If you’re not enjoying your diet, you’re not doing it right

I have always heard that “If you’re not enjoying your diet you’re not doing it right” and I cant stress how true this is, especially now that I am committing myself more to eating healthy. If you don’t actually enjoy the foods you’re eating then you will slip right back into old comfy ways, easy as that. This is why you need to fine tune a diet to match you’re likes and dislikes.

I hate using the word diet because in reality its really just a lifestyle change. I am not restricting my foods and calories I am just making better decisions in what I choose to eat. Fruits and veggies are unlimited, there is no cap on those, I will eat as much as I want. I cringe watching people get sucked into those diets where you’re drinking or eating their own synthetic products that promise to make you loose weight fast. Shakes, TV dinner look-alikes, etc. Its sad people can’t just wrap their head around simply eating better and exercising. I think it really comes down to people not educating themselves on the food they eat. Also, I’m sure most people just don’t know where to start and want a jump in the process. Well, WAKE UP CALL, its a slow friggin’ process and its a complete lifestyle overhaul. There’s no short cuts, it really comes down to eating FRESH, PLANT BASED FOODS, minimizing your meat and grains intake, and eliminating processed foods. Not only that but shaping your diet to suit you.  

This week was our first go at meal planning, making a designated shopping list and eating whole fresh foods. Its also my first week back to food prepping. I find that if you keep food and snacks readily available it makes it way less easy to slip and binge or get something convenient. This week I’m pre-making spinach and tomato egg muffins for the mornings and grilling a bunch of veggies to store in the fridge. I have my veggies soaking in vinegar water (as I didn’t buy them organically). Remember to at least soak and disinfect items that are on the dirty dozen list if you can’t buy organically.

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  1. Strawberries
  2. Apples
  3. Nectarines
  4. Peaches
  5. Celery
  6. Grapes
  7. Cherries
  8. Spinach
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Sweet bell peppers
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Cucumbers

We gave ourselves a $115 budget for grocery shopping because we were really out of a lot of things and knew we were almost buying everything. This week we chose to make:

Honey Garlic Baked Cauliflower
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Mexican Chopped Salad
Lemon Broccoli Pasta
Balsamic Turkey Burgers w/ Caramelized Onion
Breakfast Egg Muffins
Grilled Vegetable w/ Goat Cheese Sandwiches
Turkey Tacos – Opting for Lettuce Shells

We also equipped ourselves with food to make a bunch of sides and salads. I already have the fixings for overnight oats and those have been fantastic for me. I usually have them as an energy boost after my yoga in the morning and they’re delicious and filling. When it comes to snacking its mostly been fruit or fresh veggies, sometimes granola or dill pickle sunflower seeds when I feel like munching out or get a salty craving. Fruit has been amazing for my sugar cravings because they are so sweet themselves. Larabar’s have been a life saver for when I’m on the go and get hungry (which is often these days). They are vegan and literally have 6 ingredients in them. I’ve also got into a routine of drinking peppermint tea before bed to help with digestion. I’m going to be honest and say I am eating mostly vegetarian because I haven’t liked meats much while I’ve been pregnant. My husband has no problem with that though and will gladly eat my portion of meat. We still buy meat for him and I have no problem making meals with it. In the end I’ve really been enjoying the foods I’ve been eating and never feel like I’m starving.

I thought I would post our shopping list which came to $117, only $2 over our budget! (we also had gift cards from Christmas which meant groceries were essentially free for us, yay!). It was amazing feeling putting away our groceries and putting almost nothing in the pantry and everything in the fridge, all fresh foods and so much that we will be set for over a week. On top of that we get to eat kick ass meals everyday and not feel like we are compromising on yummy food.

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Prenatal yoga has been kicking my ass (in a good way) and I can tell I’m significantly strengthening my muscles in my pelvis, legs, and butt. I can tell because of the days of pain and soreness in-between. Epsom salt baths have been my best friend! I’ve been feeling great after yoga and I love when I actually see results. Prenatal yoga is nice cause its very laid back and easy buy still very effective. ALSO, no lower back pain and I feel like the work I’m doing on my pelvis is helping with my neck pain and migraines.

So far I’ve been feeling great, now if only I could get my morning sickness under control! Being pregnant has definitely given me the kick in the butt I needed to start eating better because I know what I eat my baby is getting too. What’s more motivation then that? In the end I really just want the best for my little gremlin.

