My thoughts on life and everything in between...
We Day 2013
So this was my second year at We Day and once again it was incredible...
It was a day full of inspiration, music, dancing and more than anything a group of people with similar ideas and passions coming together to become WE, because millions of voices are louder than one. I particularly love We Day because kids & teens have to earn their way there instead of just buying tickets. They have to be nominated and selected through their school or other organizations in order to get a spot and I think that is incredible!
The star studded line up included: Martin Luther King the third, Naheed Nenshi, Magic Johnson, Spencer West, Nelly Furtado,Craig and Marc Kielburger, Shawn Desman, Down With Webster, Kardinal Offishall, Karl Wolf and fellow Albertan and best selling author Amanda Lindhout!
But what is the impact, does it actually work?
Find out here:
Here are more stats on the successes of We Day:
I attended this event through my amazing job at Kids Up Front Calgary. We brought a group of 11 outstanding youth who were all nominated and selected based on their pay it forward attitude and their contributions to the community. These kids/youth were incredible, they all had very unique and impressive stories. This is all part of our "Pay It Forward Project", recognizing amazing youth in our city every month!
I learned so much from this group, they were so selfless, caring, committed and passionate about the causes in their lives. I am so glad I got to go to the event but even more so because I got to spend the day with these amazing kids. I have no doubt that they will all go on to do amazing things on top of what they have already accomplished.
Here is just a glimpse at how unbelievable some of these kids are:
(Names have been shorted for privacy)
- "A" was born with an infection that ended up costing him his leg at only 1 month old. He is now 11 years old and one of the most incredible kids you will ever meet. He is a leader in the sports community specifically with sledge hockey. He teaches kids not to be frustrated with what you can't do but be happy with what you can achieve. He has such a positive attitude, volunteers for various events in Calgary and is always more than willing to be the face for causes like War Amps, Kids Up Front's Pay It Forward project and more! What a rock star.
- "J" is a dedicated volunteer with several organizations in Calgary but one cause is near and dear to her heart. Her brother was diagnosed with cancer at a very young age and because of that she has set out to help! She has already volunteered 125 hours this year. She does gift wrapping in malls, helps at homeless shelters and helps with the Kids Cancer Care events. She has went to Mexico 4 years in a row now, helping build homes and playing with local kids in orphanages. She is a great example at how amazing the younger generation is and how they will change the world!
Those are just 2 of the 11 kids that I got to hang out with all day yesterday...lucky me! I took so much away from not only the guest speakers but more so from the kids I was with. It made me realize that we can always be better, do better, work harder and be more passionate about the causes we care about. These kids have done so much already and I cannot wait to see what they accomplish in the years to come!
Here is another amazing kid, blogger and social activist Hannah Alper who was one of the guest speakers at We Day. At only 10 years old she is wise beyond her years and I am jealous of her public speaking skills.
Check Hannah out below:
Check Hannah out below:
We can learn so much from kids, we just have to listen and be willing to not only just hear them out but also encourage them and their ideas. They need to know they are supported and that no idea or dream is too big if they put their mind to it.
How are you going to help change the world today, tomorrow and in the years to come?
Feeling blessed & inspired,
How are you going to help change the world today, tomorrow and in the years to come?
Feeling blessed & inspired,
Fall is here...Sept 26
Well, fall is officially here and well, I am not happy about it. I am not sure why fall & winter come as a surprise to me every year, as if I have never experienced it before? All I know is that I was born to live in the summer, at the beach, in the water. But unfortunately I live in a province that gets 7 months of winter...so why not make the best of it?
Here are a few things to look forward to this fall & winter (or at least pretend to be excited about)...
1. Boots, Boots & More Boots!
4. Party, Party, Party!
I looove throwing theme parties and I look forward to our annual Halloween party in October and the good ol' ugly sweater extravaganza in December!
5. More family time!
|Me & T|
10 Signs that your clock is ticking...
or maybe its all in your head.
1. You only ever go on the "Kids" section of Pinterest
2. You have a list of fave baby names on your phone note pad
3. You have dreams of being in full blown labour
4. You have already planned the nursery colors & themes
5. You judge every parenting decision anyone makes (good & bad)...since when did I care?
6. You start notice all of the death traps in your home and realize how un-kid friendly your house is
7. You know what ovulation is and when it happens...
8. You start thinking about vehicle safety rather than how shiny and pretty they are
9. You look for cute maternity outfits
10. You push out your belly to get a preview of how cute your gonna look knocked up
or is it just me?
