Got 10 minutes? Do this workout!

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No more excuses, this takes 10 minutes and will make you feel great, burn calories, and get your heart rate way up, now GO 🙂

45 seconds Jumping Jacks

10 seconds rest

45 seconds “Jump Rope” on the spot (jumping up and down, do whatever you like with your arms, i do little circles as if holding a skip rope)

10 seconds rest

45 seconds of Burpees (feel free to add in a pushup on each or some burpees, if your not sure how to perform a burpee you can look on youtube) 

20 seconds rest

and repeat it all 2 more times! Then your done! Make sure to take a minute or two to walk around and cool down after, and stretch any tight muscles. This is also great to tie in with the rest of your workout if you do have more time.

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Better Digestion with a few simple rules

Food Combining for Optimal Digestion and Better Health

1: Eat Fruit by itself, only with other fruits, or with greens in a smoothie. For example, eat fruit on an empty stomach (the morning is perfect) and not after a meal, while having a piece of fruit after dinner is better than a sugary, fatty dessert, it will not digest properly and may cause some tummy issues.

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2: Do not combine high protein foods with carbohydrates, i.e. protein powder with fruit in a smoothie, a typical burger with fries, or pretty much mixing any meat with a grain or bread is a no no, one of the reasons your digestion is typically better when you are vegan 😉 .

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Examples of what IS good: tofu with veggies, quinoa with veggies, brown rice (yes brown rice is a complex carbohydrate that also has good quality protein) with veggies, tempeh with veggies, hummus with veggies, beans with veggies, or if you do eat animal products combining those with veggies as well is okay.

tofu, quinoa, and veggies

When it comes to starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes, it is best to eat those with another complex carbohydrate (i.e. grain) or with vegetables.

Following these guidelines will definitely give you better digestion, and better overall health because your food will be digested, absorbed, and eliminated in a smoother way. Now I will admit I don’t ALWAYS follow these guidelines, but if you do at least most of the time you will still benefit from it 🙂

Reference: “Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medecine (21st century edition)” , 2006, by Elson M. Haas, MD. with Buck Levin, PhD, RD. 

Creamy Coconut & Date Oatmeal!

Oh how I love oatmeal, and this is one of my favorite oatmeal combos! Oatmeal is a fantastic nutritious grain that naturally has no gluten for all you gluten free freaks! 😉 This recipe also has chia seeds which are a good source of plant-based omega-3s, and the coconut milk just makes it sooo delicious!

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Creamy Coconut and Date Oatmeal

What you need:

just over 1/3 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)

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1 cup of water

3 or 4 medjool dates (depending on how sweet you like it / the size of your dates)

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Side note: I know dates look like shit, literally, but they are delicious little fruits that taste like caramel! ( I’ve thought about bringing some of these into work and plopping them into the pool so that we have to close it and I can leave early… haha)

2 tbsp chia seeds

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3 tbsp of organic unsweetened canned coconut milk ( it separates like natural peanut butter so you gotta stir it up! )

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& as much cinnamon as you want!

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Directions:

Before you start cooking the oats, chop up the dates. Make sure you take the pit out before you chop it up, and get your knife wet to keep it from sticking.

Now you can start cooking the rolled oats, combine the water and oats in a small sauce pan, cover, and turn on high heat. Once the oats begin to bubble, stir them and make sure they don’t stick to the bottom, and remove them from the hot element, and toss in the dates and stir again.

Put the pot back on the warm element (still turned off) and let the oats sit there for a few minutes, stirring a few times, so that the dates sweeten it all up!

Now pour it into your bowl, sprinkle on as much or as little cinnamon as you like, add the coconut milk, and add the chia seeds. Mix it all up and eat it! 🙂 Yum.

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Why you should go vegan if you love the planet

Why you should go vegan if you love the planet

baby cow

Today is earth day, a day to remind us to appreciate the amazing earth that is our home, especially beautiful BC, and I am going to share with you something so simple you can do to help our planet: STOP EATING ANIMALS & ANIMAL PRODUCTS! There are plenty of other reasons to go vegan ( I will spare you another rant for another day) but this one is not so obvious. I am sick of all of these so-called “environmentalists” who refuse to accept the truth that their food choices can make more of a difference than their hybrid cars or their low-flow toilets.

First let me recommend the book that gave me the information I needed to go vegan: “Healthy Eating, Healthy World: Unleashing the Power of Plant-Based Nutrition” by  J. Morris Hicks with J. Stanfield Hicks. This is the source of the info I am sharing here.

