Guest Post: Interview with Steph from Blogilates!

Hey everyone!

Today, I interviewed a special guest for this post. Her name is Steph (aka @xogingy)! Steph actually started her fitness journey a few years back & is a dedicated Popster just like myself but on a whole ‘nother level. Her full-time job is working as the Social Media Coordinator for Blogilates! Neat hey?? We talk about our inner struggles, body image, & some ED related issues. If you’d like to see my interview, pop on over to her blog & have a read. Let’s get to it!

Taken from www.xogingy.weebly.com
Taken from www.xogingy.weebly.com

Take it away Steph! 

How do you try & improve your body image on a day to day basis?

I do NOT weigh myself. I used to validate my worth based on the scale. Now I don’t even need a mirror to validate my worth or body image. I wake up and think about how I FEEL today. It’s not always as easy as it sounds – it’s a constant work in progress. But doing things like journaling, surrounding myself with people who support and inspire me, and practicing positive self-talk really do help (as cheesy as it sounds).

You’re having a terrible body image day. How do you get through it?

I recognize that it’s normal to have bad body image days. Everyone has them. I try not to let it consume my day though. I try and figure out WHY I’m having it. Is it because I ate something “unhealthy” and now I think it affected my body so much for just eating that one thing? Is it because my clothes aren’t fitting right? Is it because someone made a comment that made me feel uncomfortable? Is it because I saw a picture of someone and I’m now comparing myself to them and I don’t feel “as good.” Or is it because I weighed myself and it wasn’t a number I wanted to see? OR is it for some other circumstance like being stressed because of work, family or friends? Body image fluctuates like crazy, but your body really doesn’t. I mean of course your body changes daily – little water weight fluctuations etc. But in reality your body doesn’t change THAT much from day to day. So on bad days, I just try to figure out why I’m having the poor body image and deal with that reason – which probably doesn’t even have anything to do with my body anyways. It’s usually an external factor.

Does your diet impact your mood in any way on a daily basis?

On a regular basis I would say no. My diet is pretty consistent, balance and varied. I eat foods that give me energy (lots of carbs like oatmeal, bread, fruits. I eat protein to keep me full and that’s how I get a lot of my “health” sweets in – from protein bars, making healthier versions of “Froyo” with Greek Yogurt. I LOVE fats so I eat peanut butter, almonds, etc that are actually known to increase your mood! I can say though when I eat something that is out of my comfort zone, sometimes it does affect my mood in a negative way. I still deal with disordered eating thoughts and sometimes I get anxiety from eating meals I don’t normally eat or eating out at restaurants. This is still a work in progress that I’m getting better at. For the most part, I listen to my body and give it what it wants.

When faced with a fear food situation how do you handle it?

I tune into intuitive eating. Just because it’s a fear food doesn’t mean I have to eat it. Instead, I ask myself these questions. 1. Do I want the food? 2. Am I hungry? 3. Will this food satisfy me? If I really don’t want the food, then I’m not going to eat it – whether it’s a “fear” food or not.

What does the word healthy mean to you?

You know, I used to and still do hate it when people call me “healthy” because most of the time they are referring to being that person who eats fruits and veggies all day long and works out to be skinny. That’s not me. I am not that type of “healthy.” If you are to call me “healthy” then it should mean that I am HAPPY. I am fueling my body with foods that I love, I am doing activity that I love and I am surrounding myself with people that I love. Healthy to me means balanced, and doing what makes me feel good.

How has your body image improved now vs before your ED?

My body image has improved tremendously. I rarely have negative body image days. I love my body because I learned how it wants to be treated. I learned what types of food make me feel the best and what kind of activity I enjoy. Lifting weights has honestly increased my body image by A LOT. It makes me feel strong, sexy and powerful. When I look in the mirror, I see so much more. I see strength, I see passion, I see a girl who is motivated, educated and ready to be so much more. Before my ED I felt none of those things.