Today's Guest Blogger is: McKensi Mills, Independent Consultant with Arbonne International!
My name is McKensi Mills and I’m an Independent Consultant with Arbonne International. I started my Arbonne Business because I truly believe in the product. Overall, I eat healthy and exercise regularly as a CrossFit athlete, and I wanted to expand that healthy lifestyle into all aspects of my life including my personal care products.
I found my skin was dull-looking and I suffered from breakouts and acne scars even when I used expensive top of the line products. This is a thing of the past! When I switched to Arbonne’s hypoallergenic and PH balanced products, it was the first time a product actually worked for my skin! It was a life changer!
I was introduced to Arbonne by my best friend in Toronto. When I started using the product, I wanted to share this great stuff with everyone I know. I am finally happy with my skin! I was hesitant to join at first because, seriously, who do you know who has been successful at network marketing? For me, it’s a cheaper way to use product I love! I also thought that people already have products they like to use and won’t want to switch. But then I remembered how I wasn't happy with my countless products despite the amount of money I spent at Sephora. Truthfully, I can stand behind these products and business 100% because they use the purest of botanical ingredients with the safest of science to produce products that actually do what they say they are going to do! The RE9 Anti-Aging Line is # 1 on the market for results and even clears up problem skin! I see myself using Arbonne forever and in 25 years from now when I’m 50, I will not need Botox!
Did you know that the EU bans 1,100 ingredients in personal care products and North America only bans 10! Arbonne has been around for 33 years and its Swiss Heritage adheres to these ingredient standards. Arbonne has LIFE CHANGING skin care lines for all types of skin, as well as nutritional line, and THE BEST cosmetics around! And because Arbonne has a direct selling business model, we can offer clients a premium brand at affordable prices! Plus, with their preferred client program, you always get 20% off and discounts on future orders!
A few things to note, buyer beware should be on about every product we use because they are chuck full of chemicals that are being introduced and absorbed by our bodies in just 26 seconds of applying it! That is much faster than ingesting something. We can actually damage our skin by using products that are not ph balanced and is why many people have adverse reactions that they think are internal (acne anyone?) but are mostly caused by the products we use. Check out this YouTube video about the history of cosmetics . I have so much more to tell you why you should at least try it (45 day money back guarantee), but I’ll save that for when you call me up because you have decided you want to use safer products that actually work!
If you have any questions or just want to try a sample, contact me at: email@example.com and thanks for reading!
Here goes nothing...
August 22- Do I Dare?
So I have been debating for a very long time about whether or not to post one of my boudoir photos. I have gone back and forth finding positives to both sides...
I can post it and I am sure to get some amazing feedback & support, inspire other women to do it, feel proud of myself and maybe gain a little confidence.
I also have a brother, a dad, cousins, friends and more who might not be super pumped about it. Not because they don't support me but because I am posting a fairly revealing photo of myself online...and to be 100% honest the photo shows just as much as a bikini and that's it...
I personally don't care about showing it, in fact it is the opposite. I am so proud of myself for doing it and love the results (thanks to the amazing photographer) I am proud of who I am and of the photo but there is the little angel sitting on my shoulder whispering in my ear telling me no...
So after months and months of debating I received this email last night from an anonymous reader who follows my blog (A few things have been edited to keep the persons identity safe).
"Dear Happy Sprinkle, I have been following your blog, specifically the health challenge. I read that you took boudoir photos a while back, I have been contemplating getting those types of photos for a long time but cannot bring myself to do it. It scares the **** out of me actually. I am the type of person who seems very confident on the outside but on the inside I am the exact opposite. I can pick every flaw, I hate so many things about my body and clothes never seem to fit the way I want them to. I read that you were going to post one of your photos and I was very much looking forward to it but I still have not seen one. I would absolutely love to see one of the photos and it might just give me the kick that I need to go and do it. I know not everyone will view it as inspiring but I do, if you can do it, I can do it-plain and simple. For all of us who need a kick in the *** to go and do it, please post one" -Anonymous.
I read this last night and thought, wow I feel the exact same way-doesn't every woman? We pick ourselves apart, hate so many things about our body that most of the time we cannot change and we get obsessed with our body image and it doesn't help that magazines, TV shows and everything in between are telling us how we should look, what weight is sexy, how to hide the things we don't like...
So I pushed myself and finally did it!