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Phase 1 & 2 of my Reset

Me and my husband sat down and considered meals we already make and healthy meals we’d be likely to eat (with a little help from Pinterest). We came up with a list of meal ideas  and also a master shopping list. I thought I’d post it here for everyone to see or get ideas. Keep in mind this list is completely catered to our likes and food we prefer to eat. Also we prefer to buy certain things from the health food store while mostly everything can be bought at a regular grocery store if that what you prefer.

We solved the work lunches issue by meal planning and prepping. I will also be making a lot of snacks myself like granola bars and energy bites because what can I say? I like to snack!

Your own meal idea list with recipes you like can be posted along with a master shopping list and every week you can meal plan & know exactly what you need to buy to make it happen. Its all about convenience and making it easier!

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Resetting my Reset

One thing I really want to do is get my eating back on track and kick my sugar habit, especially while I’m still a little early in my pregnancy. I want these good habits to stick and move forward with me even after the birth so I can teach and educate my child on a healthy lifestyle.

During my first trimester I was eating mostly soups, fruits, salads, veggies, teas. It was mainly because that’s what I could stomach at the time and I didn’t want any rich foods. Now that I’m slowly starting to feel better and the squeamishness has passed, I got excited and I started eating more fast food and take out. It was a “I’m hungry right now and craving this so I don’t want to wait to make it” mentality. Now I went from eating bland, healthy foods to greasy take-out. Its not only burning a hole in my pocket but I’m starting to notice I’m feeling like shit and sluggish day to day.

Another thing I’ve been having difficulty cutting out is sugar. I feel like I was getting a lot of natural sugars from the pounds of fruit I was eating the first three months. Now its moved to sour candies and chocolate (thanks to Christmas). One thing I’m happy about is that I’ve almost managed to cut pop from my diet completely. The most I can handle is a ginger ale here and there but even that tastes too sweet.

Its time to reset my reset. I just started prenatal yoga and holy crap am I ever sore today (so it must be working!). Now that I’m getting back on the yoga train it makes sense to get my diet on track again as well. Except this time I wont be limiting myself. If I want to eat I will, I will just be choosing the right foods instead. I am also on a mission to slowly minimize my waste production, so cutting out fast food goes hand in hand with that anyways.

I started to feel guilty because I knew my baby was just getting empty nutrients and it was all because I wanted convenience. To make it easier to stick with it I have divided my “reset” into 4 phases.

  1. Make a booklet or list of meals/recipes that are healthy that I would actually eat week to week (This should leave out the mystery and the painful deciding of what to eat everyday, resorting to something quick or convenient).
  2. Make weekly a list of all the food items that would be required to make these meals. (This should guarantee you’ll always have what you need to eat, no excuses).
  3. Start our organics live subscription again for weekly or bi-weekly organic vegetable/fruit deliveries. (This makes getting organic fruits/vegetables easier). I also found I was forced to be resourceful with fruits or veggies I’d get in the box. I wouldn’t want the bananas to go bad so I would make a healthy banana bread to not be wasteful!
  4. Buy bulk or from farmers markets (This forces you to eat less processed/packaged foods and limits your waste production).

The end goal is simple

  • to be eating organically
  • to be eating whole fresh food and avoiding processed all together
  • to cut back on my meat/grains consumption – focus on fruits & vegetables
  • to cut out sugar (pops, juices, candy etc.)

I am focusing my diet on a more plant based diet, but not cutting out grains and meats all together. This is mainly because organic meat is super expensive and we really don’t need to consume that much grains in a day anyways, you can get a lot of good carbohydrates from veggies and fruits too.

One issue that I know will come up is time. Right now I’m off work for a month so I have all the time in the world to prep and cook meals and when I am on maternity leave it will be easier (hopefully) then too. I’ll need to consider some “make ahead” meals or easy alternatives when me and hubby both end up working late and don’t get home till after 10 pm. Considering you don’t want such a heavy meal before bed as well. Another big issue for me was making my own lunch when I go back to work…never liked to do it but I will have to start to save money, eat right, and limit my waste.

A great documentary I watched that really motivated me was “Food Choices” I will put the link here but it is on Netflix for free to watch! It’s very well made and very informative.