You work for Cassey Ho now. So cool! How has Blogilates changed your life?

Cassey has changed my life in so many ways. I found my love of fitness through Blogilates. Then I found community. I found people all over the world who have a similar passion for not only fitness, but for inspiring and motivating one another. Then, when I became POP Pilates certified, I was able to officially spread the power of Blogilates/POP to people in my daily life.  In the small community I live in, I have been able to impact people and bring happiness to their day just by teaching a 1-hour class. Working for Blogilates and POP behind the scenes is so special to me. I get to empower women I don’t even know. I get to help run a business that is determined to make people thrive and reach their full potential. There is NOTHING better than that. Blogilates made me a better person. Cassey helped me realize who I truly was and I am so thankful for that.

If you could go back in time & change one thing related to your fitness journey what would it be?

Haha! Well, I wouldn’t have stopped eating peanut butter for over a year. But seriously, I would have got off stupid “fitspos” that told me not to eat after 6pm, to stop eating bread, to only do cardio. Instead, I would have looked to myself for motivation and listened to my body more. I would have spoke up when I knew I had a problem and asked for help.But, you know what – I lived and I learned and now my purpose is to help people going through the same thing.

What is your advice for someone going through an ED?

There is light at the end of the tunnel. And it’s there waiting for you to SHINE. Know that ED is not your destiny, it’s just part of your journey, and for some reason you were meant to go through it but in the end it will make you a better person. Fight every single day to get better and make progress. Yes, I said fight. You HAVE to fight, you have to be strong. Some days you’ll be stronger than others, but it will all add up and one day you will find peace. Recovery is possible.

Taken from www.xogingy.weebly.com
Taken from www.xogingy.weebly.com

Don’t you just love her?? This girl has been one of my biggest inspirations in the Blogilates community…& it’s not because of her bangin’ bod (well ok maybe a little bit), but because of her raw honesty throughout her entire journey. The ups, downs, in-betweens, Steph stays true to her followers. Her IG captions give me mad inspiration & her blog posts speak volumes to me.

Big thanks to Steph for being so open & honest. You’re a superstar!

Thanks for reading,

Amy xo

POP Pilates is HERE!

Hey everyone!

So I’m super thrilled to be making today’s post. As you know from my bio, I’m a certified POP Pilates® instructor. I passed my certification back in April but wasn’t able to teach for a multitude of reasons. Let me explain:

  • As a LesMills instructor employed with GoodLife I am not permitted to teach outside of their facilities.
  • In order to apply to GoodLife to teach POP I had to pass my FIS course here in Canada (Fitness Instructor Specialist).
  • Apparently this process takes up a whole lotta time & I only received my FIS certification a few weeks ago.

I mean I could have easily left my job at GoodLife & ventured out on my own but I ultimately decided against it. I love my job with GoodLife & I’ve made so many new friendships with fellow instructors & members. No way was I leaving my tribe behind!!

With all that cleared up….

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not my GIF but thought it was too cute not to share!

ARE WE EXCITED YET???!!!!

POP Pilates® is the newest workout program to hit the rock. Presently, there are no Pilates-based workouts at our GoodLife gyms here in NL other than BodyFlow which I teach.

This program takes classical Pilates up a notch. There are no reformers. It’s just you, your mat, & the amazing combo of music & choreography!

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Interested in trying a class???

Come check out one (or both!) of my FREE 30 min express POP classes!!! (430 Topsail Road, Village Mall GoodLife)

  • Wednesday, August 17th @ 7:30 pm
  • Wednesday, August 24th @ 7:30 pm

How about 12, 1-hour sessions? My POP Pilates Bootcamp begins September 7th !!!

Camp will run from September 7th until October 12th. Prices for this camp are:

  • $199 + tax for members
  • $279 + tax for non members

Camp will be held Monday & Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm. If you’re a current Wednesday evening “BodyFlow-er,” this time works perfectly since my Flow class runs from 6:30 – 7:30 pm!!! So all you gotta do is stick around right???

