Category Archives: Health

I Think I Can…I Know I Can

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It’s Monday already! Well, actually it’s my Wednesday today since I had Thursday and Friday off. I feel like time has been going by way to quick. Every day off I have involves running around trying to get everything done. I definitely have way more responsibilities and things to worry about now that I’m working in town. But that’s okay, it still leaves me time for myself. On Friday I did a little running around, then I went to get a pedicure. I haven’t had one in a long time, so it seemed like the perfect way to relax. I think it’s good to treat yourself. I’m definitely looking forward to my next vacation!

On Wednesday I went trail running with my friend from work. I haven’t done a ton of running, let alone trail running, so I had no idea what I facing up against. Cardio for me isn’t always fun. There’s nothing I hate more than staring at the same spot on the wall or constantly looking at the time while running on a treadmill. That’s why I really have been trying to improve on my outdoor running skills. It’s much nicer to look at different scenery and breath in fresh air.

We went out to the Otway Nordic Centre, which is a cross-country ski place in the winter. It’s full of trails! We were four of us; myself, Kari, another girl and a 72-year-old man who organizes the run 3 times a week. I’m not going to lie, he could outrun me any day. We ended up running 8 km all together, a lot of which was uphill. Those part’s killed me, especially near the end. I kept wanting to give up, and I would tell myself “No, you can do this!” Kari said I did pretty well for my first time. I felt pretty drained, but the next day I felt so good I wanted to do it again. I’m going to try and make it as much as I can and see how much I improve. Summer is nearly here, so I don’t want to spend all my workout time inside in a smelly gym.

After running with someone nearly triple my age and starting my course on aging, it has really made me think about how I want to age and the shape I’d like to be in when I’m 25. The book I’m reading right now is so interesting, I had to force myself to stop reading to write this blog. The decisions we make each day shape who we will be in the future. I don’t want to have a chronic disease or be stuck eating bland, baby-like food in a nursing home; I want to run, cook amazing food, travel and be able to enjoy life to the fullest in 50 years from now.

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Does anyone have any advice for beginner runners? The thing that kills me the most is my lungs, not my legs. I’m thinking maybe I need to work on my breathing.

Hope you have a fantastic Monday!

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Whole Wheat Honey Banana Muffins

Good morning! It’s the weekend! As I said in my last post, I haven’t worked Monday to Friday in years, so it’s a little different for me.

This morning I’m going to a boot camp class at the YMCA. I recently got a membership there, so I want to try a bunch of their classes. Besides that, I have a little running around to do and should probably get some homework done. Oh, and I also want to make something delicious for dinner – but I haven’t thought that far ahead yet.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I was going to give you the recipe for the muffins I made. I really wanted a healthy muffin I could bring to work. I was going to add nuts and maybe a few other things to them, but I was craving a simple banana muffin.

I looked for many recipes, but this is the one I decided to try. It’s great when you find a recipe that you like (and works), because then you can play around with it a little.

Whole Wheat Honey Banana Muffins

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
2 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup hot water
 

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease the muffin pan (I skipped this step, but then my muffins were a little difficult to get out. I have a silicone pan that I don’t normally need to grease)

2. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.

3. In a larger bowl, whisk the olive oil and honey together. Once well mixed, add the eggs and stir until just combined.

4. Mix in your mashed banana.

5. Alternate the dry ingredients and hot water, adding them to your wet mix. Make sure not to over mix, only until combined.

6. Pour mix into muffin pans (I filled them until just below the top). Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes. Mine took about 20, but it depends on your oven.

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I just might have to do a little baking today too. I used to want to decorate wedding cakes and be a super-star pastry chef, then I decided to take the cooking direction.

Hope your weekend is going fabulous so far. I better go eat some breakfast before I head out to my class!

Banana Dream Smoothie

Hello! Hope your day is going great so far. Yesterday we went for a session with the personal trainer. I can’t even tell you how sore I already was from snowboarding the day before! I sucked it up and pushed myself to make the best of the workout. My new workout rocks – I’m on my way to doing 30 push-ups! If you’re in the Prince George area you should definitely check out Kris at On the Move Fitness. He can make all kinds of different fitness plans for you.

