fitness

Finding Balance 


I’m still learning and struggling with finding balance and body expectance. 

My Instagram feed may show my daily sweats and meals but I’m just a person struggling  just like some of you. 

I’ve learned a ton about myself over the last 3 years but I’m still trying to figure it out? Everyday feels different and hard some days. 

42 years old and I still don’t know what I really look like, it’s a struggle and exhausting. I have never been diagnosed with body dysmorphia but from what I read and understand about myself, it’s a real thing and its exhausting. 

I keep pushing my workouts, running and choosing healthy meals because it makes my brain happy. Happiness is the goal, right?
Kelly

Clean-eating, food, Health, recipe, whole30

Spring Roll Stir-fry Bowl! 

I always seem to have left over meat that I need to get eaten! Whether it is chicken, a roast beef pork chop or eggs.  It can be tossed in with this vegetable combo and be very satisfying and healthy! 

What you need – 

1 cup of shredded cabbage 

1/4 cup shredded carrot

1-2 cups baby spinach 

(1-2 cups of Bok choy would be fabulous too) 

1 cup steamed broccoli cut into bite sizes

2 tbs of fresh cilantro cilantro

1 tbs olive oil 

1/4 cup cashews 

Salt and pepper 

Add 3oz protein, I use whatever left overs I have, chicken diced up or use pork, steak or bacon!

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add all the ingredients, stirring frequently. It doesn’t take long, maybe 3 -5 minutes till everything is heated through. 

Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper or your favourite seasoning and voila! 

Serves 2 or one of me 😉

Enjoy. 

▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️

I found this Asian inspired salad kit at Costco that consists of cabbage, carrot and cilantro if you are feeling a tad lazy like me. (I just didn’t use the dressing kit for this meal)

Clean-eating, fitness, food, Health, recipe, whole30

Thinking about doing a Whole30? …here is my take on it. 

Before I did my first Whole30, I was terrified! All the stories I had read online and with friends made me question if it was all worth it. The list of detox symptoms and crazy feelings didn’t leave me excited and jumping for joy to start. But I knew I needed to jump in with both feet, because I needed to get a grip on my health, needed a better understanding of food and what food was doing to me, and to discover how it was making me feel. Of course I wanted to lose some weight and to figure out a healthy food balance, too.

I knew there was something in my diet that was giving me bloat, mood swings and weight gain. Obviously the candy and chips was a big part of it, but I needed to learn what MY body wanted and what would make it run better. I figured, it’s only 30 days, I can do ANYTHING for 30 days.

I Instagrammed the shit out of the subject and joined a Facebook Whole30 group. I learned the hard way that there are some tough Whole30 divas that don’t want to hear about your banana and egg concoction because it breaks the rules. BEWARE: not everyone is on the same journey. I don’t follow all the rules of life so why would I doing this! 🤷🏻‍♀️

Everything was compliant in my books, and I left that group soon after to join another W30 Facebook group that had kind gentle souls who didn’t pass judgment. 

The weekend before my Monday Whole30 Day 1, I prepped and cleaned and prepped and cleaned, I listed and made a menu. Got my hubby in on it too! Gahhh, it’s a lot of work, but being prepared brings you peace when that sugar dragon appears. 


Day 1, 2, 3 and 4 were surprisingly easy and exciting. I felt in control and had all my meals ready; I had the plan! Well, Day 5 rolled around, and look the fook out! I woke up with a raging headache and attitude! I would have eaten anything sugary to make my dragon go back to sleep. Sugar is a crazy drug and I definitely felt the urge of it, so scary! 


I had a few days of fighting the demands. I had a lot of alone time, walks, hot baths. I went to bed super early every night. By day 15 I was on track, super bored of food and wanted my life back. I made no plans with friends, I didn’t want to be put in any situation that would lead me to “failing”. 

When I reached Day 30, I felt pretty bad ass. I felt so good and people noticed the difference. My skin felt better, I slept better, my insides functioned better, I was nice to my kids! I told EVERYBODY that would listen to read Whole30 and to give it a try. I just felt amazing. 

Whole30 is not a forever thing and I don’t recommend you do many full rounds but a 5-10 day reset every couple months is very helpful to clean it up if you’ve fallen. It always reminds me how great I feel when my body has the right ingredients to work. 

