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Why I haven’t been blogging for the past year

Yes, my blog has been inactive for the past year, and it has been somewhat intentional.

I got pregnant (unplanned) last November. It rocked my world, at the time it didn’t seem like a positive rocking. I was still in the process of losing the baby weight from baby #1, and I had everything worked out, I was going back to work the next April. I work in the fitness industry and to know that I wouldn’t be my slim self again really hurt my ego. Basically, this unplanned pregnancy took all my planning and threw it out the window.  It also challenged me in so many ways, ways I am so grateful for now, it taught me to be grateful, grateful for what you have in life: fertility, health. It also brought out good traits of my personality I didn’t know exist in me, strength I didn’t know that I had, will power that I didn’t know I could harness, etc etc. This is my post sharing with you all what my journey has been like.

(I should mention that this period of time also brought out really negative aspects of my personality that I had to deal with and really try to not let take over me. It was hard!)

When I got pregnant, I was on the Ketogenic diet, which was really hard, but it was producing the results I wanted. I was also starving all.the.freaking.time. it was so annoying, and it wasn’t a pregnancy thing because I was experiencing that before I got pregnant. I continued on the ketogenic diet for a few months until about January when I felt that it probably wasn’t so healthy for the baby, after which I felt lost nutrition wise. Because I hadn’t lost all the baby weight from baby#1 (I was about 20 pounds away) I knew that I could not gain much weight with this baby. That meant more exercise than the previous pregnancy and a very different diet. Then I found paleo, I had been reading up on paleo before I got pregnant, I had been exposed to it but I didn’t know if I wanted to completely eliminate grains. Well, it ended up fitting my cravings and hunger extremely well. Not only did my energy INCREASE more while pregnant, I was overall much more satisfied and my weight and my gain ended up totaling roughly 22-24 pounds by the time I gave birth.

39 weeks.

January rolled around, and our finances were so tight, we went through a 2 week period with little to no food, I was starving, and I understood how homeless people felt. I would look at people in restaurants and be envious that they had food, and that they had money to pay for food, I would go by the grocery store just drooling for anything in there to eat. It was bad, luckily enough it only lasted about 2 weeks and things got better. In that period of time I was praying that my baby was okay, and that I was strong enough to keep the baby healthy despite lack of food. In addition to going through a starvation period, we decided to make some drastic life changes. My husband was going to return to the US (where he’s from) to work and I would stay in Canada, work till I gave birth, and my son would stay with my parents(two hours away from me) as we couldn’t afford daycare. I would visit on the weekends.

We moved February 1st, in the winter, it was freezing and we were exhausted and I was still in my first trimester.  I moved into a shoebox apartment without a kitchen, just some small appliances to get me by. My husband left a week later.  I ended up working shortly after that because we needed the money (So instead of 12 months of mat leave, I only took 10).  Those first few months of being separated from my husband and my son were the hardest things I have ever experienced in my life. Needless to say, I hit rock bottom. I have never hit rock bottom before in my life. It could have been a mixture of pregnancy hormones and loneliness but I remember bawling my eyes out in my apartment wondering wtf was happening in my life and not knowing what was going to come of it. Finances were SOO tight, I counted every single penny (until it got phased out in Canada, lol), every dollar and pinched everywhere I could. It led me to start reading finance books and in the span of 8 months I have really smartened up my finances and have a plan to pay off all debt by the end of 2014 or soon after.

Things got somewhat better, I developed some new hobbies, and focused more on educating myself. It was the only thing I could do spending my lonely evenings by myself and the weekends I couldn’t make it to visit my son (as gas is pretty expensive.) I went to the library a lot, did a lot of reading, tried to prepare myself as much as possible for childbirth in a more educational way. Finally around end of June my nesting hit and I realized I would have a baby soon. In this time period I was working out 5 days a week, weight lifting 3 of those sessions and walking the other two. I continued my ab workouts until my 3rd trimester. My weights remained heavy right up until the end of my pregnancy. The last workout I had before I gave birth was a leg workout that involved squats and lunges. I monitored my intensity via my HR monitor.

I gave birth on August 19th to my son, it lasted 4 hours and baby came out on the 2nd push. Overall it was 50% less painful than my first baby. I couldn’t believe it, A week after I gave birth I moved from my shoebox apartment to my parents house. I was exhausted and in this time I was also trying to increase my milk supply by doing everything under the sun to increase it and also not be stressed out while having to move and not lift too heavy items.