In the afternoon, we went to Josh’s grandparents for dinner. They have a hobby farm where they take care of their own animals (pigs, chickens, goats, and cows) and grow their own vegetables. Everything is natural and raised with love. We usually go there for dinner then play board games afterwards.

Today I’m going to the gym and getting some cleaning/organizing done around the house. I’m also going to make dinner and maybe even the apple crisp Josh has been bugging me for.

I have had a smoothie similar to this before, but apparently it’s been a while. I made this for breakfast and it was gone quicker than it took to make it. The most amazing ingredient combination ever: chocolate, peanut butter and banana. Heaven.

Banana Dream Smoothie

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1 cup almond milk
3 frozen banana halves
1 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tsp. cacao powder
2 scoops Vi Shape Shake Mix (or other vanilla protein powder)
A few ice cubes if you like them cold and refreshing
 
  1. Blend all ingredients and enjoy.

I also made this berry one for Josh.

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And this is Sunday night’s dinner. Maple glazed salmon with lemon scented rice and veggies. Simple, but delicious and healthy!

Maple Glazed Salmon

Have a fantastic day!!!

90 Day Challenge and Trip to Jamaica

Happy Saturday! So, after 2 weeks of frustrating internet at work, 2 amazing weeks in Jamaica, and then another 2 frustrating weeks, I’m finally home! I’m working on getting a job here in Prince George (instead of working in the middle of nowhere), so I’ll have internet all the time. How can I build my blog without the internet?

Jamaica was amazing. The country is absolutely gorgeous – and most importantly, nice and warm! We did a lot of relaxing, indulged in their great cuisine, played beach volleyball and went on a few different adventures. Would I go back? Definitely. Some of the excursions we went on include: snorkeling, zip lining, a boat cruise, climbing up Dunn’s River Falls, some Jamaican bobsledding and a little tour off the tourist map. Again, I had no complaints about the food at our resort. Every meal was delicious, especially the jerked chicken (omg)! I brought home jerk spice and managed to ask one of the cooks about his secrets. My plan is to try and match their succulent, mouth-watering, spicy chicken dish.

Below are a few pictures of our trip.

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I’m also starting my first 90 Day Challenge. Today is day 3! I’ve been going to the gym and eating healthy, but I want to push myself to get to my goal. My goal at the end of the 90 days is to:

–          Gain overall strength (specifically upper body and core)
–          Gain 5 lbs of lean muscle
–          Tone
–          Increase my energy
–          Increase my cardio
–          Be able to complete 30 successful pushups
 
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I’m pretty pumped! With all of the working out I’ve been doing (even before the challenge), I feel like I have a metabolism of a teenager again – I’m hungry alllllll the time. I eat small meals throughout the day and get enough protein and other nutrients. I just finished Sports Nutrition with school, so I was able to calculate the number of calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat I need for my level of activity.

I do need people for case studies, so let me know if you have any health goals you want to achieve. Also, if you’re interested in joining me in the 90 Day Challenge, send me an email, I’d love to fill you in!

That’s all for today! Hope you’re having an awesome weekend! Check back tomorrow as I have a delicious recipe for maple cinnamon almond butter.

Natural Skin Products and Christmas Excitement

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Hey everyone! Finally, I have only one more day of work! I can’t even describe how excited I am. The only bad thing is that I feel like I’m going to get sick. I’m trying to fight it by taking my vitamins, drinking lots of water and tea and getting some rest. I had one night of very little sleep so I think that triggered it. Plus, Josh has been sick like a dog for the past 4-5 days. I thought for sure I wouldn’t get it. Who knows, maybe I won’t. My body is definitely trying to fight it! If I’m sick I have to stay away from our newborn niece Kori – I really don’t want that. When we left to come to work she was only a few days old; now she’s going to be almost a month!

I’m getting so excited for Christmas, even though we will be running around like mad people for the first couple days trying to get things organized. We have a list and a plan, so hopefully all goes well. I hate last minute Christmas shopping and organizing. I somehow have to find time to shop, do Christmas baking, have some fun outside and do a lot of visiting. We’ll just have to see what kind of super powers I have this year!

