Whole30-The halfway mark

Yesterday officially marked 15 days on the Whole30 program. I must say I LOVE this way of eating! I have never once felt hungry or deprived like I thought I would. My meals are full of healthy ingredients and I have not fallen off the program once (which is HUGE for me).

This is what I have noticed in the first half of my Whole30 journey.

  1. No more stomach aches! I use to wake up every day feeling just crummy. I felt like I had something stuck in the pit of my stomach constantly before starting this.
  2. My mood is better! Those who know me outside of internet land know how stressful my day to day life is. I will admit I don’t handle stress well at times. Since being on this program though I have noticed that I am not as snippy and let things go easier. This is an awesome “side effect”, nobody wants to feel annoyed all day long.
  3. Refined sugar..alcohol.. who needs it? Not this girl!  Although I have had moments where I was really craving ice cream (it was HOT out!) or times when I would be BBQ’ing and find myself daydreaming of sipping on a nice cold cider, I haven’t missed sugar much.
  4. Things don’t fit!  My gym pants for example don’t fit me anymore. Having to pull them up every 5 seconds isn’t very fun.
  5. Things DO fit! Today I slipped into a pair of shorts that I have not been able to wear in almost 2 years. SCORE.
  6. Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring or bland! I have loved every single dishes we have made since starting this and have never felt deprived or yumminess.

Check out a few of my favourite dishes from the last 5 days. You will notice that many of them are breakfast and usually consist of eggs,meat and fruit. I use to skip breakfast a lot (I know shame on me!) but I have learned it is really one of my favourite meals of the day.

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If you want to learn how to make the Butter Chicken seen above click HERE for the recipe!

~Jenn

 

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Whole30 Butter Chicken

When I first started Whole30 I was afraid my life would consist of boring chicken breasts, steamed broccoli and maybe salad. Luckily for me this hasn’t been the case on my Whole30 journey. I have found a lot of inspiration on Pinterest and have been tweaking our favourites to make them Whole30 compliant.One of my absolute favourite dishes (and the hubbys) is butter chicken. And luckily it was easy peasy to switch that to a compliant recipe.

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If you want to make the deliciousness above, these are the things you will need!

Ingredients:

800 ml coconut milk(two 400 ml cans)
1 can of tomato paste
1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garam masala

1 head cauliflower
1 green onion
1 small white onion minced
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs

Directions: First you need to sauté your onions in a splash of olive oil. You want them to be fairly translucent before you add your spices. Next, add all of your spices,stir and let cook for about a minute then add your *ginger. Once you have all your lovely spices combined you will add your coconut milk and tomato paste. Stir until everything is combined and let simmer while you cook your chicken.

Now that your sauce is simmering away you want to cook your chicken. I like to use chicken thighs because I like how tender the meat is. You could cook your chicken in the oven but I just do it on my stove top.

While your chicken is cooking the next step is to make your cauliflower “rice”. Simply rinse your cauliflower, chop and add to your food processor (if you don’t have one you can grate it but it is a pain!). Once it is all chopped fine in the food processor, remove it and place in a microwave bow. Cover with saran wrap (or a microwave safe lid) and cook in microwave for 5-10 minutes (will vary depending on strength of your microwave).

Once your chicken is cooked, chop into smaller pieces or if you have small chicken thighs you could leave whole. Then add to your sauce. Scoop some of your “rice” onto your plate and top with the butter chicken. I like to add a bit of green onion to the top for some freshness.

Next… devour it! because it is DARN good!

 

~Jenn

 

 

 

Whole30-Week ONE

Long time no see!

I know I say it over and over again, but things have been crazy busy around here for the last little while. Business is busy which is great but leaves little to no time for my little slice of the internet and I miss you all *tear*.

Anyway, here’s a little update on what I have been up to on the healthy living front. A week ago I (along with the husband) started the Whole30 way of eating. If you have never heard of it I recommend you check out the official Whole30 website to find out all you need to know.