When I decided to get the boudoir photos I wasn't sure what to expect. I bought my outfits, didn't eat all day and drank tons of water (no joke, I didn't eat because I was so nervous and didn't want to look fat)-there is my good ol' insecurity kicking in.
I arrived at the studio and the make up artist and photographer made me feel so comfortable as soon as I walked in and I immediately started to feel so much better. I started browsing through the boudoir books and saw women of all shapes, sizes,skin color and age. But you want to know what all of them had in common?
...They were ALL beautiful!! I was so impressed with the diversity and how amazing women's bodies are no matter what size, shape, imperfections they have.
Every single last one of them looked stunning, feminine, sexy and confident.
Check some of them out here!
I started to get so excited! My hair & Make up was done and I loooved it! I couldn't wait to get started. I walked down into the beautiful studio and we got right into it.
The photographer, Erica, was so very nice and welcoming. She made me feel so comfortable and knew exactly how to instruct me. She knew poses that are not only flattering to the female form but also poses that are classy and elegant. In no way do these photos come off as raunchy, over sexed or distasteful.The entire experience was empowering and gave me a sort of high that I had never experienced before.
I would highly recommend getting them done, for whatever reason you might have for doing it: for yourself, for your significant other, to boost your self confidence or any other reason you find. It was an amazing experience and I cannot say enough how amazing TAIT Photography (Erica) was and I recommend her without any reservations. I also would highly recommend the make up artist, she did a great job!!
So for all of you who are contemplating it and for the anonymous reader above, this is for you!
(Recently edited to show only my top half!)
|Credit: TAIT Photography|
July 16-Health Challenge Update
So it has been a while since I last updated and here is the honest truth...I have fell off the health train. For about three weeks now I have not been sticking to my routine at all. After going to the lake and then Stampede I was doomed!
Good news is that I am getting back on the train and dusting off the running shoes, it is time to get back on track!!
Step 1- start eating healthy again, this time don't be so hard on myself if I have an off day!
Step 2- get moving, get back into the fitness routine even if work hours are unpredictable.
Step 3- Cut out small realistic things like cheese and limit carbs, keep it simple.
Well here I go...back on the wagon!!
July 10-Guest Blogger Casey Y is back!
Today's blog post is a follow up by our guest blogger, mom and Jazzercise instructor Casey Y,who attended the amazing Fitness Fiesta recently in La Quinta, CA!
JAZZERCISE FITNESS FIESTA EVENT
Live on Location by: Casey Yousph
|Casey at the hotel!|
This year Jazzercise Inc.’s annual event was held at the fabulous Waldorf Astoria Hilton 5 star luxury resort located at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains in La Quinta, CA. The La Quinta Resort has a prominent spa, fabulous dining, is surrounded by PGA west golf courses and is frequented by celebrities.
I was one of close to 1,000 fitness enthusiasts who attended this event and let me tell you, Jazzercise sure knows how to put on a show! The event schedule was AMAZING including a Shopping Expo, live routine taping, live home workout DVD taping and a variety of classes such as Best of La Quinta Live, Sassy Sculpt & Stretch, Hot Cha Cha, Combo Caliente and Junior Jazzercise Performances! The list of presenters was incredibly impressive. When you calculate their years of teaching experience alone, they have more than 195 years of instructing classes between them!
On top of being blessed to have the opportunity to attend this event, I was also fortunate enough to be given an interview with Jazzercise CEO and Founder, Judi Sheppard Missett! This beautiful and talented Fitness Industry Icon has a background that is beyond impressive.She has been a fitness advocate and aerobic dance pioneer for more than 40 years. You can read Judi’s full bio here!
|Casey & Judi!|
Judi told me all about living in the desert and her key to success for being at the top of the Fitness Industry for so many years. She shared with me a little about how she selects her choreography and music and also gave me the inside scoop on next year’s event. Please view my interview with Judi Sheppard Missett!
Judi loves being in the desert, as she feels she channels a lot of energy here. She is a real life Desert Diva and part time resident here as she owns a prominent mid-century historical home in Rancho Mirage. The unique home was built by Leo Maranz, the inventor of the soft serve ice cream machine. His wife was the daughter of one of the Marx Brothers. Maranz commissioned the home to be built in 1960 and Judi and her family are now the 4th owners of the famous home.
I asked Judi a little about the Jazzercise Real Results Marketing campaign and she reinforced that the Jazzercise program is meant for all ages, shapes and fitness levels. She feels that her keys to success have been adhering to excellence, maintaining the integrity of the program and not being afraid of change. She feels that fitness is for everyone and that it should be fun because that is what motivates people to come back -- and come back they do! Judi also told me an interesting fact: 1 in 4 customers worldwide have been with the program for 10 years or longer. “That is a wonderful statistic and a great testimonial,” says Judi Sheppard Missett.
