Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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Its Crazy How Much Love Can Lift Your Spirit

My Friends…

My amazing and supportive family. Words cannot express my gratitude for all of the kind words of support, love and encouragement that I have received from all outlets following my accident on Saturday.

I will not retell the thing in detail as it is not only traumatizing to me, but also to those who were here at the time, but I will briefly state that in prepping for my GI procedure my little body just didn’t appreciate the prepping and I managed to find myself passed out on my bathroom floor at 4am.

#FacePlant Legit.

1 broken jaw, 5 stitches, a few broken teeth and many hours in Guelph General Emerg later, I was home and ready to stop feeling sorry for myself and try to put this terrifying incident behind me and move forward.

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It is now a fresh week and man have I had my moments of frustration and sadness, while also feeling bad that this has hurt those around me who love me, but honestly all of the support you have all shown me has given me so much life and lifted me up when I truly have needed it.

We all break sometimes and it is in those moments where the village you have created around you on your better days come to your rescue and keep you positive and smiling.

To my bf, I’m sorry. I’m sorry this nightmare happened and you had to come rescue me and keep it together. You have been my knight, my rock and my sunshine.

To my parents, I’m sorry I had to call you in the early hours of the morning and wake you suddenly to tell you I needed you. That I had let this happen. I’m sorry. Thank you for everything that you always do for me and for always being by my side and telling me it will be all okay. No matter how old I get, I need my parents to tell me that sometimes. 

To my friends, my family and even those who may only know me in passing, thank you for your words of encouragement and your love. Every wave, “well wishes” and “you’re gunna get back at it in no time” really does just bring a bit more pep back into my step. 

Choose your family wisely friends. They are your sanctuary and I appreciate mine more than I ever have before after this scary thing.

What things have I learned from this event…

1. Water. Water is great, even feeling like you have to drown yourself in the amount you need to drink in these situations. Next time I will do better.

2.Chewing is honestly something we all take for granted. God I want my rice cakes so bad.

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Would you believe thats tuna mashed in there?

3. Feeling bad for yourself gets you no where. It happened so move on.

4.I will be okay not going to the gym…I keep telling myself this day after day.

5.Sometimes it’s okay to ask for help and not feel you have to be 100% independent ALL of the time.

6.The events that happen to you don’t just happen to you. That trauma finds itself lurking in those around you too. Although it takes effort, take the time to update them and tell them you are doing okay. They need that comfort.

7.Patience. Every day I wake up and the swelling is still here and there is a new travelling bruise on my body I have to just remind myself, healing takes time. Be thankful that your body didn’t fully put up the white flag and show it some consideration and care in how to speak to it.

8.It’s okay to be frustrated. Acknowledge it and than let it go.

I cannot thank you enough my family. I send so much love back to you all!

ghost

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Two Down, Three 2 Go

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Hat so big they had to staple it together for me.

My Friends!

Thursday marked the end of my second semester and my second placement of my Master’s of Applied Nutrition (MAN) Program. I handed in my paper and I’m done with it all..

…for 3 weeks

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Lesssss be honest, I would never throw my Mac out the window tho..

I was looking so forward to relaxing over the next 3 weeks. Doing life the way I wanted, whenever I wanted. The only plans I really had (which I was super excited for…) was to be shadowing Andrea (RD at Dietetic Directions) and meeting with my 3rd placement preceptor, but it seems like life doesn’t like simplicity.

Lets see…

~Stats meeting for my thesis Friday + interim report due that night

~Oil change this Tuesday morning, so I have to go home and stay there overnight because it’s at the crack of dawn

~Graduate pictures with my favourite fellow MAN grad, Frannnnaa Bannnannnaa Thursday

~Colonoscopy prep all Friday and Surgery Saturday morning… Maaaammmmeee

~Gastric emptying test at McMaster at 8:30am the following Thursday

~Training my client Karl 3 times plus my other clients (I have two brand new clients adjusting to plans)

~Moving into my summer sublet..with babes ❤

…So, well I like to be busy?

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Aside from my forever busy schedule (okay okay thats half my own doing, I’m in my 20’s reach for the stars right?), I wanted to conclude this placement with a little list of things I learned and gained.

These placements are supposed to be about growth and guide you towards your RD career and I think with each placement thus far I have really strived to push myself to take on opportunities that will benefit me and my future. This semester has been the best so far so I cannot imagine what next semester will bring me.

