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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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!

 

breakfast in a blender

If I don’t eat breakfast, then I’m not exactly the happiest person by mid-day (just ask my family!)   So I had to find something that I really enjoy, I’m not really a fan of a “sit-down-meal” in the morning.  I like something I can make and  eat (drink)  on-the-go.  I LOVE my smoothies .. about 90% of my breakfasts are smoothies.  This doesn’t mean that it’s the same smoothie every day though.  Variety is key! And you can even hide veggies in a smoothie if your kids (or you) aren’t a big fan.  I bet if you put a carrot and a handful of grape tomatoes and some spinach in with berries etc, you probably won’t even notice.  A little hint when it comes to veggies, if you put in a small amount of raw beet, the smoothie goes nice and pink (hide the green/brown look!)

I find that making sure there is protein in my smoothie means that I’m not ravenous by 10am as well.  So what do I put in my smoothie? A lot of that is dictated by what I happen to have in my fridge/freezer/pantry that week.  Now of course, smoothies can also become high in calories so I find that keeping a log in my myfitnesspal account can help me keep track.  Once you get the hang of making smoothies it can be quite fun to play around with the ingredients!  I’ve compiled a list of a few of the smoothies I enjoy (I’ve attempted to put in the amounts that I use).  As well I have made a little chart that you can mix and match, I try to get something from each column if possible.  I don’t often use honey/syrup etc, however find that some people need this to start out while adjusting their taste buds.

got questions?  comments?  ideas? I’d love to hear from you!

Pumpkin Pie smoothie

1-2 cups coconut milk (you could use any milk, I just prefer coconut)

1 tbsp hemp hearts

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 tbsp blackstrap molasses

1 frozen ripe banana

2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

spinach

maple syrup if this isn’t sweet enough for you

sometimes I add a bit of avocado

P-nutt Butter yumm

1-2 cups coconut milk

frozen ripe banana (doesn’t have to be frozen)

1 tbsp hemp hearts

1 tbsp natural peanut butter

1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

ice, if desired

Berrylicious

1/2 cup-1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup water

handful raw spinach

5 grape tomatos

1/2 carrot

1 small banana

½-1 cup frozen blueberries or any berries

1 tbsp. chia seeds or hemp hearts (you can also use flax seeds)

¼ – ½ an avocado

Tropical Smoothie

Approx. 2 cups frozen mango

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup cottage cheese

tbsp shredded coconut

1 carrot

1 tbsp chia seeds

Choco Monkey

1 small banana cut up and frozen

3/4c. coconut milk

1/2 scoop – 1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1 Tbsp. Flax seed can also add hemp seeds etc.

P-Nutt Choco

1 cup Coconut milk

1 tbsp Natural peanut butter

handful spinach or kale

scoop Chocolate protein powder (or 1 tbsp approx unsweetened coco if no protein powder)

Banana

Ice

Orange Mango Cream Smoothie

1 orange

Half cup of ripe mango

Half a banana

handful grape tomato

2 Tablespoons of plain yogurt

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

**** Soak the chia seeds in some of the juice from the  orange  for 10 minute to let them swell and soften Put all ingredients in your blender Blend well until creamy.

Pina colada chia smoothie

Half banana

Half an orange, seeded, peeled and chopped

Half a cup pineapple cut small

a couple of slices of ripe mango

Half cup coconut milk

Half cup pure water

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

Coconut spinach smoothie

 1 and 1/4 cup of coconut milk

2 tbsp of chia seeds or hemp hearts

1 cup of spinach

1 scoop vanilla protein powder if you wish (I don’t normally have vanilla on hand so dont’ use it)

some avocado

ice cubes

tropical smoothie

2 cups fresh baby spinach

1 cup sliced kiwi

1 banana, cut up

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup chopped fresh pineapple

1/4 cup orange juice

1 Tbsp. chia / flax or hemp seeds

Banan-a-vocado

1  banana

1/2 small-medium ripe avocado

1-2 cups of baby spinach

1/2 – 1 cup coconut milk (or whichever you like)

Ice if you wish

Date smoothie

2 dates

kale or  baby spinach

1/4 avocado

1/2 banana

1/2 cup frozen blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries

1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

2 tbsp flaxseed

some lemon juice

water

Fruit Veggie Grain Protein spices/other
apple kale oats greek yogurt (low MF%) cinnamon
orange spinach oat bran your choice of milk (coconut, almond etc) fresh ginger
lemon carrot spelt nut butter pumpkin pie spice
berries grape tomato hemp hearts molasses
banana avocado flax seed honey
pear celery chia seeds (pre-soaked) maple syrup
grapes zucchini pumpkin seeds nutmeg
pineapple beet
peach
pumpkin
 pomegranate
cranberry

 

 

As some of you are aware I am currently in a 13 week competition to help raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society, as well bring awareness to increasing fitness and health in my daily life.  Should the CCS be something that you wish to make a donation towards, here is a link for my personal fundraising site.  Thank you  🙂  http://cancerevents.kintera.org/angiebunnell

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!

 

The workout I never thought I could have

Today I went to my regular training class with Andrea of LifeDesigns. I take part in one of her 12 week programs called “Bounce”. This is my second time taking part in Bounce and I LOVE it. Andrea works with women and delves into not only the fitness and health side of things, but she also gets inside your head (in a very good way!).

lifting weights

lifting heavy and feeling great!

My Bounce group of 4 had a killer workout! If you had told me 5 months ago, that I would be curling 25lb+, doing lunges holding 35lbs, running sets of stairs (repeatedly!), holding a plank for over 1 min, doing “real men” pushups etc. I never would have believed you!

With Andrea’s constant encouragement, positivity and her 100% confidence in me (when I didn’t have it) she has pushed me way beyond what I thought I could ever accomplish. I’ve also been working with her on my nutrition, using the myfitnesspal app is also helpful! Andrea has tracked my food logs and given amazing pointers (more grains, consistency, eat more….) I love fruit and veggies, so luckily that part isn’t a trial for me. My favourite breakfasts are smoothies and I’ve complied quite a list of recipes! I’ve found that the possible culprit of my very very sloooowww weight loss could be that I: do not get enough protein, don’t eat enough calories, and need to cut back on evening snacking.

If you have ever considered looking into a trainer, and don’t want to go to a “big gym” or find them intimidating (I do!) then Andrea is the lady for you. The women that I have met through Andrea have become some of my very close friends. We bond over dumbbells and squats, we laugh and share common frustrations and goals and there is ALWAYS encouragement. I feel very lucky to have discovered such amazing people!

Am I the only one who gets excited about making a new smoothie for breakfast?!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie