Lil Miss Fitness Freak

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


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Detox? Oh That Thing You Already Do? Fitness Friday 26

detox

Okay so this Friday’s post is about something that really rubs me the wrong way.

Detoxes. 

Do you know how many people opt to try out “detoxifying” products? When I worked at GoodnessMe! I had to really bite my tongue whenever someone would ask me about the effectiveness of the latest liver detox kit.

It bugs me even more when people jump onto a ‘detox diet’… that basically is a starvation diet… in order to rid their bodies of toxins because its overloaded

Overloaded you say?

What does that even mean or feel like?

Is that the feeling you get after drinking all weekend? Having a holiday meal and perhaps eating one too many servings of overly sweet or calorically dense foods?

I’m sorry, but that’s not toxins, that’s just a feeling of sluggishness and fatigue from your body having to go into overdrive to break down everything you just ate.

So on this side, no, a detox isn’t required. Instead, next event, try to monitor yourself. No, I’m not saying to restrict, feel guilty or over compensate with restriction and over exercising the next day. What I’m saying is to be mindFUL of your choices and your satiety cues during these events to prevent yourself from over eating.

If you happen to over eat, the best detox would be …

water

Yeah. Easy no?

Conclusion of first rant: Feeling not so great is generally the outcome of nutrition related choices. Enjoy yourself and don’t feel the need to skip your favourite treat this holiday season but don’t let yourself take a free-for-all because no, your body will not be happy afterwards. It is not filled with toxins to be rid of, it’s simply stuffed and needs some time for processing.

Before I go onto rant numba 2, lets just highlight the fact that your body does a pretty good job as detoxifying your body.

That’s kind of its job.

hipster-liver

Yes, we don’t eat the same quality of foods these days and we take in a lot more toxins from our air, water, etc, but the liver is still going to detox just fine unless it’s some extreme event. Otherwise, the fatigue and ‘bleh’ feeling you are experiencing is most probably more so the result of chronically eating foods that are not nutritionally dense and take a lot of processing. If heavily processed food is your go to, it’s not a detox you need, its a change in diet.

#SorryButSomeoneHadToSayIt

Okay so that’s one part out of the way, the other reason some people do detoxes is for weight loss or to ‘jump start’ their weight loss journey.

Why you shouldn’t do this…

~Any weight you loose is water most definitely because most of these detox diets and/or kits require a huge caloric deficit. Many of them are liquid based diets or eating mostly veggies. So no foods with real substance. 

~You are freaking your body out with days and days of poor caloric intake. When it gets scared, it does things to compensate and save energy. When your body starts “saving energy”, say bye-bye to any potential for weigh loss. 

~As mentioned in the first point, any weight loss is not something that will stick around. Once you actually begin to eat again, you will just gain the weight back and possibly more depending on the degree of dietary restriction and length of time (ie. how much your body adjusted)

So tell me again how this is helpful for loosing weight?

From what I have seen, it doesn’t help at all. It often just makes you worse off than when you started because many people binge eat after the detox

Over-eating when your body is not adjusting to being starved = weight gain.

My advice: Just don’t do it.

Lastly, because this can’t be all about me ranting, are their studies that actually show some effectiveness or positive outcomes from these detoxes?

Not really. There have been some studies showing some detoxifying benefits of certain types of foods BUT they are done on animals and some studies have been found to have some methodological issues. (Refer to this study)

The study just mentioned also discussed:

~How there have been no studies that have looked into detoxes and weight loss

~Presents a study that shows a potential mechanism for preventing weight loss due to high stress of a low calorie detox diet. 

~Detox diets, whether food/liquid or supplement based, are DANGEROUS! Overdosing on the supplements and severe caloric restriction have major negative consequences

Another study looked at 3 types of detoxes and highlighted some interesting things:

~Main motivators

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~There is no data that shows the efficacy of detoxes

~Detoxes should not be attempted by everyone. If you are already sick, you definitely SHOULD NOT attempt these stupid things because they are going to cause more stress on the body. 

…..

So to bring this post to a close, I will ask that if there is no evidence regarding benefits and/or potential negative consequences of these detoxes PLUS they are unpleasant to do, why even do them in the first place?