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I was placed in Hospitality Services for this placement, as it was my time to do food service. I was supposed to be working at adding nutritional information to all recipes on campus using their new software system…

Unfortunately the software was being a bit more finicky and had more ‘bugs’ to work out and my project was than essentially put on hold for the summer interns to take over. As a result, I was able to jump into various positions from cooking in the kitchen, working with the team at SNAP (student nutrition awareness program) and helping upper management with their allergy awareness food line and training modules to help complete my competencies.

I was able to learn a lot and I’m glad that I had the variety because one thing that I really have learned about myself is that I get bored easily and so having more than one task or thing to think about keeps me mentally stimulated the best.

What else did I take away from this placement?

1. A new Food Prep company in the making…

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I met Aaron Crawford (Tourne Cuisine) during my kitchen time and he stated that he was interested in starting up a meal prep service alongside his catering company and asked for me to help with recipe planning and macronutrient counting.

We than moved forward with this idea and we are on our 3rd week of supplying to a customer, who happens to be a trainer at my gym. I hope it can grow from here but I suppose I must be patient as we still haven’t been ‘alive’ for more than a month.

2.  Even those things you aren’t looking forward to may have their purpose.

I will be honest and say that I was NOT looking forward to this placement. Out of the three types of placements we have to do, Food Service was my least favourite. I figured I would be in the back gagging over the hospital food…

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But Ed was great and he allowed me to work fully independently and have lots of tasks to do during my time there. It was a good learning experience and not as bad as I thought.

Still being honest…Could I see myself going into a Food Service job…? No, not really. Clinical and Community are my niches.

3. I loved the ability see my friends every day.

The placement itself did NOT include seeing my friends but I was so centralized on campus that it was rare that I didn’t meet up with one of my friends for lunch. It was so nice to catch up with everyone, including friends I made in the Wellness Centre during my last placement.

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Lesson learned: I need my friends in my life, even when it’s super busy.

4. I hate change but it’s also not so bad and will work it’s way out. 

I get super anxious at the beginning of any new start because my body HATES change to my schedule. Thanks IBS… but it will all be okay once you get into that routine. The gym has always been the biggest and more anxiety provoking change, where I have to switch from my beloved late AM workouts to PM (prime time) but if you love something you will always get it in, no matter where it has to fall.

I also learned how much I needed that stress relief. I was dancing around in the last hour of my day just wanting to go and lift. Brought new insight into my love of lifting.

5. I can fall into work-a-holic tendencies…

I always preach having your down time but I fail at being able to do that myself. With the number of clients I have, my volunteer work, my placement, school and now this prep company, I feel like any second I have I tend to spend working (if I’m not working out). When you are single you don’t tend to notice this, but it becomes more apparent when you find yourself feeling bad about working so much because you want to spend time with your person.

He didn’t need to tell me that I worked too much or that I needed time to myself because I knew it and I wanted to spend more time with him so I knew that I needed to re-proritize and re-balance. It turned out to be something I have to continue to work on but I’m getting better with taking care of myself and having some non-work fun.

The other thing is that I truly love working with my clients. I really really do so it was hard for me to just let that go, even just for a single day. The thing everyone has to learn is that you need time to refuel your tank so that you can help them. It’s also NORMAL and NEEDED to take time for yourself and be ‘selfish’…despite it not being actually selfish. I’m still learning this lesson.

6. Sleep…sleep is important.

Yes I obviously know this, but with everything going on with my health I was literally told by my ND that I needed to actually legit make it a priority. I have been doing my bestest and I have to say that I have done better now probably more than I have in a long time so I’m proud of myself.

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Fun fact, my fav animal is a penguin…and I have a stuffed one on my bed

More lessons to learn as I head on into my summer placements. But for the next few weeks its about taking that time to myself and recovering from those few procedures I have to get done.

Much love my friends! 

Whats one lesson you learned from your University days?


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Where the Sun Don’t Shine…

Hello again my friends. As promised I said I would come back and share my updated GI health story with you all…

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 1.54.04 PMIf you followed way back, you know for the longest time I had been dealing with GI issues. It wasn’t until a random conversation at the gym, that the idea of a parasite was brought up and I asked to be tested.

I came back positive…very positive

Blasto was his..their..name. And making my tummy miserable was their game.

I was treated. Twice.

Medical interventions for them buggers, well they suck.

As I had told you all afterwards, basically the treatment for parasites is a full on ‘death by meds’ to your gut flora. It doesn’t matter if they are useful or not, they will all be killed off. That was not pleasant, as they are integral for digestion and so I was left being unable to tolerate a lot of foods because I just couldn’t break them down like a normal person.