I also asked Judi about how she continues to keep her choreography so cutting-edge and how she consistently selects the latest and hottest music! She said that it is attributed to constant research and development on both choreography and music. They are constantly receiving music demos and she has an assistant who does a lot of R&D for her. She is more than happy to select music if it is appropriate. “Sometimes the lyrics don’t fit with who we are and who our customers are,” she noted. Judi is constantly doing choreography and she sees things in her head and in her body. She mentioned it is like being an artist, but using your body to paint. She has had a lot of training and an extensive background with professional dancers and dance masters. Therefore she has a lot of movement within her to share with all of her wonderful instructors and customers in more than 32 countries worldwide.
Also very exciting - Jazzercise will soon release a new home workout DVD called Dance HiiT which was filmed live on location at La Quinta. This high intensity interval training workout had me sweating more than I ever have in my life! Check out this clip of me trying out the routine “Break Your Heart” byTaio Cruz.
Buy the HOT Dance HiiT sound track here!
Next year’s annual event is already more than 70% sold out. Event details can be found here!
Judi made mention that so many people have been requesting Washington as an upcoming location and so they decided to go for it! The hotel they selected is so elite that it is where the Presidential White house Correspondence dinners are held. Register today before they are sold out!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post! I hope to write another follow up after next year’s event in July 2014 LIVE from Washington, DC. In the meantime, please like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and find more information online!
Day 23- Meal Prepping!
I find one of the most important parts of my health challenge has been organization and meal prepping. If I don't have a meal planned or a lunch packed it is that much harder to make a bad or unhealthy choice.It doesn't help that I am coming close to my lovely monthly gift and I want to eat everything!! I cheated quite a few times when Trent and I were at the lake this weekend but in my defense I did run and go for a few hikes to try and counteract it all. I find it so hard to watch portions and eat healthy when it is "that time", I have always been like that. So to try and get control over it I meal prep, well at least Monday-Friday. I am going to buy some healthy snacks tonight and separate them into healthy portions (I love the 100 calorie bags from Ziploc, they help so much!).
Here are some of my tips & tricks when it comes to planning my meals:
Breakfast: I keep a box of oatmeal at work, that way I know I have breakfast every day and I won't forget it or be too rushed. If you aren't able to eat breakfast at work I recommend yogurt and easy things to grab when you are running out the door. You can easily prep breakfast by cutting up things like apples, oranges, white cheese etc and have them in to go containers or those awesome bags I mentioned. Melba toast is great if you want something crunchy or something close to toast but quicker, add peanut butter and your set! Nuts are also a great breakfast addition (lots of protein and will keep you full).
|Apple & Cheese Breaky!|
Lunch: I make my lunch for work 90% of the time, that way I know that I will be eating healthy and saving money! I usually always make salads unless I have left overs of some sort. I use either spinach or mix of greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, a few cubes of feta or mozzarella and some sort of lean protein. I use small amount of my FAVE gluten free Greek dressing made my Blue Kettle which is made by two ladies here in Alberta! I also try to bring a mid afternoon snack to keep me going like yogurt or an apple. I pre-make my protein for my salad during my prep on Sunday. This week I pre-cooked several chicken breasts(no sauce just some garlic powder) so I am good to go for the week!
Supper: Now here is where I need to improve! I always leave supper up to the last minute or decide when I am on my way home from work. I am better on weekends, I tend to throw something in the slow cooker but during the week I need to start including supper into my prep and planning on Sunday. It is so much easier for everyone if it is already decided and it also avoids the "well I am craving a cheeseburger and there is nothing else planned" fiasco.
I am still working everyday to be better, I feel very guilty when I cheat or don't work out but I still have 14 days until my before and after photo so I better get at it...If you want more meal planning inspiration, follow me on Pinterest!
Day 15- Time to sweat!
So it has been over two weeks now and I feel fantastic!
I have had so much success in such a short amount of time! I would say my eating habits are changed for the better, I do have temptations every now and then but I manage my portions and repetition. I have not had any diet pop for weeks now, I have eaten fast food once (don't worry I ordered a salad with dressing on the side).