As proposed in the first study, what we should be focusing on is the reasoning behind WHY people want to do these. I personally believe that a big reason for most is weight loss and I’m going  to be blunt and say that weight loss does not come from a quick fix. Dietary and lifestyle changes are needed and people need to accept that. No it’s not easy, but that’s just the way it is. If we just ate more so the way our previous generations ate (less processed/fast/convenience foods and actually had proper meal times) I don’t think we would be struggling as much as we are with obesity.

Just my two cents. 

liver2

Nuff said.

Have a great Friday night my friends!

-Chelsea

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Something Salty…Fitness Friday 19

If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. So, the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. The higher your blood pressure, the greater the strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys and brain. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease. ~Blood Pressure UK

Hmmmm…Salt is bad eh?

Did you know that 80% of the salt you eat every day is “hidden” in the processed foods you eat? ~also Blood Pressure UK

Ahhh there we go.

salt-shaker-compass-1443640

Hiya Friends! Okay today I wanted to touch on yet another controversial topic in nutrition, which is …

Salt.

So we have all grown up hearing how bad salt is for you and how it basically will cause heart attacks. Is that actually true though?

Think for a second…Salt is natural. Our ancestors ate salt and I’m pretty sure they didn’t die from consuming it. I always think about these types of things in this way:

If it comes from nature, it’s probably A-okay. The bigger problem is how we choose to use it these days that makes it a ‘health risk.’

Yes, salt, or sodium chloride to be more specific, causes the body to hold onto water, but that actually is an important function (and not it’s only function) for a number of reasons.

~Muscles need it to be able to contract, including our heart.

~Nerves need it to send signals

~Blood volume levels are maintained with the help of salt

~Chloride is integral for digestion as it forms HCL (or your stomach acid)

~Chloride also help keeps acid balance in the body

And many more functions.

So why are we always told to limit it?

Well you see if we didn’t have packaged foods and we simply sprinkled salt on our foods, salt would never be a problem because our taste buds just can’t handle an excess of straight salt poured on our foods. The issue is the fact that, like said above, most of the sodium that we take in is hidden and almost tasteless in processed foods. The simplest of boxed items are filled with the stuff and so then as the amount of sodium creeps up and then yes, you may start to overload and may see negative consequences.

There is no such thing as ‘you can’t have too much’ even in beneficial things. So while salt is essential for you, when you start going way too high, it has negative consequences in the body.

Our bodies are not used to dealing with all this processed crap we force it to break down. So we can’t just pee it out and say its all good.

So this is controversial yes, but really it’s just another simple case of how humans have taken something natural, processed the crap out of it and now its black listed.

evil-salt

It’s not evil. Case closed. 

Also, I felt the need to touch on this because of it’s importance in athletes. You see, many athletes don’t tend to eat much of the processed stuff because they have learned that they feel better and perform better on whole foods. This is a good and a bad thing. Good because they are eating more wholesome foods and getting more vitamins and minerals BUT bad because often they forget about salt. If you neglect salt in your diet, you can actually potentially harm yourself.

Take a track athlete for example.  During a hot day, they are running their event and sweating like crazy. Well in that sweat is salt…

Following their event, they run to grab the first bottle of water they can find and down a good amount of it. After a few minutes, they start to feel a lil dizzy and out of it and next thing they know they are on the ground and have their coach leaning over them with a fan in one hand and a Gatorade in another. 

They just experienced hyponatremia, or abnormally low serum salinity. They drank water to rehydrate, but diluted their blood saline because they didn’t replace the electrolytes they lost. Too little sodium in the blood then can lead to dizziness, nausea, or even worse neurological and/or muscle complications. Read more about exercised-associated hypernatremia here.

So yes, salt is essential. You need it. As a result, stop seeing salt as evil. If you are thinking that you need to cut back, starting taking a look at those boxed products and not at the pure stuff. More importantly, if you don’t eat much processed food, don’t forget that you need salt in your food somewhere. I made that mistake and used to feel light headed during my training.

benefits

So to conclude, a good quality sea salt (try pink salt!) has great benefits, so go ahead and sprinkle away to your taste. Instead of giving it the stank face, give that boxed food the cold shoulder.

salt

PS a good crack or three of pink salt on peanut butter oatmeal is kinda the **it.

Try it out!

Did you ever fear salt?

-Chelsea


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Sweatin’ Saturdays…?