Getting back on the Yoga Train

Its time to kick off the 2017 year right!

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Today I am celebrating 107 days of pregnancy by starting to prepare my body and my muscles for labor. I am slowly day by day getting my energy back, and even though I am still throwing up once a day or so, I find I am able to get up and walk around. That being said I believe I can start doing light yoga exercises to strengthen the key birthing muscles in my lower back, pelvis, and and abdomen.

Yoga can also help with the lower back (which is slowly coming on) and it can help align your back and pelvis to make birth easier. Lately, because I’ve mostly been bed ridden for months and couldn’t get up and walk around for more than a few hours at a time, I’ve felt very weak and sluggish. Yoga will help to boost my energy and strengthen me without being vigorous exercise that is unsafe for baby.

The goal is do yoga, if not once a day, every few days for 10-40 minutes at a time. I have yet to fully appreciate yoga and its benefits. I never get far enough into it or dedicate myself to it fully to become a full blown yogi, but I want to. I’m hoping that the idea of a stronger and easier birth will motivate me enough.

Setting Realistic Goals

Good morning hippies! I thought I would share this morning yoga video I did this morning. I follow this YouTube channel and I really enjoy watching her yoga videos because I feel like she explains things really well, especially for beginners. I’ve done this routine (within 5 minutes of waking up) a couple times now and I feel as though it has got me off on the right foot. Maybe it will do the same for you! There are many other videos on her channel for more experienced yogis as well.

As I was doing this routine I was thinking about all the things I was planning to do on my day off, what food to make, etc. Then I started thinking about what I have accomplished so far on my journey (it’s been 2 months since I’ve made any sort of lifestyle change). Along with that I started thinking about all the things I still wanted to do down the line. That got the wheels turning..I feel like all accomplishments should be celebrated, big or small, or else we are less inclined to move forward and keep on track.

I thought I would write out what I have accomplished in the 2 months so far (proving that it IS possible live naturally in this decade and society). Considering we are saving heavily for a wedding, we are on a crazy tight budget and we have STILL managed to make these changes.

What I HAVE done:

Detoxed/Uncluttered the House
This was step #1. I threw away ALL household cleaners and cosmetic products I didn’t absolutely need on a daily basis (until they could be replaced, like toothpaste, deodorant, etc.) When they are out of your house you have no way of using them, so don’t store them away somewhere for a rainy day. Also in the spirit of Spring, I completely “decluttered” the house, went through and cleaned out pantries, cupboards, closets, etc. of old food and items that were just sitting there. With every item I thought “Do I NEED this?” “Am I going to use this OFTEN?” If there answer was NO, it went in the trash. My house is so much cleaner and organized and setting myself up in an environment like that makes me stress-free!

Replaced ALL Household Cleaners
Pretty much the same day I went to the grocery store and bought vinegar and baking soda, both very cheap and both pretty much the two major items you will use when it comes to cleaning. I also bought a big bag of lemons and I had leftover oranges in the fridge to make a batch of all purpose cleaner (the citrus vinegar has to sit in a cool dark place for 2 weeks before use). Also Dawn dish soap is another item that will be used often. With the exception of essential oils, those are the main ingredients for cleaning supplies. Recipes and steps to make these cleaners are in my previous blog posts.

Slowly Switching to Organic Food
“Slowly” is the key word here, first we made the switch with vegetables by getting a bi-weekly subscription to Organics Live. If you don’t plan on doing this or its unavailable in your area, stick to AT LEAST buying food that’s on the “dirty dozen” list organically, as those contain the most pesticides. We have just recently switched over to organic eggs, butter, milk, sugar, etc. Switching to organic food will probably be the most costly thing out of this whole process but I not be afraid to say you will feel 1000% better. I personally notice a huge change in my body.

Switched to “Cruelty-Free” Makeup
Personally, I loved buying makeup and still do..I used to be that girl spending $200 at Sephora every month, but with the amount of saving we are doing I don’t have that added luxury. I thought if I am going to buy store-bought makeup I will at least make sure it doesn’t test on animals. Plus I have been trying to wear less makeup everyday anyways. After the wedding I will do some research on other vegan/cruelty-free makeup companies.