Whole30 was a life changer and I will forever cook this way and lean towards the foods my body craves. 

So, if you are planning your first Whole30, keep it simple!, plan to be bored and miserable for many days of it but keep in mind that it is ONLY 30 days and it’s only food. 

My simple menu consisted mostly of the below. I would stir fry it or make it into a salads. I would purchase fresh herbs to make it flavourful. 

▪️coconut milk and cream (in my tea, coffee, curry, soups)

▪️shredded chicken 

▪️flank steaks 

▪️cut up raw veggies, steamed and or roasted veggies

▪️ sweet potato hash or just noodles sweet potato 

▪️avocado/guacamole 

▪️ Nuts. Lots of nuts!! 

▪️hard boiled eggs (so many eggs in all forms)

▪️baby spinach was added to EVERYTHING

▪️chunky tuna salad with all the veggies was a winner at least 3x a week.

▪️pickles!!! 


I had the Whole30 shopping list on my refrigerator to remind myself what I could have.  I felt like if I just ate whole foods, I was safe with no added crappy ingredients, but I always read the labels of canned or boxed items. Also, when it came to meats, even though I couldn’t afford to buy all organic and free-range this and that, I bought the best that I could afford. 

Don’t overthink it, keep it simple, and remember to be kind. 🤗😂

Good luck 😉 

fitness, Health, Races, running, Training

Running Tips – getting started. 


If you are gearing up for your first 5k or half marathon there are a few  things that I need to share with you. If I knew these things before I started running it would of made my journey a whole lot easier. 

First, let’s talk shoes! 


Please please pleeeease get fitted for a proper pair of running shoes, non of these Walmart trainers. Go to a running store and they’ll narrow it down to the right shoe that’s best for you. They’ll analyze your running style and foot strike.  To be honest, it is trial and error to find the perfect shoe and that will happen over time but start with a recommendation from a pro. All shoes will feel amazing in the store but the true test is after you’ve run a few miles in them.  Use a treadmill, so if the shoes don’t cut it, you can rerun them. Most stores will not return them if worn outdoors. After a few years I’ve figured out that I’m a Saucony girl all the way. 

Training schedule 

Find a training schedule or join a clinic that fits with your needs and goals. If you’re not new at this running thing but want to train for a race, you can get print one off from google! Most training programs for any distance are 12 weeks long. Read the entire schedule and look at your life and see how this fits in. Plan it, schedule it and get pumped to start. Realistically there WILL be interruptions during this 12 week period. People get sick, other obligations need to fit in too. Life happens! Also, don’t over do it. The training schedule is designed to build your strength and endurance. Trust the training and don’t do more then it suggests or your setting yourself up for injury.

Find a buddy system

These buddies will be your lifeline. They’ll push you and encourage you, they’ll set their alarms and meet you on those cold early mornings, they’ll hold your water belt when you need to pee.  If people are depending on you, you won’t let them down and vise versa. The buddy system saved me during our cold winter training mornings. Accountability is a must! 


Let’s talk about chafing, shall we!!!!


Chaffing is a serious pain in the ass…. literally. There is nothing worse then coming home from a run, peeling off your schweddy clothes and stepping into a warm shower and get hit with that sting, it’s like a jelly fish wrapped itself around you and stung you in all the privates. I learned quickly that Vaseline was my best friend. I put that jelly on all my lady bits. I’ve narrowed it down, for me anything over 12k requires Vaseline. The chafe heals quickly but if you keep chafing in the same spot, over time you’ll have a nice red scar. So, Glide or good old fashion Vaseline in all those tender areas. You’ll figure it out 😉 

Spend your money on good quality gear. If you buy good quality it will last and you won’t need to replace it for along time Every year I invest in one good peice, I now own a good pair of winter weight leggings, lighter spring fall leggings, one good pair of capris and shorts. I can’t stand clothing that bunches(chafing) or always needing pulling up. You want your clothing to work as it should. My once a year big spending goes to LuLu Lemon for all my leggings. My tops are off the sales racks at the running stores, The GapFit or Joe Fresh here in Canada. Always always get it on sale because I find running clothing is very over priced. 
At first you’ll find yourself very tired after your training runs, take a power nap. This tired feeling does go away as your body gets stronger.  Listen to your body and rest after each run and be sure to fuel your body with what it needs. I like a nice carb and high protein meal after each run. I’m also 42 years young so naps are a daily business around here. 