My friends,

Deepest apologies for the lack of a Fitness Friday last night. I got some not so nice news yesterday morning at the doctors regarding my health situation and I was struggling a bit to not feel sorry for myself that day.

I pride myself in staying positive and I really hate being a debbie-downer ever because you get what you give out in the world, but I just couldn’t shake it and was quiet for the rest of the day, which is very UNLIKE my normal social and smiling self.

My housemates and friends came to the rescue and brightened me up with a night of bowling

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Wow I look like the biggest creep in this picture with them brows…

…and I can only appreciate how amazing they are to try their best to get me out of my funk. I love them so much

So I didn’t get my post up BUT in the name of fitness, the sweat must continue so I decided to throw a quick lil bodyweight/weighted circuit that you can really do anywhere you have a lil space. I wrote up a list of bodyweight exercises for a nice older gentleman at the gym because he felt he was going to be ‘off his fitness game on vacation’ but you don’t have to be! Just be a lil creative.

So without further rambles, here you go!

I hope you enjoy it. 

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So here are some tips guys! 

I want some weight on you (if you can!) so take your backpack and put as much stuff as you feel comfortable with. Take the backpack off for exercises that you cannot complete the repetitions with when you have the extra weight.

For the clean and press, take a peak at the picture below. Instead of a sandbag, you are simply pressing your backpack (or a purse or even textbook) if that is easier to hold.

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For the twisting side plank, remember to keep those hips up and your core tight and go for as long as you can. Do both sides. Aim for 30 seconds

Take a breather and then repeat!

I want it to be challenging so make sure your heart rate is up and you need that breathing time in between rounds. If you find it too easy, add more weight to your backpack. Easy peasy to adjust for your current level.

Let me know if anyone tries it out!

-Chelsea


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The Fitness Life Doesn’t = The Healthy Life. Fitness Friday

My friends!

Happy Friday! How was your last day of the week?

Today I wrote out a nice Chest and Back routine for Rita to do in the gym during my leg day and guess who is a proud mama of her housemate for doing bench for the first time?!?! So happy and she liked doing it.

#Gainz.

After we had our post-workout picnic lunch at the smoothie bar in the gym (yes we eat right after together, ain’t we cute?), we walked (I complained, twas leg day after all, ha!) to campus as I had a doctors appointment to see the results of my first vitals check-up and all is good and dandy. ECG came back clean and strong, blood pressure is all normal (low, but that is normal for me and small people in general), a strong ticker (she said it was in the range of a fit person, so yay me) and no mineral or vitamin deficiencies.

Clean bill of health from a blood work standpoint. Yes, I still have other things that are markers of health that are missing (i.e. my lady friend) and are still on the concern list but to see these are reassuring and showing that my body is starting to get on a good functioning path.

Anywho, enough about me, now onto today’s topic for Fitness Friday. It’s more of a general topic but with so many competitors doing their summer rounds of shows and everyone on the “I’m cutting for the summer” plans, it’s something I wanted to discuss.

The truth is my friends that in most cases…

Fitness DOES NOT EQUAL Health.

Everyone looks up to competitors

Everyone sees abs and thinks that is health.

Lean, show ready physiques are at the peak of athleticism and so obviously that is what we all need to be striving for…

funny-grumpy-just-no-lol-Favim.com-2263575

Let me paint a difference picture for you:

Female competitors, yes they may have abs, but they are missing their period…

They don’t tell you that their guts go to **it because of the stress of dieting, lack of variety and just low consumption…

They don’t eat out when they are very close to competition and sometimes they avoid many social situations because they are often surrounding food and…well they can’t eat that.

Obsessions with numbers is the norm…

Always thinking about food is the norm, because..well most of them are hungry.

Metabolisms go to **it too because of too much cardio and too little nutrition.

Many of them are taking enhancements and fat burners…

I can go on and on with this picture but do you see a trend here?

What about any of those statements screams healthy?

Ladies, I know it seems great to not have a period, but do you know what loosing your period actually means? It means your body is stressed out and feels that it needs to shut down ‘unnecessary bodily functions’ as a means to save energy. With this shut down, aside from possible future fertility issues, comes other hormonal risks including potential bone loss and fractures because estrogen is required for maintains of bone.