Disconnected from the World
What was once a $130/month phone plan is now $0! I completely cancelled my phone as I have WiFi at work and home. I found that I was constantly checking Facebook or had my phone in my hand, now I can put it down for hours and not think twice. It feels great to not feel so attached  to your device. Eventually after the wedding I will get a $30 talk plan so I can at least make calls when I need to but at this point its not necessary. I have also found that I have been reading A LOT more in my spare time.

Yoga, Yoga, and more Yoga
It speaks for itself. There are hundreds of free videos out there..headaches, fat burning, morning, meditation, etc. Even if you try to do 10-20 minutes a day. Most of the time 20 minutes flies by for me and it does wonders with toning and strengthening your muscles. Not to mention a natural stress reliever.

Making my own Cosmetics/Switching to Organic
Think of all the toxins that get absorbed through your teeth, arm pits, face, and skin alone. For the items I still have not yet to make (toothpaste & deodorant) I made the switch to organic. For items that I could change, I made myself. DIY face scrubs and cleaners are easy to make! I’m sure you have heard that coconut oil can be used for almost anything these days, well it’s true! I use it on my hair, on my legs when I’m shaving, face scrubs, etc. I’ve also been using witch hazel on my face as an astringent, eliminating my toners and makeup remover (not for the eyes I might add).

Food Prepping & Growing your own Herbs
I have been growing my own herbs for a couple months now and so far so good! Food prepping has been a new change for me. Its difficult with my 40 hour weeks but on my days off I usually spend them in the kitchen for a couple hours. Lately I have been pre-making my lunches and meals (which has definitely saved me money) and making ahead things like breakfast sandwiches for a “grab & go” meal.  The thing I LOVE about this is that every time I open the fridge there is something to eat and I’m not standing there contemplating on what to make or getting frustrated cause I don’t have the time to cook a huge meal. It also keeps me away from Tim Hortons or Macdonalds for a quick, cheap lunch at work.

Some TIPS that have helped me:
– Constantly think about restocking or creating a “stock”. If you are at the grocery store and you see a box of baking soda, grab it! its a $1.25 and you go through things like that quickly!
– Essential Oils will be your best friend, you can add them to almost any homemade recipe with cleaning or cosmetics. Just BE CAREFUL with the type you choose to use as some can be used internally and others are only for aromatherapy. Do your research and select a good grade, trust me it makes all the difference.
– Celebrate your accomplishments and set realistic goals. Not everything happens when you want it to, and a lifestyle change takes time, be patient!

So in the last two months I have made some major changes and still plan to make way more. All while on a very frugal budget, however in a way (other than organic food and essential oils) making the changes has SAVED me money in the long run. Its totally doable, for anyone.

Fitness Progress & New Buys

It feels great when you actually start to see small changes right? When your hard work actually pays off. In the winter I was way bloated, hippy, and I just felt frumpy over all. I feel like I’m starting to slowly get my body back! Of course, not without heartache. At first my sugar cravings were through the roof, now they have almost disappeared. I’ve been noticing I have been eating smaller portions, get full quicker, and if I eat something crappy I definitely pay for it later.

I have been drinking loads of lemon water, sometimes I’ll spice it up and mix in cucumber or blueberries. I will literally try to drink a jug a day. The lemon water has definitely helped with my bloating and stomach. I have also still been eating mostly organic food and the more I eat it the better I feel! And I’ll tell anyone who wants to hear it!

Considering Justin is currently at the other end of the country, I have been taking the time to eat things that he wouldn’t normally like. I’ve been more adventurous and eager with cooking dishes like tofu pad Thai, avocado cucumber salad with hemp hearts, and guacamole deviled eggs, etc. Working as much as I have been has kept me busy and distracted even though I’m missing my babe like crazy! But I have been trying to make the most of my alone time to keep up these positive changes.

Anyways, what’s been working for myself with my busy schedule, is to make small realistic goals. I know realistically I wont be able to work out or run everyday but I have been trying to at least do yoga as much as I can. I figure if it takes 20 minutes I can somehow fit it into my schedule. I’m learning everyday that what you put on or in your body makes all the difference. Also, celebrate the small accomplishments!