For those occasions where I want to have a drink I have been doing white wine spritzers or light beer (I really like the low cal Michelob Ultra) or if I really want a treat I drink vodka with sparkling water and lemon or lime juice. Also, when your stuck at events like Duck Lake Days (my hometown peeps will know that what means) and the only food options is burgers, steak and potatoes you have to compromise. I ate a burger with only half a bun and mustard as the only condiment! I also try to have a healthy snack in my purse or vehicle just in case there are no other options.
I was weighed at the doc's office on Saturday and I have officially still lost 6 pounds which I am still happy with although I will be extremely happy with 6 more.
Although my eating habits are on track I need to step up my exercise regime. Week 1 and part of week 2 I was working out every day but then last week I had so many things going on I didn't exercise nearly enough. My goal this week is to get back on track in terms of working out. I have Jazzercise class tonight which will get me going! I plan on going hard in order to get the next 6 pounds off my body!!
Getting ready to sweat!
Day 11- Guest Blogger Casey
Today's blog post is brought to you by our guest blogger and mom Casey, who lost a whopping 55 pounds after having two babies...and she also happens to be my Jazzercise instructor. I started Jazzercise back in the fall and I absolutely love it, it is energetic, fun and diverse. My mother in law got me into it and I am so glad she did. It is the perfect blend of cardio and strength. My mother in law also lost over 25 pounds by going 4 times a week and cleaning up her diet. The results are real...read more about Casey's Journey below.
Add Some Jazz To Your Life!
My name is Casey and I am your local Jazzercise instructor. I am also a wife to my husband of eight years) and a stay-at-home mom to my two amazing children - my 4-year-old daughter, Jada, and my 1-year-oldson, Davin. I am the Franchise Owner of both the Westcott and Crossfield Jazzercise locations and am a Certified Instructor for Jazzercise, as well as a professionally trained Freelance Makeup Artist. I feel SO incredibly lucky to be able to be at home with my children and to be able to do what I love on the side! A huge thank you to my wonderful husband who has always encouraged and supported me in everything I have wanted to pursue, as well as my extended family and close friends for their help along the way.
Here is my story:
We live out in the country on a little acreage that once belonged to my husband’s grandparents. My story begins in Ontario where I was born in 1981.We relocated to Alberta in 1994 when my father had lost his job and my mom was able to find work here. In 1999, just shortly before my high school graduation, my father passed away from a massive heart attack at the young age of 44. Unfortunately, he wasn't exactly the picture of health, as he was a drinker, smoker, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and was overweight.
I was 18 years old when this life changing event happened and my way of coping was to go out and party with my friends, which then started catching up with me. Along the way I tried various fitness classes, such as Boot Camp, Pilates, Hip Hop and Step, but I just never stuck with anything. I would always sign up, but would then dread going and end up skipping class. I wanted to make the change to a healthier lifestyle, but hadn't yet found the program that was right for me.
It wasn't until I was married and had my first child that everything in my life changed for the better. Before I conceived my daughter, I decided to input my weight into an online BMI calculator and it told me I was “Obese Category 1.” This put everything into perspective for me. I wasn't just overweight; I was now in the next category up and to make matters worse, I gained another 40lbs,putting me at my absolute heaviest weight (pregnant or not) at 220lbs. After I had my daughter and settled into my new life as a mom, I knew I needed to do something for myself. I set out to get back into the world of exercise.
I went to a local Jazzercise class and. truth be told, I almost didn't go back after the first class. The class itself was amazing, but I felt so out of shape and it was intimidating not knowing anyone in the class and not knowing the “moves.” But I wasn't about to give up so easily! I went back again and again, and before long I really wanted to go work out! Instead of making excuses to not go to class, I was actually turning down invites to go out with friends because my Jazzercise class was that night. I had fallen in love with the program.
A year later I decided to become an instructor and was certified at a workshop in Guelph, Ontario in May, 2010. In October, 2010 I opened my first location at the Westcott Community Hall. In June of 2011 I had my second baby. I continued with a low impact work out all through my pregnancy, took four months off over the summer months, and then was right back at it. In April, 2012 I opened my second location at The Crossfield Community Hall.
My business is now thriving and I feel like I have achieved so many milestones. I recently taught my first junior session, which was very rewarding working with children. I have also participated in numerous community events, such as fundraisers for Breast Cancer, 5km Run Warm-ups, Health & Wellness Challenges, Tradeshows, and volunteering with our local school’s Cheerleading Group and the Gymnastics Club Performance Group. I try to give back to the community as much as I can, as I really enjoy being able to motivate so many people to get moving! I am also SO looking forward to my first Jazzercise Event in Palm Springs in July.
