Lil Miss Fitness Freak

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


Leave a comment

Sunday Link Love

Hey Friends, Happy Sunday!

I felt like chatting with you this morning (started this morning, ended at night as usual) as I slowly pack up my summer life to head back home¬†to work my summer job. This job is not really what I wanted, as it in no way helps me work towards my career goals, but I’m trying to stay positive about it. It’s money I suppose and money that I desperately need.

In other news..

I moved out of my old apartment and into my new one for the fall, which I have to pay for all summer despite not living there…ugh stupid renting.

With that, I had to say my goodbyes to Rita and Emily (my housemates) which was sad ūüė¶ Mama is going to miss them and they better keep me in the loop on the daily!¬†

…But My new housemates are great. It will be a good year I know it!

I graduated my undergrad (2nd one) with an 86 GPA…please see me and give me all the scholarship monnies…please. I know it’s not 90’s but something!

I hit my squat PR and then raised it by 5lbs, meaning that I lifted 1.85x my body weight. I have never one-rep maxed before at anything and the feeling is so strange and exciting at the same time. I was practically not feeling I could of properly yesterday due to how sore I was but all worth it friends

And yeah, so that is the gist of my life this week, so onto my post today. I decided to do a “Link Love” post to share some interesting articles/podcasts I have come across in the past two weeks or so. I hope you find some of them as interesting as I did.

Dietary Guidelines should reflect new understandings about adult protein needs (Layman 2009)

This talks about the new findings for protein and why the intake recommendations for adults are, well, wrong on many levels. Here’s the synopsis:

~Protein should not be % of calories, it should be off body weight. If you are of a given height but are loosing weight (ie. dropping calories) your protein shouldn’t drop just because your calories are.

~Protein is VITAL for your life. You know your body is made of protein yes?

~Most adults benefit from an intake greater than the recommended one (0.8g/kg/day)

It also talks about protein distribution and how we tend to eat more protein in our meals as the day goes on. This suggests that we eat very little at breakfast, which is not optimal as we have been fasting overnight, and that we eat large amounts at dinner.

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 7.40.26 AM

The blue highlighted portion is showing maximum muscle¬†protein synthesis. We need at least 15g of protein to stimulate protein synthesis and take a peak at a typical breakfast…

Although they stated that this uneven distribution has not really been shown to negatively affect growth of children or adults, it may have large impacts on older adults. Here, protein intake is critical as they tend to be in a negative nitrogen balance (or state of protein breakdown) and need more than a typical adult to maintain neutral or positive balance.

Finally, take note that protein is more satiating. So when¬†a meal is proportionally more balanced with protein (rather than mostly carbohydrates..like the typical American breakfast) you will be fuller longer. Alternatively, carbohydrate rich meals tend to not keep you as full longer. This doesn’t mean that carbs are bad, it simply runs the risk of individuals over eating their needs because they find themselves hungry more often.

So could protein be an aid in better weight management? 

photo

IceCream4PRs Podcast #30 – Gender Differences in Training feat. Menno HenselmansJeff Nippard

Really cool podcast diving into the differences between men and women for training and nutrition in addition to the genetic potential that women have for muscle development specifically.

Relative to their starting point (which is often different), females have been shown to have the same relative muscle growth and protein synthesis potential as men! So if you take a man and woman¬†who weigh the same, you can find that they can grow the same proportion of muscle. Differences in fatty acid composition in the body was then stated as a potential reason as to why we don’t see very muscular women in addition to inefficient or non-optimal training for their body physiology and birth control. This is controversial however, but these are some of the recent findings.

This is not to create fears in women that they will ‘blow up’ like a man when they touch a weight, because as you can see from a subjective perspective, the number of women walking around with the same level of muscularity as a male is quite small. It was the thought¬†that this was potentially more socio-cultural in the sense that many women don’t train¬†to the same degree as males and/or if they do train, they don’t optimize their growth due to personal preferences or lack of knowledge. There is also some whispers that oral¬†contraceptives¬†decrease the rate of muscle growth.¬†

Why Has the American Approach to Heart Disease Failed?– Chris Kresser

This is an interesting take on heart disease and challenges the notion that heart disease is due to the clogging of our arteries, specifically from saturated fats. What is interesting is that many just follow along with the idea that arteries get clogged and that this is the main driving factor of heart disease when thats not actually the full story. Yes, ‘clogging’ does happen, per say, but that is only after the walls of the vessels are narrowed due to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). This build-up is an inflammatory response¬†that, which he stated, is most often the result of metabolic syndrome and/or insulin resistance.

Its funny, but those syndromes are often helped with higher fat and lower carb dietary interventions…

Higher fats you say to help heart disease…Hmmm…

Anxiety: Are Nutritional Deficiencies A Common Cause – Mark Sisson

An interesting article as it brings up a topic that is close to my own heart, anxiety. Although I would have to do my own research (as I feel sometimes that Mark may be a bit bias sometimes) and I just like to back up my words with my own readings, the idea of incorporating foods that perhaps have anxiety reducing effect is something I think many people could benefit from..

if, of course, they actually do something…

Gut Bacteria Tell The Brain What Animals Should Eat

This article was based off of a brand spankin new journal article by Leitao- Goncalves et al (April 2017) that looked at the common fruit fly and how there appeared to be an association between their gut flora and eating the right foods to provide them with all of their essential amino acids. Although there are a few flaws with this study that limit it’s generalizability to humans (hello we aren’t flies, and we have more bacteria in our guts then them), it sparks an interesting idea to look into. Can your gut bacteria trigger cravings for certain foods that optimize your health?¬†

I feel that this is entirely possible because we have found that those who are obese tend to have different gut bacteria communities than those who are leaner and that those specific communities lend themselves to negative health outcomes.

Stay Single Until You Meet A Guy Like This…

Corny? Maybe. But it pulled at my romantic heart strings a bit. Best line? 

Stay single until you meet the guy who never stops trying to keep you…Because he knows getting you wasn‚Äôt the hard part but constantly giving you a reason to stay is what you deserve.

Oh and of course a solid finisher…

The one who changes the standard you once had and suddenly no one can compare.

#Mush.

And finally to end off this post..