Gut health is another common complaint. The whole you don’t loose it ya loose it motto is actually true in some instances. As an example, if you cut carbohydrate sources from your diet for an extended period of time, your body may start to produce less enzymes for them (you’re not eating them so whats the point?) and therefore when you try to bring them back, you may not feel all that great. Then comes the “I have celiac disease.” The other gut issues come from too high protein and insufficient water to compensate…

Disclaimer: there is no research to suggest that high protein diets, even upwards of 2+ grams per lb body weight is harmful. The issue is dehydration.

…and too much fiber that causes uncomfortable feelings. Can I suggest that maybe this is why supplement use goes up because they have to cover their bases because they are cutting foods out. Multi-vitamins? Need those because eating fruits is a no-no and any vegetable that is not green is also out because it’s too high in sugar. Fibre supplements because your carbs are so low that the tiny sweet potato and 1/2 serving of oats just doesn’t get things moving.

As for the metabolism issues, one of the only times where it’s actually a possibility that you can gain 5+ lbs in a few days is post competition or long term dieting (***Depending on the extent of the diet/regime). Really extreme preps/diets that include excessive cardio and very low calories can cause the slowing of your metabolism as it tries to reduce the energy usage as much as possible so you don’t starve! So, it comes to a crawl and so as you near the stage or those last few pounds to loose, more cardio and less food is added to mix to nix those last few pounds/inches and just makes the burn lower and lower. Then, after that goal is reached and you go crazy on that pizza, burgers, donuts, basically what ever you can get your hands on due restriction for the past 3 or more months, your poor slow metabolism just cannot handle the huge surplus of calories and into post-competiton blues or diet regain you go due to gaining a seemingly impossible amount of weight in such a short time.

Finally, eating disorders. Binge eating, orthorexia, anorexia and just overall bad relationships with food are notorious in the prep and fitness world in general. In this industry you are eating for aesthetics. Macros overtake health in many cases. Yes, sure a plate of broccoli, fish and sweet potatoes is fine and healthy looking, but having that multiple times a day is not the best. We are made to have variety.  Also, because macros become life, food is not longer food. It’s seen in carbs/proteins and fats. Once those are habitual, they are hard to break.

Breakfast-Components-copy

Okay, I may sound very negative here and my point is not to bash on competitions. They are not healthy, yes, but they are meant to be shorter term and many coaches are choosing to look into science and using more sensible methods that can limit your consequences post show.

Longer prep time + cardio only once needed + planned reverse diet post = more success

Instead, the issue is that the lifestyles of competitors have leaked into what defines the fitness life. The fitness community has taken some of these extremes and made them life and are now preaching that this is how you reach your goals and are healthy to maintain.

You then get the every day person doing fasted cardio, trying to get to 2% body fat for the summer to look ‘shredded’ like their favourite YouTube idol and counting macros before they even know what a macro is.

iifym

No….Sorry

It is this misconception that is dangerous quite frankly. Competitions are short term. They are not healthy and should not be kept for extended periods.

This is not the fitness lifestyle.

The fitness lifestyle is a good thing if it is defined as:

~Moving your body in a way that you maintain a healthy weight (a weight that leaves you free from health issues)

~Being functional (I can climb all those stairs without being winded)

~Being independent (I can lift that myself thanks)

~Allows for you to eat the things you love and go out on occasion without fear or guilt

~ Is fun and realistic to do

~Leaves you with energy

~Leaves you comfortable in your own skin (and no that is not the definition that society sets as beautiful, its what makes you feel best!)

That is fitness lifestyle. 

Unrestricted.

…oh and it doesn’t consume you.

So, I hope that wasn’t super scattered as I have a lot of thoughts running in my head about this topic. Instagram and other social media platforms are major creators of these misconceptions as I see sad situations of people trying to follow the ‘modern fitness lifestyle’ and burning out. I want to clear away some of the fog that social media puts up between the ‘perfect person’ and the negative consequences of their ‘healthy lifestyle.’

Please, comment below on your thoughts as I’m very interested to hear them!

Well that is all for tonight folks. My ranting needs to come to an end.

Hope you have a great weekend!

-Chelsea

 


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Detox Sme-tox….Thinking Out Loud

My friends, I need a soapbox moment I’m sorry.

Something has been bugging me lately and yesterday when someone I wouldn’t expect brought it up, my boiling point was reached and I need to preach..

