Friday, 31 August 2012

Weekend Warm-Up : Labour Day Long Weekend

Did you read that? woop woop it's another long weekend! 
What do you have planned for this lovely long weekend?

The last of the Summer Flowers
 I'm taking this weekend to rest and go with the flow.. mostly. I think I will be heading out on Sunday for a very early morning adventure to the beach to listen to the waves and smell the sea. I'm really looking forward to it.

I also plan on taking this weekend to read a large part of my book "The Charge" by Brendon Burchard. I've always been interested in how the brain works and how to get the most of it. So far the book is great.

Photography - a must for this coming weekend. I don't know what has been holding me back from getting out there and taking some photos (which I love doing). Maybe I'm bored with what is right in front of me. It's time to go roaming and appreciate the little things. Hopefully I'll have some awesome pictures for you guys next week. I want to brush up/learn new skills - anyone have some awesome YouTube tutorials they would recommend?

  • WestJet airlines proposed a question: Where would you take 135 of your friends if you had a jet? I said I would take everyone to one of my favourite resorts in Punta Cana. We would celebrate family and friends.
  • I've been lazy at cooking this week as I'm a bit tired. This would be perfect to throw together on the BBQ and ta da it's done and ready. Dinner is served!
  • And the talk of the town.. FALL. It's just around the corner. You can sure feel it's colder in the mornings and evenings. Time to get a new jacket. This one is perfect for keeping warm while active.
  • Diner En Blanc -Vancouver took place last night. The pictures posted on Twitter were gorgeous. It was a beautiful summer night for them. I would love to go next year. I just found out about it last night. Oops a little late.
  • Beautiful performance and song! How will you leave your mark on the world?

To leave you with a quote to ponder.
It's shown up in couple places in my life this week :

"Ask not what you are getting from the world but, rather, what you are giving to the world"

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

8 Healthy Ways to Start Your Day

Are you morning person or are dragging your butt to get going?

Sun Salutation - via
 Me - I'm a huge morning! I love rising early before everyone else gets out of bed. I love the calmness of the morning and being able to hear all the sounds of nature outside. There is nothing like a crisp cold morning and watching the sunrise to revitalise you.

I find that how you begin your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Setting your morning off with a healthy routine leaves you wanting to live the rest of your day on healthy tone. I know that too often we can get caught up in the hustle and rush of the morning which leaves us feeling disconnected and lost. Making time for yourself in the morning is one of the keys to great health. It doesn't have to be complicated but adding some small steps and easy healthy habits can change your wellbeing. I've listed a few of my favourite habits that I do on a daily basis or a couple times of week. My best advice is to listen and observe what makes you feel the happiest. That is the goal when starting off the day: to bring happiness and love to yourself so you can share it with the world.

8 Healthy Ways to Start Your Day:

  1. Warm Water with Lemon : this combination helps to get your digestive system going and also to jump start your metabolism. I also recommend drinking lemon water with filtered water through the day. It's great for your body and actually helps with weight loss.
  2. Meditation: If this is new too you, I have one word for you: Patience. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. I've found the best way for me is to play some Reiki music (you can find it on Youtube), sit on a fluffy pillow so my bottom is raised a bit, cross my legs and place my hands with palms facing up on my knees. Focus on your breathing. Inhale for 6, pause for 2 and exhale for 6, pause for 2 and repeat. Focusing on your breath can create stillness in your thoughts.
  3. Choose a mantra, an intention or word (or all 3) for the day: Creating a path for the day lets you have a focus. Having a mantra or word to fall back on when life becomes hectic or stressed always helps your to restart and become calm. For example: my word today is "gentle". Whenever I catch myself rushing around or speaking harshly I utter the word in my head 3 times and I instantly feel at peace.
  4. Sun Salutation or Yoga: I love Yoga in the morning. It's a great way to gently exercise your body and mind. The sun salutation is my favourite practice. It feels very natural when you are performing the routine. The image above is a cute chart on Sun Salutation and here's a video I often refer too if needing a little guidance. If you are just beginning here is a more instructional video.
  5. Be Still: If yoga and meditation is just not your vibe right now then the next best thing is just to be still and present. Grab a tea or coffee and sit still with no distractions. Reflect on the day ahead with a soft and positive outlook. Just breathe. Let there be relaxation and calmness.
  6. Exercise: builds energy for the day. It can be any form of exercise. A small walk around the block, a run or anything that gets your body moving. This sends signals to your mind and body that it's time wake up and gets your brain sparking and metabolism going. Exercise in the morning actually has a great effect on what your eat for the rest of the day. When you go to reach for that unhealthy snack you will take a second and think if it's worth wasting the time you spent exercising in the morning.
  7. Journal: The morning is a great time to write and get all your thoughts out of your head. Once they are all on paper it's easier to organize your thoughts, realize patterns or find new ideas through your notes.
  8. A Healthy Breakfast: it's the most important meal of the day. This meal should be full of protein and provide energy. Fruit in the morning helps activate your brain. Breakfast is also a great way to jump start your metabolism. Make sure that breakfast leaves you feeling comfortably full so you don't run out of energy before lunch.
What are some of your healthy morning habits? What is your morning routine?