Now here’s some facts:

–       In the US alone, farmed animals produce ~87,000 pounds of poo per second à that is a lot of SHIT!  And this crap degrades our soil and pollutes our water (pg.71)

–       currently, 30% of the land surface on our planet is occupied by livestock pastures. (pg.72)

–       “70% of previously forested land in the Amazon is [now] occupied by [livestock] pastures.” (pg.73)

–       raising livestock is one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gases, producing 18% of the worlds total, and the transportation sector only produces 13.5% (pg.75)

–       it takes 4.8 million gallons of water to have cows produce 2,400 gallons of milk, that’s 2000 gallons of water (that people could be drinking!) to make 1 gallon of milk! (pg. 77)

–       “To produce one kilo of potatoes requires 100 litres of water; to produce the same amount of beef requires 13,000 litres of water.” WOW, I’ll take some fries and skip the burger thanks!! (pg.78)

–       “ The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that more than half of ocean fish stocks are exploited at or beyond capacity.” (pg.84)

–       The problem with fish farming is that the food they are fed is full of nitrogen, this gets thrown directly into the ocean, and this nitrogen can cause areas of the ocean to become dead zones, areas where no species that needs oxygen can survive, because there is barely any. (pg.85)

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Even just decreasing the amounts of animal products you consume will make a difference, never think that you can’t make a difference because you CAN, put down the cheese and eat some bananas today on Earth day and know that you are making a difference for the planet ❤

5 things that make your liver happier

5 things that make our liver happy 🙂 : Our liver is one of our most important organs, performing over 100 different functions, so if it isn’t functioning well then we have a problem. A poorly-functioning liver can even effect your skin with oilyness and blemishes, yikes!! So lets make that liver happy and healthy! 

 

1: Milk Thistle! This is a well known liver detoxifying herb, it helps protect liver cells from damage due to toxins. Image

2: Licorice: don’t like the taste of licorice? You better start getting used to it! This powerful herb helps protect the liver, AND it has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, a double win!

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3: Dandelion root: Producing bile is one of the ways the liver eliminates toxins, and this herb increases bile flow, therefore assisting in detoxification of the liver.

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4: Lemons! When life gives you lemons, squeeze them into your water! This fruit is considered a liver cleanser and detoxifier because it aids in fat metabolism, sweet!

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5: Don’t get so drunk: We all know alcohol is bad for our liver, but why? Well one of the liver’s jobs is filtering toxins out of the blood ( alcohol is a toxin ), and as soon as the liver becomes overwhelmed with alcohol and can no longer filter it, that is when we begin to feel drunk. So if you are someone who is a “lightweight” your liver just might not be as efficient at detoxifying. Needless to say, If you are going to get drunk, drink lots of water as well to give your liver some love.

You can look for Milk Thistle, Licorice, and Dandelion root in teas as well as supplements.

 

Reference: “Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medecine (21st century edition)” , 2006, by Elson M. Haas, MD. with Buck Levin, PhD, RD. 

5 things you can do to look like a reef girl

5 things you can do to look like a reef girl: I used to be jealous of these girls, but jealousy gets you nowhere right? So instead I just decided be my own confident reef girl ( who doesn’t have a professional to airbrush her butt ) who rocks her bikini! And here are my tips 🙂Image

 1: Eat your fruits and vegetables! The more of these you eat, the less room for all that other crap in your stomach. Start your day with a huge (so big you have to put it into two separate big glasses to drink) smoothie of just fresh/frozen fruits, maybe some spinach or kale thrown in there, and just add water, no yogurt! Maybe a bit of unsweetened almond milk, but that’s it!

 2: Get moving! Get sweaty! Go for a walk, go for a run, or just dance around in your room, the latter is my fav 🙂 , or come to one my aquafit class! Cardio is very important to burn calories and unwanted fat to reveal that beautiful butt! And it creates endorphins, which make us happy!

 3: No more late night snacks! Try not to eat anything at least an hour before bed, two or three hours is even better. Believe it or not, when you go to sleep, your body does not want to digest that bowl full of gross ice cream you just ate, it wants to sleep! This will help to give your digestive system a break and keep you from consuming calories (even if it is something healthy!) that you don’t need. You will feel good in the morning and ready for that smoothie!

 4: Do some lunges! Lunges (when done properly) are a great exercise for the quads and the glutes. Make sure that when you perform a lunge, you are keeping your knees in line with your ankles, knees are not to go past the toes, and drive all of your weight into your heels to activate those glutes! (you want to be able to lift your toes up) *If you have knee problems, please make sure its okay with your physio to do these exercises BEFORE you do them.

 5: Okay, now you can do some squats. Just like with the lunges, when you do a squat you are driving all of your weight into your heels, knees are in line with your ankles, and the knees don’t go over the toes. Place your feet hip distance apart, or slightly further. You want to be able to lift up your toes! Another tip is start with no weight (so you don’t even have to go to the gym) and just squat slower, focusing on squeezing that booty! *During the up phase of the squat, put your hands on your butt to make sure the glutes are tight and working hard.

 

Now get going!! When I find where to buy a reef bikini I will let you all know 🙂

 

 

What I had for dinner tonight!