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For the longest time I have felt like total garbage. Always tired,moody,bloated,blotchy skin.. you name it I felt it. Being sick and tired of feeling well..sick and tired I decided to give this Whole30 thing a shot. I already suspected that Gluten was a major factor in my feeling crummy so I was working on getting that out of my diet anyway. Along with no Gluten (wheat) I am eliminating dairy,sugar,alcohol and legumes from my diet. I’m not gonna lie, the week leading up to my start date I was nervous. I had no idea what I was going to eat and thought this was going to be the WORST thing ever. I love food, yummy tasting food and surly having to cut all the above mentioned from my diet was going to mean bland gross food and I would be back to binging in no time.

WRONG!

I am in LOVE with the foods I am eating! I have even found I take more time in the kitchen and more pride in the finished product. Not only am I eating a ton of yummy and healthy food but just ONE week in and I am feeling pretty darn good. I haven’t woken up with a sore tummy for a few days now and my mind seems so much clearer.

I am a huge emotional/stress eater and for those who know me outside of internet land you know that my days are pretty much filled with both. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I haven’t wanted to dive face first into a large strawberry cheesecake blizzard from DQ because that would just be a huge lie. I can tell you that every time I have had the temptation to just binge eat on random crap I have stopped myself. You have to think of the end result and if that blizzard from DQ is worth how you will feel afterwards. NEWSFLASH it will just make you feel worse if you eat it.

Keep your eyes peeled to the blog over the next few weeks as I share more about my journey with Whole30. I will share recipes that we have enjoyed and maybe share some vlogs from time to time.

That’s all for now folks.

~Jenn

Take a trip on the chocolate trail.

About 40 minutes from where I live is where you will find Burlington,Ontario. I have never ventured around the city much other than taking a trip to IKEA or the Mapleview Mall..boy was i missing out!

I was lucky enough to be invited by the Burlington Tourism Board to take a trip on the “Chocolate Trail”and had an absolute blast. You are probably wondering what the heck I am talking about.. well let me explain. In the month of May many Burlington shops will be hosting special events,workshops and offering services all about chocolate!

This post will be a long one, so look for a few instalments over the next few days!

Our first stop of the day took us to JeSpa.. a beautiful spa located at 612 Brant St. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by Jessica who has owned the spa for 12 years. We were guided upstairs and were able to look at all of the different scrubs,masks and moisturizers that the spa has to offer. All amazing organic skincare by Eminece, a company out of Hungary that has been operating since 1958. After testing and smelling all of these fabulous things we were given a demo of the chocolate facial. The room was so relaxing I felt like I could fall asleep LOL! If you are looking for a relaxing atmosphere and knowledgeable staff then JeSpa is the place you want to be. In the month of May they will be offering and Organic Hungarian Chocolate Facial that is high in antioxidants and flavonoids that is designed to deeply hydrate the skin and a Coco-pedicure that will leave your feet feeling nourished and summer ready! Both of these services have special pricing for Chocolate month so be sure to book in soon to take advantage. 1-905-631-2951 or www.jespa.ca for more information.

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Next stop was for some lunch and a caffeine kick.. This establishment is not part of the Chocolate trail but I had such a great experience that I just had to give them a shout out. TAMP coffee Co… seriously amazing sandwich (prochuto and brie..drrool!) and a caramel latte that was straight from heaven. The staff was friendly and the food was great, they even make their own cold drip (cold brew) coffee..what more can you ask for? If you are visiting Burlington make sure you pop in for a bite or a beverage, you won’t be disappointed! 2049 Pine St Unit #65.

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Have you ever walked into a bakery and thought to yourself “Just put one of everything in my mouth RIGHT NOW!” Well that was my first thought when we stepped into Mollycakes..our next stop on the Chocolate trail. This place is not only adorable but the goodies they offer are just amazing. I am a lover of a good macaron and Mollycakes has some of the best I have ever tasted. We were treated to a demo on how to make our very own chocolate fudge buttercream and it is SO easy and delicious. Then we got to learn how to fill macarons and got to sample one and if that wasn’t awesome enough, we got to eat a peanut butter chocolate cake that was seriously the best thing I have ever put in my mouth! You can see in the photos below that it was clearly devoured LOL.

Mollycake will be holding a cake tasting in honour of chocolate month. It will cost you $10 and that will be credited back to you toward any custom order in May. You must RSVP for this event so be sure to check their Facebook page for updated information.

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If that wasn’t enough chocolatey goodness for you, check back next week for even MORE Chocolate trail amazingness!

