the secret to getting healthier…

yup.. I’ve figured it out! Work your ass off and then work some more... ! That’s right, no pill, no 2 week diet, no magic soup, no specific workout routine… none of that will get you there if you aren’t ready to take it on yourself and get YOURSELF there!

Exercise: walk, run, bike, swim, dance, lift weights, join a gym, take a belly dancing class, go to yoga, get a DVD, find a wii/xbox game … whatever it is… do IT. Scared to try something? just go and try it! who care’s if you aren’t perfect (uhh Angie? yeah I’m talking to you!) whatever you do, you are doing more than the person sitting on the couch saying “I wish I could lose weight/get fit/be skinnier”. Leaving that fear at the door has been awesome. I’ve gone on my own (big step for me!) to classes/activities. I’ve done belly dancing class, pole dancing, yoga, Zumba, HIIT, meditation classes, bootcamps, run clubs, water aerobics, played hockey …. just go for it! You never know what you may fall in love with!

Eat: yup, eat to lose weight. Don’t starve yourself! Don’t try a fad diet (as tempting as all those “after” photos look) Eat, enjoy, be creative, try new food/recipes. Take a nutrition course, take cooking glasses.. use google to your advantage. Prep food ahead of time, plan meals, don’t grocery shop in a rush when you are starved and have a kid hanging off your arm (although at times that can’t be avoided!)

I enjoyed my 3 day Dr. Oz cleanse, and actually it made me aware of the way some foods were affecting me (once I started eating some of the regular foods I eat again). For example, I’m a popcorn addict. I had some popcorn after my 3 day cleanse and 1. I got bloated 2. I got a killer migraine 3. my joints got achey. Years ago I did an allergy challenge diet… I’ve been very lax on foods that I was “sensitive” to. Yes certain foods I MUST avoid (eggs) due to severe allergies, but all the other stuff I just knew I’d deal with these reactions and left it at that. Last week, those reactions to just eating popcorn reminded me that, it’s no longer worth it – I don’t want to have those reactions. It’s not worth headaches, looking 8 months pregnant, stomach aches, sore joints (yes, food CAN and will do that to you).

Be consistent: for the past few months I wake up each day and (most days) reset my thinking. I don’t have an “all or nothing” attitude the way I used to. OR if I do, I’ve learned to recognize and correct it as best as I possibly can. i.e. I had a healthy breakfast but then I went to Starbucks for lunch and had a latte and some other high calorie nothing food.. it doesn’t mean the rest of my day is shot. It means the next meal will be healthy. It means I will go for a walk, go to yoga… OR just accept that yes I ate that food and I enjoyed it. So now, I ask myself – will I actually enjoy this, is it worth it?

Accept yourself now. Look at yourself. Be thankful for who you are now. Yup, I’m heavier than I want to be. However, I’m pretty sure that the people around me really could care less. They don’t like me for the weight I am or my clothing size... they like me for me. Yes, I can get whiney when my back is hurting so bad I can barely walk. But then I remember I can walk…. there’s others that can’t – that would do anything to just walk. Be thankful for what you have now. Take pride in the person you are right this very moment!

Plan ahead & make a date with yourself &/or friends: One thing that I’ve done for the past 2 months is sit down and map out all the hockey, badminton, ultimate, track and field, gymnastics dates and times and then work around that schedule and find time for me to fit in fitness. Right now fitness consists of yoga and walking (with a slight jog added in when my back is feeling okay). If it’s 6:30am or 8:30pm I make it happen. Some days I do miss it, some days just don’t go as planned. Again, it’s not the end of the world. Move on..

Yes you will get “stuck”, you may have a bad week/day … you might not want to drag yourself out of bed. Do you remember how good it feels to finish that workout? Do you remember how much healthier you feel when you eat well? Is that worth it? To me it is! Get up early to exercise, or after the kids have gone to bed. There’s so many days I want to lay on the couch in the quiet after our 3 kids are in bed. Go do that late yoga session, or take 30 mins to walk or do weights. A strong positive mental attitude will get you over those moments when it seems like nothing is working. And we all know there will be days like that, because that’s how life rolls.. it’s how you deal with it that makes the difference! I tend to only focus on my weight (the number).. I’ve stopped that. I look at things I’ve accomplished that I could never have done 6 months ago, 2 months ago, last week…. I’ve progressed. My number may not have gone down on the scale, but I FEEL better, I FEEL healthier… I am stronger, my balance is better…. celebrate every little positive thing on this journey called LIFE!

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A Few of my Favourite things…

Okay come on … admit it.. you just started singing didn’t you?  When I hear “my favourite things” I suddenly want to run in a field in Austria whilst twirling my dress made out of curtains …. annnnnd back to reality!

