Happy Halloween

With it being Halloween and a Friday I think most of us can agree that today is pretty spectacular. Personally, I will be teaching some yoga with spooky Halloween inspired music and then heading home to hand out treats to kids.  Being in school for holistic nutrition I definitely thought of finding something a little less sugar/high fructose corn syrup filled for the kiddies, then I thought “naw I don’t want my house to be egged”.

halloween 2This holiday brings to mind the struggles of finding your healthy eating groove and that balance between maintaining healthy living with indulgence.  To help get me back on track (the last probably 2 months have been somewhat of a train wreck for me) I bought the trick or treaters candies that don’t appeal to me, that way it can be in the house and I can walk past it without wanting to stuff my cheeks like a chipmunk preparing for winter.

chocolate factoryI have also been sure to have multiple healthy snacks ready at hand in case I get an extreme case of munchies. I figure if I have something healthy from the savory and sweet categories I have little to no excuse not to pick something healthy instead of going and buying a bag of chips. This often helps but sometimes my cravings get the best of me.

Seeing how my cravings have been getting the best of me lately I have been working on letting go of the feeling of guilt.  Guilt for failing myself, my students and my clients and instead just realizing and honoring that I am human, like my students and clients and we all have good days and bad days.

If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that encouraging positive self talk is something I have been working on for some time now, and unfortunately for me it doesn’t come easy.  However, like will power and other muscles in our bodies the more we exercise something the stronger it becomes.   It is becoming easier and easier to catch myself in these downward spirals of negativity and hurtful and doubtful self-talk which is making it easier for me to take the few seconds I need to address my negative thought and move on.

I know my writing has been sparse and for this I apologize but I have taken on a lot for the next little while and unfortunately something had to give (I am coming to the realization that I am no kind of superhero).   So I will continue to post, and when I have food delicious enough to share I will share it, but please bare with me and maybe for the month of November join me on a little challenge.

mjfoxI am challenging myself for the next month to work on acceptance.  This means working on my need to control most things (okay everything), understanding and respecting that everyone has a different way of doing things (even if that means not hollering at the bad drivers on the highway), respecting my limitations and being grateful for my strengths as well as my weaknesses.

So I hope you join me on this challenge.  Perhaps acceptance isn’t something you need to work on but there is another aspect of your life or thoughts that you would prefer to work on.  Either way make November about self-acceptance, self-love and self-care.

Happy Friday Everyone! and Happy Halloween!

Monday Motivator

Well folks it is Monday once again. I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend and hopefully had some time to get outside sit under the sun and recharge your batteries. Now it is Monday and it is time to refocus (for me at least) get your plan ready and get ready for the week.

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I have recently signed up for a 30 day yoga challenge with my studio and I can’t wait for a the challenge and having the opportunity to be involved in a fun community building activity like this.

Sometimes in order to motivate yourself you need to become a part of a community to pull additional support and energy from other like minded individuals. Personally I feel like I really need this type of motivation to stay on track as the weather starts warming up so I am definitely excited to get started on this adventure. So for this week to keep me on track for my personal goals I am going to take this excitement and run with it.

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I wish you all a great Monday and a great week.

How are you getting yourself motivated this Monday?

My 100 Day Challenge

So since I have gotten back from Costa Rica I haven’t be as great with my nutrition as I could have been, but I also understand that this ebb and flow is a part of life no one can be “on” 100% of the time.  I guess my “break” just lasted a bit longer than expected.

Now don’t get me wrong when it comes to the “big picture” my diet is pretty healthy, lots of fruits, veggies, healthy proteins etc., but I had thrown my 80% healthy 20% indulgence rule seems to have been thrown out the window. So in order to get myself back to feeling how I did before and while in Costa Rica I have started a little personal challenge with myself.

eliminate - clean eatsThere are only 94 days left now but when I started there were 101 days until summer, so I figured it was the perfect amount of time for this challenge. This amount of time is also more than enough time to start cultivating and reinforcing some healthy habits before summer happens.  the idea is to cut out all refined sugar, processed foods, preservatives and whatever other junk food has found its way back into my life.

So over the next 101 days I am going to start working on my insides.  I will be using my same basic challenge rules from my first two 50 day challenge, keeps it simple and it gives me the chance to reset my insides and get them back to an optimal level again.

spring challengeSo if you would like to join me on my Digestive Spring Clean Challenge here are the rules:

  1. Always eat breakfast, this is important! Your first meal of the day kick starts your body and gets your metabolism going.  If you can’t eat right away maybe start your morning off with a fresh cup of lemon water to wake up your insides – heck we should all try to start our day with a cup of lemon water.  Then be sure to have an actual meal within the first hour of waking.
  2. Drink Water. Everyone has a different daily requirement for how much water they need. If you are an athlete, pregnant, lactating or growing you may need more water than the rest of the population.  But it is a good idea to aim for 2-3 liters of water a day, or more if your personal situation demands it.  Just try not to drink any with your meal, drinking water while eating can dilute your digestive juices making it more difficult for your body to properly digest your food.
  3. Have 5-6 small meals a day. Instead of breaking your day into three giant meals, try and break your meals down into smaller portions and spread them out throughout the day.  I do this by still having my scheduled breakfast, lunch and dinner and I just throw in two small snacks of veggies/fruit and protein between my meals.  Try to spread your meals out to ever 3-4 hours.
  4. Boost your vegetable intake. Make vegetables the main part of most of your meals and snacks. Giving vegetables more of a central role in your meals you can give your body a nice boost in vitamins and minerals. Also yes, fruits are important also, however I will also be trying to reduce my sugar intake so I will also be cutting down my fruit servings to 2 a day and doing my best to stick to more fibrous fruits like apples, pears, and berries. If you are not reducing your sugar try and keep your fruit intake to about 3 servings, with veggies at 7-9 servings.
  5. One treat a month. Every now and then these challenges can become overwhelming and a glass of wine or piece of chocolate or whatever your vice might be required for sanity purposes. To make the next 101 days feel less daunting I am giving myself 1 treat day a month.  I will be doing my best to skip treat days if I don’t really “need” them, however any skipped treat days do not get transferred to the next month.
  6. Clean protein.  Keeping with the clean eating idea stick to leaner cuts of meat (fish, turkey, chicken breast, lean red meat) along with other types of non-animal protein (chia seed, hemp seed, soy beans, etc). It can get a bit expensive but do your best to buy organic and non-GMO protein sources if your wallet allows.
  7. No more processed or refined foods.  Basic rule is if you can’t read it you shouldn’t eat it.  Remove all processed sugars, flours, high fructose corn syrups, and other foods that come in boxes from your fridge and cupboards. Fill your body with whole, fresh, organic foods. Focus on vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats and dairy.
  8. Cut out the booze. Yup you have to cut out the booze.   Don’t worry refer to number 6 there is some wiggle room if you need it.

In addition to these rules I will also be reducing the amount of dairy I consume (because I know it doesn’t agree with me) my goal is to only use diary from small animals (goats and sheep). I would suggest that if there is something you know your body isn’t normally okay with you try and eliminate it for the duration of the challenge just to see how you feel.

My challenge to you is to set your own parameters, or feel free to use my guidelines, and set your own time frame.  I personally chose 101 days because I have done two 50 day challenges because having a goal like the beginning of the summer is exciting to me, I also like the longer length because it feels like a much bigger challenge, and challenge is where we find out what we are really capable of.

I hope some of you join me on my next personal challenge for cleaning up my diet.  If you don’t already follow me on Instagram to meal ideas and food inspiration.

Happy Tuesday everyone! 

Week 3 in the Jungle

Today marks the beginning of my third week of living in the jungle. This past week has been challenging emotionally, physically and mentally and knowing that I completed it and didn’t give up is so satisfying.

This past week was likely one of the most intense weeks ever. We were learning how to instruct and assist the first half, so for most yoga flows the standing and balancing postures, of a 90minute class. As the week went on finding your own works, knowing how much pressure to apply, finding someone’s hips for that matter all became much more natural. The fear of making a mistake slowly melted away and the feeling of excitement when finding words that were comfortable to your own style became more frequent.

20131117-084812.jpgHaving the opportunity to practice with so many others and if you were like me having the luck of picking the same partner a couple of times was an amazing experience. You are given the opportunity to test out new things, pick up new queuing and make your own little basket of tools to build on.

Although the week had my brain a little broken, I left the house three times without shoes on having to unlock my million locks to get back inside to properly equip my feet for the jungle, as well as needing a bit more alone time than normal it was one of the most fulfilling weeks I have had the opportunity to experience. It was a chance to truly push myself to my limits.

On top of all of this yesterday was a full moon here. I am sure you are all think whatever a full moon, but never have I seen something like it. First it started with one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever witnessed with half of the sky turning orange and the other half a bright pink.

20131117-085553.jpg20131117-085607.jpghe moon then lit up the sky like a giant night light cutting a massive circle of darkness out of space and filling it with light. It was so bright my cabin was lit up as though the lights were on all night long. Unfortunately photos of this didn’t turn out so great. So if you ever make it out to Costa Rica look up at the full moon.

My Sunday has started with a 6am yoga class and then what has proven to be my favorite breakfast right now (coffee protein shake with a bowl of fruit), this blog post and then I am off to the beach until our evening session.

20131117-085942.jpgI hope you are all having an amazing Sunday and have had a great weekend so far.

50 Days – Oh my goodness

Oh my goodness! I missed it!  Yesterday marked the 50th day of V.2.0 Clean Eating challenge, I can’t believe I blanked on it, I was just so excited to post about my year anniversary that I forgot about all the hard work everyone has been putting in to cleaning up their nutrition over the past 50 days.

last dayNow that the 50 day challenge is complete I am hoping that you all have a tool kit full of different tricks, tips and methods to clean up the foods that you are feeding yourself and your family.  Hopefully you have found some things that make your life easier and make eating natural whole foods a happy addition to your every day life.