Monday, 27 August 2012

Motivation for a Sleepy Monday

Yaaaaaaaawn! okay... enough of that. It's time to hit the street running and get energized for another week of so many possibilities and opportunities.

Here's some Motivation & Inspiration to get your week started!

In this world - there is NO ONE else LIKE YOU! You are one of a kind.

img via
No one talks like you
No one smells like you
No one listens like you
No one thinks like you
No one believes the same things as you
No one has the exact opinion as you
No one sees the world like you
No one remembers what you remember
No one loves the same way as you
No one can be you

Don't try to be someone else or act like someone else. You are beautiful and brilliant in your own way. No one can be like you.

Be The Best Version of YOU


Friday, 24 August 2012

Weekend Warm-Up : Food & Recipes

Can you tell I'm hungry this Friday?

Smoked Salmon Crostini's

 Food is on my brain and I'm itching to try out so many recipes this weekend. Okay, let's be honest here... I won't be doing the cooking but I'll suggest some ideas to the cook in the house, Scott (BF). We went out for dinner last night and by changing up my usual eating routine in the week it got my stomach wanting some new tastes. It doesn't help that Pinterest is amazing for some food photos. Now I just have to convince him to cook healthy food. He still loves his butter and fat, like every other meat & potato's man.

We have come a long way from the first days of dating though. I swear I gained 15lbs when I first started dating Scott. I couldn't refuse his home cooked meals. It was just such a sweet offering. After several plates loaded with dairy (cheese!) and covered with condiments, I just couldn't take it any more and had to start suggesting alternatives to the fat ridden ingredients. Slowly but surely we've come up with healthy versions of the classics. He also used to be a huge meat eater who loved his steak, ribs, and chicken. Scott has also started to incorporate more fish into his diet which makes it easier to plan meals together.

What are you eating this weekend? Are you splurging and having a "cheat day" or are you sticking to your healthy nutritious meals?

A few healthy recipes I've found this week from across the web:

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Don't drool too much over all the recipes ;)


Thursday, 23 August 2012

Healthy Recipe : Halibut on Beet & Zucchini Salad

Beet & Zucchini Salad
This week we decided to have my mom over for a nice evening dinner. Well that's what we had hoped. Like always, things didn't go as planned (but we love it that way). My mom's doctor appointment ended up going longer than expected and then a nice surprise, my aunt stopped by to say hello. We ended up eating dinner around.... say 9:30pm lol.

This recipe is great for a light meal. It's fresh and the dill combined with the beets and zucchini is amazing! Besides the salad having to marinate the recipe can actually be made very quickly. We were lucky enough to receive our beets from a friend who has a garden in the city. There is nothing like fresh organic vegetables. The difference in taste between organic and not organic is astonishing. If you ever want to test the difference, try buying a piece of celery from organic and not organic.

Halibut with Beet & Zucchini Salad

1  zucchini
3  beets
4  3-5 oz halibut fillets
3 tbsp fresh dill (chopped)
2 cups of arugula
3 tbsp toasted pine nuts

Cut zucchini and beets into paper thin rounds. In a large bowl toss zucchini and beets with 2 tbsp of Vinaigrette (recipe below). Set aside and marinate for 20-60 minutes.

Preheat pan over medium-high heat. Brush halibut fillets with 2 tbsp of vinaigrette and cook till almost fully done, about 3 minutes per side.

Before plating, toss dill, arugula and pine nuts into zucchini mixture.

One each plate: lay a portion of salad mixture down and top with halibut. Spoon small amount of vinaigrette over fish and salad. Serve immediately so the salad doesn’t wilt.

2 tsp of lemon zest
½ cup of lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
½ tsp of sea salt
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of fresh oregano (chopped)
Grounded black pepper to taste

Halibut on Beet & Zucchini Salad


Monday, 20 August 2012

Healthy Weight : Portion Sizes

I don't personally believe in counting calories or weighing food unless you are training for a fitness model competition. I believe all in moderation. Obsessing over food can become a bad habit and take you out of being in the moment.