Preach it Out Loud.

Thinking-Out-Loud

Thanks to Amanda for giving me my preaching box to stand on. Check out the other thoughts here.

Yesterdays event included a guy I know at the gym telling me that he was feeling tired…

Me: Oh?

Him: Yeah I guess it could be I’m just lackin a bit of energy. I’m testing out this turkey and grapefruit detox..

Me: Thinking I’m wanting to strangle him. Well yeah that would do it. You’re not eating any carbs.

….

Me: Why the hell are you doing that? I didn’t say that as harsh as it sounds, remember I know him. You’re starving yourself and really, all you may loose is water weight and the ability to function here (ie the gym).

Again, apparently I have no restraint to be nice about my opinion in this instance…If I didn’t know him I would be a lil less blunt I suppose.

Him: Yeah, well I’m just trying to loose some extra fat I guess. Oh well it’s over tomorrow..

Me: Still shaking my head. Like I said, if anything you will loose water weight and be exhausted. Not worth it in my opinion, if you care about my thoughts. Smirks.

Him: Laughs. Maybe I should tone down the beer…

Me: …I’m glad you’re done though.

OMG guys detoxes drive me bonkers you have no idea. Plus he threw in the fact that maybe it’s the beer…

This guy is a slim guy already, but when it comes down to it, you can thank your diet for your overall body composition (for the most part, yes some genetics and such, blah blah, play into the total package) and so if there is something you feel needs changing, you need to turn to what you’re eating and not try to find some shortcut…

A short cut that really isn’t a short cut because it doesn’t actually work.

Quite the contrary actually as it can stress your body out and do all kinds of weird things when you re-introduce normal eating back into your life.

So really, if you don’t gain anything from doing a detox, why do it?

Another thing, as the first meme points out, the idea of a detox is kind of like saying your body can’t do it’s job. Our body is a detoxifying machine all on it’s own and it’s quite good at it. Yes, we have added some very weird foods and chemicals to our diets in the recent decades that perhaps it’s not fully adjusted to yet but that doesn’t mean that it stops being able to filter things properly and get rid of waste effectively.

Let your body do it’s job and stop trying to stress it out by doing juice only ‘cleanses’ OR a raw diet for a week OR worse yet, taking weird elixirs or teas that you can buy off the shelves stating they will give you your dream body.

Your body is a wonderful thing and you can’t see all the wonderful things it does for you. Let it be.

Okay okay, I’m done.

Oh but before I go, be proud of me guys, I actually just foam rolled in my house…

Yay me. RIP to my legs.

-Chelsea


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A Week Of Locality

Hey Friends!

I have seen a few roundups of recipes lately featuring this months local produce. I don’t know about you, but I love being able to take advantage of local and in season produce for a few reasons:

  1. I like to support the community farmers
  2. It tastes better. It honestly does.
  3. You lower your ecological footprint. My veggies don’t need to a plane to get to my plate. I’m perfectly content with someone picking it for me. I ain’t afraid of germs. 😉
  4. We are drawn to things in season. Do you find that foods that happen to be in season look really appealing to you? There are some thoughts that we tend to crave things that are in season because they are what our bodies are intended to eat at that time + our body may recognize that they would have more nutrients still left in them as they are fresher (rather then being transported across the globe to reach you)

What are your thoughts?

Do you like eating local?

Do you like going to and/or attend your cities local markets?

As I mentioned, I have seen a ton of these recipe roundups (like this one for all my vegetarian readers out there) and so I decided I would jump on that bandwagon and do my own that showcased recipe inspiration for whatever dietary lifestyle you like to follow.

Before I get to those, what’s in season here in the Greater Toronto Area in May?

In SeasonPicMonkey CollageWow looks like Christmas. All dem reds and greens.

So yeah, slim pickings right now, but hey, Spring is slow to start so our produce is slow to really get crazy too.

Now onto the recipes. I hope you enjoy! 🙂

Here’s to a week of dinner ideas.

Startin your week with something fresh and vegetarian. Meatless Mondays if you will.

Risotto tight- Blog 1338

Spring Risotto with Poached Egg. This recipe can be made vegan by removing the egg. If you don’t do dairy or just butter in general, use some coconut oil for sauteing the vegetables. Light but bursting with flavour, this risotto is glowing with spring colours.