Yummy Brown Rice Stew-Creation 

– 1 onion, finely chopped

– 1 carrot, chopped small

– 5 cloves of garlic, minced

– 1 tbsp coconut oil

– 2 tofurkey sausages, sun-dried tomato flavour, chopped up

– 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

Heat a large pot on medium heat, place in the coconut oil, once the oil is melted put in the onion, carrot, and garlic and stir. Once the veggies start to soften add in the tofurkey, and when it all starts to stick to the bottom, drop in the balsamic vinegar to get all the yummy flavours off the bottom.

– 1 large can ( ~ 800 mL) of crushed tomatoes

– spices! ( I like to use lots of cumin, some cayenne, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil, but you can use whatever you like! )

Add in the crushed tomatoes and spices and stir.

– 2 cups short grain brown rice (my fav!)

– 1/2 cup red lentils

Next add in the brown rice and lentils and stir, I always add in some more spices at this stage once you realize how big this recipe is!

Now you can add 4 cups of water to the pot, maybe a few more spices and salt, stir, and put the lid on and turn heat down to low, stir every 10 minutes until almost all moisture is absorbed into the lentils and rice, about 40 minutes, and then eat up! But let it cool down first!

This is also very yummy cold the next day for lunch, this recipe is huge so you will have lots of leftovers for lunches and such 🙂 Enjoy!

Top 10 nutrients for healthy skin!

One of the main reasons I initially became so interested in nutrition years back was to make my skin as nice, clear, and healthy as possible. So here are my top ten nutrients for clear, healthy, glowing skin! Enjoy! *keep in mind that all of the sources listed here are plant-based, because I am vegan, so I am recommending foods that I would personally eat, though some of these nutrients are available in animal products, I don’t worry about that. 🙂

1: Water! : If your body is dehydrated, your face will be too! Water keeps our skin hydrated and healthy and helps flush toxins out of the body.

Sources: Uhh… the tap! (if you live in BC tap water is usually safe) or you can get a filter for your faucet. What ever you do please don’t buy bottled water! Buy a water bottle!

2: Fibre: it keeps toxins from accumulating in the colon and keeps “things” moving smoothly. If your digestive system is backed up, your skin will be negatively effected. Good digestion = good skin.

Sources: Anything that comes from the ground! (i.e.. plants!) Eat some fruit, veggies, grains, beans, whatever.

3: EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids): these are important for growth and keeping the skin moisturized, soft, and young. They also have anti-inflammatory benefits for acne. You will want to focus mostly on getting lots of the Omega 3’s, because Omega 6’s are not needed in as high amounts and are more common.

Sources (Omega 3’s): flaxseeds & oil, chia seeds & oil, pumpkin seeds & oil.

(Omega 6’s): most plant oils, including canola, corn, peanut, sesame, safflower, and sunflower oils.

4: B-vitamins: these guys are essential for many bodily functions, and also essential for keeping the skin in good condition.

Sources: nutritional yeast, whole grains, beans, peas, nuts, as well as leafy greens.

5: Vitamin C: as an antioxidant, it helps prevent oxidation, and aids in the formation and maintenance of collagen.

Sources: citrus fruits, papaya, cantaloupes, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, and almost any other fruit or veggie will have some.

6: Zinc: this mineral helps maintain body levels of vitamin A, aids in collagen formation, improves wound healing, and also helps the skin’s oil glands function. Zinc is one of the main anti-acne nutrients.

Sources: Whole grains, such as whole wheat, rye, oats, pecans, brazil nuts, and pumpkin seeds. NOTE FOR GIRLS: taking birth control pills ( or having an IUD) increases your body’s need for Zinc, so load up!

7: Vitamin A (beta-carotene): an antioxidant that also stimulates growth in the base layer of the skin, and helps protect the skin from cancer cell development. Beneficial in healing acne, along side zinc and vitamin E.

Sources: yellow & orange fruits and veggies, such as peppers, carrots, mangos, apricots etc. as well as dark leafy greens like spinach and kale.

8: Vitamin E: acts as an antioxidant, stabilizing cell membranes and protecting tissues including the skin from oxidation.

Sources: the oil components of all grains, seeds, and nuts, as well as cold pressed vegetable oils and soybeans.

9: Selenium: this mineral is an antioxidant as well that protects cell membranes and tissues , including the skin, and helps slow the aging process. It works synergistically with vitamin E to serve these functions.

Sources: brazil nuts, barley, oats, whole wheat, and brown rice.

10: Silica (aka silicon): silica is a mineral that promotes strength and firmness in the body tissues, including the skin.

Sources: whole wheat, oats, and brown rice. also in lettuce, cucumber, avocados, strawberries, onions, and dark greens.

Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you have questions! 🙂

References: “Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medecine (21st century edition)” , 2006, by Elson M. Haas, MD. with Buck Levin, PhD, RD.