Although, being aware of proper portion sizes is a key to eliminating over eating and weight gain. Or in some instances, being aware that you aren't eating enough. If you don't eat enough your body can go into "starvation mode" where it hangs on to every bit of food because it doesn't know when the next meal will be.

I'll be doing a series on proper portion sizes to give you a visual picture.
The first visual of the series is provided by FitSugar.

I was surprised by the following:
  • how many strawberries you can consume for 100 calories
  • one banana is 100 calories
  • how easy it is to consume 25-30 grapes which are 100 calories.
  • you realise that having a bowl of fruit on the counter which you take a couple pieces all day long can quickly add up and if you do keep track of calories, you might not even remember to track those calories.

via FitSugar

Do you keep track of calories or are you fairly good at knowing your portion sizes?
Join me on LiveLoudly Facebook Page to chat about it. Don't forget to LIKE it! please :)


Friday, 17 August 2012

Weekend Warm-Up : Mind, Body, Green

Welcome weekend... another one has arrived!
via source

Who's ready for the weekend? Me me ME!

Have you ever felt like everything is going wrong and there's no hope for changing it. I sure did on Monday and I'm lucky that I have learnt that I am the only one who can change my environment. My surroundings are only a reflection of what is going on inside me. I had to start by changing the constant negative chatter in my head. It was mostly feelings that were reved up by me creating stories to go along with them. I had to get it out. Oh and I did! I laid on the ground on my back in the middle of our living room and just let it ALL out. You know what happened? - I felt relieved! There was more space inside me for positive energy and emotions.

Think of it as wearing a backpack. If you fill your backpack with emotional negative heavy text books you end up walking around feeling miserable and unhappy. Dragged down and moving slowly from this baggage. So releasing these emotions into the air to disintegrate it left my backpack open to light loving experiences to come. I can now fill it with love notes, healthy tid bits and experiences that would bring me happiness. Doesn't that even sound lighter to you? I choose to be happy. Everyday you have the choice of what your day will be like. Do you choose to be happy?

One of my favourite sites is Mind, Body, Green. Here are some of my favourite posts from their site:

 Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Fitness Love : Nike Plus & Free Run - Running Shoe

I'm a huge gadget/techy geek at heart and I love finding the best app for anything.

Nike Free Run - LiveStrong Edition
I've had Nike Free Runs for a couple years now and I LOVE them! I never bothered to get the sensor to go in them to connect to my Iphone as I wasn't really into running for a while because of my problems with my back. Just in the past year my back has gotten tremendously stronger and it was time to start amping up my runs. It was also time to get my geek on!

Last week I went out and bought my Nike sensor and an arm band for my runs and hikes. Scott and I headed up for a hike/run at Buntzen and it was awesome to finally see our distance, speed and calories burned. It also got us reved up to push ourselves a little harder. The next time we went out we ended up doing 11km and accomplishing some major hills. This past Tuesday we were ready to beat our 1st time - Oh we nailed it! Our competitive nature has kicked in.

This app has got us wanting to get out more often, try new routes and push ourselves. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a workout app. It's interactive, you can see your results online and compare your efforts to the community.
Left: Large Hike Run - Right: Trail Run (time to beat)

Has anyone tried the Nike Fuel Band? I'm going to be downloading the running app tonight but afraid that it won't work while I'm running the trails that is out of cellular signal.


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Best Choices : How to Eat Healthy at Starbucks

Worst Choice Vs. Best Choice
I'm starting a new series on Best Choices to make when eating out. It will dive into: what is your best choices to eat at different restaurants, events or even when attending a friends BBQ. Sometimes you can be so hungry and overwhelmed with choices that you just give up/surrender and pick what your nagging candy gremlin in you wants (I've got one who loves to come out while I'm grabbing a water at 7-11!).

So the first place I wanted to touch on is a common daily favourite of many people. Starbucks!

Let me begin by making a comment most will want to debate with me about but this is my opinion and what I have found to be healthy choice for myself. I don't believe milk from a cow is healthy for you. There's alternatives to milk now and they ARE offered at Starbucks, we should all take advantage of this. I'll go into full detail regarding milk and dairy in another post.

When ordering coffee try to stick to a water based coffee instead of a half dairy or half soy milk choice. This reduces the amount of calories obtained considerably. Stay away from the artificial sweeteners (you are adding chemicals to your coffee - sound appealing?). Instead use honey. If you have been used to sugar and sweeteners, it won't take you too long to get used to honey.