Springy Features: Asparagus, herbs and greens.

After some vegetable lovin, them Paleo folks need a lil more meat on their Tuesday.

Vermont pork tenderloin with fiddleheads made by Chef Shawn Calley

Vermont Pork Tenderloin with Fiddleheads. These funky shaped lil fiddleheads are highlighted alongside some good ol’ meat for them carnivore folks.

*Remove beans from the recipe and swap butter for grassfed ghee or coconut oil to make paleo*

Springy Features: Fiddleheads. You can also add some greens and fresh herbs to the succotash as well.

Warming Wednesday up with something light and gluten Free.

Poached Cod in Spring Vegetable BrothPoached Cod In Spring Vegetable Broth. This would make a great light dinner or lunch that highlights the freshness of the vegetables in season.

Springy Features: Asparagus. You could easily throw in things like greens.

Think Red on your Thursday.

Roasted Beet Noodles with Pesto and Baby Kale

 Roasted Beet Noodles with Pesto and Baby Kale. This would make a fun, colourful and light appetizer. Ever had bright red noodles before?

Springy Features: Beets, herbs and greens.

This one is a double feature. Didn’t think I would leave you with just a lil salad for your dinner would ya?

Screen shot 2015-05-07 at 9.46.12 PMSauteed Scallops with Peas and Rhubarb-Radish Relish. You all know my love for scallops so here is a fresh version of these gems of the sea that filled with many spring ingredients. Look at them colours!

Springy Features: Rhubarb, herbs, greens and radishes.

Fridays are for pizza no?

What about a low FODMAP pizza?

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Spring Veggie Polenta Pizza. Pizza! If you are cautious as to which cheeses you use (use FODMAP approved or forgo the cheese and use nutritional yeast for a cheesy note) then this dish is totally gut friendly. Gluten free and can use a variety of local ingredients for your toppings.

Springy Features: Asparagus, optional herbs and greens.

Saturday Dinner with the Kiddos.

For all of the parents out there with picky eaters, this fun dish may help sneak some seasonal veggies into your lil ones.

Blueberry Beet Pancakes. Everyone loves a good “brinner” or breakfast for dinner and what kid would be able to say no to pancakes? Let alone pancakes that are fushia! So they are happy because they are eating pancakes (which they wouldn’t taste the beety flavour, they simply add a natural sweetness) but you are happy because they are getting full of antioxidants. All in a days work.

Springy Features: Beets. You could make a strawberry rhubarb compote for the top for a more seasonal topper. Simply bring chopped strawberries and rhubarb and a lil bit of water to a boil and let simmer until the fruit breaks down. Sweeten if you choose and if you like it a bit thicker, add a tsp or two of chia seeds as a natural jell-ification method.

Sunday Fundays.

I had to leave you with at least one dessert. Of course, it’s a healthy-ish dessert. 😉

Ginger Oat Cookie & Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream Sammies | happy hearted kitchen

Ginger Oat Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches. It’s getting warmer here and there and how cute would these ice cream sammiches be as a way of cooling off? Simply swap the strawberry ice cream with this rhubarb one to get some seasonal produce into this gluten free treat.

Springy Features: Rhubarb and optional beet juice for colour.

Well there you have it friends. One full week of eating locally at dinner. Soon enough we will have much more to work with and that’s when seasonal cooking really gets to shine.

I hope you enjoyed this post and recipe round up. Thanks to all the great bloggers for their recipes.

Favourite seasonal produce item?

Do you like rhubarb?

Ever tried a fiddlehead?

-Chelsea


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Getting Your Fitness On Home-Style

Hey Friends

This is something I have been meaning to post about for a while as many of you have asked about what to do if you have no access to a gym. Although having access to equipment in the gym is the ideal situation, there is nothing wrong with working out at home if that is what you have available to you.

In anycase, you’re doing better then the next person who just doesn’t do anything exercise related because they can’t get to a gym right?

Good on you for getting creative and getting your sweat on at home.

In a typical Lil Miss Fitness Freak fashion, I will show some blog love to give you some examples of great blogs that have shared some at home workouts that will get you glistening.

But first…

Here are some tips.

