Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Healthy Weight : Halloween Candy Comparison

Oh those little bars of sweet goodness. How can anyone resist? Before you reach into that bucket or bowl, let's go over the facts and maybe it will make you think twice.

#1 turn off: It's SUGAR and when we eat sugar it has us wanting more in mere minutes. The chocolate bars are also loaded with preservatives and chemicals that cause harm and discomfort in our bodies.

I've gathered a couple of my favourites from the past :
  • Resse's Peanut Butter Cups : 80 calories - 4.5g fat - 7g of sugar
  • Peanut M&M's : 93 calories - 4.7g fat - 9.1g of sugar
  • Skittles : 80 calories - .8g fat - 15g of sugar
  • Butterfinger : 100 calories - 4g fat - 11.5g of sugar

Why not opt for one of these 100 calorie snacks that will actually do your body good and provide proper energy.

100 calories =
  • 3 cups of air popped popcorn
  • 1 cup of baby carrots and table spoons of hummus
  • 1/2 Larabar
and if you are craving more of a sweeter taste:
  • 5 Hershey's Dark Chocolate kisses
  • fruit is always great a better choice when you are needing something sweet
Although it's not that exciting to choose the healthy snack, it's important to remember that those calories add up quickly. If you choose to have 3 of those "small bite" chocolate bars in one day, you would have to do an hour of moderate exercise (fast paced walking) to burn off those 300 calories.
Why set yourself back?

When you have a craving for candy or treats how do you avoid the temptation?

Holistic Health Coach

Monday, 29 October 2012

Opportunity to Guest Blog for LiveLoudly

I have an opportunity for my fellow bloggers to guest post on my blog from November 23 - December 1st. I'll be in Cuba during this time.

  • I have 3 openings available.
  • The guest blog post must be health and wellness related.
  • It must include at least one high quality image.

If you are interested in one of the spots, please feel free to contact me and we can discuss your idea for a post.


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Things That Really Matter

Yesterday I came across a post from Jess Lively and wanted to share it with you all. I had seen this story a couple years ago but had completly forgot about it.

It's a great reminder to appreciate what truly matters in life. Family, friends and happiness should never be second best.

Appreciate the Small Things in Life That May Mean the Most

Golf Balls, Sand, Coffee and a Mayo Jar

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and fills it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES”.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things, that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff.” he said.
“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you…” he told them.

“So… pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Worship with your family. Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Spend time with good friends. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap. Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

Don't forget to tell the most important people in your life that you love them and that they are everything to you!


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Positive Life : Vision Boards

I'm a visual person. I have to see something for it to really resonate inside me. This is why I love Vision Boards. Back in 2009, after I left my job of 9 years I created a vision board to bring more positivity into my life. 6 months later, almost half my board was being lived. In the beginning of 2012 I decided it was time to make a new one. This time I added on my health coaching business and also my health retreat. I'm on track to make the majority of the vision board come true.

I find vision boards help me bring together all my possible thoughts, dreams, wishes and goals. It's a way for me to see them outside of my, at times, judgemental head. It's a great way to make a declaration to the universe that you want something and you are on a mission to make it happen. It can help you gain a clear focus of what exactly you are striving for in life.

Vision boards are not just meant for material or career goals but you could even have a section on how you would like your relationships with a boyfriend/girlfriend to generate or flow in your life. I think this is why I love Pinterest so much. It's the same type of idea, boards for categories that really connect to our lives. Although I prefer making my own physical vision board that I can see, read and contemplate on every day. Some people prefer to make them, tuck them way and come back to the board in 6 months to a year to see what has come alive.

Another great idea is to add words to your vision board that motivate or inspire you. It doesn't have to be the typical motivational words but even just a single word that connects to your soul every time you read it.

Easy steps to creating a vision board:
  1. Find your favourite magazines from around the house. Flip through them and whatever stands out, clip it out. You can figure out it's place in your vision board later. Just make sure to lead with your natural intuition.
  2. On a large paper board, arrange the cut outs the way they connect to you. For instance: I laid mine out by categories such as house/home, career, relationships/family, appearance/fashion, health, and my large dream.
  3. I like to add the words on last, where I find they will stand out most.
  4. Start gluing!
  5. Hang the vision board some where that you will be able to see everyday or most often. You can actually take a picture of the board and place it as a computer background, phone wallpaper or screen saver.
  6. Have fun! This is for you, it doesn't have to be perfect.
I'll be creating my Health Coaching Business vision board this weekend.

Have you ever created a Vision Board?

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Fitness Love: Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer

Energy Drinks have always been a weakness for me. I don't have a lot of energy from being anaemic (not enough iron in my body), so I usually require a little boost before I workout. I used to grab an energy drink on my way to the gym from a corner store. I knew it was very bad for me but I just needed something so I wasn't dragging through my run. Everything changed when I found Vega Sport - Pre-Workout Energizer. 

