Guilt Free Friday: Maple Cornbread

Happy guilt free Friday! This week my recipe is a bit naughtier than normal. I made maple cornbread muffins, they are refined sugar free which I love. They still have butter, milk and flour so they’re still super satisfying but you can feel better about having a few knowing there is not refined sugar! Cornbread is one of my favourite winter comfort foods so I was happy to find a guilt free version!

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

HM

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Why Your Base Tan is Bullsh*t

I spend a lot of time in the sun, canoeing is a water sport. We race during the summer but seeing as we live in the great white north we migrate down south to train during the winter. This means I lather on the SPF a couple times a day before I hit the water, but I didn’t always. I love a good tan, I could lay in the sun all afternoon. I love the sun but it doesn’t love me back.

As a teen I always wanted to be tan. My dad is a redhead so I am pretty sensitive to the sun. I would lay in the sun all afternoon and nurse my sunburn all evening. I took comfort in the fact that my burn would turn into a golden tan. I didn’t stop to think about what a tan really is. It’s all sun damage. As I head into my 20’s I’m more aware of what sun damage really means. I stay out of the sun as much as possible and I spend a large amount of my morning applying sunscreen. I want to avoid premature aging and of course the always terrifying cancer. Most of my fellow athletes are aware of the dangers of the sun and have a well executed plan to avoid the harmful rays. It’s my friends who head to the sunny south for vacation each year that worry me.

The spring breakers who decide they need a base tan before they hit the beach are the people I’m worried about. Base tans are total bull. Using sun damage to prevent sun damage is like using a lighter to put out a fire. A base tan is when you roast in a tanning bed before you hit the beach. The idea is that once you’re tan you don’t need sunscreen anymore. The only way to completely avoid sun damage is to stay out of the sun! If you must leave the safety of your house lather on the SPF.  Rethink your your tanning appointment and get a spray tan, or better yet embrace your pale skin!

The reason for this little rant is to remind myself of the importance of protecting my skin! I’m at a two month training camp in Florida and I can sometimes get caught up in the desire to darken my complexion. I hope this will keep me in check and keep me sun safe!

HM

Guilt Free Friday: Banana Chocolate Shake

I am so excited about this recipe! It’s so delicious and perfect for breakfast or an evening treat! I’ll be honest I was a little bit sceptical of this recipe because I’m not a big fan of banana in my smoothies but I was pleasantly surprised! My boyfriend can second this because he also isn’t a big banana fan but he loved this too!

This smoothie is rich, chocolatey and smooth. The hemp hearts are optional but they add a nice nutty flavour while also adding some extra protein and omegas!

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

HM

But I Don’t Have Time…

I am notorious for having those “I hate my body” moments during the day and I spiral. I start listing off everything that’s wrong with my body and suddenly I’m crying and cursing my own reflection. These moments are so toxic and unproductive. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea that health is a journey and there is no destination. We should never be satisfied with our life, we should always be striving to be better. That said, hating your body should not be part of the journey. Taking time to love yourself is just as important as taking a shower and yet, somehow we don’t have time.

I know in the hustle and bustle of life we don’t have time to drop everything and mediate in the middle of the street, but there has to be a way to incorporate some self love into our daily lives.

Gratitude

As of the new year I have been writing in a gratitude journal  each night. I  have found it to be really helpful in winding down after a busy day. I find I’m more thankful for the little things in life as well as the little things I love about myself.

Yoga

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I get antsy through the day if I feel like I haven’t done enough physical activity. As an athlete this is engrained in your brain at a young age, always do more. It isn’t always ideal to go for a run in the middle of the day. I have found a few youtube videos of yoga flows that are only 15 minutes. I try to do these when I don’t feel like I’ve done enough. I get the satisfaction of feeling like I’ve done extra without exhausting my body. This is one of the links I love: here . I always feel refreshed and appreciate my body after I do this flow.