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 9.37.06 PM

This is a tweet from Sohee Lee’s Twitter (you should check her out, she works alongside Layne Norton and Brett Contreras and is a lady of science!).

Its a good solid reminder because I think everyone knows this to be true but always believe they have found an exception somehow.

Hope you had a fabulous Sunday Friends

-Chelsea

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Know Your Influence TOL

I may be the most confident that I have ever been but the words of one single person (be it they are a significant person in my life) can turn my confidence on its tail in 2 seconds flat.

self_conscious-1

I could have 2 million strangers tell me that I’m looking much better and that I’m growing but the single hesitation or disapproving words from one of two people in my life can sting more than no else and leave me spiralling back into a place of anxiety and feeling self conscious.

feeling-self-conscious

Why is it that I can block others and not let those things affect me, but yet, the words of one person, albeit the fact that I know they are not what that person really feels (it is what comes out in the times of frustration/worry) literally breaks off a piece of me.

I know why. I want to make those around me happy. If they are not happy with me or nervous for me in any way, it makes me upset and anxious.

Now making a connection to the title of this post, don’t take this as me saying they need to keep their words to themselves BUT I think they also need to step back and realize how much influence they truly have on me. When they are feeling frustrated, don’t come at me with things like…

You’re not gaining

I see no difference

You’re not working hard

You don’t want to get better.

These are their worries. Their frustrations. Their expectations. It’s not fair for them to put those on me in such a negative way.

Again, these are frustrations coming out, but if you only knew how it affected me. These words make me not only turn on myself but also makes me angry.

Who are you to tell me I’m not trying? You’re not here to see me 90% of the time! Are you living in my body when I’m having a bad tummy day and the sight of food repulses me?

No.

I have worked my ass off all year and I HAVE GROWN! I know I have. Both mentally and physically. I have grown.

I need to to protect myself better against the words of these influential people. I love them dearly and will obviously not separate myself from them but I need to somehow let those comments fly on past me better. Somehow, some way.

0e2aba72-30d4-4f28-b964-cc0d1a18d0f4

This is not what I choose to do. I will speak up for myself but I also will know when to hold back not to let them win, but, instead, to not give my energy to it. 

I’m happy with my progress. I still know I’m moving forward and that won’t change, but I am seeing a lot of great things. Somedays I wish things could progress a bit faster, yes, but I like to be happy with the movements I have made because I have worked DAMN hard for every millimetre of a step forward I have gained.

Don’t take that away from me. That’s not right of you to do.

……

Turn that on the other side…

I have come to notice¬†more and more lately MY OWN influence on other people. I have never really felt like I’m a huge influencer more than I do now. I’m not trying to boost myself up here, I have just come to realize that I play a significant role in the growth of some other people I surround myself with.

I guess everyone has this role but when you come to realize that perhaps your words really stick with certain people, you need to be cautious with how you use that power.

I am a person that some choose to come to in times of distress for a listener and for advice.

I have come to be seen as an educated individual of sorts that people come to for knowledge.

People ask me what to do with certain things.

People see my passions and come to me for information and advice on that topic because they trust in the things I say.

This comes with a degree of pressure too! I’m happy with my knowledge base. I have built that. My education has helped, but the passion for my interests has led me into doing self-driven research and I have learned a lot on my own.

I have helped some people

They have thanked me with great sincerity for my time, knowledge and advice.

Despite being proud of how I have developed my craft, I always want to be better. I want to be ready for ANYTHING they come to me with.

I also want to be better at not forming expectations of people. I¬†always have to work on pulling my own strong biases back. I never want to come off negative because I feel that¬†something someone else is doing doesn’t align with what I think will help them.

It hurts and frustrates me when..

People say they want something but don’t do it

They don’t give 100% to something

They don’t own up to things

They don’t do all they can for their health…¬†

The first and last things really get to me and sometimes I let it than come out at them as a response that perhaps appears disapproving or judgmental. I HATE this about myself. I yearn to build people up and love themselves and all they are!

I need to accept that other people may have different drives than me. They have different priorities than me and perhaps things that seem huge to me, are not that important to them (the health thing I just don’t get, but ..yeah..).

f6184bdca3482d826005426c13b7e90b

Bak to the main point…I have an influence on others. I know this role is clear. With that in mind, I need to control my own biases and realize that they are who they are and I need to be as supportive as I can even in times when they come to me for advice and than continue to do something I see as unproductive. I can’t let this anger¬†or disappoint me because they need to follow their own path.

I’m getting better, but there is always room for growth.

I hope this post wasn’t too scattered, but this is what Thinking Out Loud is about right? Spewing my thoughts out in a post like throwing paint on a canvas right? Thanks Amanda, thank you for giving me a platform for being my own Picasso….

14-emotional-granularity-vocabulary.w536.h357

… and than attempting to understand my splatters.

throwing_away_my_feelings__by_lintu_dot-d5vum2f

Overall take home point:

Know your influence on others. You may not ask for this kind of power, but you have to take and roll with what you are given. You have the power to break a person or build them up. Ensure you’re doing the latter.

Thinking-Out-Loud-2

-Chelsea


Leave a comment

Now We Wait…Thinking Out Loud

Guys.

HOLD UP!

obama-meme

I’m done.

I AM DONE MY APPLICATIONS!

OMG party party!

dance

Such a relief to be done with all of that and now it’s time to wait. At this point, I’m not very anxious¬†about the answers yet because I’m too busy relishing in the fact that my brain has more empty space to use for something else now.

You would think I would be sleeping soundly now…

Sleep brain, sleep…

Don’t you hate when you are all prepped to go to bed early cuz you have an early wakeup and your brain is just like…

nope

Hello 4 hours of sleep and a full day of classes + gym + night class. Le sigh

This is not helping with healing brain.¬†Don’t you get that…

Maybe my insomnia is because ..

I have no idea where my life is going now…

Where will I be in 6 months?

What if I don’t get in…what am I going to do?

What if I get more than one of my top choices (ha thats positive thinking), what will I choose?

Gah so many questions and makes me feel like I’m in limbo.

limbo

I really don’t like not knowing things. I’m a type A personality and like to be in control 24/7 so having no idea where I’m even going to be living in the next few months drives me crazy.

I just signed off my house a week ago. Like guys, I’m practically homeless!