To sign up, you can let me know, call the Village Mall GoodLife gym, or sign up online here (just scroll down until you see the POP Pilates camp link). Only 12 spots remaining so be sure to sign up real quick!

I can’t wait to get my POP on with you! Let’s create our own POP Army here on the east coast!!! 🙂

Hope to see you soon,

Amy xo

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Recipe: The BEST cookies ever!

Let’s forget for a moment that these cookies are actually healthy.

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If I had to choose a favorite dessert, there’s no doubt cookies would be in the top three. There’s something so awesome about cookies, especially good ol’ chocolate chip. I’m a HUGE fan of Sally’s Baking Addiction (autographed cookbook & everythannn’ no big deal). Sally taught me there is a science to baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I won’t go into great detail about that today because we aren’t baking chocolate chip cookies!

We are making THESE!

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I found this recipe from Detoxinista entitled, “The Healthiest cookies EVER.” Honestly, I didn’t want to scare you away with the words “healthy,” & “cookie,” in the same sentence so I compromised. These cookies do not contain chocolate or milk or any of the typical ingredients that make cookies taste delicious. But the flavour is so unique & delicious it’s a must try!!!!

#sorrynotsorry with the click-bait title…

HOWEVER,

There is no dough chilling, no waiting around for room temperature butter & eggs. A bakers dream!!! The entire recipe from start to finish takes about 30 minutes (I don’t know about you but I’m terrible at following estimated times while making a recipe. When I say 30 minutes, I mean it!)

In total, these vegan cookies have 6 ingredients! A source of healthy fat, vitamins, natural sugar…I could go on but who really cares…?

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It’s cool I’m not offended.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1.5 cups nuts -either one variety or a combo (I’ve tried cashew, almond & pecan)
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp milled flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp warm water)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Lets bake some cookies!!!

Firstly, you will need a food processor (NOT a blender). I bought mine at Canadian Tire for somewhere around $50 & I love it! Doesn’t have to be super fancy or expensive.

Next up, grab some pitted dates. If you’re thinking, “Yuck, abort mission I hate dates,” …CHILL. My love, you just haven’t successfully worked with dates. On their own, they are sometimes tough & dry. Today, we are emulsifying them in our food processor!!

If your dates are tough, place them in a bowl & pour some boiling water over top. In about 15 minutes they should be super soft & easy to work with. We don’t want to burn out our food processors with rock hard dates!

Meanwhile, whip up your flax egg. “Huh? The heck is a flax egg?” Flax eggs are natural vegan substitutes for regular eggs. A flax egg acts as a binder to hold the dough together. Mix together 1 tablespoon of GROUND flax (fun fact: your body can’t digest whole flax meaning it doesn’t absorb ANY of the nutrients unless it is milled!) & 3 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl. Let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken.

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour dates & nuts into the base of your food processor. Pulse a couple times then let it run until combined. Add in your flax egg, salt, baking soda, & vanilla. Process all ingredients until a sticky dough is formed.

Wet your fingers & gently shape balls of dough onto your cookie sheet. The cookies won’t really spread/rise much so be sure to flatten them to the desired shape. Bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool & eat!!

Amy xo

Does Social Media Cause Eating Disorders?

Disclaimer: If you find cursing offensive, please click the X in the top right hand corner of this page. Bye Felicia! 

I’ve wanted to make this post ever since I created my blog but wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to say. In a nutshell, I think there’s a HUGE correlation between social media & eating disorders…

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I didn’t create this graphic but I thought it was quite informative!

Back in the day (ya know, cause I’m so old lolol), before Facebook & Instagram, we had lives. Better yet, we had lives that didn’t revolve around our appearance. Growing up, I remember NO ONE caring about their natural shape & size. My friends & I played outside. We played with Barbies (BTW, I never once compared my body to a Barbie. That’s freaky.) We did all of the things normal kids do. Not once did we compare our bodies, at least not that I recall.