I'll admit I was a little doubtful if it would give me the same energy as a Rockstar or Red Bull. Luckily I was wrong and it actually was tremendously better than the "others". It comes in a small package that is handy to carry around in your purse or gym bag. Throw a couple in your car and all you have to do is add it to water. No more empty cans in my car either - bonus! I made sure to drink it 20 minutes before my workout and I could feel the change in my body. There was no energy spike and then crashing. It's a gradual energy increase that is perfect for exercising. I love that it doesn't over stimulate your body either. When I drank Rockstar my speech actually became slurred, it was scary! With Vega Sport there's no caffeine headaches and I never have trouble getting to sleep at night when I work out in the afternoon/evening.

My two cousins who are both teenage boys, play a lot of sports. I always hated them seeing me drink an energy drink when I would preach to them to stay away from it. After my cousins hockey game the other weekend I gave him one of the Vega Sport packages to try out. The next day I got a text (rarely happens lol) saying "I love this stuff! and where can I get more?". This cousin is 16 years old and is devoted to a healthy body and fitness. He said he couldn't believe the energy it gave him and he was able to achieve a full workout session at the gym and all while never losing his endurance.

My Rating:  5 STARS

Benefits of Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer

    Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer (18g SINGLE) - Lemon Lime
  • Instant energy and slow burning fuel
  • No crashing!
  • Organic sprouted brown rice syrup enters the blood stream quickly (due to high GI index) and gives you instant energy.
  • Organic palm nectar provides slow released energy (due to low GI index) = no spike no crash
  • Convenient packages
  • Two flavors: Acai Berry and Lemon Lime
  • Tastes similar to a berry or lime iced tea
  • Equal or less in price to other energy drinks
  • It's a blend of 13 plant-based ingredients

Do you require an energy drink before you workout? Or do you enjoy having one every once in a while?

I'm curious to know how you build up your energy before exercising.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Did You Know? Gummy Vitamins

Eeek! It's one of those things that make me cringe, Gummy Vitamins! and especially if you are feeding them to kids.

These buggers are sneeeky!
Gummy vitamins do not improve your health. The gummy's are usually coated or combined with corn syrup (sugar). Not only is sugar unhealthy for your body but it also starts cravings for more sugar. To create the gummy vitamin the manufacturers must heat the material to very high temperatures that pretty much kills all the nutritional value in the vitamin. This leaving you with  : A Daily Candy.

With kids, it's important to avoid teaching them that eating candy everyday is an okay thing to do. Small kids don't understand that it's supposed to be a vitamin. All they see and think is candy, candy, candy! Creating a daily habit of eating candy is very unhealthy for any child.

I know it may be heard to get your children to take vitamins if they are picky eaters but it's best to try to get them to receive more vitamins and nutrients from the food they eat. Load your kids up with as many organic veggies, fuit and lean protein as you can. There is some vitamin & supplement companies that provide vitamins for kids that do not contain corn syrup and other high content sugar substances. They also try to make it kid friendly by shaping the vitamins into characters.

All you adults who pop those gummies back every day... let's be honest.. something that tastes that good, can't be good for you! Don't worry, I used to be fooled too ;)

Have you fallen for Gummy Vitamin temptation?

img via

Monday, 15 October 2012

I won I won! : Trip To Cuba

I'm baaack! I took some time away from my computer and the internet while I was on my stay-cation. I'm happy to be back and get back into providing health tips and stories.

The Announcement in the newspaper.

While I was on my stay-cation I got some exciting news... I won a trip to Cuba! Can you believe it? I couldn't! I had entered a contest through 24hr newspaper to win an all inclusive trip. I had totally forgot about entering. I was driving along in my car and missed a call, so I checked my voice mail once I stopped and was listening to the lady from the paper talking about how I won a contest. All I could think was "oh that's cool, I probably won a gift card to a restaurant or something". She didn't mention that it was a trip to Cuba till the end of the message, just slipped that in at the end. I started freaking out by myself in the car. People around me thought I was crazy. I instantly called the newspaper back and claimed my prize. We are able to travel whenever we would like and the travel agent is calling us this week to book the trip. The prize includes: flight, 7 night accommodation at the all inclusive - 5 star resort, Sandals Royal Hicacos (Varadero).  Scott and I can't wait to go. We have been wanting to get away for over a year now.

My hot chef in the kitchen, celery rose, sunset and hockey - perfect combo!