……

Anyways enough about life, what other things caught my attention recently

Wait for it, controversy ahead…

Saw this video this morning and thought it would be a good discussion piece. I’m not trying to push my views on anyone, but I thought this was a good side of the argument to share.

Case in point, cows milk is technically for baby cows. The hormones, the proteins, the nutrients, its for growing a cow…

…not a human.

So in the long term, does this have an effect on us? Who knows (the doctor seems to think so…), but when you think about it, it’s kinda weird. Also, technically, is there anything super important about milk other than calories perhaps? You may argue calcium BUT there’s controversy about that too soo… yeah.

Thoughts?

Who’s bright idea was it to start drink from cow boobs anyways?

Glute gains…

Can I also say why¬†computers and phones still don’t understand what a ‘glute’ is. It gets autocorrected to flute or apparently gluten..

I cannot wait to watch this video

I love Jeff Nippard’s informational videos and this one is on GLUTES! Perfect for pre-leg day tomorrow.

Speaking of my training …

Hopefully I will be kind to myself tomorrow as I anticipate I won’t hit my normal numbers due to still getting over this detox. Can’t say I haven’t gotten a bit frustrated over this week because I get more winded and am overall just more tired.

On top of the fact that I’m so bloated and gassy that I feel like a sausage…

..a few more days…a few more days..

I felt hunger for a moment today. Thats a start.

Try these muffins!

Almond flour is mad expensive but trust, everyone said these were the best muffins I ever brought into the gym and my housemates didn’t want me to take them from them..

gingerbreadmuffins

Wish I could take credit for the recipe but, alas, I cannot. I did do one switch, which was to use half molasses (more gingerbread-y) and half honey.

But trust trust trust, my family at the gym is saying they will buy me almond flour just so I will bring these back to them. They are that good and completely flourless, only a few tbsp of natural sugars and good healthy fats.

Anyone else truly adore the smell of gingerbread?

Also, these cookies…

I did alter these slightly by¬†de-veganizing it by using eggs, used 2 tbsp molasses for the maple syrup (didn’t have any) and only a few tbsp of coconut sugar..

Next recipe I want to try is these..

veganpbjbars6

So easy. So little ingredients and how pretty are they!

…we shall see if mine look anything like that…

I been hearing so much good from this book…

milk-and-honey

I’m not a reader but I have such an urge to get my hands on this one.

I’m on such a motivational and inspirational kick right now and I think this book (even though its apparently poetry..) would be right up my alley.

And finally to finish off with this lil quotation..

img_9759

Always be a light. That is all.

Thanks to Running with Spoons for the Thinking Out Loud Thursdays hook-up.

Thinking-Out-Loud-2

-Chelsea


2 Comments

Sunday Link-Love

Happy Lazy Sunday Friends. I thought I would jump in on this lil blogger favourite as I happened to come across some interesting reads and listens over the past few days. Thought I would share them and my thoughts associated with their content. Hope you enjoy.

1. Your Child is a Brat and it’s Your Fault.

I have often mentioned that I think that this generation is a disrespectful and entitled bunch and this read brings up some good points as to why that may be. There may be some extremes listed here, but in general I think the main point

Parents are spending more time with their kids then ever (in the form of hovering), but that time is the wrong kind of time.

Sometimes parents need to stop worrying about upsetting their child or being their protector and be their parent and teach them some responsibility. Charging into a principles office following their child getting a bad grade leads to children thinking they don’t have to work hard, daddy will take care of it if I don’t do well. Bargaining with a child and saying if you do X I will buy you Y doesn’t teach them responsibility. Things like chores are just done. That’s that. Plain and simple.

2. Fuck Fat Loss

Pardon my french, but this is in fact true. Ever wonder why things like diets and new years/September resolutions don’t stick? Well it’s because we are obsessed with superficial things like fat loss as a main motivation.

You do not have to always be on a diet or think about burning calories or revolving your life around some bullshit regimen that is too impractical to be sustained beyond a few weeks.

You need something more internal to sustain anything. Working out is hard. Making sure your diet is on point while you are working a full time job and wanting a life can be hard too. Body composition changes take time and so if that is your sole reason for making changes in your life, guess what, those changes are not going to happen fast enough for you to use that as the driving force.

Obsessing over fat loss is effective for one thing: Making women increasingly dissatisfied with their bodies.

As it mentioned in the article, if obsessing over fat loss was actually giving results, than perhaps it would be something recommended to do, but it doesn’t. It does however cause disordered eating, stress, potentially eating disorders and unnecessary restriction.

So take a piece of advice from this article and eat and workout for YOU and your health, not just to loose a few inches. Make that fat loss a SIDE EFFECT and not the main goal.

3. Sigma Nutrition Podcasts

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 9.21.00 PM

This is a site full of great research and expert based podcasts on a number of interesting topics related to fitness and nutrition. If you are gym rat or nutrition knowledge-seeker like myself, then this is definitely a site to check out. Some of the ones that I have enjoyed thus far include topics on…

~Exercise-Induced GI Distress and the Impact of Gluten and FODMAPs on Athletic Performance

~Hypothalamic Amernorrhea

And this one is next up for a listen

~Role of Micronutrients on Mental Health and Psychiatric Disorders. 

Cool stuff!

4. Latest Interview from Jeff Nippard

You all know how much I love Em Dunc and so I was excited to listen to her words of (very young!) wisdom. She is such a powerful, positive and insightful person to listen to. She takes life my the reins and goes full speed towards her dreams. She makes mistakes and only uses those to fuel her fire and learn more about herself.

“If you fail at something…don’t be that person that it defeats. Be that person that it fuels.”

The famous line of the interview…

“[regarding prep] you go from being a baguette to a breadstick.”¬†

5. Nia Shanks Twitter Feed

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 9.38.49 PM

This lovely lady is the leader of the “Lift Like a Girl” movement that we have seen more recently. I’m no feminist, but I do enjoy female empowerment, especially in the gym! I just came across her profile and have just been enjoying her tweets.

It’s perfectly OK to finish a workout saying “Hell yeah, I did that!” It should build you up, not tear you down. Exercise is not punishment.

Ever wonder what you could experience and achieve if you didn’t allow fear of the “what-ifs” hold you back?