Americano (made with espresso & water) : 15 calories and 0g of fat
Caffe Latte (made with soy milk): 150 calories and 5g of fat
Mocha (made with soy milk) : 230 calories and 7g of fat

Smoothies :
should be used only when you are in need of a meal replacement and have no other choice. I do enjoy the chocolate banana one but it packs 300 calories and has 55g of carbohydrates in which 34 grams is sugar! It may be partially from fruit but that is still a lot of sugar.

Iced Coffee:
Always best to order a straight iced coffee (brewed or americano) and then add some soy milk and honey to taste. If you are in dire need of that blended drink, it's best to go with a light frapp.
Beware: even though it's only 140 calories it still contains 29 grams of sugar and sweeteners.

If it looks like dessert - it is dessert! Those little treats staring at your soul while you stand in line are evil! lol
There's a reason the display case for the food is smack dab in your face, to make you stare at them while you wait and in the mean time you convince yourself "it won't be that bad". On average though, how many times do you really eat dessert during the day? Yes, maybe a birthday at work or special dining out at lunch but not just because you are having a coffee. To give you an example of what you may think is somewhat harmless:
Reduced Fat Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake: 400 calories, 8 grams of fat and 50 grams of sugar!

Luckily, Starbucks does offer healthy food choices.

Here's a list of my GO-TO FOOD choices:
  • Spinach, Feta & Egg White Wrap (use as a meal) - 290 calories and 10g of fat.
  • KIND Bars - full of protein and low in calories
  • Packages of dried fruit - natural source of calories
  • Greek Yogurt - try to avoid the bottom part (extra sugar there)
  • Fresh Fruit - easy option and natural (of course)
  • Package of dried fruit & nuts - avoid the ones covered in a coating (sugar!)

Hope you enjoy this "Best Choices" series and if you would like suggest a subject for Best Choices, please contact me through email, Facebook or Twitter.


Friday, 10 August 2012

Weekend Warm-Up : Head in the Game

Happy Weekend! Happy Friday first of all!

I havent't kept up to my usual quota of blog posts for this week but you might just understand due to my last post. My head is slowly getting back in the game and my focus has shifted a tiny bit. I want to help people be aware of all the possible chemicals and processed ingredients that they may be feeding their bodies on a daily basis. The best way to avoid these pesky toxins from your body is eating a diet full of fresh fruit, fresh veggies and fresh seafood (or organic meat). I'll be doing a post coming up on how to navigate the grocery stores to avoid common unhealthy choices.

I'll admit that I don't usually go for the Organic Fruits and Veggies but that is my latest goal. I know that eating foods covered with pesticides and chemicals is no good for my body or yours. This is just another way to avoid cancer cells developing our bodies. Have you heard of the dirty dozen? It's the list of fruits and veggies to always buy organic and the ones that are low in pesticides. Here's a convenient way to remember.

img source

Here are my interesting finds from around the web this week:

Have a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

So It Returns : Cancer

Honestly I go to write this and don't know where to begin. This has come as such a surprise and overwhelming. Overwhelming in the way that your thoughts don't properly form but just go in circles. My mom let me know on Thursday night that her cancer has returned.

My Mom and I
Back in 2001 my mom was diagnosed with a tumor in her neck that they had to operate on. When they went in it caused the dandelion effect (like blowing on a dandelion) and it spread, which was later found in her lungs. She fought for 9 hard years - chemo, radiation and all the drugs you could imagine. It was just my mom and I together through all her treatments. My mom is a single parent who has raised me on her own since I was 7 years old. Our family (my grandparents and aunt & uncle) were always around when we needed help. My mom and I became a team and she became my best friend. It's funny when we look back on those years we can't put events into a timeline. It was almost as if she went into survival mode and I was right there for it too. We always tried to make the best of it and I loved when there was times when the only thing she could stomach was popsicles and popcorn for dinner - fine with me. My mom had already been through a lot before first being diagnosed. She had been in an abusive marriage and was in a severe head on car accident with a dump truck which almost took her life. She's fought so many battles and never gives up. On my hip I have a tattoo that reads "Never Give Up" in Spanish for my mom as she is an incredibly strong, independent, and loving woman. This tattoo reminds me that anything is possible and any mountain can be conquered.

Her cancer has come back in her neck and her lungs. She has already started treatment and the lump in her neck has decreased in size (woohoo!). It's interesting to be older this time and have more knowledge of how all this cancer stuff works. This time she is not just taking doctors orders but also taking things into her own hands too. We've been eating healthy (lean, mean and green) for the past few years but she's going to kick it up a notch to help her body fight the cells naturally too. Weird thing is that in the last few months I have been sending her my Kris Carr email newsletters. Kris Carr attacks the cancer in a whole different way than the traditional method, think lots of green juice smoothies and yoga. Weird coincidence. She's also decided that instead of everyone giving negative emotions (feeling sad for her etc.) she wants everyone to be positive. This way the cancer has no way to live in her body if all she has in her is positive energy.

