How to Lose Weight the Easy Way

They’re everywhere this time of year: Guilt, self-hatred, loathing, disgust, comparison, anorexia, bulimia, girls starving themselves, boys starving themselves, bingeing, more self-hatred, more disgust, more comparison, and more loathing.

What if, we just stopped? What if we could love ourselves just as we are? What if we could focus on all that we are rather than all we are not? What if we are perfect right now, right in this moment?

Let me tell you something: You are perfect.

And, you are not your body. You are the spirit inside the body. You can think of your body as a rental. It’s where you live right now, but it is not who you are. When you can love the spirit who resides in that body of yours, you can start to look past its “clothing” and see who you really are. So, body aside, who are you?

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Who you really are is a being of light and love. You are eternal. You are going about this world in a slight state of amnesia. You purposely chose this lifetime to learn for the advancement of your soul. Your inner being, that part of you that is still in spirit form, is nudging and guiding you constantly to help you remember who you are.  All you have to do is listen to that little voice in your head that you try to ignore.

Your inner being is that voice that wants to quit your job and work with horses. It’s that feeling you get when you get all warm and fuzzy and think about your deepest dreams. Your inner being wants to kiss more, cuddle more, visit with friends more, and eat and drink foods that taste amazing. It wants to go for long walks, have soul inspiring conversations, and have meaningful mind-blowing sex. It wants you to follow those sparks of inspiration that you ignore out of fear.

When you’re doing things that make you happy, you’re more aligned with who you really are. When you are feeling sadness, guilt, or fear, you are thinking or doing something that your inner being doesn’t agree with. When you are standing in front of the mirror criticizing your body, you feel bad. You feel bad because your inner being disagrees with you in that moment. Your inner being sees the perfection that you are. When you are comparing yourself to others, thinking you are fat and they are perfect, you feel bad. Once again, your inner being disagrees.  It knows that your body is not who you are, and it knows that you are perfect.

When you feel guilty, your inner being feels love. When you feel fat, your inner being feels love. When you feel disgusted, your inner being feels love. When you hate yourself, your inner being feels love. Do you see a pattern yet?

Your inner being loves you unconditionally. The more you can love yourself unconditionally, the more in alignment you will be with your spirit, and the happier you will become. And though self-love is probably the best thing in the whole entire world, an amazing side effect occurs when you love yourself unconditionally:

You lose weight.

When you love yourself, you will take care of yourself. Foods that used to taste good won’t taste good anymore. You’ll spend long hours doing something you love and you’ll forget all about food. Have you ever been doing something that you were so passionate about that you forgot to eat? Or, you’ll go out with friends and eat anything and everything you want and you won’t stress about it! The freedom you will feel!

We overeat because there is something missing in our lives. We’re bored. We’re looking for the next best thing to love or the next person who can give us love and attention because we’re starving for it. We are so starved for love and affection because we’ve been withholding it from ourselves for so long. We’ve neglected our inner being. We’ve stuffed food down our throats to appease that uneasy feeling inside, but not listening to that feeling inside is why we’re feeling uneasy in the first place! And then society shames us for being fat and so we shame ourselves because we’ve learned that’s what we’re supposed to do.

Your inner being is trying to get your attention. That uneasiness you feel can only be calmed one way, and that is by listening to it and changing course. If thinking a certain thought feels bad, choose another thought. Choose loving thoughts about your body and see your body change. Send your body love, and it will respond by loving you back. Stop being so hard on yourself and shift the momentum in a loving direction. Take your power back from society and start loving the spirit you are, just as your inner being does: unconditionally.

Action steps:

Tonight when you go to bed, list all of the reasons why you love yourself. What went really well today? What were your successes?

Next, appreciate your body for all that it does for you. Thank your lungs for breathing, and your feet for carrying you through the day. Thank your knees for supporting you and your hands and arms for the ability to hug others. Thank your eyes for seeing and your tongue for tasting. Touch your body and thank it for being your home in this lifetime. Touch your breasts and acknowledge their beauty. Thank them for feeding your babies and send them love. Send all of your body parts love. They are beautiful. You are beautiful – just the way you are.