Well those are what have been catchin my eye over the past few days. Hope at least one of them interests you and can give you some insight or inspiration.

Take on the new week with passion and drive! 

-Chelsea


Leave a comment

It’s Coming…Currently

School is starting in a few weeks.

school starts

It’s really not that bad, you see I know that we all go through the period of being so happy that school is over due to exam stress but two weeks in we are officially bored.

school startmeme-b2s-collegecyclefaces

Then once school starts, you are all excited to see all your friends again and then one week in you’re waiting for Christmas Break again.

#FirstWorldProblems

In light of this, I thought it would be a good time to give an update on life in one of these currently posts. So, I hope you enjoy and please, comment below and let me know what’s going on with you! I miss chattering more with you guys as my comment section has been quite silent over the summmaa months. I totally get that it’s summer and you all are crazy busy with jobs and just trying to still have a life, but I miss you my friends. ‚̧

Anyways, onto the update.

Currently

Totally snagged this from Amanda cuz it’s cute. Hope you don’t mind ūüėȬ†

Current book Youtube watch:¬†Cuz you all know I don’t read…I have recently been following Mr. Nick Tong Strong more closely for his knowledge and expertise in bodybuilding and nutrition. He’s the prep coach of two ladies I follow on YouTube, Emily Duncan and Taylor Chamberlain, and I have just been spending some time getting caught up on his talks. Interesting stuff.

Current music:¬†A few goodies off of the new album for Suicide Squad. Haven’t seen the movie itself, but I really liked some of the music!

suicide squad

~Purple Lamborghini -Skrillex and Rick Ross

~Sucker For Pain-  Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons w/ Logic & Ty Dolla $ign ft X Ambassadors

~Heathens – Twenty One Pilots

Love these 3 for the gym.

Current [non]-guilty pleasure:¬†Foam Rolling! I have been rolling every morning without fail and I found out the hard way that my legs and hips are not the only things that need some more roller love…

Despite being painful sometimes, it’s actually relaxing and its something I’m trying to do for my body to perform at it’s best. I’m falling more and more into “what would an athlete do for their kingdom” type of mindset and if you break your body down day after day, it needs some self care too for it to keep doing what it does for you.

Current drink:¬†Can I say ACV shots? These have really been helping my tummy lately (although it’s still being stupid regardless). Shoot those things back before you eat and it helps to digest your food!

ACV

So many benefits! I got my Mom doing it every morning (the she started a night shot on her own!) despite her hating it. The face she makes is awesome ūüėÄ

Just make sure you get a natural one with the mother. Take a tablespoon or so and water it down and take your shot!

Current food:¬†Creature of habit, I don’t tend to change that much as I love every thing¬†¬†that I eat, but kabocha, now that I found a nice dry one, is a serious love recently.

…not that it really left, I mean all other foodies know the feels when it comes to this golden treasure..

kabocha love

Current obsession:¬†90210. Yeah summer is a snooze feast for shows so I started re-watching 90210 and …I’m hooked again.

Current craving:¬†I think it’s the heat but I have seriously been craving a slushy for some strange reason. I tend to put my BCAA’s in my bottle and then right in the freezer for like 2 hours to sip on during my¬†gym sessions. When you take it out and shake it, it’s like a Blue Raspberry slushy and I just find myself wanting more after I finish that one. Haven’t caved yet to get the real sugary thing (my stomach would probably hate me for it) but I need to give in at least once during the last few weeks to ice cream or something. Brave face on and accept the crappy feeling for a few days. It’s been far too long.

protein ice cream

Check out Elle’s Recipe HERE

Something similar catching my eye constantly (and always fuelling an inner struggle) is those smoothie bowls/protein ice cream bowls on IG. I want one so bad but I’m afraid because of a few reasons. My body hates digesting large amounts of liquids at one time. You will never see me eating soup, slurping down a smoothie or having a protein shake for that reason. Too much liquid makes me nauseous. Secondly, the thickeners (xanthum gum) that really give it the right texture will probably leave me on the floor.

Can I please incinerate my IBS ridden stomach and get a new one? -_-

Current need:¬†I don’t¬†need¬†it but I kinda did. This is the Back At It Again Tank.

On zee card…Opps. I blame the “What’s New” Lululemon emails they taunt me with..

Current indulgence:¬†Being done work ūüėČ not that my work was breaking my back or anything..

 

Current bane of my existence:¬†The humidity. I love the heat and will never ever complain that it’s too hot, but the muggy, buggy and gross “I go outside and feel instantly wet and my hair turns into an afro” feeling, not so much.

humidity

Current procrastination: Looking into Masters/Internship programs. I want to do it because I want to be ready, but despite having the time to do it, I just tend to sloth when I actually sit down for the day. Oops.

Current confession:¬†I hate to be that girl…but I’m kind of looking forward to the new school rush at the gym to see if anyone interesting shows up. No no, no early 20’s sillys, I’m done with the early 20’s. Can someone mature and have a goal in life…oh and lifts…walk up to me and be my swolemate yet?

Current quote: Just something to think about

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 9.28.00 PM

Re-Posted from here 

When you do something, are they truly for you? Are they something to make you happy. Are they something that makes you excited?

..Or are they something that some force has told you is what you should want or how you should behave?

Current excitement: Working with my new client! I met up with her today for nutrition consulting and both of us are excited to begin our sessions together. She actually happens to attend my gym and live right in my area so I can have our meetings face-to-face which is really nice.

Current mood:¬†Trying my best to keep happy afloat. I know I know I need to stop¬†complaining¬†about feeling sick, but it really does affect my mood. I have a lot of things to be happy about and to enjoy so I’m trying to keep those in the forefront while my stomach and I are at war.

Well that’s the update on moi, so tell me something about your life!

Much love! 

-Chelsea


Leave a comment

Motivation Mondays

My Friends,

This is something that makes me quite sad

Screen shot 2015-07-20 at 9.55.25 PMMore so, it makes me angry.

This video (click the picture to go to the link) went viral and I found it on Facebook and I just had to comment on it. Have you seen it?

I have said before that our society is toxic. It seems that people will always have something negative to say about others. This reality is something that is unsettling to me.

This though…

Takes it to a whole other level.