During my time off we had the pleasure of celebrating Thanksgiving at Scott's parents house and the food was excellent! Stuffing, sweet potato casserole, broccoli and cauliflower gratin, all were yummy. The weather was mostly sunny during my time off and I was able to relax and enjoy the beautiful sunsets from our condo. I was also able to catch a hockey game that my cousin was playing in.

All in all it was a great time off and I was able to rejuvenate and prepare for the upcoming busy months. I also had a chance to try out the Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer and I'll be posting my review of it this week - stay tuned!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Health Coach: The Ups & Downs of a Healthy Weight

As a healthy coach I not only want to help people learn to avoid cancer and disease but I also want to help them with weight issues. 

Lots of people assume I have always been this weight and it comes naturally to me. They assume that I have never had to work hard for my body and I've never struggled with my weight. Well let me tell you, they gotta it all wrong...

Feeling healthy and happy

I don't share this with a lot of people because it's a thing of the past but I want to be open and true with my clients and let them know that I've been in their shoes before, I want to share my journey through weight loss with you all.

When I was around 5 years old I was super tiny and a healthy kid. I was always outside and wanting to go go go. My family always had to drag me inside from playing. From the age 10-12 I started putting on more and more weight. I believe it was caused by a number of factors. Moving to a new school, staying inside more/less active and be self conscious of the weight I had put on. There were days when I would go out to the playground and kids would tease me about being fat. At the time it didn't really hurt me but it's one of those moments that gets drilled into your brain for the rest of your life. My eating habits didn't help and my family didn't know much about nutrition. We ate meat and potatoes or pasta. Always with a bun or bread on the side. I became a big snacker too.

The summer before I went into high school, I decided to start walking every where instead of taking the bus or asking for a ride. I was back to being outside and active again like I was when I was 5. Without even meaning to, the weight started to slide off. When I went back to school everyone noticed and commented. It felt great to be complemented. Like monkey see - monkey do = I started paying attention to what my mom was saying about dieting and keeping up with the latest diet fads in magazines. I started to try diets, running and working out. It became natural to worry about what I was eating and how my body looked. I kept a pretty standard weight during high school but had poor eating habits. I would sometimes only have a slurpee for lunch because it was what I was craving and I didn't want to eating anything else as I was afraid of gaining weight.

The year after high school I became clinically depressed. I felt lost in life, my family became healthy so I no longer could be the care giver and I had a poisonous relationship with my boyfriend that I could not give up. I became very vulnerable and insecure. It didn't help that my boyfriend at the time was lets say "not so great" and more attracted to other girls. Feeling like I wasn't good enough (physically), I started to control my weight intensely. There wasn't a certain point when I began my deadly downwards spiral. Slowly I became anorexic. I started to lie to family and friends that I was perfectly fine and I was eating. Truth was, I wasn't okay. My lowest weight was 108lbs - 113lbs and I'm 5'8. I would eat one piece of fruit in the morning and a snack at night. I would also run or walk for 30min everyday. I stepped on the scale 3 times a day. I was obsessed and it was something I could control when I felt like I had no control over anything in life at that time. I was also receiving lots of attention, so it felt good and I couldn't see anything wrong. I look back now and I can say I looked so unhealthy and unattractive.

At my unhealthy lowest weight

I never went for help for my anorexia directly but I had gone to a naturopath for my depression. He had found that I was allergic to several common foods and I had a brain allergy to sugar. Once I had something new to focus my attention on and something to control, I slowly returned to a healthy weight. I gained a new interest in health and nutrition and started learn about how the food we eat tremendously affects how our brain functions and our bodies feel.

With my knowledge of health and fitness I now maintain a healthy weight and am not afraid to step on a scale. I understand that a healthy combination of mind, body and soul can bring happiness to your life. There's been times when my weight fluctuates due to stress or something in my life being out of balance. I've learnt how to reflect and make corrections. I love the way I feel inside and out when I'm eating healthy, working out and my life is in balance for me.

I want to help people feel alive and healthy!

Have you ever dealt with weight issues?

Friday, 5 October 2012

Weekend Warm-Up : Staycation

Roasted Butternut Squash via Oh She Glows
Happy Friday! Today is my last day of my "day job" before I head home for a stay-cation. I'm totally stoked for this. Luckily it came quickly for me and now I have the time to relax, rejuvenate and decompress for a while. I can't wait to catch up on blogs, write some new posts and study my butt off. Lately I haven't had the time to keep up to my goal of 3-4 blog posts per week because of school, work and everything else in between. This will also give me time to get outside and adventure on with my camera in hand.
This week I bought a new 2012 Ford Escape and am loving it. I think I might take a tiny road trip with just me and my camera and probably a dog to keep me company on the ride. On Saturday we are heading with a couple friends to go for a hike and then heading to dinner. I still haven't figured out how I'm going to look presentable to go for dinner after a hike?! With my natural wavy hair it loves to flop or go frizzy in the fall weather. I just might be rocking a sexy ponytail for dinner.