Yes at this point my husband is still away. We are finally all going to be together next week.

In the past months a lot has been going through my mind and the itch to blog again has arisen, I wanted to write this post and get it off my chest.

Basically, we are stronger human beings than we think we are. I know now, that I am strong, and that I can do what I need to do for my family in crazy circumstances should they arise. This has been the hardest thing I have done in my life, the past 8 months. I do not wish it on anyone, but man did it shape me. I am stronger, more educated (about myself and other things), more patient and realize that we, as humans have SO much to be grateful for. I have a new outlook on life, it could be worse. Everyone’s situation could be worse. It’s all a matter of perspective. I consider that to be the greatest gift (other than my baby) during this rough period.

I’ll be posting quite a bit more, in reference to things I have learned physically and fitness wise during my pregnancy that I hope will help all those who follow my blog for fitness/nutrition help! 🙂

I should also mention that towards the end of our separation we have received SO many blessings and signs pointing that this whole decision we made for our family has been worth it!

My son born August 19th.

My son born August 19th.

More to come in the next few weeks.

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The excuse “I can’t cook or bake healthy for myself/family” why I don’t tolerate it!

So let’s get this straight. I have heard sooo often from people that not only do they NOT have time to cook and bake healthy for their family, but they just don’t know how, or don’t want to take the EFFORT to cook and bake.

Now for my question: Have many of you have a kitchen? I’m assuming everyone is going to raise a hand. Okay, well that is freaking awesome, because….. I DON’T! That’s right, I don’t have a kitchen at the moment. My husband had to move away to find work cause Canada hates him, so we are separated, which means I moved into a smaller place, well, it’s a 1 bedroom but doesn’t have a kitchen. At first I thought “wtf? How am I gonna live” Then Paul said “well, with your kitchen appliances you should be able to make it work” Thank God for my husband, what would I do without him! I then decided that with a little imagination I could make it work.

What I have in my “kitchen”

– Toaster Oven

– Microwave (I discourage the use of Microwave but it came with the place and I don’t have anything else to reheat my food like a steamer)

– Beer size fridge or mini fridge.

– Vita mix (mine, obviously!)

– Slow Cooker

– Juicer

– Electric frying pan

– Electric Kettle.

– 5 ft table.

– Some shelving

– Deep freezer.

Okay, so let’s talk about what I eat on a regular basis:

Hamburgers, meatballs, pan fried fish, salads (every kind), pasta, spaghetti, home made spaghetti sauce, cookies, muffins, biscuits, stir fries, bread, eggs in all forms and shapes cooked, quiche, casseroles, stews, smoothies, veggies cooked in all sorts of different ways, nut balls, energy balls, home made fudge, hamburger buns etc etc, the list goes on really.

Now, there are many things I can’t do like bbq which I do at my parents, or cook in massive quantities which I try to cook in LARGE quantities at my parents cause my mum has the biggest kitchen ever. Otherwise all I mentioned above I create in my own little “kitchen.”

Please note: Recipes are your friend.

Now, if you currently do have a kitchen, and you currently are NOT eating as healthy as you’d like to. Get that butt in gear! This is just a motivational tool for all you lovely people to really see that cooking healthy just takes a little time and effort, but doesn’t everything? Relationships, friendships, dressing ourselves, etc.

Now, I am going to end sharing some recipes with you that I made this weekend, of the few things that I make in my “kitchen”

Almond Flour Biscuits – Grain Free/ Gluten Free 

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http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/03/almond-flour-biscuits/

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!!!!! Is all I have to say, really. They are moist, juicy, yummy, full of butter. What more could you ask for? I don’t use almond flour that often, simply because it is pretty expensive. But then the need calls for (rather, my cravings) I do use it and I like the variety it offers.

Next on the list is pancakes. I’ve been on a pancake binge, they are my bread, basically. I make sandwiches with them. Glorious I tell you, especially with some cashew butter and my mums homemade jam = a taste of heaven. I bring 2 to work with me and eat them as part of my breakfast. They are great to make lots ahead of time and have ready in the fridge. Especially if you’re like me, and you don’t have much time to prepare breakfast in the morning.

lemonblueberrypancakes

 

http://www.thefoodieandthefamily.com/2012/10/22/lemon-blueberry-pancakes/

Another fantastic recipe!! Probably one of my favourites. Reminded me of blueberry pancakes as a child, seriously amazing. AND IT MAKES TONS!! Which is huge for me as I prep for the week (and have a family) so, I actually had to put some in the freezer. I’d say this easily made 20+ pancakes! I know it’s a lot of eggs, but substitute with some egg whites would make it go a bit farther and cheaper.