The internet is a place where people can hide, be trolls and just be plain awful to others without repercussion.

Why do we have to use a tool that has so much potential for good things for things that are just so wrong.

Now, I’m not here to preach about the misuse of the internet…

Instead, I’m wanting to comment about the fact that, as I said, people will always have something negative to say about someone else.

Especially when it comes to appearance related things.

You wear too much make-up.

Gah don’t you think you should ‘have your face on’ before you leave the house?

See, people are confusing.

This video is honestly disturbing though. People calling her ugly and making snide comments about the fact that she suffers with acne. BUT when a make-up team comes in and basically plops a movie-ready amount of make-up on her face, she is now deemed flawless.

This is what leads to this..

IMG_7953Is that what we are looking to do?

Are we looking to have young girls feel the need to cover their beautiful youthfulness so early because that is what is right? To fear ever getting one single pimple because apparently the world will turn their backs on them.

Do we want to be in a world where everyone is always self-conscious and chasing after something that is not real?

I would certainly hope not.

So in response to this video and because I was so haunted by it that I really didn’t know what to say (shocker), or rather, how to say the storm of thoughts in my mind in a proper manner, I took my own MAKE-UP LESS selfie…IMG_7935And, yes, I have my own insecurities about myself, I want to motivate and challenge you all to turn those into positives.

Yes I am self-conscious right now because I’m too thin BUT I’m working on it and am happy to say that although it may be at turtle speed, I’m heading in the right direction

Yes, I have dark circles under my eyes but hey my eyes sparkle when I smile so since I smile so much no one will notice.

Yes I have a pimple on my cheek that has taken up residence for like 2 weeks now (thanks mother nature…) but hey it’s way bigger in my own eyes then anyone else and why should I care if someone else sees that my skin isn’t picture perfect. No one’s skin is.

Basically I want to tell you all that you are beautiful. More importantly then the outside though is the fact that you are beautiful on the inside and that is what shines through when people interact with you. I hate the fact that others can be so cruel and dictate how we feel about ourselves. That needs to stop. Pronto!

I am me and you are you. No one looks like the airbrushed cover models and no one ever will. Nature created us differently to keep things interesting and that is how it should be. We are not mannequins.

Remember to always focus on what is inside and when you come to the conclusion that you are a wonderful, smart, talented and happy individual who does amazing things, those negative things that people say to you (because of their own insecurities) will simply not phase you in the slightest.

Happy Monday my beauties.

So tell me, what are 3 things about yourself that you may have felt negatively about in your past but now see their beauty?

-Chelsea


2 Comments

Food Preppin It Out!

Hey Friends,

After posting this image on my facebook page

BowlOfStuff Collage!

BowlOfStuff Collage!

….and slightly ranting about not making excuses about eating healthy…cough…I promised that I would do a Food Prep post with some simple throw-together recipes to help out those who are runnin a lil short on time but still want to nourish their bodies with healthy, yet yummy, foods.

But before I start this post, I just want to say a few things to add to my lil rant.

This is not to judge!

BUT

I feel like too many people make too many excuses on why they ‘can’t’ eat a healthy, fueling and nourishing meal EVERYDAY.

Lets take a look at some of the common ones shall we….

  • It takes too long.
  • It costs too much
  • Healthy food is bland and boring
  • I can’t cook
  • Too much effort
  • Fast food tastes better
  • I hate cooking

So I hear all of these all too often and, to be honest, I think they all stem back to “I don’t want to make the effort” because if it really mattered to you, you would find a lil time to fit in some prep time so that you could eat well. I’m sorry if that sounded harsh, but it’s my own opinion. I currently work 2 jobs and I eat 6 homemade meals EVERY DAY and somehow my lil self manages to still eat real, whole foods that provide my body with fuel to get me through my workouts and my long days. I also love everything I eat, so it’s totally possible to make it work even when you are running around like a crazed person!

So with all that in mind I will stop with the negativity and bring on some tips and recipes that I hope will help to change your outlook on food preppin. A big goal of mine is to show people that healthy eating is not hard, it doesn’t have to cost a million dollars and it can actually taste good!

So without further ado, here’s my attempt to portray all that to you in one post. L-E-G-O

The Easy Steps to any good Food Prep

  1. Ensure you have basic staples in your pantry. These will give you the foundation to work with and are mostly ready to go when you need them. Of course, when I say staples, I’m still talking about whole foods. These would be your vegetables (fresh and/or canned), canned proteins (like tuna perhaps), pre-bought carbohydrate sources, spices, oils, vinegars, etc.
  2. Determine what you need to prep. Figure out what extra foods are in your budget and make sure to have those on hand for your prepping. Then think about what you like to eat during the week and/or make a meal plan. This will provide you with some guidance as to what things you might want to prep early. You will need protein and carbohydrate sources (veggies are included in this list) to prep for sure, the fats are not that hard to add later in the cook process for the most part. Make sure you include the foods that you really like as much as possible so that you will enjoy your meals!
  3. Determine what you like. Spice up your life! This includes style of food preparation, flavourings (spices, herbs, sauces, etc), cuisine types, etc
  4. Pick a day and time to do some basic food prep. This prep will build the foundation of your meals so that you have the majority of your meal components already good to go.
  5. Have some Go-To recipes.¬†These should be ones that are easy to make, quick and pack in as many nutrients and things you love as possible. I will post some of my top go-to’s and some sites that may help you out with some recipe inspiration a lil later in the post!

Okay that’s it! Doesn’t sound too hard right? Well, now I’m going to break these down a lil bit and show you how I follow these steps while also giving some tips on how to make it as easy and smooth operating as possible! As I mentioned, I will provide some of the ‘recipes‘, if you want to call them that, for some of my favourite go-to’s.