No veggies. No high fibre foods. No red meat. Careful with too much fat in one sitting…it goes on. And the award for the most “unhealthy” dietitian goes to…

The biggest sadness that came from that was the loss of some of my favourite foods…

My beloved oats were kicked to the curb after my stomach spazzed so hard that I almost passed out.

I still needed carbs. I’m an athlete and I’m also a notorious carb-burner. Everything became rice.

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Cream of rice replaced my precious oats.

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yesss to peanut butter not leaving my life…and yes I save that blob for last. Judge me.

I went through 5-6 bags of Lunderberg brown rice cakes a week because I used them as “easy on the tummy” carbs.

I learned to accept it and was content.

…Minus the lack of being able to go out. But hey, life sucks sometimes so I had to move on. 

I was under the impression that now my gut just had to heal, but I was very wrong.

Fast forward two years, I’m entering my Master’s program and probably the most school pressure and stress I will ever face, and here I was the sickest I have been since my eating disorder.

I knew there was something wrong. I have known the entire time but it was frustrating because the medical system would just yell at me for being underweight and say either…

~”gaining weight is hard, it may be uncomfortable.”

~You know we don’t normally treat parasites…” <- Really something is stealing my nutrients from my body and you don’t think thats an issue?

~”Maybe this is just “Chelsea”..Maybe this is just the way you are”

~Oh and just for shits and giggles…. “you’re so small. You have no blood” <- Bravo GI doc… 

Here I was trying my best to just eat my maintenance and I felt like every medical professional was against me. I told them I was bloated 24/7, felt full randomly all the time and just didn’t feel normal anymore and they didn’t listen.

“It’s just the past ED…”

It wasn’t until a few months ago where things got really bad.

Dumping syndrome (I will spare you the lovely details, go look it up if you would like to know..) began happening multiple times a week..

My iron levels and overall blood levels were falling through the floor

My electrolytes all fell

My last blood pressure check was 90/55 (today)

My kidney and liver function were compromised

And I just looked grey all the time. I still do because it hasn’t stopped yet. 

I had pretty much given up at this point but the doctors finally looked concerned and I began seeing them more than my friends, or it felt like it, but they did nothing except tell me I was a concern. As a last resort I sent out a message to my friend, Andrew, an NP and he ordered me the GI map test (basic sense, its a map of your entire gut biome, good and bad, plus other markers of gut health and stress).

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If you’re interested in the GI map, its $$$ but I wish everyone could get it, heres the link.

On top of some other critters, Blasto made his appearance once again along with a lovely sheet full of red markers stating I had SIBO (bacterial overgrowth), leaky gut (high zonulin levels), parastic pathogens AND the calprotectin signals that I should be checked for Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) and/or infection.

So I have the problem diagnosed right?!? They will believe me know right?!?

Wrong. Well at least from the MD side. My family doc didn’t even know how to read the fricken report.

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ND had a much more active approach. Andrew listened and gave me his parasite purging/ gut healing protocol.

I take a lot of supplements (especially right now, low absorption..) but I have never taken so many pills in my life.

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this x like 5 …

It is a liver support + parasite purge + gut healing protocol and I would be at it for about 6-8 months. So that was where I sat. MD continued to be useless until they scheduled me into a new Gastro doctor in Burlington.

So to a new GI I went, that was this past Saturday. Much nicer doctor and more open. He doesn’t think the parasite is my biggest concern but has put me in for a gastric emptying test and a colonoscopy for two weeks.

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*** Any friends reading this who sees me in two weeks..please do not be alarmed. Colonoscopies make me look like death after… ***

So, after a pretty emotionally draining weekend (thank god for my bf..honestly), I now get to wait. Wait for that horrible test and continue to feel the same way for two weeks.

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I’m frustrated that my emotions have been up and down, so I tell myself this on the daily

I’m not trying to sound whiny and complain but I have to admit that I’m a bit scared to say the least. I know I have to know but the test itself and the results scare me. Most say that they don’t think I have Crohns but the possibility is there.

Pun intended, that scares the shit out of me.

But we wait and until then, I will continue to keep doing me and staying busy because you know what? I need to do what I need to do. It will be good so I need to just move past it.

This is my journey of gut healing and I want to share this not for sympathy..

PLEASE PLEASE don’t think I’m sharing this to get an “I’m sorry you have to go through this.” Other people have things way worse to go through. I’m doing this, being vulnerable, because more people than ever have been having stomach issues and I hope this can reach them and if they have questions they can ask me or it can give them some idea on what things to ask their medical team. 

