Why the guilt?

For my friends birthday this year we met up at a local rib fest. I was right in the middle of my Whole30 journey and had it in my head what I would eat while I was there. I should have had a snack or even ate dinner at home but I wanted to be with my friends for supper so I waited. The year prior I had seen people wandering around with turkey legs that appeared to be smoked with some seasoning on them. I had it in my mind that this is what I was going to get.. no sugary BBQ sauces for this gal! My friends and I were off to find the Turkey leg vendor and once I opened my take out container I was shocked to see this BBQ sauce smothered turkey leg staring at me. I found myself feeling upset. I was starving and everyone around me was enjoying all the things that I couldn’t. At first I tried to scrape off and pick around the sauce but I eventually just gave up and ate as much as I could. Something happened to me at that moment.. I felt an extreme sense of guilt and was disappointed in myself.

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I know it seems a little silly but for me it felt like a huge fail. I was doing so well and was on plan 100% and here it was.. in this moment with a turkey leg I felt defeated. It took me awhile to realize that this is going to be my reality when it comes to food. It may not be the issue with sugar but something else next time. I just need to learn to not be so hard on myself and keep moving forward. One delicious turkey leg smothered in BBQ sauce should not be the thing that defeats me.

This journey has taught me a lot about myself, my relationship with food and how it affects my every day life. So many people feel trapped by food, like they have no control over their choices. I can tell you that I am defiantly an emotional and stress eater and if you knew me outside of internet land you would know exactly why. Over the last few months I have realized that as much as I want to lose weight that isn’t the motivating factor of this journey. It is actually learning how to live a less stressful life so that I can be a happier, healthier person in all aspects.

~Jennifer

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I did it! Whole 30 complete

Hello everyone!

So I did it! (whoop whoo!). I completed the Whole30.. well sorta.

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Let me explain the “sorta”. After you have completed your 30 days of eliminating added sugars,alcohol,dairy,grains and legumes you are to reintroduce each category of foods one at a time. I already know that gluten and dairy give me the most troubles so I have decided to keep to a gluten free and dairy light diet. I love me some cheese so I don’t think I could survive without it from time to time.

You are probably wondering if I ever caved.. did I slip up? Well before last weekend my answer would be absolutely NOT.. NEVER! However, last weekend was my brother in laws wedding, it was quite a far drive and consisted of sleeping in a cottage one night and a tent the other. Being at the cottage wasn’t bad because we had a fridge and stove so eating on program was easy. The next day was the wedding and I didn’t have much of a choice, I either ate or I starved. Did I go all bananas and gorge myself? No! Did I enjoy a couple of drinks during the celebrations? yes.. and I had a headache only an hour after consuming them and I felt horrid.

Other than the wedding I was able to stay on plan. I will not beat myself up over having a couple drinks and a couple little squares of desert. I need to be able to control my eating habits for the long run. I am a very social person and it just isn’t realistic that I will NEVER have a glass of wine again. Learning to control my portions and make better food choices is always going to be a struggle. This is just my reality.

What do I do now? Well I am going to continue to eat the Whole30 way. I don’t miss all the sugary snacks,the grains or legumes so they will be easy to keep out of my meals. I will continue on my journey to my best self and I will continue to blog about it here so you can all share in my struggles and my triumphs.

In 30 days I was able to:

Kick my sugar cravings
Sleep better
Improve my moods
Learn to experiment in the kitchen
Lose 11 pounds
Feel more confident in myself

If you are considering starting down the road of a healthier lifestyle I would 100% suggest you start with Whole30. If you haven’t seen my “Helpful Links” post you can check it out here.

~Jenn

Whole30-Helpful Links

Hello again!

I have been asked quite a bit over the last few weeks about Whole30 and where to get more information on the program. First off if you haven’t bought the book “Whole30” then I would definitely suggest you buy it! You can purchase it at Amazon.ca or your local bookstore. The book is filled with all the information you need to successfully complete the program along with lots of yummy looking recipes.

Pinterest is another amazing resource for Whole30 information. From shopping lists to meal plans and recipes. You can view my Pinterest board dedicated to the program here.

Just to give you an example of a typical day for me (food wise) I have listed some of my favourites below.

Breakfast

Every morning breakfast consists of two eggs.. fried,in a scramble or omelette. Along with the eggs I will have some fruit (whatever I have on hand) and a cup of coffee. Lately I have been adding some fried prosciutto because I LOVE bacon and it is hard to find bacon with zero sugar in it :(.

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Lunch

Normally for lunch I will have leftovers from the night before or a salad. My favourite salad is baby arugula and a friese/endive mix with veggies and some sort of protein (normally chicken). I always use a homemade oil/balsamic dressing and will sometimes add a bit of dijon mustard or some berries for additional flavor.

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Dinner

Always consists of a protein and LOTS of veggies. Sometimes a salad with sweet potato on the side or might be a mix of veggies.

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Snacks

I try to not snack TOO much during the day but sometimes you have to give in when a craving strikes! Luckily my cravings have switched from ice cream bars or chips to watermelon and cherries or some nuts like cashews or almonds (unsalted).

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Drinks

The only things I drink are water,coffee,fresh juices from my vitamix and this amazing concoction that my husband made. You take pure apple cider and add carbonated water to it. You get that fizzy drink without the added sugars.. it defiantly hits the spot!

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This is just a little snippet into a day of foods for me. I find this program really easy to follow and have noticed a significant change in how I feel both physically and mentally. Make sure to rid your house of any trigger foods and load up on fruits,vegetables and meats. Telling your friends and family about your decison to start Whole30 is so important. Having people in your corner to cheer you on will help keep you accountable. Luckily I have my husband joining me in this (he is responsible for most of my amazing meals) and he has done amazingly well so far.

Hopefully this post gives you a little idea of the program and what it entails. If you are considering Whole30 definitely get the book and read through it to prepare yourself. I was prepping for almost two weeks before my start date.

~Jenn

*I do not receive any compensation for Whole30 books through the amazon link

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

 

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

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

Ours by Cheryl Hickey

I attended the National Womens show in Toronto last week and came across the booth for OURS. It initially peaked my interest because of my friend and her little one (She has a love for all natural products). The ladies at the booth were great and very knowledgable on the product line. I quickly found out that OURS is not just for babies but for the entire family and each product has more than one use.

OURS is a collaboration between Canadian icon Cheryl Hickey, Swisspharme and Rexall. It was created to provide families with a safe and natural alternative to everyday products that they use in their home. From hand soap to a facial exfoliator this line has so many amazing products that you already use. They are also a Canadian company, what more could you ask for?

OURS product line do not contain:

  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Sulfates
  • SLS
  • PPG’s
  • Dyes
  • GMO’s
  • Triclosan
  • Synthetic Fragrances
  • Animal Products
  • Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • Formaldehyde
  • Petrochemicals
  • Most common allergens
  • Cruelty Free

I decided to pick up the Anything Balm, 3 in 1 Cleansing Oil, Head to Toe Wash and the Face and Body Exfoliating Lotion. The product that really peaked my interest was the Anything Balm. It can  be used as an all over face and body moisturizer or you can rub onto your elbows, heels and cuticles for intense protection. That last part really sparked my interest because I deal with insanely dry feet all year long and cracking hands in the winter.

I have used all of the products for a week now and can tell you they are definitely worth a trip to REXALL  They are safe enough for everyone in your household to use and supporting a Canadian company is always a bonus. If you would like more information about OUR just head on over to their website.

What natural product have you tried lately that you have fallen in love with?

~Jenn