 

Fast Fat Burning Meals

fbm_03I’m a bit late to the party but I am super excited to share this awesome video and cookbook with you! Yuri and I set out to prove that not only is it healthier to make your meals at home, but it is also faster, and WAY more delicious!

This video comes at a time when we are ready to share our Fast Fat Burning Meals cookbook and cookbook club with the world.  No longer will you have to ask yourself “what should I make for dinner?” Because, the answer to your nightly dinnertime nightmare is here.  The healthiest, quickest, and most delicious meals you can make for your family!

I wish I could share the burger in the video with everyone because it is melt in your mouth better than any other burger you’ve ever tasted – and it’s super easy to make! Seriously, make these burgers for dinner tonight.  You will LOVE them.

So, is fast food really faster?  Watch the video:

We’ve gotten some backlash for “wasting” that food, but in all honesty, McDonald’s is not food in my opinion. I would rather put it in the garbage any day than put that stuff in my body. If you are bothered by us throwing it away, you may want to ask yourself why it bothers you so much. If I had eaten it, the outcome would be the same.  No one else would have gotten to eat it!

File 2015-05-13, 11 22 16 AMBest Burger Ever 

  • 1/3 lb ground sirloin
  • tomato
  • pickle
  • red onion
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • greens as a base (not pictured)

To prepare the burger, simply turn on your frying pan to medium, salt and pepper both sides of your patty, and throw it in the pan!  Cook just like a pancake, flipping when the burger is half way done, after just 2-3 minutes.  Cook until your desired level of doneness is reached, and top that puppy with anything you wish!

Avocado/Tomato Salad

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • sea salt and pepper

Place chopped tomatoes and avocado in a medium bowl, and season with olive oil, a dash of lemon juice, sea salt and pepper.  Done!

 

Guilt Free Hot Chocolate

When I started this journey into healthy eating it became apparent straight away that I was addicted to sugar.  While my eating habits have changed completely over the past 10 years, the sugar monster remains at some level.  My sugar of choice has always been chocolate, and although I eat the healthiest form of it, I am still guilty of eating too much of it sometimes.

Taming the monster.

The best defense is a good offense, so traditional candy doesn’t make it into the house.  But I do have a healthy stock of organic, fair trade, 70% or more cocoa chocolate bars, chocolate chips, and chocolate chunks.  Under normal conditions, I don’t reach for them.  But as soon as you add the stress of parenting 3 young boys, I can eat an entire 100g chocolate bar in just a few minutes!

Wanting to dive into the chocolate this morning in a fit of stress, I decided that I would only have a little piece.  And this time, I knew that’s all I would have.  Usually a little bit turns into a lot of little bits, but this time was different because I had a plan.

This hot chocolate is the best defense I’ve had in awhile.  I didn’t add any sweetener at all – just whatever is in the 70% chocolate itself, but you may add a little stevia, erythritol, or honey if you wish.  Though, I challenge you to drink it as written – without any added sweetener.  I liked it immediately and didn’t need any sugar, but of course, I am motivated to limit my sugar intake in the name of health.  This just may be the sword that slays my inner sugar monster for good.

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Guilt Free Hot Chocolate

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 0.5 oz 70% cocoa chocolate (amount pictured above)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat and whisk until both combined and desired temperature is reached.

 

 

Take Massive Action

I overheard some ladies the other day talking about the law of attraction.  Afterward, I kept thinking about “The Secret” movie and how they basically forgot to mention that taking massive action is probably the most important part of manifestation.  You can sit and meditate and ask your angels for help all you want, but if you don’t put their guidance into action, you’re not going to make it very far.

Once you have clear goals mapped out in your mind, it’s time to take little steps toward their fulfillment every day.  Notice the synchronicities that are trying to help you along the way, and act on any opportunities that arise.  If it’s a business you want to start, you can start laying the groundwork while at your present job.  Maybe all you need are 30 minutes each evening to make it happen.  Maybe you need more time, or maybe you don’t need any time at all – once you have a clear goal and the timing is right, your angels can move mountains and you can find yourself on the fast track.  This can happen in any area of your life – you just have to be ready to work and know exactly what you want to make happen.