With the air getting dryer, I always end up using a lot more body lotion and moisturizer. I use natural skin care products because if you look at all the random ingredients in regular brands, it makes me think about all the toxins my skin might be absorbing. Plus, I feel that the natural ones make my skin feel it’s best!

I don’t always use the same brand, but if I find one I really like I will purchase it more often. Here’s what I’m currently using:

photo (31) photo (32) Moisturizer

The body lotion smells soooooo good! I tried just the straight coconut in this brand before, but this tropical one smells even better. The moisturizer cost me around $15.00 and I’ve had it for 5 months and it’s still a third full. It’s a great moisturizer for winter – it makes my skin feel soft and nourished (much needed with this cold Northern BC weather). I have a toner from the same brand (I swear I took a picture of it, but apparently I’m going crazy) and it makes my skin feel very rejuvenating after showering or washing my face.

What type of natural products do you use? There are a few different ones that I’ve come across that I’d like to try out. Also, although not all of my make-up is mineral, I’m slowly trying to make the switch. I’d like to know and control what goes into my skin as much as possible.

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Well, I better get some sleep. I’m so excited to go home tomorrow. I think we’re going to go Christmas tree hunting right away too (even if we’re dead tired). I’m hoping Josh will want to take the snowmobile – that will make it even more of an adventure. Have an awesome day and hope everyone is a little more ahead of the game than we are – wish us luck! Can’t wait to post some Christmas recipes!

Dreaming of Food

Hey, how is everyone? I know I definitely didn’t keep my promise of blogging more often. I’ve been dying to write and decided to give myself a kick in the butt. It’s quite difficult working away with little internet and then having to run around like crazy when I’m home. I’m beginning to figure out a better balance and what my priorities are that’s for sure.

I’ve been going on a lot of adventures as usual. This summer I went to the Calgary Stampede and Banff, as well a fishing/camping road trip with my parents when they visited. Then there is every day adventures like hiking, quading, fishing, shooting (yea, blame the small town redneck in me and my boyfriend for that one) and planning random road trips. We almost went to Mexico last month, but decided to save the money for a sweet snowboarding trip to Banff or Whistler this winter. Plus I need to pay off my student loans asap so I can go travelling. I’m hoping to go to Thailand next year for a couple months. I’ve already started saving! The pictures below are from my adventures in the past few months.

This is close to where I work. We took the quad up there with a few friends. We had to hike quite a bit up once it was too steep to take the quad any further. It was breathtaking!

Another quading adventure. We had just gotten off work and stopped at Powder King (it’s a ski/snowboarding mountain) for some fun. This is way above it. And again, the view was unreal. I love being up in the mountains and breathing in the fresh air. We actually rolled it, but luckily neither us or the quad was injured.

 

Fun fishing adventures in Prince Rupert. We had a 2 day charter when my parents came to visit. This is me holding a 20 pound spring salmon.

 

On our way to the Stampede we stopped in Lake Louise at Moraine Lake and rented canoes. The water was so cold from the glaciers. The picture below this one is of Josh and Lukas jumping in 4 degree Celsius water. They were only in there for about a minute.

 

I have to tell you about what got me motivated to write again. Usually when I’m at work I complain about the food and how much I just want to cook. When we are on our days off, I cook as much as I can. I’m always thinking about what I should make or what we will have for our next meal. Josh says things like, “Is that all you think about” or “really, you’re thinking about food already – you just ate an hour ago.” I know it’s a little sad. It’s pretty much the first thing I think of in the morning when I wake up and feel my stomach grumbling. It made me realize that my true passion really is food. It doesn’t matter where I am, my life revolves around it. I get so excited about cooking and trying new dishes. I came across a website when I was looking for a recipe. It was called alldayidreamaboutfood.com. I can’t even tell you how much this describes me and I’m not exaggerating. I blame my mother actually; she’s exactly the same as me. That’s another thing he says to me, “you’re just like your mom; you’re always talking about food.” I think it’s a good thing, and he does too, but that’s because he gets fed all the time. I picked up the Canadian Living Christmas Baking magazine the other day and I already have a whole list of sweet treats I’m going to make. But don’t worry, I can make a whole batch of cookies and only eat one. I have some self-control!