~Jenn

 

 

Tips for all skin types

My best tips
Good day all!
I have been contributing makeup and beauty tips on a friends business page for the last few weeks. I had to give her some more tips to use and as I was writing them I had a lightbulb moment… BLOG POST!. So here you go, my tips for all skin types.

Mature Skin – The number one request I have from my mature clients is “make me look 10-20 years younger”. Here are a few tips for the mature beauties out there. 1. Always moisturize . 2. Powdered products will sit in every little line and enhance them so opt for a light liquid foundation instead. 3. Make sure to put an under eye cream in your routine. It will help diminish dark circles. 4. Curl those lashes to give your eyes a more open feeling. 5. Line your lips. As we age our lips tend to thin out so lining them is important if you want that full look. 6. Define your brows 7.  Choose neutral shades like browns, beiges, and earth tones to enhance your eyes.

Dry Skin– For my ladies who deal with dry skin (like me!). I give to you my 6 step routine for dewy looking skin. 1. Moisturize and prime your face (very important!). 2. Use a liquid foundation 3. Mix concealer with your moisturizer and pat under the eye. 4. Use a cream blush and lightly tap on the apples of your cheeks with your finger tips.  5. Choose a taupe bronzer to add a little sun kissed look if desired. 5. Apply translucent powder to your t-zone only to combat shine.

Oily Skin- Combatting oily skin can seem like a never ending battle. Here are a few things to remember if you have have oily skin. 1. Always remember to use a toner that was developed for oily skin. 2. Use a mattifying primer to help combat the oil. 3. Go easy with the foundation. I recommend a BB Cream for my oily skinned friends as it packs a lot of benefits in one single product. 4. Carry powder with you for touch ups through the day. Blotting papers would also be good to keep in your purse. 5. Choose matte bronzer and blush always, shimmer and shine is the enemy for oily skin.
Combination Skin– Combating combination skin can seem like a daunting task but have no fear. Simply apply the tips listed above to the area on your face that is either oily or dry. If you have an oily t-zone but the rest of your skin is dry then you would maybe use a mattifying primer down your t-zone and a moisture rich (or even oil based) primer for the rest of your face.
What are your biggest issues when it comes to finding products that are suitable for your skin type? Post them below and I will try and offer suggestions on products for you!
~Jenn

7 pounds lighter

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SO.. like the title says, I am 7 lbs lighter (actually 7.5). Now before we start celebrating it could very well be because I have been sick for about 2 weeks and have barely been able to eat. My appetite has come back quite a bit over the last couple of days though.. which is good, I missed food.

Today I am starting the 21 day fix program again. Doing the work outs will be a bit of a challenge because I am still having a bit of difficulty in the breathing department. I really hope that by next week this flu has taken a hike because it REALLY sucks.

For those who may not know what the 21 day fix is.. I will give you a little low down.

The program is sold by Beachbody and was developed by Autumn Calbreese. It is based on the clean eating principals (no processed foods) and has a container system. You get so many of each coloured container every day based on your calorie target.. you don’t have to count calories just fill the proper containers with foods on the approved list and VOILA! I have done this program before and lost 15lbs so I am excited to see how it works out this time.

I would really like to lose 20lbs by my birthday in June and as long as I stay focused I know I can get to my goal. I have an adorable dress just waiting for me!

Do you have any fitness goals that you want to share? I would love to hear all about it!

~Jenn

Getting my fitness on.

I am not sure how many times I have started a fitness regimen only to lose some weight and put it right back on. This must mean I am a professional YO-YO dieter.. which definitely isn’t a good label to have.

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How do I keep falling off the wagon? Simple.. I have a busy and hectic life just like the rest of you do.. what I lack is discipline and I am an emotional eater which is hard to overcome. Last year I did the 21 day fix program from Beachbody and had great results (15lb loss in 21 days!). But once the 21 days was over I fell right off the wagon again and have been trying to get back on for months.

This morning while I was getting the kids ready for school I decided to stop allowing life to steal my life from me. Being unhealthy will only lead me to an early grave and I’d kinda like to stick around for as long as possible. So my plan is to start back on this never ending journey to a healthier me. I am going to post my goals below and if you don’t see a post once a week from me with an update feel free to send me a message and threaten me LOL.