If it’s a fitness goal that you wish to reach, you can break down your action steps into daily activities that will get your body moving.  If it’s important enough, you’ll find the time.  I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it.

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You know those little gut feelings that you have?  Start following them.  Set your intentions for your life and then follow the guidance that is offered.  Align yourself with your Higher Self by following those hunches that want you to act integrally.  I always get an uneasy feeling if I’m about to eat something that isn’t in line with my health and fitness goals.  I’m getting better at listening to those feelings, but it’s definitely not easy!  We have habits that are comfortable for us, but if they haven’t gotten us to where we want to go in the past, they’re worth the discomfort that arises when we choose differently.  That discomfort starts to feel really really good once you start blazing that new trail.

If you’ve got a fitness goal you want to reach, I highly recommend a heart rate monitor – especially if you’re competitive like me.  It helps me challenge myself every time I wear it.  I’m always the last person on the ice at shinny these days because I’ve always got a challenge for myself.  Today I had to burn 800 calories before I could get off the ice.  I’m hardcore, I know.  At the end of 80 minutes, I had burned exactly 800 calories.  The point is that I have a fitness goal for myself and I intend to reach it.  It doesn’t matter when exactly, but I make sure to take action steps each day that take me toward my goal!

Next time you get a gut feeling that something is off, take a moment and listen to your body.  Start asking yourself questions and listen to what comes up.  I guarantee you that you’ll start to notice things that you previously maneuvered while on autopilot.

 

 

The Power of Intention

There is something extremely powerful about intention.  It’s a goal that is present in the now.  The problem with most goals is that they are feats that will occur “someday,” but someday never happens.  Don’t wait for someday.  Do it now.  What I like about setting intentions is that they laser focus your attention so that there can be only one outcome.  The intentions I have on the front-burner right now include creating a fitter body than ever before, and the intention to be happy.  There is no other option in my mind.  I know I will get to my goal physique and I will be happy – most of the time anyway.

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Once you set your mind on something it is as good as done.  Simply making the decision to do (or not do) something is a game winner.  Once you make a clear decision, the universe has your back.  Your angels will go to work behind the scenes, setting up synchronistic events that help to ensure the outcome you desire, so long as it is in the best interest of anyone else involved.  Of course you still have to do the work, but setting the intention to get something done sets you up for success.

For instance, I love to run, test my boundaries in a hot yoga class, and push myself with a 24kg kettlebell.  I have always loved to work out, but since setting the intention to get the body of my dreams, getting a workout in every day has been incredibly easy.  There is always someone who is willing to help me out so that I can get to the gym or that yoga class.  I even dropped my 2 month old off at the local coffee shop where the owners looked after him for 2 hours so I could play hockey!  Life is full of synchronistic events that want you to succeed.  All you have to do is ask for help, and recognize that help when it comes along.

We all have guardian angels who want to help us, but since we have free will, we have to ask for their help.  They won’t interfere in our lives without our permission.  I ask my angels on a daily basis to help me, and I tell you it works.  My inner dialogue in the morning sounds something like this:

“Angels, I ask that you help me to release the pounds that no longer serve me.  I love my body.  It is an amazing place to live and I am so grateful to have it.  I am excited about what I have accomplished this far and I am so excited to see my progress every day.  Thank you for helping me to make healthy decisions so that I can have the body of my dreams.”

Our angels communicate with us through our intuition, little gut feelings that make us aware of this and that.  They even communicate to us through the intuition of others.  It’s why we may look at the clock every day at the exact same time, and why we tend to hear or see the same tidbit of information over and over.  It’s said that if something catches your attention 3 times, your angels are screaming to send you a message!