  • Find your own resistance. Find something with some weight for when bodyweight becomes too easy for you. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean there is no such thing as pushing that lil bit further. Cans, bags of flour, purses, backpacks, etc, etc. You can adjust the resistance based on your progress but remember, just like at the gym, if you can do something 4 thousand times its time to rev it up.
  • Climb to new heights. This kind of goes along with the previous suggestion, but find things that give your a variety of heights to work with. Things like couches, tables, stable chairs and stools and such can either help you build up to an exercise your muscles aren’t ready for yet or make things harder. Push-ups serve as a great example for both. Place your hands on a table to make it easier as the lower incline takes some of the resistance off, while switch it up and put your feet on it to make those push-ups harder. Just make sure your form doesn’t break down.
  • Have some breathing room. Make sure you give yourself some room to work!
  • Plan it out ahead of time. Just like if you were to walk into a gym, know what workout you’re going to do, whether you’re making up your own or following a guide. This way you will be as efficient as possible and not have to stop constantly to think about what to do next or to readjust everything because you didn’t plan a good flow of exercises.
  • Take it outside. Think you’re stuck inside your house? Not a chance. When the weather cooperates, go to a park, yes a kiddy park and do some work there. Sprint up hills. Run the nearby trails if you’re lucky enough to have those close by (Hamilton peeps!), find some stairs or bleachers to climb. They are all fun and games. Think outside the home box.
  • Buddy system all the way! Have a housemate/roommate, sibling or parent? Get them to join in and you can help to push each other plus it makes it even more fun.

So with that, lets get sharing eh?

Here are some awesome gym-free workouts coming at you. Click on the pictures for the video and/or link ups.

For the outside adventurer…

I love Nikki Blackketter’s YouTube channel. She is always trying random things to keep her exercise fresh and fun. Check out her stadium workout.

Check her out here and see how she switches it up fitness wise.

Ever in a hotel?

This is a great workout in general for when you are low on equipment and wanna have fun with different surface heights. This is even great for when you are confined to a small space. Once again, Heidi has some great tips for workouts both in and out of the gym as she travels a lot for her fitness modeling.

A student for all my fellow students.

Josie is the girl…ie the man, but totally a girl…cheese show. She is actually such a great motivator for healthy lifestyles and balance. Being a busy student herself with a life, school and extra curriculars, she shows you have to live your life while also treating your body with the respect it deserves and keeping that mind healthy.

When you don’t even have a timer but you have 20 minutes.

Screen shot 2015-04-23 at 10.00.15 PM

This HIIT ladder is great for those who only have a short amount of time but want to sweat. Yes it’s cardio, but remember there is a difference between HIIT and straight cardio. HIIT has a host of benefits for cardiovascular endurance and strength building. It even has a timer going for you so you don’t need any equipment at all! Sweat, baby sweat.

Ignore the title. Are you ready to HIIT like a beast?

This title irritates me for obvious reasons, but it is a great HIIT workout that appears to be great for athletes as it offers a lot of movements that could be beneficial for functionality.

Screen shot 2015-04-23 at 10.07.56 PMPssh, “like a girl.” What does that even mean?

No Nonsense Circuit.

From one of my favourite bloggers, Julie has a ton of great at home workouts here including the one posted below.

no nonsense circuit

She is super sweet and positive and her blog is just a great read in general. She’s expecting a lil boy soon too.

Wanna Be a Mermaid?

The Tone It Up girls have got it going on. This Mermaid routine is one of their newest videos to post for the summer and they have created quite an amazing site for both fitness and nutrition. They have tons of videos for isolation fitness routines and full body. They even have holiday versions, vacation workouts and much, much more.

BIKINI_SERIES_TONEITUP_VIDEOMake sure to check out the rest of the Katrina and Karena’s site. They have blown up all over social media.

Last but not least

Another social media icon is Cassey from Blogilates.

I’m sure you have heard of her, but have you really checked out her page? She features tons of workouts, nutrition posts featuring fun recipes and health tips and lifestyle vlogs and posts that are geared towards self love and balance.

Here’s a single example, but make sure to parooze around her site to benefit from what she has to offer.

Screen shot 2015-04-24 at 9.56.46 PMAnyways that’s all I have for you all for now. This came just in time for Fitness Friday and I really hope this can be useful to you guys!

Happy weekend friends!

-Chelsea