Lastly, don’t forget to have fun. Running is supposed to be joyful, it’s active meditation, therapy and an amazing calorie burner. It’s not easy out there but once you find your rhythm you’ll feel so good. Just don’t give up, trust your training. You’ll get stronger and most runs will feel amazing. I say that because some really suck but the hard runs are what gets you stronger physically and mostly mentally. You are training your body but always training your mind to tolerate the “pain”. 

Your body is capable of amazing things and you are stronger then you think. Your mind will try talk you down and tell you to stop, but just keep going, if only for one more minute. Mind over matter sista. 


Let’s go!! 

fitness

Chicken Stew

This is a family favourite and it’s full of clean ingredients. No artificial flavours and chemicals like the canned or store bought. It’s so easy to make, so why wouldn’t you?

What you’ll need-

(Cut all ingredients to bite size)  

6 small yellow potatoes 

4 chicken breasts (about 3 cups)

4 celery stalks

3 large carrots (about 3 cups)

2 small onions 

1 cup green beans

1 cup corn (optional)

2 boxes of chicken broth (946 ml box)

2ish tbs olive oil for sautéing the veggies 

2ish tbs olive oil for browning the chicken 

4 tbs flour of your choice I used all purpose flour  (making a slurry at the end to thicken )

1-2 tbs Basil

2-3 tsp Sage

2-3 tsp Garlic salt

2-3 tbs Dry Parsley 

Sea salt (add for taste)

⚪️ First, heat olive oil in a deep large pot, sauté all veggies  (except  green beans)

⚪️⚪️ In a separate pan, heat olive oil and brown the chicken. Sprinkle with salt while cooking. 

⚪️⚪️⚪️ Add the browned chicken to the large pot along with the chicken broth and all the spices and simmer for 60 minutes or till all the veggies are soft. Add the green beans to the pot for the last 10 minutes (green beans can get mushy  if over cooked) 

⚪️⚪️⚪️⚪️ Make your slurry and add to the pot and stir till thickened. 

Add the flour of your choice to a bowl and measure 1 cup of the simmered broth to the flour and whisk till blended. Add to the large pot and stir, the broth should thicken. You may add more flour to the pot of you feel it needs more thickening. (You could also use corn starch)

⚪️⚪️⚪️⚪️⚪️ Give your stew a taste, if you feel it needs more of the above spices, add and store at this point. 

Tip:

(Make a slurry- Measure out the flour into a small bowl – use one tablespoon to thicken a small amount of sauce or up to four tablespoons for a big bowl of soup. Add a cup or so of the hot cooking broth to the flour and whisk until they’re completely combined. This is your slurry)

Enjoy!

fitness

Sweet Potato Hash 

I found this recipe during my first Whole30. It’s a great side to any meal, and you can really change it up with whatever you have in your fridge. Sometimes I even add bacon!!! So, today I made it with the following ingredients, but be adventurous and add any vegetable you like! Asparagus and broccoli is banging in this dish. 😆 I plate this with eggs, chicken, steak, sausage. It’s great with just a sliced up avocado!


What you’ll need:

2 tbs olive oil

2 sweet potatoes diced 

4 potatoes diced 

3 cloves of garlic minced 

4 celery stalks diced 

1 Bell pepper (today I used red) chopped 

2 small/medium onions chopped 

2 cups fresh baby spinach 

Salt and pepper (use your favourite seasonings)

⚪️ Preheat your oven to 350F while you prepare the vegetables. 

Dice your potatos, celery and bell pepper. I like to cut them fairly small so they cook faster. Mince your garlic cloves. 

⚪️⚪️ Heat oil in large oven-safe pan and add all the ingredients except the spinach (add spinach at the very end after you take it out of the oven)

Add your salt and pepper and sauté till the onions are soft and the potatoes start to turn brown. Place the pan in the oven. Roast for approx 25-30 min, until the potatoes are cooked through. Stir every 10 min. 