1. Ensure You Have Basic Staples In Your Pantry

My cupboards and fridge ALWAYS have these staples:

Proteins:

  • Low sodium canned skipjack tuna (lower mercury than albacore)
  • Probiotic New Zealand whey protein powder (not necessary for everyone!)
  • Liquid egg whites (free-run as much as possible)
  • Free run, organic eggs

Carbohydrates:

  • Bulgar wheat (I have Bob’s Red Mill, organic)
  • Organic brown jasmine rice
  • Oats (I use Quaker)
  • Beans and lentils (dried and canned, if canned, no salt added)
  • Green veggies (brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus when it’s cheap, leafy greens)
  • Bagged salad mixes (Dole)
  • Tons of spinach
  • Salad veggies (peppers, cucumbers)
  • Squashes (I mix them up but will always have a kabocha on hand and one other variety like buttercup)
  • Sweet potatoes (I swap between Japanese purple sweet taters, with regular to now purple fleshed and skin sweet potatoes)
  • Onions and garlic
  • Fruits like bananas, apples, berries (frozen or fresh), unsweetened apple sauce (mostly for baking)
  • 1 or 2 Ezekiel products including their breads, wraps and english muffins (eaten 1-2 times per week)

Fats:

  • Nut butters (most are homemade, my go to peanut butter is my homemade crunchy)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado

Dairy (NOTE that I’m lactose intolerant):

  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Goat yogurt (I use 2.7%, plain)- mostly for baking
  • Goat cheese (I have blue menu light)- I eat on occasion, mostly for my boyfriend
  • Plain 0% Greek yogurt- for my boyfriend

Other:

  • Balsamic and apple cider vinegar
  • Mustard (Frenches)
  • Chia seeds
  • Tons of spices and herbs
  • Questbars (I’m an addict okay ;-))
  • Sriracha (best hot sauce, but use in small amounts due to sodium)

Remember that these are MY OWN STAPLES. Make sure to include your own favourites in your list to always have on hand.

2. Determine What You Need To Prep

For my basics, I know that I will need PROTEIN! Protein is the most important thing for me to have cooked on hand to make my life easier. These are my protein sources of choice:

  • Chicken breast. I go through TONS of these, no joke…it’s kinda bad lol
  • Fish. I absolutely LOVE fish. I try to buy wild as much as possible but sometimes I cave and buy farmed because that is all I have access to at my grocery store (ie. trout varieties). Current favourites include trout (fattier fish), tilapia, haddock, and tuna (canned, low sodium options). If I can squeeze a pricier one into my budget that week I may splurge on scallops (rare treat as they are $$) or a moderately priced (generally on sale) white fish such as marlin or swordfish.
  • Ground turkey/chicken. I used to buy it more frequently but then I learned that extra lean ground chicken/turkey contain both white AND dark meat. Sadface. So, I have switched over to buying higher quality organic, ground chicken or turkey BREAST MEAT when it is on sale, which is every couple of weeks.
  • Beef. I don’t eat that much beef, but it’s not because it’s not yummy or great for you because it is both of these things! I just like to buy good quality beef when I want it so this means I wait for the sales on organic, free range extra lean ground beef OR if I have some room in my budget, I will go for my favourite game meats such as bison instead.

For my carbs, I tend to cook those as I go as I like them to be fresh (when it comes to veggies) and easy to measure out (grains). They usually don’t take long anyways. Feel free to bulk cook your starches and vegetables if that helps you out and you aren’t picky like I am. Here are my preferred carb sources:

  • Sweet potatoes. (generally eaten as my post-post workout lunch)- various varieties (normal, purple, yams, etc)
  • Squash. I love squash and tend to rotate this with more starchier carbs. My favourite is kabocha, but I also love buttercup and plan on trying new varieties as they come into season.
  • Oats. My favourite meal by far is my protein oatmeal in the morning. Cooked in the microwave, I have a bunch of recipes for my bowls here.
  • Bulgar wheat. My newest carb addition for dinner. It’s easy and fast to cook, tastes good (nutty kinda) and gets some grains in me.
  • Brown organic jasmine rice: Generally only eaten on leg day when my carbs are at the highest point. Fast to cook, smells amazing and just easy.
  • Veggies: I love them all but tend to stick to the green varieties for their alkalizing properties and I have just come to love their taste! Favourites include leafy greens (swiss chard is my fav), broccoli, brussels, mushrooms (not green but good for ya!), asparagus and the occasional beet or two (love them, but because of the sugar I keep them saved for leg day generally).
  • Fruits: I’m a fruit lover at heart but I tend to keep these around my workouts as that is when their natural sugars are most usual for my body. Bananas are my go to as they fuel my muscles with the carbs they need for my tough workouts. Berries and apples also make their rounds (mostly on rest days) and the occasional other seasonal fruit (peaches, nectarines). My fruit is almost always eaten as a nice hot and ooey gooey mess in my morning proats.

3. Determine What You Like

Cooking preparation styles

Proteins:

  • Chicken/beef/turkey is mostly grilled via my George Foreman Grill
  • Fish is most often baked in my toaster oven/oven

Carbohydrates:

  • Veggies- either roasted (sweet potatoes, squashes, brussel sprouts are always roasted, broccoli, asparagus sometimes) with a small amount of olive oil or lightly sauteed with onions and garlic in a lil bit of coconut oil (greens). Salads are an exception obviously, they are raw but I throw in some roasted veggies ALWAYS. It’s good, try it out!
  • Grains: Cooked on the stove as per package directions (oatmeal done in microwave) in water. I try to soak as many of my grains as possible as this helps with digestion and makes them fluffier when they cook up.

Spices/herbs

Don’t leave your food high and dry or your won’t like it! It’s really NOT hard to toss in some spices and herbs and they will make a huge difference in the satisfaction you will get from your food! My favourite herbs and spices include:

  • Cinnamon. Major staple in my house. Oats and snacks generally get a heavy handed shake from the cinna-jar
  • Chili flakes and Powder. Always a staple as I like my food spicy! I prefer chili flavouring over cayenne and tabasco
  • Curry. My newest obsession.
  • Rosemary. All of my roasting gets tossed with dried rosemary.
  • Basil. Used to be my favourite but isn’t used as often anymore unless I can nab some fresh and make basil pesto (used for a thick spread on fish generally)
  • Garlic. Staple for sure. All saute’s get some garlic in them. Great for cleansing the body and immunity!
  • Mrs. Dash salt-free spice blends. OMG these are amazing! I season almost all my proteins with them and even the occasional veggie dish. My top favourites are the chipotle and extra spicy blends.