My goal is always to educate and relate. If I can help one person stand up for themselves and seek help and GET some relief, this post has served its purpose.

I will keep you updated my friends. Thank you for always having my back.

best


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Dusting off the site…

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Xmas 2018. My favourite animal is right deerrrr. #PenguinsRock #OnesiesAreLife

Well hello there Friends, you still alive over here in my blog world?

 Checking in almost a year later (May 2017 was my last post) and I have to say, I missed blogging. I don’t know how many of you are still hanging in there but I have to say that I’m sorry I basically fell off the face of the Earth. My last post really began a summer full of working and then jumping right into the MAN (Masters of Applied Human Nutrition) program at the University of Guelph and it’s been a whirlwind ever since.

So why am I back you ask so politely? 

I miss you. I miss writing. I often thought about it but I was so busy, I never did. I also felt guilt. Guilt that I couldn’t give you what I used to. The 3-4 posts a week, where 2 of those were informational, researched posts that took me quite a bit of time. You see, my ability to multi task in class and my need for excessive stimulation while being forced to sit in a chair so long in lecture made those possible. Working an 8-hour job after the gym and than my …don’t even want to count my hours now…placement and masters program hours made those posting numbers IMPOSSIBLE or, if possible, it would create anxiety.

I want to write. I love to write. I also need to keep myself safe and free of those negative feelings so this blog needs to go back to its original purpose…

starShare my thoughts with you, personal life, struggles, wins, etc

starGive you science backed information to ponder about and bring into your life

starRecipe and fitness ideas

starAnd just to keep in touch with you. 

I have started quite a new journey this past school year, with its challenges and its gains and I want to share those because some of those things may be able to help others deal with their struggles as well or maybe give some insight.

For the sake of not making this an actual novel (I was notorious for those…) lets just start this back up with an update on my life for the past little bit in a string of images.

Theres a new light in my life. My bf. We have been together since before Xmas and he’s my rock. I have been going through a lot health wise lately (will get to…) and he’s just always there. Thank you for being my Xmas miracle and someone I can show the holiday’s to.

Due to religion (although he doesn’t associate with it now) he has never celebrated our ‘white’ holidays. I’m excited to share them with him. 

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He was in a fraternity during his University years and even as an alumni we get the ability to attend them fancy soirees

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My Mom and I got another tat together last summer. It’s a Swahili symbol for an eternal bond between Mother and Daughter.

That makes 5 for me…

One of my friends from way back at McMaster (Shawna) got married this summer and I took my bestie, Rita, to her first wedding.

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I graduated my nutrition undergrad with distinction, got some scholarships and was accepted into the MAN program to start that September 2017.

Upon meeting my new MAN am, I had never been in a room with so many Type A personalities in my life…We bond over stress. 

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I rocked my Halloween costume in the gym…As expected from me…

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I still remain the smallest bodybuilder I know…but I hit my goal this year already of a 2x body weight back squat despite my health issues… That’s flipps off to those little buggers…

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I’m still helping with my clients and they are doing awesome. I normally don’t advertise but I had to with Carly. She has done amazing…

….That was just before Xmas break and my clients doubled after this post. 

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Dori finally got her plates she deserved. Now everyone knows my car in the gym parking lot

Yes I still bake and cook for everyone in my house… well, those who let me…

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Only scientifically backed supplements currently…shhh this isn’t published yet…

I attended my first ever educational conference in January..after a storm and freezing temperature warning in the city…which I loved. It was the Sports Nutrition Conference. So many cool things to learn.

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Placements have been interesting. I have gotten to do conferences (Power of being a girl, first placement), bring the Body Project to campus (ED prevention intervention, first placement), work as a prep chef (second placement) and meet lots of interesting people…

#NetworkingGains

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Including Chef Aaron who I’m currently working with to see if we can get a meal prep company off the ground. Early phases friends. We sold our first test batch only 1 week ago with a re-order this week. Crossing our fingers for more to come. Its with Tourne catering (Aaron’s Company)

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Follow her on IG

Managed to get into contact with Andrea, from Dietetic Directions (her own private practice) and discuss future opportunities at my dream job. I will be doing a FOURTH placement with her this summer before I graduate and moving forward from there.

I almost felt like I was embarrassing myself during our chat because I was so thankful to speak with her and for her to give me feedback on my potential as a future dietitian. 

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My family is happy and good and I miss them. Times together are fewer and farther between because of my schedule but I hope to change that with the end of my 2nd placement and a few weeks off before I begin again.