Any plans for the weekend?

Lovely Links: 
  • Needing to cleanse? Ambitious Kitchen created a green monster smoothie that's drool worthy.
  • Quinoa, Apple, Almonds and chickpeas - brilliant combo recipe
  • Steven Jobs passed away one year ago today. The man had an amazing outlook on life.
  • Looking for some new tunes to workout too? Fitsugar provides.
  • I've got to come clean... I'm a Martha Stewart fan. Here's her Whole-Wheat Turkey Stuffing. I've used her stuffing recipes many times for Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners.
A quote from my horoscope for all the ARIES people :
Don’t forget, o’ charging Ram: sometimes the most brilliant ideas can come from looking back.

Have a wonderful weekend! aaand Happy Thanksgiving fellow Canadians xo


Thursday, 4 October 2012

Thanksgiving & Gratitude

Sunflowers at Kits Whole Foods
This weekend here in Canada it's our Thanksgiving. My family usually gathers at my mom/grandparents house or my aunts house to dive into delicious food. This year though there's been a mix up in dates with my cousin's hockey tournament and my aunts family will be out of town. So my mom and I will be joining my boyfriends family on Sunday for a quiet Thanksgiving there. I'll miss my own family dinner but this will be nice to spend some time with his side of the family. I don't know if I'll be able to grab pictures of the thanksgiving spread before it's rummaged apart. It's good food over at the Kennedy's!

Like everyone else I find Thanksgiving a great time to slow down and appreciate the people around us. Ponder how the year has gone and what I'm looking forward to in the last few months of the year.

Do you take the time everyday to be grateful? Should we have to wait for Thanksgiving to share with family what we are thankful for? I think I'm going to suggest to my family the next time we gather all together for a meal that we say what we are thankful for. A new family tradition!

Practising gratitude every day can create a positive environment for you and the people surrounding you. Think about what happens when you roll through your gratitude list. Soon there's a smile on your face, your feeling a little lighter, you forget about the minuscule problems in life and fresh ideas pop into your head. People around you feel this energy. They notice a smile on your face and imitate it, thus creating a domino effect. Try starting your day with a gratitude note. It doesn't have to be perfect, it's just to get the ideas strolling through your head.

img via
My Personal Thanks:   I'm thankful for, are you ready for this one.....  My mom's tumour on her neck has decreased in size and the chemo has made the cancer in her lungs go from a black mass to a grey matter! Woohoo. I'm grateful treatment is working. I'm grateful she continues to laugh and smile (laughter reverses cancer - studies actually show!). I'm grateful for my family who unconditionally love and support me. I'm grateful that I have a soul mate who knows me so well and who continues to be there for me even when I get very aggressive or mad when there's waay to much going on in my head! I'm grateful for my job, new SUV (the perfect health coach mobile) and my health. I'm grateful for gaining knowledge to become a health coach so I can teach people that cancer is preventable: don't give Cancer the chance to be a part of your life.

Are you grateful for anything special this year?

Monday, 1 October 2012

Monday Review: Dog Photography

I got a little sneeky this weekend!

Meeka & Kailey
I've been taking my dogs to Uptown Dog (dog daycare) for years now. There I met an incredible person, Kelley. She recently opened up her own business on the side doing outdoor dog photography named Mutts Be Loved.  My mom had wanted to schedule a session with Mutts Be Loved before she was diagnosed with cancer but once the treatment started and the costs for medications came into effect there just wasn't room in our budget for a photo session. Kelley contacted me earlier this week and wanted to surprise my mom with a photo session with our dogs.

Kelley was incredible with the dogs and did an absolutely amazing job. She picked them up from my house and took Meeka & Kailey (our dogs) out to a couple parks and trails and began her camera magic. She quickly got the photos edited and we were able to print some out to surprise my mom with them on Sunday. My mom had no clue this surprise was coming except that I kept confirming with her that we were having coffee at 1pm exactly so she thought something was off (silly me). Kelley presented them to her and she instantly started to cry.... and of course made the rest of us tear up. It truly touched our hearts how thoughtful it was of Kelley to do this for my mom. Every bit of happiness and positivity added to her day will make a difference. Seeing those incredible pictures of her dogs will add a smile to her face all the time.

It's beautiful the affect animals can have on our wellbeing. A simple touch to a dog can calm your heart rate and bring a softness to your own body. My mom has told me that Kaily & Meeka have been an important part of her healing process. They've been there for her during the rough nights of being sick and they lean up against her when she needs a hug. Now when I'm babysitting them and she's missing them she can look at these pictures too.

Thanks again Kelley! - Mutts Be Loved (facebook page)

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