The challenge this week for us GreenFighters is to share with you some of our favourite things, and so… I present to you, my favourite things… NOW try not to sing!

Raindrops when running & making me hustle
20lb dumbbells and feeling my muscle
Great tunes on iPods making me sing
These are a few of my favourite things

Cream in my coffee and crisp juicy apples
Winning at negative tough mental battles
Cold dreary weather turning to spring
These are a few of my favourite things

Fresh Breakfast smoothies to drink in the morning
Feeling my healthy body transforming
40 degree heat and yoga and stretching 
These are a few of my favourite things

When the day’s tough, when there’s no zing
When I’m feeling sad
I remind myself of my favourite things 
And then I don’t feel so bad

hot yoga

hot yoga

I have really enjoyed discovering Hot Yoga at Oxygen in Walnut Grove, they have a great variety of hot yoga classes and I have found that while I’m recuperating my back (and still wanting to stay active and healthy) this has been a great solution.

I’ve signed up for a full year and don’t plan to stop!  I’ve been doing 3-5 classes a week, the instructors are so awesome there & always offer help in modifying for my injuries etc.  If you’ve ever considered giving Hot Yoga a try, I really recommend it.

I love my running shoes, my favourite shoes so far, the bright colours on a rainy day (have you looked outside today?) make me smile.  I love lacing them up and heading outside for a walk.  I’ve accepted that for now, I can’t push myself to run and I am IMG_4512(somewhat) okay with that.  I have gone running a few times in the past couple weeks and have definitely paid for it later on in the day.  So for now, I walk.

My smoothies are another favourite thing, I can throw any combo of fruit and veggies in there with some protein and I have a delicious meal ready to be enjoyed

cranberry & veggies w/ chocolate protein powder

cranberry & veggies w/ chocolate protein powder

My favourite meals are salads, again being able to throw such a variety of foods in … okay.. it excites me.  The other day I had a craving, I wasn’t sure what for but I wanted something kinda sweet.  I came up with a citrus salad with goat cheese and shaved dark chocolate… can you say YUMMM????

Citrus Salad

Orange
Grapefruit
Avocado
Boursin Cracked Pepper & Cranberry cheese
shaved dark chocolate

citrus salad with goat cheese and avocado

Another favourite thing… okay well PERSON is my awesome trainer Andrea.  She has a boutique studio for women in Cloverdale.  Anyone intimidated to go to a gym, or wanting more than just an on-your-own gym workout – go see Andrea.  Even though, at the moment I’m unable to do the HIIT classes, TRX classes or weight lifting, Andrea remains to be a wonderful supportive inspiration and I hope that I will be back training at Life Designs Fitness Studio very soon!

I love getting creative in the kitchen and trying new meals….. what are some of YOUR favourite things on your health & fitness journey?

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In Store Challenge #2 & Inspiration

Saturday was another in-store challenge for us Greenfighters. We were collecting donations for the Canadian Cancer Society & providing Daffodil pins for those that donated.  There is a prize for the GreenFighter that sold the most pins, and one of my fellow fighters has stated that if she is the winner she will be shaving her head!  Her story, along with all the other fighters’ is inspiring.  Each of us is doing this for a very special reason and I have to give a shout-out to all my fellow GreenFighters … you are ALL doing an amazing job! And keeping so many people inspired.

I love reading about their progress, or their ups and downs.. because, really… that’s life!   They have all put themselves out there and shared so much  – keep up the great work.  We are all winners in this one!

My Saturday started out early, 6:30am taking my son to the hockey rink and then meeting up for coffee with a friend & heading out to Fort Langley to photograph some amazing women that meet every Saturday morning and Wednesday evening as part of Abreast In A Boat, a Dragon boat team of breast cancer survivors.

Inspiring to say the least, these warrior women are out there paddling together and sharing a special bond.

What an awesome way to start the day!

I then headed off to Kin’s Market at Guildford for some Cancer Fundraising.  Met and chatted with some wonderful people (and a friendly bearded dragon!). We had delicious fruit samples, kids activity books, baloons etc.  for all to enjoy.

Finished off my day by going to a Canucks game.  All in all a great Saturday!

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Holidays, a time to relax or a time to exercise?

Exercise or Relax?  In Hawaii… hmmmm?  Maybe a combo?

I knew in the back of my mind that the day we returned from holidays was the day I had to do my “official mid-way weigh in” for Kin’s Green Fighters… this stayed with me the entire trip – I couldn’t let it go.  My weight has constantly gone up for the past 6+ months and I’m not exactly enjoying that fact.  However I did NOT let it deter me from having a fantastic family holiday.