I've given myself till this Friday to get all my negative emotions out about this. After that it's time to turn all my good buzzing energy on and send it her way. I've found it hard to just let go and have a big cry. I break down during times in the day when I am alone. I know I have to get all these negative emotions out or they will just fester inside me and take up room that could be used for positive thoughts and actions.

I'm scared : my mom is my rock and has always been there for me. I know though that she will easily beat this thing.
I'm mad: why the hell are we still dealing with this disease. Something must be done to stop so many people from having to go through this. I'm mad that this is happening to HER again. If there was ever an example of a woman who doesn't deserve this (not saying anyone deserves this) but it would be her. Enough is enough!! buut she doesn't ever feel sorry for herself so.. I'll kick these thoughts to the curb.
I'm upset: I hate seeing her in pain, I just want to take it all away from her. I wish I could do this for her. She never complains and only worries that she is upsetting someone or putting them out. We all just want to hug her and make it go away but we can't and she won't let us - she's stubborn.. that's who I got my stubbornness from. So we wait until she reaches out and we are there in an instant because we love her so much and she gives so much love to others.

I'm CONFIDENT: that she is going to kick this thing in the butt again! There is no ifs, ands, or buts. It's already on it's way out and I'm positive that she will be right back to normal. This is only a bump in the road. Maybe to remind us that our bodies are so precious and what we feed them through food and emotions has an incredible effect. So why give any chance for your body to create active cancer cells. Take every prevention you can. Live each day to the fullest. Don't take anything for granted. And most of all - Don't take anyone for granted. Life is too short. Love the ones close to you and forgive easily. No need for negative in your life.

So please if you could, send all your happy - positive thoughts her way. Imagine her beating this and going on an incredible vacation to a nice warm sunny location where she can relax on the beach. She definitely deserves it.


img via

Friday, 3 August 2012

Weekend Warm-Up : Long Weekend Style

Happy Weekend Time!

Healthy Watermelon Popsicles

It's British Columbia day on Monday and we get the day off (a big woohoo!). What's everyone's plans this weekend? This weekend my goal is to keep my healthy eating habits and workout routine on the same schedule as the weekday. I've worked way to hard this week to let it slip.

This is just a quick post as I'm itching to get outside and enjoy this sun. I've got to get some work done and then I'll be running. Oh yeah... and if you haven't noticed yet on the side of the blog, I've recently made a Facebook Page for my blog and hope you can join it so we can keep a conversation going on all things health, fitness and travel.

Here are my favourite links from around the web from this week:

Have a wonderful everyone!


Thursday, 2 August 2012

How Soda Pop Affects Your Health

I've always wondered how drinking a colored brown beverage was in any way benefiting my health.

Recently there has been lots of chatter about how Coca-Cola causes Cancer. So I went searching to see if pop had any benefit to our health. Guess what I found, pretty easy to guess... it has no benefit at all. So why do we drink it? Maybe because it's convenient, tastes good (I'll admit), and we just might be addicted to pop.

Regular pop contains loads of sugar and the diet-pop contains aspertame which makes you crave sugar. This leads to you wanting more pop, another sugar high. Pop also contains sodium (ie. salt) which leaves you thirsty, wanting more pop. They cycle continues on and on. A majority of people create a habit out of drinking pop which is hard to break. For instance: grabbing a pop when you walk in the door from work or grabbing a pop when you have dinner.

image via

So how do we break this habit?
I have 5 Tips to Break the Diet Pop or Regular Pop Habit:
  1. Flavor your water with lemon. This is great in the summer time when you are looking for something tart and refreshing
  2. Cut up a small amount of fruit and let is soak in a jug of water in the fridge. I like to use strawberries or oranges.
  3. Freeze fruit into ice cubes. Then you drop the ice cubes into your water. I usually choose to muddle some kiwi to make fruit ice cubes.
  4. Add a shot of fresh or low sugar juice into a glass of water. Make sure to avoid drinking juice by itself as it contains a large amount of sugar which can spike blood sugar levels (causing you to want to eat).
  5. If your on the run and really need something totally different, I've found that the Vitamin Water ZERO drinks can quench my thirst without spiking sugar levels or leave me thirsty again.
Have you beat the Soda Pop cycle? Leave me a comment below or tweet me your healthy alternatives to pop.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Site Design By Designer Blogs