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I still always miss this fuzzy face…

So this year had been quite a busy one. One filled with coming into my own true self and my passions are coming alive. People come to me and ask for help. I’m starting to be seen as professional in my field, someone people can trust for answers related to their health.

It feels really really good. 

What hasn’t felt good is related to my health struggles over the past few years. I won’t go into detail here because it’s a post in itself but I will leave you with these results from my GI MAP that my friend (ND) helped me get…

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Follow the slide show and I know many of you won’t understand it but I must say this is an amazing test for EVERYONE (not just people with stomach issues). Its not cheap but it’s worth it. I will explain more later but after my stomach issues reaching an all time low (body flushing everything out of my system daily) I needed to get something done because the doctors were useLESS..pardon my harshness…and I was getting to the point where grey was my new normal colour and my electrolytes and blood pressure were clearly problematic

Test came back with:

Same parasite as before (thanks for the help prescriptions)

High levels of inflammation (body is attacking itself to deal with toxins from parasite, specifically in the gut/intestines)

Leaky gut syndrome (zonulin levels show that)

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), with some other parasitic pathogens in my system

High calprotectin, which is grounds for testing for IBD (irritable bowel disorder, which includes Crohns…). My friend and coach are thinking it’s just inflammation but I can’t help but be scared about that one. 

So I’m working with my friend, Andrew, alongside my coach, who will take a natural approach to fixing all of these issues. I have never taken so many supplements in my life but I need to get this fixed as it’s come to a point were I’m looking ill again and it’s interfering with my life. A dietitian should NOT look sick (although this is not in my control) but I’m moving forward friends.

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I want to post about my health NOT for sympathy or to make me seem incompetent of getting my schooling and work done but to provide a story that hopefully can help anyone else who may encounter this issue. Parasites are actually more common than you think (no they are not contagious!) but they wreck havoc on your system and leave lasting damage.

…but things are going to be A-Okay fam!

With that I will close here. Nice to be back Friends, chatter more soon.

Much love 

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All Hail The Skinny Teas…Fitness Friday 39

Do we all know by now that those people on IG who sell Skinny Teas are sell outs?

I really hope that most people don’t still believe that these teas actually cause real weight loss all on their own because..

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..They don’t. #SorryNotSorry

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Apparently everyone loves them. They are super easy to do and voila great results.

~Midsections were made smaller

~Pants sizes were shrunken

~Overall well being was greatly enhanced

~Weight loss goals were met

So what is it?

Basically, many of these teas (some may differ, but I went OG with the Skinny Mint) provide you with a tea or more to drink during the day at specific times. They are said to have these weight loss benefits and you will start to shed the weight and ultimately feel great.

Kylie

For example, in this particular TeaTox starter kit (shown above) you get an AM tea that contains:

Green Tea

Nettle Leaves

Yerba Mate

Dandelion

Guarana Fruit

Apparently all of these together are supposed to give you a great boost in the morning.

Then there is a night time tea that contains:

Ginger Root

Lemon Grass

Peppermint

Hawthorn Berries

Orange Leaves

Senna Leaves

Licorice Root

Psyllium Husk

These are supposed to come together to have you feeling restored, less bloated and cleansed.

I will say that the ingredients themselves do have some research to back up their benefits that may include what was mentioned. I will list some below. Overall, these are great natural ingredients but their effects are way blown out of proportion if you ask me. See here for more information on the rest of ingredients.

Nettle Leaves –> Apparently some diuretic properties (mostly animals), antioxidant

Dandelion –> diuretic properties, potential laxative effects, limited research on it’s benefit as a bile stimulant (ie. liver tonic)

Hawthorn –> much of the research done supports benefits for heart disease. Other things include antioxidant properties, diuretic properties, anti-inflammatory.

Ginger–> some support for it as increasing gastric motility, having antioxidant properties and reduction of bloating

Licorice –> anti-inflammatory, protects the cells of the liver (in vivo/animal studies), adrenal support, antioxidant

Realistically, none of these ingredients on their own or used in combination have a strong scientific backing on inducing weight loss on their own. Seems like its a lot of peeing if you ask me…Perhaps if you drink these along with following a fitness and dietary lifestyle that is appropriate for weight loss than you would see those results. At that point though, did the tea really do anything for you?

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Sure, if the above properties are actually valid, perhaps it gave you some natural forms of energy. Perhaps it helped keep things moving so that you felt ‘purified’ or perhaps it helped you feel less bloated due to the diuretic properties in some of the herbs BUT that doesn’t = real weight loss.