Once your hash is all cooked through, remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then stir in your fresh spinach. Sprinkle more salt and pepper if desired. 

I sometimes add garlic salt and paprika!! 


Enjoy! 

food, Health, recipe

Cilantro Lime Chicken 

My friend gave me this recipe and I was a little skeptical because I’ve never marinated chicken in lime juice before, but I was blown away by all the favours in this dish! New family fav!

What you’ll need:

Boneless/ skinless chicken thighs-10 small or 6 large. (I used 10 small)

Juice of two limes

1/2 cup olive oil 

4 cloves of garlic, minces

1 tbs cumin

1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves/no stems 

Dash of red pepper flakes (I used about 1 tsp, add more if you want more heat)

Sprinkle of salt (approximately 1 tsp)


⚪️ Combine all the ingredients in a shallow casserole dish and mix well, add the chicken thighs and stir so they are all coated in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and leave refrigerated for a min of 30 min, max 3 hours. You may add more olive oil if you need to beef up the marinade so all the chicken is good and coated. 


⚪️⚪️ Heat a large frying pan with olive oil, approximately 2 tbs of olive oil. Once the pan is nice and hot, place the chicken one by one into the pan, don’t overcrowd. Cook for approximately 5-10 minutes, then flip. 


Timing depends on the thickness of your thighs. Once both sides are golden brown, cut a thick part of a thigh to see if it’s cooked through. 

Once cooked, serve with your favourite rice and grilled veggies. I drizzle the drippings from the pan onto the rice before serving. 

Also amazing served on your favourite salad or wrap sandwich. 

Enjoy! 

food, Health

Simple Tomato Sauce

This recipe is our family go to. Clean ingredients and can be served as is or with ground beef or meatballs.


Simple and clean ingredients


What you will need-

Blender, food processor or a hand held blender can work too

2 cans of whole tomato(796 ml or 28 oz)

3 cups of fresh baby spinach, chopped small

2 small onions diced

4 cloves of garlic, sliced

2 tbs dry basil

1 tbs dry parsley

3 tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper for taste (about 2 tsp each)
Add olive oil to a deep pot and heat. Add onion and garlic and cook till softened, approximately 5 minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the spinach and simmer on low to medium heat for 30+ minutes.


If I’m home all day, I’ll get this going early and let simmer for a couple hours stirring every 15 minutes with a little added water. If I’m short on time, I’ll simmer for 30 then process in my blender.

Before I add the sauce to my blender, I measure out 1-2 cups of the chunky sauce and set it aside to add back in later (I do this to add some extra texture to the blended sauce)  Blend the sauce till smooth or less chunky.


Once blended, put back in the deep pot with that chuncky sauce that you had put aside.

Add baby spinach and simmer till the spinach is soft and a little “lost” in the sauce.

If your kids don’t like the sight of green stuff, you can add the spinach in the beginning and process in the blender with the sauce so it appears to not even be there !

Enjoy!

fitness, food, Health

Lara Bar Energy Balls

I found this recipe during my first Whole30 and was amazed how easy it was. I would snack on one or two after a run or workout. These are so easy and cheap to make,  I have not bought any Lara bars since! 


This recipe is the easiest and such a healthy treat for the family. My kids love them and think they taste like caramel. I always triple the recipe!!

Prep time – 15 minutes

Serving – 15 balls (when I triple the recipe)

What you will need:

Food processor or heavy duty blender

30 grams cashews

80 grams of pitted dates

Pinch of salt 

Only 3 ingredients!
⚪️ Measure and combine all the ingredients in the food processor, pulse/blend till you reach a good crumble. If your dates are on the dry side, add a teaspoon or two of warm water and pulse a few times to make the mixture sticky. 

⚪️⚪️ Roll into bite sized balls 

I prefer to store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator. I enjoy them more when serves cold. 
Enjoy! 

food, Health

Loaded Sweet Potato


This dish was created using an Oh She Glows recipe. 

This is the best meal that I have made in a very very long time. The layers of flavours are simply perfection. What a satisfying dish!

