara Bars. They are like heaven in my mouth and my mouth actually starts to water when I think about them. My second favourite bars are Clif Bars, my favourite is the Crunchy Peanut Butter flavour. It's a dense bar so it fills me up for a good amount of time, and is easy to eat when I'm running back and forth for work. When looking for a bar, try and find one with a lesser amount of sugar and a higher protein content. This way it will keep you full longer and will help nourish your muscles! :)

Some other meal prepping tips for you:
- Choose one or two times per week where you spend and hour or so preparing food that you can throw together for healthy meals until the next time you prep.
- Don't buy SO MUCH produce that you end up throwing it out. It's so unmotivating to throw away all the goodness you bought at the grocery store. Its better to go buy fresh veggies 2 or 3 times a week, than throwing out $50 in good food.
- Buy containers so that you aren't scrambling for ways to bring food with you to work. Glass is preferred if you're heating up your meals, but if you're eating them cold, plastic is fine.

And always remember to stay hydrated! Sometimes we feel hungry because we are actually just thirsty (which causes us to eat more food) so try and drink 500mL every hour that you're awake during the day. If you're not used to it, you will pee A TON, but eventually that goes away and you're all hydrated and healthy! :).

What's your go-to tip for avoiding fast-food restaurants when working?

PS - if you haven't already done so, make sure you enter my giveaway so you could win 1 of 20 bottles of Miracle 10 SPF! It's one of my favourite products and is perfect since the sun will be coming out soon (hopefully). Click here, fill out the form and you'll be automatically entered! :) Good luck!
Sarah

Monday, March 10, 2014

{Giveaway} Miracle 10 SPF!

Hey loveys,

I hope everybody had a great weekend! I have to admit, I didn't do too much this weekend. I've been hit with this awful cold that's been going around and so on Saturday I was basically bed ridden until about 5pm, and then I went to work at 6pm... Yesterday I spent it doing homework, writing some blogs and going out for lunch! Oh.. and I watched a few documentaries... I love documentaries... 

On Friday the weather was SO NICE! I was ready to bust out my collection of summer dresses and hit up a patio (I’m like half joking). It was so sunny and when the sun was hitting me, it actually made me heat up a little bit because I was wearing my Canada Goose coat… but I’m SO not complaining. I’m so over the winter we’ve been having and this crazy “polar vortex” that I will gladly overheat any day of the week.

I know that because summer is just around the corner, a lot more people start putting more effort into their daily beauty routine and into their skin care to prepare them for the season of “showing more skin”. A lot of people, however, forget that skin care is just as (if not more) important in the winter than it is in the summer. If you could guess what the most important element of skin care for any given person, what would you think it is?

Moisturizer?

Toner?

A deep cleanser?

WRONG!

SUNSCREEN is EASILY the most important aspect to ANYONE’S skin care routine (sorry about all the capitals lol, this is extremely important)… doesn’t matter what type of skin you have, a sunscreen designed for your face is most important in anti-aging. SPF is your best defence against developing the signs of aging, hyperpigmentation and poor skin quality. If you are spending all this time and money on skincare and getting glowing skin, spending time under the sub without protecting is going to undo all of that hard work. Using SPF is like an insurance policy for your skincare (BIG thanks to Elizabeth from Miracle 10 for teaching me this).

The SPF I use is part of the skincare line that I use called Miracle 10. I absolutely am in love with using the SPF from this line because it doesn’t feel or smell like stereotypical sunscreen. It has a dry-touch application so it allows me to put makeup on right after (thank God), it has a non-comedogenic formula so that it won’t clog my pores, and it’s water/sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes which is SUPER important for the summer when I run outside in the sun! It also comes in a super cute bottle with a pump so you don’t waste any of the product by accident.


Want to know the best news?

The AMAZING ladies at Miracle 10 have given me TWENTY (yes… 20!) bottles of SPF to giveaway to my lucky readers!! That’s right! You could win* 1 of 20 bottles of SPF from Miracle 10 simply by:

1. Leaving a comment on this blog telling me about your skincare and how you could incorporate SPF into your daily routine..

and

2. Filling out this online form by clicking here


I KNOW. I’m super, super excited for this giveaway because it really is one of my favourite Miracle 10 products. I never used to use any form of sun protection on my face and now I’m totally obsessed with it and keeping my skin fresh and youthful, not old and haggard from the sun!


I can’t wait to read all of the comments about your current skincare routine! The contest will run from today (March 10) until March 20th and the 20 winners will be contacted via e-mail about their winnings, so make sure to use a valid e-mail address when filling out the online form!

Good Luck!! J J


*By entering the Contest and accepting the prize you expressly consent to the Sponsor (Miracle 10 Cosmetics), its agents and/or representatives storing, sharing, and using the personal information submitted with his/her entry only for the purpose of administer the Contest and in accordance with the sponsor’s privacy policy, unless the entrant agrees otherwise. The sponsor reserves the right to cancel or suspend this contest, or to amend these rules without prior notice or obligation, in the event of any accident, printing, administrative, or other error of any kind. In accepting their prize, the winner agrees to release the contest parties and each of their respective officers, directors, agents, representatives, successors and assigned, from any liability in connection with this contest, the selected entrant’s participation therein and/or awarding and use/misuse of the prize or any portion thereof.

Sarah

Friday, March 7, 2014

Zen Walker Review & Vionic Walkabout 2014

Hey loveys!

This week I received a pair of totally cute walking shoes (ha. Like I need MORE shoes!) from the lovely ladies at Vionic Group LLC. Before I dive into the awesome shoes I got, I wanted to tell you a little about their shoe technology and their background.

Vionic Group LLP is one of the leading global makers in consumer and medical footwear. They feature shoes and sandals have have hidden podiatrist-designed technology which helps prevent over pronation which can help improve foot function and help relieve common pain such as plantar fasciitis (heel pain) knee pain and back pain. It is the only footwear recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Here is a "infographic" on how their Orthaheel technology in their shoes works for men and women!

 They have A TON of different styles (you can click here to go to the website directly) to chose from that fits the needs of all women and men.

I was lucky enough to receive a pair of the Zen Walking Shoes (in red!) to test out and tell you all about it!


I took these bad boys out for a stroll today (since it was SO nice outside here in Toronto) and they are honestly one of the most comfortable shoes that I've ever walked in. These are going to come in so handy this summer because I love walking around Toronto and these will SO help reduce the foot pain I usually get from wearing unsupportive ballet flats. I paired mine with some Lulu tights and they were totally cute! Looked like I had just come from the gym or something!

To check out the Zen Walker, you can click here. One other great thing that the company is promoting right now is their Walkabout 2014! Basically, you sign up and pledge to walk EVERY DAY for 28 days, no matter what!! I'm going to sign up right now actually! Who's with me? We can totally do this... it's so easy to get up and walking.... so come on and sign up with me! Click here directly to go to the registration form - so do it!

Me and my Zen Walkers are waiting for you :).

Sarah