I just love Jazzercise and I know it will be a big part of my life for a very long time! I recently received this message from one of my junior’s mothers:
“I just wanted to give you a big thank you for all your effort and hard work with the junior jazzercise. My daughter loved it and I could tell you put your heart and soul into it!! Not enough people have that same amount of passion!Hope your business soars and that you prosper!!”
Receiving feedback like this makes it all worth it! Jazzercise is my passion and I do hope it shows. It has changed my life forever in so many ways. Jazzercise is for all ages and for all fitness levels, and remember, we all had to start somewhere! I would love to have the opportunity to teach each and every one of you someday soon. Come and try it out – what have you got to loose?
Things I LOVE about Jazzercise
- The results - (down a total of about 55lbs and have lost count of how many inches) and it is NOT about being skinny. Strong is the new skinny. It’s about being healthy, fit, being active and having fun doing it!Jazzercise is good for your cardiovascular health! Burn up to 600 calories a class.
- It is for EVERYBODY – it is for all ages and all fitness levels. I have taught children as young as 3 and to ladies in their 70’s. I have worked with people who are pregnant or dealing with injuries and we always show low impact modifications so each individual can listen to their bodies and work at their own pace!
- The relationships I have made. I love each and every one of my Jazzercise girls. They are they to lift me up on my bad days and there to give me energy and make to me work harder. They are a huge part of my everyday life and I am very thankful for them and their friendships as well as their support of my business.
- 60 Minutes of Me Time! That might sound selfish but I think having small breaks from my children makes me a better mom. It gives me an hour to recharge, to relieve stress, to earn some extra money and to do something for myself. By me being healthy that will allow them to be a part of their life for longer I hope and I also hope it will lead by example for them to live an active lifestyle also.
- The Music! The Moves! A one-hour dance party – Yes Please! The music is so awesome it just makes you want to move and before you know it the hour is over and you have been having so much fun it didn’t even feel like a workout! So much fun!
- Total Body Workout – this class is a little bit of everything. Cardio, Strength, Stretch, Aerobics, Jazz, Pilates, Yoga etc. This fusion style work out does not miss any single muscle group on your body. We are constantly changing up the choreography so you won’t ever get bored.
- Very Affordable, Childcare & Flexible Schedule– As a mom these are major key points. Classes are less than $5/class when you work it out based on the monthly rate of $45. For $45 you get UNLIMITED classes for a whole month! This is cheaper than a one-hour session with a personal trainer. And no major contracts to sign, no cancellation fee if it isn't working out. Your membership INCLUDES classes at other locations so in my area alone there are about 24 classes a week to choose from WITH childcare. I love being able to bring my kids with me. They get a one-hour play date and mommy gets her work out in.How can you NOT fit it in your day? That is the question! 1 hour a day is only 4% of your day
Casey YousphFranchise Owner/Certified Instructor
Crossfield Jazzercise (offering 5 classes a week)
Westcott Jazzercise (offering 2 classes a week)
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What does a "REAL" woman look like?
This is a very interesting article that I came across and I gotta say- I agree with a majority of what she is saying. There isn't such thing as a "REAL" woman, every women is real: big, small and everything else in between. I am sure some will find this quite controversial.
Read the article for yourself Via RX Girl and tell me what you think!
"Of all the self-fulfilling prophecies in our culture the assumption that aging means decline and poor health is probably the deadliest."
Day 8- Success!
It has been 1 week since I started the health challenge and I am feeling great! I have had a few cheats here and there (a few glasses of wine, some cheesy potatoes etc) but 90% of the time I have been good! I think my best learning so far has been this: "Just because you have a cheat or a bad day doesn't mean you should throw it all out the window and give up". I am so bad at beating myself up for certain choices and then I think well I am off the wagon so I should give up...but it is different this time. Instead, when I have made a bad choice or "cheated" I make an extra effort to workout that day and try to work off those bad calories. Last night I made Caribbean spiced pork, salad and some really bad for you out of the box cheesy potatoes (I didn't have actual potatoes and store was closed). I probably had far too many of them but I made a conscious effort to go run on the treadmill until I had burnt at least 300 calories which was about equal to the potatoes I had consumed. I am not too obsessed with calories or numbers but i do try to pay attention if it is bad for me. I do think it is important to have little cheats here and there or I would go crazy but as long as they are under control then it is OK.