So even though I’m busy with work and completing school by distance, I’ve promised myself I would keep up with blogging. Writing makes me happy and helps me get everything on my mind out. I don’t have a complete plan yet, but I’m on my way. I’m hoping to talk to Kris from iheartwellness about bringing my blog to the next level very soon. I’m also looking for someone to redesign the website. There is only so much I’m capable of doing on wordpress and it’s not very much. I was very proud when I first made this one, but after looking at other blogs, I think I need to kick it up a few notches. Mine is looking a little sad and needs some TLC. But hey, everyone has to start somewhere!

I’ve started to find a balance in terms of my lifestyle, health and diet. I’m still absolutely passionate about health and nutrition, however, I love too many types of food. I focus more on the quality and quantity. I love eating healthy, but I do have some favourite foods that aren’t necessarily the best choice. Chicken wings are definitely a weakness for me.  I also know that I must eat those things in moderation – especially if I want to maintain my weight of course. I bring so much food up to work with me. I always hit up the health food store and fill my tote up. I’m not saying the food is horribly disgusting here, but it’s not up to my standards. When I eat, I want to enjoy every morsel of food that enters my mouth.

On days off we try and eat as many meals at home as possible and always use whole ingredients of course. I think that’s what a lot of people are missing in their diet; whole, real foods. Prince George has a decent variety of places to shop, but it’s nothing compared to all the markets I used to go to in Vancouver. I miss wandering around Granville Island trying to hold myself back from buying everything. In my next blog I’ll tell you about all the things I cooked on my last days off.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic day. Check back in a few days for another post.

P.S. Found this quote on Facebook.

“I believe everything happens for a reason. People change so you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so that you will eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes, good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” Marilyn Monroe

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Hello friends! Back on the weather, I still cannot believe we’re the only ones in Canada not enjoying some hot weather. Check out this picture I got off the weather network this morning. You can see poor little me in Vancouver with no sunshine! So unfair!

Yesterday it poured – all day! It stopped later in the evening when I got off around 11:00pm. I’ve been walking to and from work for the past few days as it’s only a 20-25 minute walk. It’s absolutely gorgeous walking across the Cambie Bridge and then along the seawall to my apartment. The air is somewhat warm, the water is calm and the city is lit up.  I only had my work dress and a light sweater on and I was perfect. It seems to be warmer at night then during the day lately. If it’s nice again tonight I might sit out on one of the benches for a bit with a tea. It’s a good way to wind down after work before I come home to sleep. Working evenings is hard sometimes, especially because I can’t always go to bed as soon as I get home. I’m definitely a morning person!

On that note I made myself quite the comforting, warm breakfast this morning. I made a few modifications on Oh She Glow’s Apple Pie Oatmeal. Breakfast sets my mood for the day, so I always like to have something healthy and satisfying.

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” — John Gunther

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1/3 cup regular oats
1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 + 1/4 cups Almond Milk
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
extract

2 tbsp chopped walnuts, for sprinkling on top – I didn’t have any, but I know they would be good!

Directions:

1. In a medium sized pot over medium heat, mix  together oats, peeled and chopped apples, and almond milk.

2. Continue cooking over medium heat for  about 8 minutes, stirring often. Stir in ground flax, cinnamon, pumpkin pie  spice and vanilla.

3. Pour into a dish and sprinkle with chopped walnuts, a pinch of cinnamon, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. Add a tiny bit of almond milk on top.

So far my day is looking like:

–         Run on seawall
–         Laundry
–         Homework (2 more weeks until summer vacation – wait what summer)
–         Groceries
–         Relax on the balcony with a good book and cup of tea

–         Work at 4:00pm

I’m off tomorrow, so I want to try and get most of my house chores done today so I can have fun tomorrow. Have a fabulous day!