I’m emphasizing this because all of the celebrities and ads suggesting that this is some magic gem that will cause weight loss are really being misleading. Oh just drink the tea and you will be skinny they say..

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There is no proof of this and even their products say this!

*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results may vary from person to person and are not guaranteed.

…Benefits of reading the fine print…

You know what they also say…

This tea should be consumed as part of a balanced diet. Seek professional advice before using if you are under medical supervision. Do not consume this tea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or prolonged diarrhea occur desist use and consult your doctor.<- thanks senna leaf…

So, the hopes of many is that they can continue to eat whatever the hell they want and loose weight, but that simply isn’t the case and these products should not be marketed as weight loss tools. Really, even if any weight loss was seen, it would be so minimal or hard to pick out of other lifestyle efforts that they wouldn’t really be able to be acknowledged.

So do yourself a favour and simply watch Kylie Jenner love her some tea and waist trainers and save yourself the $40.

And I’m out.

Happy Friday Friends! 

-Chelsea


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Happy Gut, Happy Training

Happy Fitness Friday Friends!

I thought I would keep trekkin along on the gut topic as more recently gut health has really been getting some hot attention. It would have been nice if the importance of gut health and taking proper care of your flora and and such was noticed earlier but that’s science and they are only really starting to crack the surface on this whole intricate system (which did you know actually has something very similar to an entire CNS for itself??!).

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So why am I talking about this for Fitness Friday you ask?

Well, as you’re probably aware, your gut is important for a number of things. Some of those things are extremely vital to your training…

~Digestion and absorption of the nutrients you get from your food

~Making short chain fatty acids that can also be used as a form of fuel

In taking a deeper look at the first one, obviously an efficient and EFFECTIVE digestion system not only helps you get the nutrients you need but that ultimately affects your mood to train and how intense you think you can go, your energy levels, your strength levels, recovery ability and overall just makes you feel good enough to have a beneficial and enjoyable lift. After all, who enjoys anything when their stomach is is just not right?

So with keeping this post low key and not too wordy, I thought I would share some tips for optimizing your digestive health and also some things that can help when your stomach decides to attack you.

These are going to be coming from my experiences and my coaches suggestions mostly. Some other things I may include are those that I have heard about but may not have much experience with SO they may or may not be effective. I still want to share them, however, because gut health and what makes people feel their best is so variable that some random things may work for some readers.  

So lets start with somethings that help optimize gut health and prevent issues.

Probiotics

Adding healthy, live cultures to your gut is a good thing. Many things inner environment today kill our flora. With less bacteria, you have less lil guys to break down your food and can cause poor digestion. Invite some new people into your lil biome to help yourself out. Ensure they are refrigerated! Ones on the shelf are no good. 

Glutamine.

I talked about this one in a previous post, so check it out here. I also talked about making your own gelatin gummies there too which are loads with glutamine naturally and are very cheap to make.

Bone Broth.

Going along with glutamine and probiotics, making your own broth is great for your gut and very satisfying during the winter months here in the great white north. Ensure to use free range and organic chicken or beef with the bones to get the live bacteria and the most omegas and glutamine.

Apple Cider Vinegar.

Another thing I already talked about here, but I will say that this is helpful for adding more acid to the gut to help with breakdown. It is especially helpful for those who have low stomach acid and often complain of indigestion. Lemon juice also has similar effects.

Fermented Food.

Kombucha, Sauerkraut, raw yogurts with the active cultures, etc are all great sources of probiotics and thus have the same benefits as taking a supplement, just in a much smaller amount. Take caution though, these may be a problem for some. For example, I love love love kombucha, but the carbonation that naturally occurs with the fermentation doesn’t go over well with my tummy unfortunately. Trial and error with these guys friends.

Watch your water consumption with meals.

Sounds weird, but makes sense when you put it all together. If you drink water during a meal, the liquid will dilute you enzymes and simply slow digestion. Consider holding off on the drinks until a lil bit after you have digested a bit. Some say 30 minutes, but I always say to go with your gut…I’m so punny…

Avoid gum or things that add excess gas in the stomach.

Gum. Beer. Carbonated drinks. Straws. ETC. All of these are going to put lots of gas and excess air into the gut and if you’re very sensitive, well you’re gunna get an upset tummy plus bloating. Also, chew slowly and don’t gulp in tons of air.

Say no to artificial sweeteners.

These tend to be HUGE gut irritants. Whether they give you diarrhea if consumed in large amounts or just straight up gas and distention, they do not make for a happy gut.

Sleep!