I have noticed a few slight changes. Firstly, the "bloated" feeling is gone. I don't feel like I have to lay down or take a time out after I eat now, it is actually the opposite, I feel energized. Second, since I have started eating better and more importantly stopped drinking aspartame, I don't get the headaches or the little chest pains I used to get after drinking a diet beverage. Third, I know this might be too much information but my visits to the porcelain bowl are more frequent and normal (and that's all I will say about that). Lastly, I feel proud of myself...I know it has only been a week but I really do feel like it is becoming a routine and not just something I will give up in the near future.
I know most of you are probably thinking, OK OK so you have started eating healthy and working out...but have you seen any results??? Well, Yes I can officially say that I have seen incredible results in a short amount of time.
Drum Roll Please...
So 1 week after starting this challenge I have lost 6 pounds! I measured twice and on different days to make sure and both results were the same! Eating cleaner and moving more has already allowed me to shed 6 big ones. It feels awesome! I don't notice a huge difference in my appearance(some of it is water weight I'm sure) but it is very rewarding to see that scale needle drop. Makes me want to keep going and to go even harder!
My lunch today:
Caribbean Spiced Pork Salad with cherry tomatoes and blueberries...YUM! I love the spice packs by McCormick, they are so handy and they come with recipes! I cooked the pork in the slow cooker with just water and the spices for 4.5 hours yesterday and now I have protein for my lunch salads almost all week!
Feeling even more determined,
Day 3- Ok, I admit it, I cheated
Well so far so good, feeling great and confident about my 30 day challenge. I have had at least 3 people join me in the challenge, thanks gals! If you are following along please let me know!
So there are a couple things to tell you about:
I will admit that I cheated a little last night, I wanted something delish to drink but I knew I couldn't have diet pop and definitely could not have regular pop or juice...so I compromised! I recently bought some organic carbonated juice at Costco called Santa Cruz Organic and it is yum yum! But it does have 100-140 calories per can depending on the flavor. So I poured half of the can into a glass and mixed it with carbonated water and gave the other half to my husband, it worked out to be around 50 calories for my 1 big glass which isn't too bad. We bought a soda maker a few years ago at Home Outfitters and it is awesome. You can make your own pop, carbonated water etc which is great because I love carbonated drinks! My life saver during the challenge has been homemade carbonated water with a splash of lemon juice = 0 calories!
Here is how I turned taco's into something pretty healthy:
First, I made my own batch of taco seasoning for the beef instead of using the store bought kind which I am sure is full of preservatives and way too much sodium. See the recipe I used below (it was so good!). I also have made it a habit to never use oil or butter in my pans when I cook meat, veggies or anything really. Instead I use water in the pan with some spices that will mix well with what I am cooking. If I really wanted to make this even more healthy I probably should have used ground turkey or chicken but hey I'll let it slide.
Second, instead of using hard or soft shells I used romaine lettuce leafs (nice and crispy so you still get the crunch). I also substituted light mozzarella instead of using marble or cheddar which are both full of oil. I didn't use any sauces like sour cream, salsa or hot sauce. Instead I just let the amazing seasoning/spices stand out on their own. I topped my lettuce leaf with some seasoned beef, cherry tomatoes, chives and some mozzarella cheese. They were so delish and I actually think I like them better than actual tacos. It was an all around success!
|Lettuce Leaf Tacos!|
1 TBSP- Chilli Powder
1/4 TSP-Garlic Powder
1/4 TSP-Onion Powder
1/4 TSP-Dried Oregano
1 1/2 TSP- Ground Cumin
1 TSP- Sea Salt
1 TSP- Black Pepper
Mix together dry in a bowl and throw on the meat when cooking with a bit of water!
I finished the day off with a 5 KM run/walk, 50 crunches, 25 bicep curls with 25 lb weight and 2 x 60 sec plank. I slept so good after all of this!!
Day 2- Motivation
I want to thank everyone so much for their support it has been so amazing!! I have several friends who have signed up to help motivate me, especially my friend "L" who successfully got into crazy good shape a few years back. She is going to be my daily text reminder to "stay on track".
So far I have not felt hungry or like I am missing out on anything. But the one thing I am going to find very very difficult is not drinking diet pop. I gave up diet pop about three weeks ago so it doesn't leave a lot of options in the beverage department (because I am trying not to consume sugar either).