4. Pick A day And Time To Do Some Basic Food Prep

If you want your meals to come together as easy as possible, you need to have some basics on hand. These basics are generally those things that may need a lil bit longer cooking time or things that you want to just want to have ready to throw into a container and go. Take 1 to 2 hours out of your week to help yourself out would ya? Here’s some things that you can easily prep in that allotted time and simply wrap up and keep in the fridge.

  • Starches like rice, grains, quinoa, oatmeal can easily be cooked in large volumes during your prep time and be kept in the fridge for days. All you have to do is scoop out your portions as you need them.
  • Vegetables can also be done in advance. Like your veggies roasted? Roast a huge batch and keep them in the fridge. Sautee some greens early to keep for 2-3 days. OR If you’re like me and want your vegetables freshly cooked, you can just ensure that you have what you need on hand and/or pre-chopped so that they are easy to access when it’s time to cook’em up.
  • Proteins can be cooked early and kept in the fridge for a few days. The time frame that you keep them in the fridge is up to you and your comfort level, but in general I will keep cooked chicken anywhere up to 5-6 days (is that bad? lol) and fish up to 3-4 days (rarely lasts that long as I eat it up :-D). Beans, lentils and other legumes can be cooked up and kept for a few days as well (if they are dressed, the time is less). In general though, meats/poultry can be kept for a lil bit longer (when cooked) than seafood.
  • Snacks can be prepped during this prep time as well. For snacks, your choices will depend on the amount of time you have to prep taste preferences. Here are some snack options that are in order of time it takes to prep.

-Yogurt/cottage cheese with a low glycemic fruit (berries, apples, etc). Choose plain dairy options (low sodium for cottage cheese) as they are not loaded with sugars. Also, watch for high levels of preservatives and chemicals. Sometimes 0% is not always best. If you are lactose intolerant like me, you can try out goat or coconut yogurt

Veggies and dip. Simply prep your vegetables (peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, etc) and make a quick dip like hummus (blend 1 can no salt added chickpeas, garlic, cracked black pepper, tbsp or two of lemon juice, tbsp or two of tahini (optional) and enough olive oil or water to get it moving and smooth).

Smoothies. If you are a smoothie lover, they can be perfect, nutrient dense option for a meal or snack and fairly quick to put together. Really short on time? Make some smoothie packs in your prep time (chop your fruits/veggies and portion them out into baggies with any other smoothie add ins) that you can just grab, blend and enjoy. Check out here and here for some inspiration and tips.

Homemade goodies. These will take a lil bit more of your time but the options are endless. Homemade protein bars (like ones from here), healthy bites (like here or here), muffins or quick breads (like my muffin experiments here and here), etc. Beware of high sugar items, even those with natural sugars as they can spike insulin and leave you feeling hungry quickly. Keep the higher sugar options (like the energy bites, goodies with dried fruits, etc) for pre-workout snacks and keep your other snacks lower in sugar and higher in protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.

5. Have some Go-To recipes.

Okay here is where I will give some of my go-to’s when it comes to quick cooking. Your go-to’s should be recipes that you enjoy, are quick and easy to assemble and/or cook and are balanced nutritionally. When you are really short on time, these will be your savior to get a healthy meal on the table (or in a container to go) that you don’t have to put much thought into. Below I have put some of my favourite easy meals. Remember that you don’t have to use the same spice pairings or methods as I do, they are just what I’m diggin currently. ūüėÄ

IMG_2440Meal 1. Dinner On Leg Day

For me, this is my high carb (slightly lower fat) day, so it’s a given that there will be a higher carbohydrate starch (brown rice), a lean protein and a green of some kind. This picture in particular takes me about 15-20 minutes to assemble, but could be less if I wasn’t picky about my greens being freshly cooked.

How-to

1. Get your brown rice cookin. While that is cooking you can make your greens.

2. First, preheat a pan with a lil bit of coconut oil on medium heat. While you’re waiting for the pan to heat up, chop some beets into cubes, toss them in a steamer pot and nuke for about 5 minutes. Chop garlic and onions. Measure out greens (I used swiss chard), separate leaves from stems and chop the stems up.

3. Pan hot? Add the garlic, onions and chard stems to your pan and sautee (stir around periodically) until nicely browned (about 2-3 minutes). Now your beets should be done. Add those and the chard leaves to the pan with some water (few tbsps), stir and pop a close-fit lid on the pan. Turn the heat down a lil bit and just watch to make sure the liquid doesn’t all dry up and cause your greens to burn. Not to fret though, you have a few minutes to burn…

4. Your brown rice should be done (when the water is all gone) so toss that in your container. Throw in 1/2 a can of low sodium tuna (or the whole can if you don’t care about variety or don’t have another protein on hand) and some pre-prepped chicken breast.

5. Check on your greens, all the liquid gone yet? Yes? Add about 2 tbsp more water to the pan, stir and add whatever spices you like. Right now I am adding chili flakes and powder, curry powder and sometimes turmeric, but do what you like. Stir to distribute the spices and pop that lid back on. When the water is all gone again, dump that in your container too and you are DONE

Easy peasy?

Notes:

  • Steam your beets before you add them to the pan or they will take forever to cook
  • I don’t flavour my rice with any spices because I love the smell of the brown jasmine rice but feel free to season as you please
  • REMEMBER you don’t have to use anything that I did (If you hate swiss chard, don’t use it, etc). This is simply a guide
  • Don’t fret if this seems intimidating, I know that not all people actually like or cook often. The speed of this will come with time
  • Prepping your rice early (and/or your veggie side dish) would cut the assembly time virtually to nothing so keep that in mind for your busy days
hunk o' avocado in this bowl of stuff

hunk o’ avocado in this bowl of stuff

2. Typical Training Day Dinner

I LOVE fish and choose it often. My method of cooking my fish is super quick and easy so it works in a time pinch and is something I always look forward to. As my carbs have been on the rise lately, I have also been adding a starcher carb to some of my normal training days as well. On the other days, I like to have my favourite carb, which is roasted squash of some kind. Here, the choice is bulgar wheat. I have also added a nice helping of healthy fats to this dish to balance it out as the fish is very low in fat.

How-to:

1.Get your fish cookin. Here I have tilapia which I season with whatever spices I want (typically some form of Mrs. Dash, chili flakes and maybe some lemon juice) and throw in my toaster oven at 350 bake for about 15 minutes. They are thinner fish so they cook fast. NOTE you can use your regular oven too, same settings but the time may be a bit different as its a larger space to heat.