Now that the challenge is over I strongly recommend you do something to reward yourself.  Go on a hike in the mountains (with all the different fall colours it would be beautiful), try rock climbing (if you aren’t terrified of heights, even then give it a go), get that new pair of yoga pants you have been eyeing, or cook a delicious meal with your family.   Do something for you and make sure it feels like a congratulations for all of your hard work you definitely deserve it.

It is also at this time that I recommend you put pen to paper and outline the things you loved about this challenge and the things you could definitely do without.  Figure out a way to incorporate the things you like into your every day life you have been working on them for 50 days there is no need to throw them to the side just because the challenge is done.   As for the things you didn’t like so much, explore what you didn’t like about them? Did it feel too restrictive not having that class of wine on Friday nights? Would a treat meal every week be more pleasurable to 3 times in 50 days?  What is it that you didn’t like and how could you make it work for you.

Once you have written all of these things down I strongly encourage you to incorporate them into your life, it might take a bit at the beginning because there is no challenge to motivate you to stay on course but eventually if you stick to it some of the things on your list will become nothing more than an after thought to your regular day to day routine.

Thank you again for participating in the second round of the clean eating challenge and I really hope you all had a great time doing it and learnt a lot.

Happy Thursday everyone.

Clean Eating V.2.0 – Ups and Downs

So the clean eating challenge has been going strong and you are almost done, just a day shy of two weeks away from Day 50.  I hope you are all feeling great, renewed, and energized.

The past couple of weeks my clean eating challenge with myself hasn’t been the greatest, so I figured I would take a minute to address it.   Seeing how I use this blog to keep myself accountable and honest with what I am telling myself in my head I am going to use this post as a bit of a check and balance in regards to my indulging.

Now I may have set this up for most of you to think I have fallen off the deep end and I have completely binged out on junk food, soda pop and a river of alcohol but that is not the case (thank goodness!).  I have just been pretty lazy when it comes to meal planning and preparation.  I mean this week I nailed it but last week was a bit of a disaster, a lot of meals were just thrown together, not enough protein, not enough vegetables, too many carbohydrates that type of deal. So far during Clean Eating V.2.0 I have definitely gone over my 3 treat days/meals but I guess that was part of my process this time around.

successWhen I entered Challenge V.2.0 I had the mind set that I would use this challenge to “keep my eyes on the prize” for the lack of a better expression.  I wanted to keep up the momentum I had built in the summer and transfer it to the fall months.  I struggle with naturally picking the “healthier” option the once the temperatures start to drop, I naturally gravitate to carbohydrate rich foods with a ridiculous salt content.  Although I haven’t been sticking to the letter of the “law” (so to speak) the challenge has definitely been a success when it comes to encouraging me to make more positive healthy choices, they just haven’t been as consistent as I would have liked.

With 15 days left of the challenge the countdown is on and I have given myself an extra push to recommit myself to my goal.  I have two more treats (Thanksgiving and a trip to Montreal) coming up that I am definitely allowing myself to eat what I would like because when it comes down to it restricting myself on those occasions would be more negative than positive.  The point of this challenge is to encourage you (and me) to make healthy positive choices and to think about why we make the food choices we do, it is not to make you feel crazy, deprived, depressed or starved.

I hope that you are all doing much better at this challenge than I am, but if you are having a bit of a struggle with consistency or other aspects just know that all of those bumps are a part of your journey.  You are meant to learn something from each of the struggles you encounter, not only in this challenge but in life.  Don’t beat yourself up about intead look for your lesson and apply what you have learnt to your process and keep moving forward.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Eat Clean V.2.0 Enters Month 2

Now that everyone is a little over halfway through the clean eating challenge hopefully cutting processed and refined foods out of your diet is really just an after thought now. Hopefully your meal prep days and the working out of your meal plan for the week is something that had become more exciting than daunting and maybe, I am just being hopeful here, limiting your alcohol intake has become an after thought and your will power muscle has been seriously bulked up.
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During the second round of this challenge I was hoping that people who participated in the first round would have the opportunity to solidify their habits and those of you participating for the first time would have a chance to see just how simple incorporating clean eating into your life style actually is. I don’t expect this challenge to be without struggle (because it is often a struggle for myself) but the goal is for it to be empowering.

I hope that by now if you were asked to sit down and write down all the positive things about this challenge as well as the things you have learn those lists would be longer than the things you truly dislike and the struggles you have faced. The hope is that you have been introduced to something that can be incorporated into your life style and will last longer than just a 50 day blip.

Today as a part of challenge V.2.0 I recommend you make those lists:

1. What do you enjoy about this challenge and what do you dislike?
2. What parts of this challenge do you want to incorporated into your regular lifestyle?
3. What have you learnt that you find useful?
4. Is there a rule you can’t wait to be without and why?
5. What has most surprised you about yourself while on this challenge?

These are some things that I like to ask myself when I am testing something out, it gets me to think about why I am doing it and to really focus on if it is something I want to incorporate into my everyday life.

I would love to hear what you all have to say about the challenge so if you feel like it share some of your answers in the questions below.

Happy Wednesday everyone.