Until next time, happy eating!

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Bad blogger

I’m a terrible blogger. Honestly. Since I had my little boy, I can’t seem to find a good enough excuse to come on and update regularly. But really that’s just an excuse like “I don’t have time to workout!” or “I don’t have time to eat well!” Of which isn’t really an excuse so really I’m just gonna smack myself on the hand for not being true to my blogger followers. I don’t have many but I do know that those of you that follow me do enjoy reading my blog.

So, I’ve finally kicked into gear and I am going to try and be more consistent, once a week even, is my goal!

Step 1: I have now addmitted I’m an awful blogger.

Step 2: Actually talk about something worth reading

I have learned an insane amount about nutrition since I gave birth last year. I know I posted a while ago that I was going to be studying Holistic Nutrition, that is still the plan, but I have to wait until my finances get figured out a bit more but I am itching to start it! I am learning more and more every day about nutrition and it’s so fantastic! Not just general nutrition, but Holistic Nutrition. In my opinion, there is only one type of nutrition: Holistic, not general carbs, protein, fat etc etc nutrition. This is going into REAL food, and learning what real food does for you and your body and how you can curb sooo many health problems with nutrition. Food really is a drug, it’s the pill we take everyday to make our lives better, or worse, depending on how you eat.

Lately I have been dipping my hands into a lot of different ways of eating. In November of 2012 I tested out the Ketogenic diet, I did that because my weight loss had plateaued and I needed something to kick start my metabolism again. Well it defintely worked but it’s a very strict diet and I wouldn’t want to stay on it permanently. I stayed on it for about 2 months and it did the job, but I was ready to be off of it. Until this point I had heard a lot about the Paleo diet but had never really seriously looked into it. I liked the sound of it, but wasn’t quite ready to give up all forms of processed food (condiments) and such. I don’t eat hardly any processed food anyway, but it’s a jump to make the commitment to buy grass fed and local(organic) products. I also didn’t feel that going completely grain free was what I wanted or needed for my body. It’s alll a game really.

For the last 3-4 years I have been entirely gluten and dairy free. A dietary change that has made my life much more enjoyable! I suffered from constant bloating when I was in college, my stomach felt like a pump, it went up, then went down, and back up and back down. It was frustrating. I also had terrible energy and suffered from lack of focus in my schooling.

Since last year, I have been much more focused on looking at food with the approach that it FUELS ME, not that I eat it because I want to, or because I feel like it, or because it tastes good. If I want to feel great, I have to eat the proper foods. Food is my drug and my pharmacy, it affects how I feel, my ability to think and how I perform. With this approach I can honestly say that my energy levels have sky rocketed! In addition to that, I have been loosely following the “paleo” way of eating, I don’t call it a diet, but you can I suppose if you don’t plan on sticking with it. So far I have found it to produce great results for ME, (it’s individual for everyone). Eliminating grains hasn’t been overly difficult either, though occasionaly I will have some, especially if I am craving it but it’s infrequent.

I would encourage an approach of WHOLE Holistic Local/organic, range fed/grass fed food for those that want to begin a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Not a simple diet or plan but just a very simple way of eating = naturally without any additives, GMO’s, processing etc.

I’ll expand on recipes later, that’s all I do these days is look up recipes, it’s so much fun! I have much more fun cooking now then I ever used to, I can cook what I ENJOY eating and I never have to worry about not being able to make a delicious meal that I absolutely enjoy that can suffice a craving without the guilt.

 

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Beware of people you surround yourself with

Today, was a hard day for me. It started off great only to be tearing my heart strings by the end of the evening.