Serves 2

Preparation – 70-90 minutes

What you’ll need:

2 medium sweet potatos

⚪️ Preheat oven to 350.  Poke holes all around the potato, bake on a roasting pan for about 40-60 minutes. It may take longer depending on your oven. Bake till soft, knife slides right through.

For the Avocado Cilantro Crema layer–  (I doubled this part)

1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, large stems removed

1 small clove of garlic

1 medium avocado

4 tsp fresh lime juice

1 tbs water

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

⚪️ Add garlic and cilantro to food processor and process till minced. Add the rest of the ingredients and process till smooth. I like small bits of cilantro still showing.

For the Chili Beans layer

1 tbs olive oil

1 cup diced sweet onion

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 (14-ounce/398 ml) can of black beans, drained and rinsed.

Salt and pepper for taste

2 green onion, thinly sliced

⚪️ Using a medium skillet, heat the oil, add onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes, until soft. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and black beans and cook for another minute or two. Add salt and pepper at the end and stir to combine.


The assembly: 

Slice the sweet potato in half lengthwise. Using a fork, gently mash the flesh to loosen and fluff. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper.

Layer with the avocado crema and black beans by the spoonful. Garnish with green onion,  pinch of chili powder and cumin and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

I added a little Greek yogurt to the top of mine.
Enjoy!

fitness, running

Nathan’s Vapor Shadow Review 

It’s only been a month or so since I bought this hydration vest but let me tell you, I’m already in love. It’s so freeing not having a belt around me.

I am no ultra runner (yet) but I am a Marathon runner and this vest will be amazing for this summer’s heat and trails this. This light weight vest is so pretty, don’t you think? the colours are so bright and happy!

This has been designed for the female body, it fits snug in all the right places. It fit perfect snug, “bounce-free”. I was afraid it wouldn’t fit over my not so small chest, but no issues there.

All the amazing features are endless and way more then what I need, but it’s all I need and I feel so ready in the vest. I’ll never need to replace it and never have that clumsy waist belt to deal with! This vest has so many pockets! Front pill pocket, extra front water bottle pocket, front mobile pocket, two pockets on either side by your waist, a whistle, a zip up pocket at the back, hidden pocket for an ice pack!


The various pockets are many but are suited to different usages, once you figure out where everything is, the pack is quite intuitive.

Oh, all the straps! I had to wrap them around the vest to keep them from flapping around. A bit annoying but I’ll fine tune them as I go.


My first long run was sub zero, -17c…. freezing! Sadly my hose froze. So maybe the colder months are not ideal? I read that if you blow the water back into the bladder after each sip there shouldn’t be freezing but, no. I was just told that you can wear the vest under your coat and run the water hose down your arm sleeve, I’ll try this next time.
I was worried that the 2 litres of water would feel like bricks on my back but I was pleasantly surprised. The weight was nothing, very evenly distributed. I didn’t even feel it after a few minutes of running. The sloshing water noise was a bit new but again, didn’t even notice it after a few minutes.

I can’t wait to have at it this summer on some serious runs and fill up my pockets with snacks and all the things!

So far, this was a smart purchase and so happy I spent the money on such a well made and thought out design 10/10 Nathan’s !!

food

Roasted Sweet Potato Hash

Perfect side for any meal !

I make a few  batches of this most weeks for my family. It’s a perfect match to eggs, chicken, salad… it’s great with everything really. The sweet potato provides a healthy carb to fuel your toughest workouts. You can use any fat for the recipe, whether oil, butter or ghee – I prefer bacon fat because it’s non-dairy, provides a good flavor, and is available once the bacon is cooked.


What you’ll need:

1 sweet potato

3 celery stalks 

2 small potatoes

1 small onion

1/2 package of  bacon (cook ahead of time)

1 tbs bacon fat

Season to taste: salt, pepper, sage, paprika- *Use the spices you love

⚪️ Cook your bacon ahead of time.

⚪️ ⚪️Cut all vegetables and bacon to bite sized pieces.

Place all your vegetables and cooked bacon into a large bowl,  drizzle with bacon fat and your spices. Mix together until rhe vegetables are evenly covered. Place the veggies on parchment-paper lined roasting pan and roast at 400F for approximately 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Stir the veggies every ten minutes.

Enjoy!