I feel the support of the universe constantly when I am running.  I get gut feelings that cheer me on.  When I run past people on the sidewalk, they often smile at me, or even better, they say things like “great job!”  I wish they knew just how much that encouragement means to me, but on some level I think they do.  Often, I get these rushes of encouragement exactly when I need to hear them.  It makes me think that it’s all in divine timing; my angels are pulling strings to ensure I succeed.

Since I ask my angels daily for help with my fitness intentions, my intuition is pretty bang on for steering me toward healthy foods and away from complete dietary disaster.  I can have one piece of chocolate and not want to eat the entire bar.  I can have a monster burger for lunch and have a salad for dinner.  I’ve always known that my body craves movement every single day, but I made excuses before and I was unhappy for it.  Now I listen to my intuition about fitness and my spirit is happy.  I’m in a place of balance for once in my life and it feels pretty amazing.

In fact, I set the intention to write this blog post tonight while I was at the gym earlier today.  I decided that I wouldn’t let how tired I might be (my usual excuse) get in the way.  And so it is!

 

 

 

Don’t Get Comfortable: Push Yourself

What do you do when the going gets tough?  Do you push through the mental anguish, or do you give up?  How does your choice affect the way you feel?  How do you want to feel?  How you do anything is how you do everything.  If you procrastinate in one area of your life, chances are that you do it in other areas as well.

Last night was night 7 in a string of “4 month sleep regression” nights.  I had just gotten our 4 month old, Arlo, to sleep through the night about a week before, and now he sleeps worse than ever.  In the past, I would have made excuses and taken a nap at the first opportunity, but I don’t want to be that person anymore.  I want to create the life of my dreams, and I can’t do that if I’m napping every day!  To the gym I went.

I’ve started doing hill run intervals during the past few weeks, and each time I am challenged at the exact same point in my run.  And each time I am happy to say, I’ve pushed through it.  How?  It’s all in your head.  Set an intention, and you’re 99% there.  Your goal is as good as realized if you have a big enough WHY, and the intention to carry it through.  It’s how I got through 3 natural births.  I just set the intention to do it, and although it wasn’t easy, I knew that setting the intention meant that I would come out on the other side in just a matter of time.

How can you push yourself to run faster and longer?  It starts with the intention.  Ok, done.  But how do you execute that intention?  One step at a time.  When I was enduring natural back labour, I took it one second at a time.  One breathe at a time.  Looking into the future or back at the past does you no good in the “right now.”  There’s no sense worrying about having to run for another minute to finish an interval when you are working in seconds.

It also helps to have a workout plan.  If you’re flying by the seat of your pants then you’re planning to fail.  My go-to workout at the moment is Treadmill Trainer Volume 1.  Every time I use this workout, there is a point where I seriously think about giving up, and every time Yuri comes on and says “Do not give up. You’ve committed to this interval so let’s finish it!”  And every time it gives me that extra mental push I needed.  Do you think I could run uphill intervals for an hour by myself.  Heck no.  It helps to have a guide.

Whether my interval lasts 45 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes, I take it one second at a time.  In order to quiet the mental chatter, I count to 10.  Over an over.  My mental chatter sounds like this: “1, (breathe out) 2, (breathe in) 3, (breathe out) 4, (breathe in)…10 (breathe in) ONE!” That last ONE meaning I have finished one set of 10.  And I just keep on counting until my interval is over, at which point I congratulate the crap out of myself for making it through, mostly in my head, until the end of my workout.  Then there is one massive outward celebration that usually includes dancing and people staring at me :).  I texted the hubby this photo today because I was so proud and wanted to share my moment with him:

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You have to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may be, because doing so adds gratitude, excitement, and happiness to your life and invigorates your Spirit.  Happiness is vital for the momentum to keep going.  If you hate working out, you’re not going to get very far with your goals.  Find enjoyment in the process!

Don’t get comfortable.  Break through your ceilings, again and again.  Push yourself to get to that next level.  Don’t leave the gym thinking that you could have gone harder.  Put in the work and celebrate your successes as they come!  Be grateful for your ability to push yourself and be grateful for the benefits as you notice them.  For instance, you may notice that it’s easier to get up off the couch, you can lift your kids easier, it’s easier to breathe, you can breathe deeper, you’re happier, the people around you can feel it, and they’re happier because of the energy you’re bringing home.