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Some new and exciting things I have added to the kitchen! I figured I would try some organic milk. With a $2 bottle deposit it was around $5 for the liter, but now I can return the bottle and only pay around $3 from here on out. I kid you not, it’s like you can taste the grass in this milk! (I know that may not sound that appealing but trust me it was delicious and I felt a 1000% better about drinking it). Organic milk contains more Omega-3 and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), which increases the body’s metabolic rate, immunity to disease, and muscle growth. It also reduces abdominal fat, cholesterol, and allergic reactions. along with that organic milk has no chemical contamination and more antioxidants than conventional milk! If you want more info on the health benefits of organic milk click here. I also decided to swap out refined table salt for pink Himalayan salt. The salt is made naturally, is unprocessed and is said to be the purest form of sea salt. It’s loaded with 80+ minerals and vitamins and comes along with amazing health benefits! Here are just a few that I learned when doing some research on it:

  • Create an electrolyte balance
  • Increases hydration
  • Regulate water content both inside and outside of cells
  • Balance pH (alkaline/acidity) and help to reduce acid reflux
  • Prevent muscle cramping
  • Aid in proper metabolism functioning
  • Strengthen bones
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Help the intestines absorb nutrients
  • Improve circulation
  • Dissolve and eliminate sediment to remove toxins
  • Increase libido
  • Reduce the signs of aging
  • Detoxify the body from heavy metals

 

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It’s all about the small changes! Since I still haven’t bought all the ingredients to make my own toothpaste and deodorant, a quick fix was to replace the ones I was using now with a more natural option from my local health food store. The deodorant was around $6 and the toothpaste was $5, but to be honest the price difference is not too much more from what I would have normally spent at the pharmacy. Toothpaste and deodorant are normally around $3-$5 each anyways! So I feel a lot better making the switch. I also got witch hazel, which I have mostly been using on my face. It makes me skin soooo smooth! Clears up blemishes and pimples and also removes my makeup. The good thing about witch hazel is that it can be used for so many other things! like bug spray, a toner, a natural spray on deodorant, etc. If you’d like to look into other uses for witch hazel, check out this article. I am really only missing a few things off my big list, which can be seen in my previous blog post Back to the Basics.

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It’s been on-going but I’m loving the way I’ve been feeling and making changes has just been getting easier and easier for me. It’s honestly addicting, once you start you just want to keep going! And once you notice the positive impacts you just want to maintain it.

Taking Charge

I’ve fallen behind, haven’t been sticking to my work out routines and summer means beer and pizza and take out. So now what? I feel unmotivated and I’m the queen of procrastination. My teachers in school always said designers like to work under pressure, its in our genes. Always waiting until the last moment to do something cause you know its now or never, do or die! And maybe that’s exactly what I’ve done here, because its 3 months away from my wedding and I don’t feel any closer to my fitness goals. So it’s time to kick it into high gear, 3 month countdown! 109 days to be exact.

Even though I am working 40 hour weeks (which I’m still getting used to) and my workout routines have been a little bit of a flop, I have noticed other changes. Going from being conscientious about what food I’m putting into my body to eating Chinese food and pizza, beer and sangria’s. You 100% feel like crap after, like for me full on tummy aches and all the horrible stuff that goes along with it. Also since cutting out unnatural perfumes and smells, I get a headache after being around them for a while. Me and my fiance were filling little bottles with soaps and lotions for favors at our wedding and the perfumes in the soaps and lotions were getting to me after maybe 10-15 minutes. Its crazy to notice these little changes that actually make a larger impact on your life than you thought. I was around store bought cleaners and soaps or lotions my whole life and now after 15 minutes I’m cringing my nose wishing I had some fresh air.

So even though they are little changes, I AM actually noticing the positive impacts these changes have had. Workouts have been a flop but feeling like absolute crap has at least motivated me to continue to make the effort to eat well and organically. Even my fiance has said hes noticed a huge difference in switching to organic foods, in not only taste but overall well-being.

When I woke up today I knew it felt like a different day, big changes ahead. Justin’s going on tour for half a month across Canada and the roommates are moving out the same day. SO, that means just me and the pups for half a month. That also means I am taking charge of my workout routines. I’ll have the time, the space, and no one here to stop me or distract me. Literally no excuses. As I was saying before, its a lifestyle change. These things take time and above all EFFORT. You have to make time for work outs and runs. You have to make time to create a healthy meal rather than just throwing Kraft Dinner on the stove because its easy and convenient. I am learning this all the hard way.

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