2. Get your bulgar cookin. It’s 1:2 bulgar to water/stock/liquid just like rice. Once again, you have some time (not as much as the rice) to prep some other things.

3. Get your greens prepped!. Preheat a pan with some coconut oil on medium heat. While that is heating, chop onions, garlic, broccoli and whatever other veggies you want. Here I think it was only broccoli because I ran out of other options. Plop those into the pan when it’s heated and sautee.

4. Your bulgar will probably be done while you are sauteeing your veggies, so take that off the heat. When the onions and garlic are fragrant, like the chard dish, add a few tbsp of water to the pan and pop a lid on it to let it steam. This will soften the hard stems of the broccoli.

5. Depending on how done you like your fish, it may be done here, so take that out of the toaster oven (or oven). Is the water all dried up in your greens yet? Yes? Again add a few more tbsp of water to the pan, add your spices and pop that lid back on until the water is absorbed again. Unlike the chard, which wilts fast, continue to add water and put the lid on until the broccoli is softened to your liking.

6. When everything is done, plunk it all into a container and top with avocado (or healthy fat of choice) and you’re good to go.

Notes:

  • If you don’t want to use your oven for one lil piece of fish, bulk cook your fish. Don’t like fish? Use another lean meat.
  • Once again, prepping your starch, veggies and protein would have cut this time to basically nothing.
  • Green veggie pairings that I like: broccoli&zucchini, broccoli&asparagus, chard&asparagus, chard&mushrooms

IMG_24633. Typical Training Day Dinner (with my favourites!)

This is my favourite fish, with my favourite side dishes! Baked steelhead trout with roasted kabocha squash and a side of sauteed chard, asparagus and cremini mushrooms. Ermagawd, I look forward to meals like this!

How-to:

1. IF YOU HAVE NOT PREPPED YOUR FISH, get’er in the oven first. When I buy trout, I buy a slab of it and cook it all at once so it will be done and I can portion it out as I go. I don’t have to worry about it being in the fridge too long because, like I said, it’s my favourite and goes quickly. I seasoned it here really simply here with chili flakes, dried rosemary and lemon juice. If I have homemade pesto on hand I will choose that as pesto on fish is amazing! Bake the fish at 350 degrees until it flakes or until your desired doneness (generally about 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish).

2. While your fish is cookin, chop up your squash, throw it into your steamer pot and nuke for about 5 minutes (until soft). While that is microwaving, get your greens ready to be sauteed. Chop up garlic, onion and your choice of veggies (I used asparagus, the rest of my swiss chard and cremini mushrooms).

3. Preheat a pan on medium heat with some coconut oil. By this time you squash should be done, toss that on a pan with a lil olive oil and dried rosemary and toss either in a toaster oven like me, or the oven at about 400 degrees.

4. Your pan should now be heated by now so you will toss your garlic, onions and chard stems into the pan and sautee those until the onions are translucent. Add your asparagus and mushrooms and sautee a lil more. Finally, add your chard leaves, a few tablespoons of water and like the other greens, pop a lid on that pan to allow for the steam to soften the veggies.

5. Check your fish. Is it done? Take it out of the oven. Hows your water level in your pan? Dried up yet? Yes? Put another few tbsp of water in the pan and whatever spices you like. I use my regular favourites (curry, turmeric, chili powder), stir and pop that lid back on.

6. Once the liquid is all absorbed, take off the heat and dump into your container. Take your squash out of the toaster oven/oven and add that to the container and finally top with your portion of fish. Delicious!

Notes:

  • Prepping your fish early will save you the time it takes to prep and bake the fish. Your fish should keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days (or whatever you feel comfortable with).
  • Prepping your veggies during an earlier prep time will also cut down cooking time, I just prefer to cook these as I go because I’m picky and demand them freshly made ūüėõ
  • More resilient fish like trout and salmon can also be steamed if that’s a style of cooking you like. Place an inch or two of liquid (stock, wine, whatever floats your boat) in a pan with some spices/herbs. Heat the pan so that your liquid is simmering (the liquid is bubbling gently, not boiling) and place your fish in the pan. Pop and lid on it and allow it to steam until the fish is cooked through (ie. flaking with a fork). Steaming makes it super tender and moist. Need simple flavour ideas? Try using fish stock for the liquid with a squeeze or two of lemon juice and adding rosemary and chili flakes. OR try the fish stock, lemon juice and dill if you are a dill-salmon person. Experiment!

OKAY wow that was a super long post but I hope that it is useful for those who are a lil more cooking shy. Cooking is not hard, it’s simply something to practice so that you can get more comfortable with it and learn what foods work well together based on your personal tastes. And hey, maybe you will actually start to enjoy the process of cooking like I do.

I will end this post with three final words of advice….

1. USE SPICES! Don’t leave your food bland or you will not enjoy your food. It takes two seconds to shake some spices on your food and you will like it that much more trust me!

2. Make sure you keep some variety or else you will get bored (plus variety is better for getting different nutrients!). Switch up your protein, carbohydrate and fat choices to keep yourself interested.

3. PREP IN ADVANCE! Take 1-2 hours and just do it! If you know you will be busy, help yourself out a lil bit and bulk cook the things that you can keep in the fridge for a few days. If you have the food already there and waiting, you will be more likely to use it over grabbing something packaged.

AAAANNND….I also want to give you a few sites to check out that have some really great food preppin tips and some easy-peasy meal and snack ideas/recipes.

  • Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean has an awesome Sunday Food Prep post every week where she displayed what she made to prep herself and her hubby for the oncoming week. She also highlights a few of her readers who send in their own personal prep! Check her latest food prep post out here.
  • Britt over at Britt’s Blurbs does a weekly meal plan and prep post to show you how you can plan out your weekly meals and also how you can prep some food early to make those meals come together smoothly. Her latest Meal Plan blog post is here.
  • Kim over at Not Consumed put together a nice list of tips, links and recipes that make food prep a lil easier. Check it out here.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I really want it to be a tool/aid to my readers. Let me know what you think in the comments as you know I love hearin from ya! ūüėÄ

-Chelsea