 

 

 

Obesity: Genetics or Environment?

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Does it matter?  No.  Of course genetics play a role, but since you cannot control them, let’s focus on the environmental factors of obesity!  Genetics haven’t changed much in the last few decades, but our diets have changed markedly. So I’m going to venture a guess that environment plays a HUGE role.  Get your environment under control, and you’ll get your weight under control too.

No one ever got fat eating vegetables.  Eat your vegetables, cut down on the crap, and lose weight.  The problem is that you never see advertisements for vegetables.  All day, every day, you and your children are bombarded with commercials and advertisements for ice cream, dairy products, colas, pre-made pot roasts, chips, candy, cereals, etc.  But how many do you see for fresh fruits and vegetables?

In the last century alone we have seen the rise and proliferation of so many diseases.  It’s terrifying to think what will happen to the human race in the next 100 years.  It has been said that our generation will see their children live shorter lives than their parents, and I agree completely.  Poor diets and sedentary lifestyles are affecting our health and happiness at alarming rates.  We used to live in a world where malnutrition was the biggest problem – in North America and spreading elsewhere, it’s malnutrition coupled with obesity!  Yes, you can be fat and malnourished, and it’s more common than you think.

Obesity is very difficult to treat when the diet stays the same.  People go on diet after diet, trying – sometimes successfully losing weight, but dieting is not enough.  Until you realize that dieting is not the answer, you will remain fat and unhealthy.  A lifestyle change incorporating good quality whole foods and a consistent exercise schedule is the only way to get trim and fit – and stay there.  For some people, this may mean strict avoidance of processed foods, while others may be able to incorporate some of their favourite foods back into their healthy diet once they’ve gotten their cravings under control –  but for everyone, it means a diet high in fresh vegetables and some fruits – for life.

If you are a sugarholic, as many people are, you may find strict avoidance of sweets the only thing that keeps you dedicated to your healthy lifestyle.  Those who are addicted to sugar are the most likely to suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and are also the people who should avoid sugar altogether.  Research has shown that people who eat sugar go through withdrawal symptoms, similar to drug abusers.  When you eat sugar, your blood sugar levels spike and insulin is released to store the sugar into your cells.  Some will be used as energy, some will be stored in the muscles, but the excess will be stored as fat.  Once the circulating sugar is stored, your blood sugar levels will be low, and you will crave another sugar fix.  As long as sugar is in your diet, the cycle will continue. 

There is not one person that would not benefit from the avoidance of refined foods and the resulting blood sugar stability that comes with a wholesome, sugarless diet.  And while you may never be able to completely escape the advertisements and the bombardment of useless CRAP (Coffee, Refined Foods, Alcohol/Acidic foods, Preservatives…etc.), you can keep some awareness as to what you and your children are seeing on a daily basis.  The best advice I can give you is to keep CRAP out of the house.  You cannot eat what you don’t buy!

If you blame genetics for your problems, stop right there.  Genetics may give you the ability to become overweight, but it is your environment that causes it to occur.  Don’t give up like Oprah did either – when she started blaming her thyroid for her weight problems.  She had a thyroid problem because of her poor diet!  If you give up, you’ll never change your circumstances.  Whether it’s your weight or any other disease condition – they can all be improved – and often completely eradicated – by a healthy lifestyle.  You can blame food companies for your troubles all you want, because they are for sure part of the problem, but that too will not solve your problem.

What you simply cannot do is keep avoiding your dis-ease any longer.  After all, how many overweight seniors do you see on a daily basis?  My guess is not many.  So take control, get the help of a nutritionist if you need the support, and get healthy starting this second!  It’s never too late to change your diet – you’ll notice the effects of a healthy diet within days, and a huge difference within weeks!  The changes will be so evident that you’ll never want to go back!

Running is SO Easy!