I went to visit a “friend” to help them learn how to cook, well instead it turned out to be an hour of
– Insulting the way I eat (staying away from refined sugars, eating very naturally, clean, non processed foods.) Making fun of me, basically cause the way I choose to eat isn’t “enjoyable.”
– Saying that what I have been posting on facebook is not right and also not friendly to others on facebook. I shouldn’t be posting anything of a religious political matter and I shouldn’t be allowing myself to come across as “angry”. As if I give a f*** about what other people think about me on facebook, thank you very much. (sorry for the crude words, but blogging is sometimes my therapy and I’m not holding back!)
– Judging how I spend my money, because if I save up for something that’s expensive and buy it for myself (which affects my eating, it helps be healthier, etc) I’m putting my family in jeporady. [According to the laws of nature, as a mother, I shalt not EVER spend money on myself, even if it’s a treat. (Note the sarcasm)]
– Oh, and to top it all, this person did/said all of this in a condescending manner and tone of voice- like my parents and with a look that screams “you’re a child and you don’t know what the hell you’re doing.” AND do it in front of someone else that has nothing to do it any of it.

Now tell me, how would that make you feel? Think long and hard.

Every time I see or visit this person, I feel awful and angry after the visit is over. I feel worthless, like I’ve been some piece of paper that’s been stomped on, ripped apart and put through the shredder. Friends shouldn’t make you feel like that, (sure if you’re being an idiot, you deserve an honest opinion, but not every single bloody time you hang out with them so much that you dread even conversing with them)

My words of advice this evening are: if you are around people that are making you doubt your abilities as a human being, and are putting you down instead of raising you up, they are turning you into an angry person for no good reasons, then maybe it’s time to start looking for some new friends. Start a new leaf and rid yourself of these people in your lives.

Cause that’s what I’m doing. I’m not going to let someone make me so angry that my son or my children have to feel the affects of it. They don’t deserve that and I sure as HELL don’t.

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Post baby weight loss (or anyone who wants to lose serious weight)

This post is going to be long, and informative, just a heads up, maybe bookmark it for future reference? There isn’t as much detail as I would like to get in it but when you have a newborn, some things have to get cut short! I might do a part 2 later on in the week so stay tuned!

I’m going to get down to the nitty gritty about losing weight after having a baby, because so many mums struggle with this, but this is also about other people who have trouble losing weight and need/want to lose a large amount.

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1. Set a goal, know what your healthy body weight should be, if you don’t, figure it out, go see a physician, look it up on the internet and set yourself a timeline, now if you need to lose a 100 lbs, at approx 1-2 lb loss a week, it’s going to take you over a year. Healthy weight loss is 1-1.5 lbs a week, 2 weeks at MOST. More than this your risk of gaining weight in return is very high, so don’t rush it (haha I keep telling myself this)

2. Re-orient your life, this is a LIFESTYLE, if you are not ready for it, then you are not serious or ready about losing weight, this is permanent and if you aren’t comfortable with that then say goodbye to being healthy! You will have to make changes and adjustments and sacrifices. If you have kids already, you will have to use your imagination to make it work, if you have 1 child, well you have it pretty easy and if you don’t have kids, holy get your ass in gear cause you have all the time in the world! Though, from my experience, it’s actually easier to workout with kids because when you’re tight on time you don’t think about not working out (because you don’t have the time) you just do it and move on to the next thing!

3. Food. It was a mix up as to whether to put this as number 1, but 3 is close enough. You MUST must must must must must adjust the way you eat, and not only you if you have a family. It must be a change for the WHOLE family otherwise it will not work, if your kids are young, you are better off, if they aren’t…it’s going to be a challenge (they are already used to a way of eating and they are probably not going to like the changes you will make). If you aren’t supposed to eat a food (dieting) then guess what, your kids aren’t supposed to be eating it either!!

I’m not a nutritionist yet but I can provide some simple guidelines for you to follow. Straight up – if you want to lose weight: go gluten and dairy free. Sure that might sound like the end of the world but I’m telling you, it works and your body will love you for it. There’s so much crap in wheat these days (because it is so processed) you think you are getting whole grain but your body still hates it. I say dairy because there’s a lot of fat and the cows proteins just don’t get along with the human body. Also, it’s really not that hard, once you psychologically are prepared for it, it’s a lot easier, you have to think that it’s making your body a healthier body and a healthier you, you will have more energy, your brain will function better, your bowels will function better, everything will function better and doesn’t everyone want that?

2-3 days a week where you meal plan and prepare ALL of your food, this is the only way for you to stay on track (esp on days where you need to run errands so you aren’t going out and buying crap food to eat cause you’re randomly hungry). This is also great if you have kids because guess what! Less cooking for you and there’s always food in the fridge for them(the kids) to eat, it’s great. Less stress! Maybe sit down with the family together and brain storm over some meals that you all like, but face it, there will be times when your family won’t enjoy everything that you cook, but TOO BAD! haha, I say that to my husband because it’s healthy and I enjoy it because of that, tastes buds change.