Goals:

  • Hit the gym 4x’s a week
  • Resistance band work at home 2x’s a week (while watching a show or during a break in work)
  • If it comes in a box don’t eat it (unless it is brown rice, quinoa etc)
  • Lose 20 pounds by my 32nd birthday (June 23rd)
  • Drink less coffee and more water.. give up french vanillas from Tim Hortons (waaaaaaa).

I think that is enough goals for now.. lets see how this goes!

Are you currently working on any fitness goals? If so how have you been doing so far?

~Jenn

Dollar store beauty finds

If you’re reading my blog it is because you are probably a beauty/fashion lover like myself. And being a lover of all things pretty you know how expensive it can be. Whenever I am in a dollar store I always take a trip down the health/beauty aisle to see what I might find. Sometimes it is full of great stuff and other times it is just a sad place to be.

Here are a couple of my favourite dollar store finds.

Lipstick holder

I have seen something similar to this (although a different style) for over $10. So when I found these little babies at only $2 each I had to grab a few.

Disposables

I use a TON of disposable items in my freelance career and at home. Cotton balls, cotton pads, q-tips and  latex free makeup sponges can all be found in the beauty aisle of your local dollar store. Considering how many I go through this is an amazing find!

Nail Polish and other nail things.

I don’t know how many times I have come across OPI nail polish in my local dollar store. It will only run you $3 versus the drug store price that is pretty much double. Only downfall is limited colour selections available. On top of cheap nail polish you may also find these nail wraps. They are available in limited designs (I just happened to find this cool tattoo one) and only cost $2… so not a lot of out of pocket expense if they don’t work. A few other items that you will find are nail clippers, files ect. It dosn’t need to cost you and arm and a leg to keep your nails looking good! (But I am ALL for a trip to the nail salon.. just saying!)

Hair stuff.

What do they not have at the dollar store? Brushes, combs, clips and more. Granted they are not great quality but if you are in a pinch it is definitely a great option. I mean a comb is a comb right?

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The dollar store is really hit or miss when it comes to certain types of products but sometimes you can really strike gold.

Have you ever found anything amazing in your dollar stores beauty aisle? If so what was it?

~Jenn

 

 

DIY Bentonite Clay Face Mask

Since starting my new business (Bubble & Fizz) I am constantly researching different ingredients for different products. One thing I have been looking into is the use of Bentonite Clay in face/body products.

What is Bentonite Clay? Bentonite Clay is composed of aged volcanic ash. it gets it’s name from the largest known deposit of Bentonite Clay located in Fort Benton, Wyoming. it is unique due to it’s ability to create an “electrical charge” when it is hydrated. When the clay comes into contact with a fluid it has the ability to absorb toxins and other impurities and chemicals. When used in a facial masks it can help to draw out the oils and dirt that live deep within your pores (YUCK!).

For this easy peasy face mask all you need is:

  • 1 Tablespoon of Bentonite Clay
  • 1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (pure) *use water if you have sensitive skin!*
  • Small container
  • Plastic spoon
  • A face (preferably yours lol)

Simply add the apple cider vinegar(or water) and the clay together and mix until it is combined. It will turn into a fluffy mousse type consistency. Slather it all over your face avoiding your eyes and mouth. Be sure to not get it TOO close to your eyes.. if you used vinegar the fumes from the vinegar might sting a little (learn from my mistake lol). You can leave it on for 10-20 minutes but if you have sensitive skin I would recommend you wash it off at the 10 minute mark. Simply use a facecloth and warm water to clean your face fully and pat dry. It took me a bit of scrubbing to get it all off. The key is to lay the cloth on your face and let it sit for a bit (a few times) then gently rub the mask off. It left my skin a little red but it didn’t take long to go away and my pores were SUPER clean!

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~Jenn

*ALWAYS use caution when trying any DIY beauty product. I am NOT a Doctor (I wish!)*

Couture Laser Makeover Update

Hey everyone!

I know it has been awhile since my last update but I wanted to wait until I was completely healed from my first ProFractional Laser Resurfacing Treatment before writing about the experience. WARNING.. it is long!