Treadmill Trainer Volume 2

Treadmill Trainer Volume 2

I just got in from an accidental run that turned out to be my fastest, happiest run to date!

Sitting at my computer enjoying some raw chocolate pudding and a fabulous green juice, I simply had too much energy to sit still.  So I got out my ipod, downloaded Treadmill Trainer Volume 2 onto it, and set out for the boardwalk.

This is the first time I’ve finished the entire workout, and I seriously had a smile on my face the whole time!  There are 2 spots where Yuri says you can stop, and I’ve taken him up on his offer times before, but I was in the zone and feeling like I could just kill the workout.  And I did!  I even ran home after I finished stretching!

I love his workouts and the way he talks to you as if he’s right there beside you.  I even talk back to him and answer all of his questions out loud!  For example, when the workout was over he asks: “How are you feeling right now?” Amazing!  “How did you feel 10 minutes ago?”  Amazing!  “How did you feel when you woke up this morning?”  Umm…not this good…no.  (I had to talk myself into going to yoga this morning)  Then I patted myself on the back (because he told me to) and congratulated myself on running 10 k in approximately 45 minutes…and I’m not a runner!  For comparison, I ran a 5k in April and my time was 29:41…and I was dead tired and wanted to throw up…a lot.  What a difference!

I just recently started running, and I’ve only run two 10 k’s before tonight.  I usually just do 5 k’s because I get bored of running after 30 minutes.  But since I signed up for a half marathon 5 months ago, and put off training until pretty much right now, it’s time to get serious…hence the Treadmill Trainer series of workouts being downloaded to my ipod.  After tonight I feel certain I am going to have a competitive time in the run, and I really can’t wait to do it!  I think I’m going to do intervals during the run.  I’ll just listen to the Treadmill Trainers even then.  That would be funny.  The motivation he gives during the workouts is priceless.  I’m seriously going to listen to the training audio when I run the race.

I should definitely add:  I highly recommend Volumes 2 and 3 plus all the hill running stuff, but only get Volume 1 if you are JUST starting out.  It involves walking and running, perfect for beginners, but you may find it too slow if you have any experience.  That being said, Volume 2 will kick your a** no matter what level of runner you are!  If you disagree and think you’re some big time runner, then you HAVE to try it.  It’ll step up your game so much and you’ll be thankful for the challenge!!!  Happy running 🙂

Spirulina: Why I Eat It Every Day.

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The question I get asked most often when I tell people that I eat raw, vegan food is: Where do you get your protein?  The simplest answer: spirulina.  “Spir-what?” They ask.  So rather than explain myself over and over again, I thought I’d just write about it and refer people to this website.Spirulina is an amazing superfood.

I guess you could say that spirulina is my preferred source of protein, although that isn’t my main objective in eating it.  To be honest, I am a firm believer that all foods in nature have the perfect amout of fats, carbohydrates, and protein, so I never strive to get any single macro-nutrient.  I just eat a wide variety of foods and listen to my body.  Society, on the other hand, seems to be obsessed with the protein question, and if you’re one who is protein obsessed, this may be your reason to include spirulina in your diet!

Spirulina is a complete protein, which means that is contains all of the essential amino acids.  It’s also rich in EFAs: GLA, ALA, LA, EPA, DHA, and AA.  If you don’t understand what those mean, don’t sweat it.  Just think Omega 3s!

Spirulina is also loaded with vitamins and minerals – just look at its colour.  Anything THAT green is golden for the body.  Everyone could use more greens in their diet, that’s for sure.  What I can say for certain is that spirulina gives me loads of energy every time I eat it.  And at the moment, my favourite way to eat spirulina is in a smoothie loaded with local, fresh berries!

 

Tennis, anyone?


Today we were at the Rogers Cup, and although we brought some raw chocolate and some cashews, we were starving for something different.  Amongst all the crap that other people were eating, I found a yummy fruit salad, but I needed to buy about 10 of them to be fully satisfied!  Which would have cost about $50…  Just a reminder that if you’re out of the house all day, you had better be prepared!