I did do active things on holiday… snorkelling, swimming, body surfing, walking, being conscious of what I ate (most of the time!), tennis, pickle ball…. it was a great holiday!  I even got to read TWO novels, I miss reading and it was awesome to have some quiet time to read. I did bring my purple exercise band… apparently rubber does deteriorate over time, because I broke the band and it snapped a good one on my foot! OUCH!

As for the weight thing… you will have to wait until Friday to get the dirt on that one (we can’t post until then)

I do know that I need to continue with my workouts at home, I will keep going to Hot Yoga and go on more walks… perhaps even a jog?  I haven’t been able to take a full stride without an excessive amount of pain for the past 8 months or so.  I finally had a CT scan just before we left for holidays & I’m hoping that this will give me some answers as to why I’m in so much pain.  I have sciatica, and I’ve dealt with that for 16 years, but this is even worse and it gets quite frustrating feeling limited to what I can do for exercise.  I know if I do anything that entails too much jumping, or longer strides (tennis, jogging etc) I pay for it later that day or I just can’t even do it at all because my body revolts.

So far Hot Yoga and weight training have saved me, when I’m able to be in control of what my body does I can usually modify to make it work.  My trainer offers alternatives to certain exercises if my back is really bothering me on a certain day as well.

And so, I do the best I can.  I stay conscious of what I eat and I try to keep up with exercise and being active as often as possible.

Now it’s back to reality.. a one day “break” and then we are off to the cabin to celebrate my oldest daughter’s 13th birthday.  She’s bringing 3 friends with her.  So it will be me and 6 kids…. wish me luck!

 

my crush on kale

I was rather dubious when I decided to try kale last year, I love spinach, I love cabbage, I love a variety of greens – but I had heard that kale was bitter.  However since it’s insanely good for you. (packed with Vitamins A & C, and is also rich in beta carotene, potassium, calcium, and phytonutrients that are believed to help fight cancer and repair cells) Kale is like the Hulk of cruciferous vegetables, bulging with nutrients and antioxidant properties… I figured I’d give it a go….. I love it!  I could eat it in every meal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks!

Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and has zero fat.
  • One cup of kale has only approximately 33 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium
Kale is high in Vitamin K.
  • Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Kale is high in iron 
  • Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more
Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants
Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food
 
Kale is high in Vitamin A
  • Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
Kale is high in Vitamin C 
  • 17 times more Vitamin C than carrots and four times more than spinach
Kale is high in calcium
Kale boasts a relatively high protein content for the number of calories it contains. You won’t reach your daily protein needs eating kale, but when you’re running low every little bit counts
There’s more than one variety of Kale
  • Curly is the most common variety of kale and may even be found in mainstream supermarkets – I find this to taste better if softened by cooking, steaming, sautéing, adding to stir-fry or blending in my smoothie (delicious in a wintery type soup or stew)
  • Varieties of curly kale can range in color from a light green to a dark purple, though most common is a dark green leaf

Nero Kale | Lacinato Kale | Tuscan Kale | Black Palm | Dinosaur

  •  oblong shape and deep green bubbly leaves.   Grows in tall long stalks. For raw preparations, like salads, I much prefer Tuscan kale

Red Winter Kale | Red Russian Kale

  • resemble oak leaves with their soft sage color with red vining.  mild tasting and may have hints of sweetness

Today I made Kale Chips (these get devoured the second the kids see them)

START OF BY WASHING THE KALE AND DRYING IT

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SEPARATE THE LEAVES FROM THE STALK

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PUT ON A BAKING SHEET AND DRIZZLE WITH OLIVE OIL

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ADD SPICES (THIS TIME I USED PAPRIKA AND SEA SALT)

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POP INTO PREHEATED OVEN (350 degrees) FOR ABOUT 12-15 mins (until edges are browned & kale is crispy)

ENJOY!

kale chips

kale chips

Other ways to enjoy kale:  in a salad, in soups, sauteed with garlic, in a stir-fry,  blended into a smoothie, shredded onto pizza … so many options!

50 Shades of Pink – Chapter 1.

What is going to be demanded of me in the next hour? I lay down on my back. Close my eyes. 

The lights are dimmed. Candles lit. Music softly playing. I enter the room with slight trepidation.

I can feel the heat gathering in my body. The room is hot. Breathe deeply I’m told. Feet in the air.

Time to warm up those hips.

30 minutes later I’m on my hands and knees rivulets of sweat running over my body making it glisten with tiny diamonds.  There is not one part of me that isn’t soaked.  My body heat increases evermore and my skin has gone from a light shade of pink to a deeper fuchsia colour.

Up onto my toes. I’m told.

Hands in front of me as if I was to do a push-up …

Slowly slowly lowering my body. I’m shaking ..