Just because you have to eat healthy doesn’t mean you have to eat veggie sticks 99% of the time, I can provide lots of links where you can learn to prepare healthy meals that taste GOOD, and are not plain, this is another art but it’s a great tool to have! Another reason I post recipes on this blog because a lot of people struggle with preparing healthy food that taste good. I thank God for my mother teaching me how to cook because that’s the only way I’m able to do this!

Every meal should include carbohydrate, protein and fat, in order for your body to work efficiently, this is needed, unless of course it’s a pre workout meal in which case you don’t want to consume a massive amount of protein. Do not over indulge in meat or grains, always try and have more vegetables if possible but don’t just eat vegetables if you are hungry because they won’t hold you over as much as adding a little bit of protein.

The largest meal of the day should be lunch time, and the lightest meal should be supper time. Do not eat 2 hours before going to bed. If you do happen to be super super super super starving before bed have some vegetables or something light in calories but don’t make it a habit! ‘

If you are really struggling with staying on track eating healthy then keep a food journal, it helps you realize how much you are eating, if you are eating too much, etc etc.

Drink water, 2 L/ 8 cups, put a pitcher out on the table or somewhere you pass often and fill with that amount, every time you go by drink a cup and bam, it’s done by around 4 pm! Or fill a 1 L water bottle twice, I prefer the pitcher method, it becomes more of a habit. If you’re on the road = water bottle.

Take greens! You can get the greens powder, it’s amazing, it helps you get in MORE than your daily recommended dose of greens and it has so many nutrients we are talking serious energy here!

Supplements: Fish oil, Vitamin D and probiotics. See naturopath for more info! (they are worth seeing btw, just admit it.)

If all the above is not really sticking with you – see a naturopath.

If I think of more… it’ll have to be in another post.

4. Workout routine. If you are new to working out, it’s all about baby steps but realize that you cannot effectively lose weight and get your body in optimal health without WEIGHTS mixed with cardio. Gosh it annoys the hell out of me that women are like “weights, wtf? EWWW, no  no must go run for 6 hours a week” puhhhlleeeasssee tell me another one. This has been circulating the internet and hopefully women are being converted:

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Muscles LOOK BETTER THAN FAT, and you would have to weight train a lot to look like a bulky arnold. That being said, go pick up some weights!

Try to incorporate cardio and weights 3-4x/week.

Invest in a home piece of equipment(Like the TRX) because if you have children, this is the only way you will be able to weight train (unless your hubby looks after the kids in the evening and you go to the gym or classes etc which is a good thing to do once a week to keep your sanity!) Buy some bands, bands rule, they don’t take up any space and they are pretty wicked. If you want to know where to buy some, leave a comment or msg me.

Get your children involved, take them on walks, or hikes, or bike rides or start running with them. Use them as weights!

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You don’t have to go out and buy a weight set, get creative and use things around the house, jugs of water etc.

If you have a newborn take the baby with you, utilize one of their naps and go walking or jogging with the stroller!

5. Experiment with what times of the day work best for your schedule, if you are a stay at home mum this is easy for you to do, for those that work it’s either before or after work. Find out which one works for you.

Just like cleaning, working out has got to get done! No question about it, once you get into the routine it’s much easier.

6. Take before and after pictures. This is a great motivator! There’s nothing like seeing how awesome you look and what type of progress you’re making like pictures!! Also, weigh yourself every once in a while, once a month or every two weeks but not too frequently!

Take measurements, this is what you will go by, and how you look in the mirror. I take my measurements every two weeks, but they can be taken every month if that’s how you choose. Bust, hips, waist and legs. If you have large arms take the measurement around your arms if you want.

7. Sit down and talk over all of this with your family (esp hubby or wife) because you must be on the same page, you have to agree that this is going to take time, effort and motivation, if your spouse or significant other isn’t there to motivate you, you can still do it but it will be more difficult!

Remember, this is a lifestyle!

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Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions!

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Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! This my effort to make my knowledge available and increase my knowledge in my fitness field as well as provide motivation and information to those who are interested in health and wellbeing. I will be making posts re: workouts, nutrition, education, spirituality, life, family and other little things that make life interesting! Especially to fitness! 😛

Blog are usually more interesting after a few months, so stay tuned!

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