Meditation

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Meditation can be an intimidating word. When I think of meditating I think of sitting cross legged for hours, but it doesn’t have to be so intense. Meditating can be as simple as using that colouring book you got for Christmas for 20 minutes, or taking 5 minutes to think about your breathing. Just slow things down for a few minutes each day and think about what you love about yourself, think about the beach, or better yet don’t think at all.

Journaling

Journalling was one of the best things I did for myself in 2015. I did it for a few minutes before bed everyday and I found it so beneficial. I was able to slow things down and think more clearly, my stress made more sense and I was sleeping better. Sometimes it was as simple as making a list of what I needed to do the next day and I would feel more relaxed. Invest in a cute journal and a fancy pen and I challenge you to journal every day!

Sweat It Out

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Take your stress to the gym and use it! Let your worries about your body fuel you in a positive way. Go to bed every night knowing you did everything you could to work towards your goal. Get some colourful gym clothes if that will motivate you and hit the ground running!


 

There’s no time crunch for a better frame of mind. Try to go to bed loving yourself and wake up with the drive to be better.

HM

Guilt Free Friday: Chickpeas

Welcome to Guilt Free Friday! Every week I will be posting a healthier version of our favourite comfort food. This week, I made chickpeas four ways. These make a great movie snack if you’re craving something salty or they make a great addition to any salad!

Check out the recipes here :

I’m so excited to start this series! Finding healthy alternatives to junk food is one of my favourite things to do. Let me know if you give any of these recipes a try!

HM

 

Guilt Free – Superfood Hot Chocolate

I love Pinterest. I spend most of my Sunday mornings scouring for recipes to try during the week. One of my favourite things on this magical website is the healthier versions of my go-to comfort food. As I write this I’m eating some improved mac and cheese… amazing. However, I’m not here to talk about mac and cheese. I stumbled upon a recipe for hot chocolate thats full of healthy fats, antioxidants and natural sweeteners. It took a bit of trial and error to adjust the recipe to fit my preferences but I nailed it!

In a large mug add,

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup boiling water
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 cup almond milk
Sprinkle of ginger

Stir until smooth and enjoy!

You could use any Dairy free milk, such as coconut milk or soy that suits you. Some other sweetener options could be, stevia, coconut sugar or raw cane sugar.

I was seriously surprised with how delicious this recipe is! It’s rich and creamy. It’s the perfect winter evening cure for sugar cravings! The coconut oil also moisturizes your lips as you drink it!

I hope you enjoy!

HM

Lose Weight Fast

Now that I have your attention, SPOILER ALERT : There is no such thing as losing weight fast. We see the Kardashians and their waist trainers and diet pills and everything from losing weight while eating candy or the latest starvation cleanse. There is always going to be a trendy way to lose weight and while you might lose 10lbs I would put money on you gaining it back within days of completing your cheese cleanse. What I’m going to provide here are some tips for feeling your best quickly. Sorry for the misleading title but I promise if you try some of these strategies you’ll feel better and the idea of losing weight will seem smaller.

Ditch the scale

Nothing is less motivating than a number. Weighing yourself every morning is a bummer especially if you’re a human being and thus are not able to lose 15lbs in your sleep. Weighing yourself is important in tracking progress so try to only use the scale at the gym  and weigh yourself once a week at the same time. Its crucial to remember that on your journey to health, not a size 0 that you will also be putting on muscle, which weighs more than fat. So while you drop your waist size there is a good chance your weight will go up. Don’t let this discourage you. Celebrate your new strength. My hope is you will only weigh yourself once a month and instead worry about  increasing your numbers in the gym and not about lowering your number in the locker room. Remember, strong looks better naked.

Drink water

This one sounds easy but staying hydrated can be a full time job. Try buying a cute water bottle and refilling it through the day. I find I drink double the amount of water if I have a bottle. After just two days of drinking 3L a day you’ll feel more awake, your skin will feel softer and you won’t feel bloated. Your body loves water and it craves it through the day. Sometimes these cravings get confused and you feel hungry. The 3:00pm slump may just be dehydration. By drinking water you will be more in tune with what your body needs and less likely to reach for something sugary. Look at a raisin and look at a grape, which one looks healthier and more hydrated?