Hovering my body just above the floor. Desperate.  I so badly want to hear a countdown so that I can release myself to the floor. My chest almost touching the floor I don’t look up. I can’t. This requires too much…concentration.

My arms are shaking and my body is screaming. I’ve never done this before. And then I release, gracefulness is lost – muscles exhausted.  I’m flat on the floor on my stomach. I can hear a couple muted groans and then the room is quiet again save for the music.

But there isn’t time for rest.

I’m back on my hands and knees, head lowered down to the ground … I somehow contort my body into a headstand with my knees resting on my bent elbows.

The hour goes by quicker than I anticipated and with regret I prepare to leave the softly lit room.

Leaving behind my regrets, I am reborn.

Calmed. Sweaty rosy cheeks.

I leave with a smile … I just finished a hot yoga class at Oxygen Yoga & Fitness and it felt sooooooo gooooood. 

 

50 Shades of Pink, baby.

What’s for … breakfast, lunch, dinner?

Someone asked me yesterday what I eat and if making separate meals from my family is difficult.  Usually if I’m eating something different (which is usually at dinner) from my family, it’s just a little tweak for me based on what they are having.  I don’t normally make something completely different.  i.e. my family had spaghetti with ground turkey the other day, instead of me having that (which would feel heavy in my tummy as I was going to yoga later) I had lettuce wraps with some of the ground turkey.

 

Today was a pretty basic day food wise:

  • Breakfast was plain skim milk yogurt with some Qi’a (chia seed mix)
  • Morning Snack of grapefruit and a few pumpkin seeds
  • Lunch was Wasa Crackers, tuna fish, cream cheese, veggies, celery with peanut butter and dates
  • Dinner will be leftovers from yesterday (chicken breast with some coconut, ginger, dahl I made last night)
  • OH and I have my morning coffee with some cream too … can’t quite give up coffee

 

As for getting my workouts in this week, I had 2 awesome training sessions with Andrea at LifeDesigns in Cloverdale (you should go check out her new studio .. her open house is this Saturday!)

I also had a great early morning cardio session (I need to update my music though, I’ve worked out to my playlist too many times!)…… any good workout music suggestions?

And I had two awesome hot yoga/pilates sessions at Oxygen Fitness in Walnut Grove

So I’m feeling pretty good this week, and pre-planning my meals and my workouts ahead of time has really helped.  Luckily Oxygen is right next door to the hockey rink where my kids play, so I’ve been going to some classes during their games.  Yes, I miss some of their games, or part of a game – however it’s all about finding some sort of balance right?  If I don’t plan to get in a yoga session during a hockey game, then I take the 30 mins prior to the start of the game (while the kids would be getting geared up) and go for a brisk walk.  Just doing my best to KEEP MOVING!

 

Kin’s Green Fighters Cancer Fundraiser …. “ONE THING”….

Saturday March 9, 2013 … Mark it on your calendar!  Come visit me at Kin’s Market in Guildford from 2-4pm and share with me your “ONE THING”.

Last weekend all 13 of the “Green Fighters” met.  What an awesome group of fighters, each with their own story & journey towards a healthier life.  As I have mentioned before, part of our participation in this 13 week challenge means that we also have weekly challenges to take part in.  Some are individual challenges, a few are in store challenges and many will involve YOU….. the reader.

Each challenge also offers a prize at the end, some challenges will also be offering readers a prize as well.

My first in-store (Guildford Kin’s Market) challenge takes place Saturday March 9, 2013 from 2-4pm.  I will be there helping the staff out, prepping delicious samples of fruit and veggies,  and distributing literature from the Canadian Cancer Society.  The challenge part of this day for me (and each of the other participants at their own designated stores) is for us to chat with the customers and have you all fill out your “ONE THING” on a post-it note.  Whomever collects the most post-it notes, out of the 13 challengers, will receive a new Bike, Helmet and Water Bottle from Canadian Tire!

So, what does “one thing” mean? This is a pledge to yourself … Pledging “one thing” you can do to improve your health.  My one thing, is to consistently exercise and continue to eat more fruit and veggies.  What is your one thing?… Why not come visit me March 9th and write it down?!

As well, I will be collecting donations that will go to the Canadian Cancer Society.  If this is something you wish to make a donation towards, my fundraising page can be found at: http://cancerevents.kintera.org/angiebunnell  Please share with family and friends.

If you do wish to make a donation, however do not want to make a donation online, please let me know and we can arrange to meet-up for a visit or I can let you know my mailing address.

You have all been such an awesome positive supportive group of readers already, and I look forward to sharing this 13 week journey with you all.  Your words of encouragement are just that… encouraging! I love it & appreciate each and every one of you!