Sleep is super important for many things, but one clear cut trigger for my stomach is go hay-wire is if I don’t sleep enough. Poor sleeping, whether it’s chronic or even just a couple days, can really cause your digestion to slow right down and cause you discomfort so make sure you are getting your beauty rest.

…and a last and seemingly obvious one…

Avoid things that your tummy doesn’t agree with.

As mentioned, this seems obvious. If you get an upset stomach after eating something, don’t eat it. Surprisingly, I have heard of so many cases where people say they choose to suffer the consequences and just eat it. To each their own I guess but if you have a serious sensitivity like celiac, where further consumption continues to damage your intestinal track, you need to give you head a smack and just quit cold turkey.

What about when your tummy gets mad…

Low FODMAPs.

I would have said BRAT diet foods BUT I’m much more confident in this approach for a few reasons. One, apple sauce is out for me because I have experienced issues with apples, which are high FODMAP. Also, the bread is another issue. What if your issue is wheat? Overall, yes the FODMAP diet is more restricted but most often chronic digestive issues are from sensitivities that you are going to have to figure out and those often require elimination and then trial and error. By going full low FODMAP you are giving your system a break from all inflammatory and problematic foods and then can re-try them when it’s a bit happier.

Slippery Elm.

I personally have taken this, but not sure whether it made a difference at the time because I was trying so many things at that point, but I have heard good things from others about this one. You can get it in a supplement form, but they also have it as a tea.

Digestive Enzymes.

If you know you have issues with digestion OR for those who are thinking about starting a bulk, digestive enzymes can help support the breakdown of your food simply by adding more enzymes to the playing field. You can chose ones that contain one or more types of enzymes depending on your needs. Have an issue with dairy? Try lactase. Don’t know what your issue is? Try a multi-enzyme.

Pineapple.

Speaking of enzymes, pineapple actually naturally contains an enzyme of it’s own, Bromelain, which can also help digestion. Plus pineapple is awesome. Just be careful not to over do it or you will find yourself peeling the top layer of your mouth off…

Mint Tea.

I always do well with peppermint. Whether you have nausea or you need something warm and comforting when your stomach is being annoying, mint (specifically peppermint…yes there is a difference!) is always my go-to.

Take it easy on harder to digest foods.

Red meats, fats, raw vegetables, high fiber foods, etc are all much more difficult for your system to take care of. When it’s already upset, go for things that are absorbed more quickly and easily. Think low fiber carbohydrates (cream of rice, oats sit well for some, pumpkin, squash, white rice and potatoes), some fruits like bananas, lean meats and fish and easier digesting fats (but still keep these a bit lower) like coconut oil, which bypasses the liver and goes right into use as energy.

And finally be patient. When your stomach is upset, the best you can do is be nice to it and let it settle. Try not to stress about it and let it run its course. Ensure that if it’s a new problem that you take a look at your recent eats and activities and try to figure out the trigger so you can try to avoid it in the future. If it is due to chronic illness, I can relate and I’m sorry you have to put up with that crap but I can only hope that these can serve as a means of coping with it when it looses its mind.

Hope your tummy’s are happy tonight and enjoy the rest of your Friday friends!

-Chelsea


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Goals Are NOT Resolutions.

My Friends!

Happy New Year and I hope you had a great Christmas! My Christmas and New Years were all about family. My Mom’s birthday happens to land on New Years Eve, so most years I tend to stay home and celebrate with her and my Dad. Below are some snaps from the past week or so…

Top Left: Nana and Papa

Top Middle: The Fam shot for Xmas 2016

Top Right: The Cheese face with my new Pandora locket necklace. I had been eyeing this for a while but I’m too broke to even think about buying something like that…Thanks Mom and Dad. They even put the three charms in the locket too. A sparkly heart, LOVE and a double heart with a crown. All hearts, they know me too well. 

Bottom Left: Maggie in her Xmas collar with bells

Bottom Right: My very impressed parents that I made them take a picture right out of bed 😉

And if you’re wondering…

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…yes I did sport my Bear Paws onesie (it has a butt flap and everything friends!) all day even with my extended family, who arrived later for the dinner part of the day.

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Insert selfie because I’m actually kind of obsessed with this picture. #NoEgo I just think it’s a good shot. Nice lighting. Nice background and no cheese smile.

….

So yes, the week and a half at home was nice and relaxing. I handed in my first application last night (for the MAN program at UofGuelph) as I settled back into my house in Guelph with Rita, got to see all my famjam back at my gym this morning and trained Karl.

Twas a good day.