EAT

This one is fun. By starving your body you may in fact be putting on weight. If you’re restricting calories and skipping meals your body thinks its on a deserted island and needs to hold on to every calorie you give it. This throws your hormones and metabolism all out of whack. Try eating three meals a day as usual but add a small, healthy snack every two hours. This keeps your metabolism running at all times and you’ll burn more calories by eating! How fun is that.

Get an accounta-buddy

This could be someone you go to the gym with, someone who shares the same goals, or just someone who will consistently ask if you did everything you could to achieve your goal each day. An accounta-buddy is someone who can hold you accountable to going to the gym and eating well. They have to be someone you can be honest with. A perfect example is a workout partner who needs a ride to the gym each day, they rely on you so you feel obligated to go to the gym! Finding a good buddy is not only helpful in motivating you but it makes the workouts themselves more fun. It will give you someone who shares the same desire for donuts so you can share a treat together or find a healthy alternative. It will make you feel less alone on your journey to success.

A healthy lifestyle is not black and white

I’m sure you’ve heard a million times that one healthy meal doesn’t make you healthy and the same goes for unhealthy meals. People so often fall victim to how easy it is to fall out of habit. If you slip up and have a piece of cake it very quickly becomes “oh I already messed up I might as well eat the whole cake” it’s not that simple. It takes 21 days to build a new habit. Even then it’s not always easy to stay on track. Each day you’re not only training your muscles you’re also training your mind. It’s a process to get to a healthy lifestyle.

I hope this provided some useful tips to aid on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. While there is no way to lose weight fast, there are ways to lose it faster and stay sane doing it.

HM

 

Battling It Out in the Gym

Nothing can change a low confidence day into a powerful motivating day quite like a great workout. When I’m feeling low energy I love to add “Battle Ropes” to my program. They’re empowering and badass.

They’re worth a try if you have them at your gym. My coach includes them in our program up to twice a week. We do 30 second intervals but trust me, after 15 seconds you’ll be ready to quit. This paired with bench press chains and you’ll feel like you walked straight out of Orange is the New Black!

HM

 

Food: A Love Story

I’ve been a high energy non-stop athlete since I could walk. I’m always on the go and subsequently, always hungry. I also suffer from something called: HANGER. I become wildly unpleasant if I don’t eat every few hours. The sum of this has left me a girl who is not afraid to eat.

In the past year I have begun to work with a nutritionist. Prior to this I fell for what society engrains in our brain, lose weight, eat less, be a size 0. This of course is impossible. I am a 5’10 athlete. I am a large individual. I spend my days in the gym and on the water trying to get stronger and fast. I then come home and go on Instagram and I want to look like a model. This combination is impossible. Perhaps if I couldn’t bench press my weight I would be slimmer but that is something I’ve worked very hard on. I love how strong I’ve become. Sometimes my mirror works against me. I can’t be as strong as I need to and look like Karlie Kloss. The years I was my skinniest were also the years I went the slowest. I would restrict calories to 1200 and continue to workout up to three times a day. I was obsessed with losing weight. Fun fact about being obsessed, you’re never satisfied. The worst part about this was I wasn’t losing as much weight as I’d hoped. By restricting my calories my body was going into starvation mode. It would cling to everything I fed it as it was unsure of when it would get more food. So at this point I was hangery, tired, and not even seeing results.

My nutritionists now has me eating up to 3000 calories. I’m more energized, I have less cravings for sugar (a big problem I have) and my weight is dropping. The key for me has been eating every two hours. This boosts metabolism and keeps me from binging on whatever I can get my hands on later on. By not withholding calories I am making more mindful choices in the kitchen. When I was restricting and it came time to eat aka I was starving and ravenous, I would eat way more and make horrible choices in the kitchen. While it can fell like a full time job eating this much I can see such a difference in my mood.

My relationship with food has improved exponentially. I don’t feel restricted. If I have a persistent craving I’ll allow myself to have a treat but I don’t find myself needing chocolate nearly as much. My love affair with donuts continues but the ball is in my court.

HM