My reasoning for no diet pop: I went to the doctor about a year ago just for a routine check up and I said, how can I be healthier? He said, "what are your bad habits?" I replied with, "Well I don't smoke, I drink occasionally and I guess I drink a lot of diet pop"...he replied with "Well that is a simple fix, stop drinking diet pop, it is literally poison". I always knew it wasn't the healthiest choice but when he said poison it really hit me. I have tried on and off to kick it but finally the last 3 weeks I have officially stopped drinking it.
Since my goal is to help share what works and what doesn't here is what I have done so far:
Day 1-I ran/walked about 5 km last night followed by 50 crunches, 50 squats and 50 bicep curls with a 25 pound weight. I am feeling it in my legs for sure. I had blueberries and black coffee for breakfast, a healthy bean & chicken soup for lunch and an apple as a late afternoon snack. For supper I had chicken with a bit of Jamaican jerk spice on it (remember spice is better than sauce or dip), yellow peppers & corn (with no butter) and a salad with cherry tomatoes, blueberries, feta cheese, light sprinkle of organic/gluten free Greek dressing. I felt satisfied all day and drank lemon water when I was thirsty.
I created the inspiration board below, to keep me going! I will rip off each tab as the days pass and I stick to a healthy routine. I also have a printed calendar where I keep track of my progress and meals.
May 27, The Star Of My Health Challenge:
So I woke up yesterday feeling gross (the few drinks the night before didn't help). Since May long weekend I have had terrible eating habits and drinking a lot of pop, juice and everything else that is bad for me. I have definitely put on a little weight as of late mostly because I have not been sticking to my regular fitness routine. So I decided to get inspired and motivate myself out of this rut. I turned to Instagram where I found many before & after photos of people who had challenged themselves to a healthier routine. It got my brain a turning!
I would say that I eat healthy pretty regularly but once a month (ladies you know what I am talking about) I binge eat out of control. Stupid hormones send me spiraling out of control straight for the fridge. I want everything: salt, sugar and everything in between. This scares me, mostly because Trent & I have definitely had the "baby talk" recently and I am sure sometime in the future we will try to have kids.When this does happen I wonder if my "raging hormones" make me want to eat everything in sight during pregnancy? What if I gain an unhealthy amount of weight? I want to eat clean and work out during these 9 months and be as healthy as I possibly can for many different reasons. So why not start now, get in the routine, make a lifestyle change not just dieting or cleansing but an actual full life change. It can't hurt, especially with my families history with cancer. I am going to try and combat it the only way I know how, by making healthy choices.
So I have decided to push myself to get as healthy as I can but how do I keep myself accountable? Well I will blog about and tell as many people as I can so there is no turning back...I have taken the dreaded "Before" photo but I am not comfortable sharing it quite yet, but maybe after I start seeing some results I will post it.
How am I going to do it?
Well I was inspired by Lauren Conrad and her Bikini Bootcamp not to mention she has some great recipe ideas. I am not going to follow it exactly but I do like that she promotes a lifestyle change not just a fad diet or quick fix. She is doing it for keeps.
Here are some of Lauren's Rules that I will follow:
- No white breads, large portions of cheese or fried foods
- No candy, baked goods, or ice cream. Ideally, no sugar!
- No soda or flavored drinks.
- No eating 2-3 hours before you to go bed ( I am going to call it 8:00pm cut off)
- 50 crunches in the morning, 50 crunches at night
- 60 second plank in the morning, 60 second side plank on each side at night
- Water, Water, Water-you should drink 1 ounce of water for every pound that you weigh per day
Here are some of my own rules:
- Exercise 6 times a week, taking 1 rest day-Just get moving!
- Pack my own healthy lunch Monday-Friday (I already do this 90% of the time)
- Drink a glass of lemon water 30 minutes before eating breakfast to kick-start the metabolism
- Try to limit alcohol but when you do drink, drink wine(Organic if possible) and watch portions!
- Have cheat days, rather than binge, have a cheat day but keep it reasonable and exercise it off after!
- Eat breakfast every single day!
- Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night (sleep is one of the most crucial parts of being healthy and losing weight).
- Keep a food and exercise journal to keep yourself on track.
- Set a measurable/realistic goals (I will share this with everyone soon but I need to weigh myself first)
I would love to have feedback, tips that you have tried, struggles and comments from all of you. If you want to do the challenge with me that is GREAT! Let me know and we can motivate each other. Lord knows women more than anyone else face constant criticism and pressure about our bodies and appearance so if we can help each other reach our goals, even better!
Feel free to contact me: http://www.happysprinkle.blogspot.ca on the right hand side of the home page.
Here is to a healthy and happy future,