I went in about two weeks ago and my first SkinTyte and ProFractional treatments. I had a numbing cream applied and had to wait 45 minutes before the treatment could be done. Here is a little information about both procedures from Couture Laser Clinics website

SkinTyte II uses Infrared Deep Heating to Tighten Skin Tissue by Increasing Collagen and Elastin Fibres.  SkinTyte II effectively reduces the look of sagging and wrinkling on the face and body.  This procedure causes soft tissue coagulation and deep tissue heating that initiates the body’s natural healing process, leading to increased tissue firming. SkinTyte II offers fast, safe and effective treatments without downtime.”

ProFractional Laser Resurfacing Treatment is Used in the Treatment of Wrinkles, Acne Scars, Stretch Marks and Body Scars. The ProFrac System uses MicroZones of Heat to Resurface a Fraction of the Skin, Increasing Collagen Production and Restoring the Natural Tone and Texture to the Skin. This action initiates the body’s wound healing response, allowing the untreated skin to rapidly remove the treated skin and replace it with healthier skin tissue. The benefits of ProFractional Laser include increased comfort and shorter healing time than other resurfacing lasers. ProFractional Laser helps to build new collagen and elastin fibers to lift and sculpt loose skin while smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.”

The SkinTyte was painless (probably thanks to the cream). All I saw were the little flashes of light and felt a mild warmth to my skin. The ProFractional treatment was a little bit uncomfortable at times during the procedure. Near the end I could feel a warm sunburn kind of feeling start on one side of my stomach and kind of flood over to the other side. The worst part of the treatment in the clinic was when they put an antiseptic on.. it STUNG bad. After that was applied the ladies quickly coated my belly with vaseline and used hand held fans to cool the are off before overing with plastic wrap.

I was able to drive myself home ok and made myself a quick lunch before laying down. I fell asleep for a couple of hours and when I woke up I went to go rinse the area off with warm water. As soon as I got into the bathroom I felt very light headed and dizzy. I went back to my room and laid down, thinking I had stood up to quickly. I stayed in bed for about another hour before trying to get up again, this time getting out of bed slowly so I wouldn’t feel dizzy. I started gently rinsing my belly (there was a bit of blood) and then the room started to spin, my ears were ringing and I felt like I was going to vomit. So back to bed I stumbled. A little while later I got up and was going to try and shower. I headed down (slowly) to the kitchen to get some juice and as soon as I got there I was dizzy AGAIN.. room spinning, ears ringing ect but worse than the first two times. I sat in a kitchen chair but then had to move myself to the couch. Feeling a little scared and a lot miserable I sent a text to the ladies at the clinic (and an e-mail) explaining what I was experiencing and right away had a phone call from one of them. I was told that I may be experiencing some sort of shock from the procedure and to drink plenty of water. I was advised that if I felt I needed to, to head to the ER. I didn’t feel like sitting in the hospital for hours feeling the way I was so decided to wait it out at home. The ladies were calling and texting me to check in all through the night to make sure I was OK. A friend brought me some electrolyte powder and that really helped and I had my amazing hubby helping me. I went to bed and woke up the next morning feeling just a bit uncomfortable and the first thing I did was mix some more of the electrolyte drink. It took about 4 days before I felt 100% and could walk around without discomfort. My stomach felt itchy for a couple days due to the skin healing.

I am pretty sure I have to do another one of these treatments in about 6 weeks. What I have learned is to make sure I am SUPER hydrated before the procedure and to continue drinking a lot of water and electrolyte drinks afterward. Possibly having the kids stay somewhere for the night afterward would be a good idea also. Wondering what I have noticed since having this done? Well a lot of my stretch marks were extremely deep and since having ProFractional done they have kinda filled in and levelled out quite a bit. I am looking forward to the end result after treatment #2.

I have posted a few photos below. Warning they are kinda gross, a little bloody and kinda looks like a bad case of road rash. Please don’t leave any nasty comments regarding my belly.. I have had three kids, give me a break LOL.

Belly

  1. Photo of the machine   2. Belly right after I got home (top pic)   3. Stomach about an hour after    4. Stomach pretty darn swollen next day 5. 3 days post treatment.

I will update with current belly photos shortly.

Thank you for following along on this journey with me!

~Jennifer