This week will be nice and slow for me as I still have a week off until I start back with classes. Rita started her internship today, so she will unfortunately only be here to sleep basically and Em is still in Montreal, so I will be keeping myself busy prepping Rita’s food (hehe I enjoy it mmmkay), catching up with some friends from school, doing some of my volunteer stuff (my first contribution was posted on Nicole’s Facebook page today! Check it out here. It’s an article on picking an appropriate protein powder), applications and just keeping my zen going.

….

So onto those goals…

I emphasized the fact that these are goals and not resolutions because I don’t really believe in resolutions.

Check out my FB post below for my thoughts on resolutions…

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Basically I believe that if you have a GOAL you do it now. When you have resolution…well we all know how those go. I feel like resolutions are something we put off because:

1. We don’t really want to do it

2. It’s going to be a huge change

See the problem here? Either reason will most definitely 95% of the time lead to not keeping it.

As I see it, if something will benefit you in any way, you don’t need to put a start date on it that is sometime in the future.

Why wait to grow?

Why hold back on something that is positive?

It makes no sense to me.

A goal on the other hand is something I see slightly differently because it doesn’t have this ‘starting in the new year’ piece attached to it. I think we can all fall victim to the two issues above with goals too, but I think that goals are more often set with greater intent and thought and are simply things we are wishing to accomplish starting right than and there.

For example, I have a goal to grow my glutes in the new year. Now I should have said CONTINUE to grow my glutes because I didn’t just plan this for Jan 1. No, I had this goal a few months ago and just want to keep it going.

Before you say that is not a goal because it’s too general, I realize this and need to set more specific parameters, but at the time, I simply had it in my mind to really focus on two things:

  1. More glute accessory work rather than focusing solely on squats and lunges. These are great exercises BUT are great for the entire lower body rather than more glute focused. So instead, once I told myself that I was gunna take the time to focus on glutes, the next hamstring focused leg day, I added in barbell hip thrusts and started experimenting with sumo deadlifts. I also put a greater focus on kickbacks and getting more reps with those and learning the lovely (…awkward looking) cable pull through.

2. MORE CONTRACTION! An ugly butt in the gym, is a nicer butt outside the gym. Always remember this. Thanks Marie Wold for coining this saying. 

So yes, I failed to set a time limit or specific measurement for this goal… In my defence I don’t own a tape measure…I should get on that. But I wanted to make a change and so I did it THE NEXT DAY! Not on Monday. Not in the New Year.

THE NEXT DAY. 

That is a goal friends (well that an something using the SMART principles..)

So, what are some other goals for the new year? 

I haven’t really put much thought into it, because as I said, when I want to change something I just do it and that can happen at any time. I will say that I have a few things I want to accomplish this year though:

~Accept an offer for my post graduate studies. I haven’t determined whether I want the Masters/internship combined or the internship as of yet (provided I even get an offer…) because I keep flip flopping now. 

~A consistant goal is to hit a mid to high 80 GPA (also meaning Deans Honour Roll). This is realistic for me as I have attained that every year and is not stressing me like crazy to achieve while still having my life. School is not life friends. 

~Fitness..? I haven’t actually decided that yet aside from glute development. I hit my big goal of my 4×8 135b back squat right before Christmas as I intended and almost cried I was so happy. So I don’t know if I want to put in another squat goal or go for a different focus.

~Health..? Be patient with my body. I haven’t really thought about HOW I’m going to do this but I know it’s necessary. I need to heal and every day is not going to be flowers and daisies just because the parasites are gone. I have NO GUT BACTERIA and so my tummy needs to be babied for a bit. I also need to be nicer to myself and know that my body is in a transition phase. It just got attacked and it may not be as tight as I want it right now and I have to accept that point in my journey. Self love is an ongoing process and something everyone needs to focus on, but I do think I have come a long way and will continue to challenge my bad habits and poor self talk to be even more positive about myself. 

Well thats about all I have for the moment. Yes I want to continue my volunteering stuff, reaching for new opportunities that make me happy, be more social, relax more and obviously continue to work with and hopefully gain more clients, but those are always in my head and are not necessarily something I would formulate a goal from at the moment.

So, I don’t want to say that having a goal starting in January is bad or totally doomed. If you have one, do you and make a plan to stick with it. Don’t think of it as something to dread and don’t try to aim too high or they will not stay. This is a change to your lifestyle that is good and something you should want to do, so make it positive and be confident in yourself when you are ready to go for it.

Speaking of positivity, lets end off with someone who always brings the happy…

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-Chelsea