For me, it helped that my mom never talked about her body in a negative light. The word “diet” didn’t exist in our house. Thanks Mom, you instilled healthy body image values in me & I love you so so much! (Side note to all the parents out there: please don’t talk bad about your own body, especially around your children. Monkey see, monkey do right??)

It’s only been the past little while that I’ve noticed how damaging the media is towards both women & men when it comes to how we should look. While men are affected by this nonsense too, this post will refer to mainly women since, well, I am one! So please don’t think I’m totally disregarding men. I’m on your side too boo!!!

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Preach!!!

When I started working out & eating healthier I really had no idea what I was doing. I knew I didn’t need to lose weight but everything online, in magazines, & on TV was telling me I did.

Wanna know a secret?

I actually believed that if I completed enough of those Cosmopolitan “Victoria Secret,” workouts I would have Candace Swanepoel’s body. I thought that anyone could have an Angel’s body if they tried hard enough…because that’s what the media tells you! But it’s a lie. All of itAs embarrassing it is to admit, I was just uneducated & put my faith in something that was an illusion.

It’s probably not much of a shock to find out Victoria Secret models are photo shopped. You know what’s asinine though? Sometimes the models are photo shopped to appear “fluffier,” ie: no protruding ribs, more curves, etc. WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK. Oh, & don’t forget the raw chicken cutlets sewn into their bathing suit tops so their tits look on fleek. You think I’m joking? All of this info is online you just gotta dig for it. Don’t even get me started on their infamous annual Fashion Show rituals. Remember there’s only a handful of VS models in existence for a reason…they won the genetic lottery.

With that said, I am NOT shaming these models. Dude, they’re fucking beautiful. Who wouldn’t want to frolic around in a bikini on a sandy beach getting paid more per hour than I make in one day?!? HELLO, common sense people!!! But marketing these women as “anyone can look like this if they try hard enough,” or “the ideal woman,” doesn’t sit well with me at all.

So how dangerous is social media becoming in relation to eating disorders? Remember when thigh gaps were all the rage? (terrifying by the way…not thigh gaps in general but trying to convince the entire universe that you can change your body type sure as hell is.) Well folks, I do not have a thigh gap. In the eyes of the world, I was not “the ideal beauty.”

Oh, but wait.

There’s a new trend on the rise: the thigh brow. Guess what?? I have a damn thigh brow! So literally overnight I went from “meh” to “you are now the definition of beauty.” M-I-N-D F-U-C-K central. Another thing, is it even possible to have both a thigh gap AND a thigh brow?? So are all the girls who have thigh gaps now supposed to be sad & hate their bodies??? LIKE WHAT DO YOU EVEN MEAN???!!! AND WHO MADE UP THE WORD THIGH BROW???!!!

The more I immerse myself into the fitness world the more fucked up shit I discover. Regular ass people photo shop their social media pictures on a daily basis & we believe it’s authentic. I downloaded a free app a few months ago & I could change myself to look any way I desired! Whiter teeth? Smoother face? Slimmer thighs? All at the touch of a virtual brush! (FYI I didn’t post any of these altered pictures publicly, but it was very eye opening nonetheless.) I mean I love a good filter but photo shop though? Girl I don’t know about you but I wanna look relatively the same in both real life & online.

Another thing about social media is that each time we create a post we are sharing an image that we WANT the world to see. It’s so easy to get caught up on your phone & scroll through endless images of perfect people living their seemingly perfect lives. Come back to reality!!!! There is not one person in any of those photos who is perfect. Who honestly wakes up in the morning with on point “bed head,” hair, 0 blemishes & sits ever so dainty in their bed dressed in an over sized t-shirt, thigh high socks & coffee without spilling it all over their crisp white bed sheets????? NO ONE I TELL YOU. THAT HAPPENS TO NO ONE.

l_486b6860-920c-11e1-b846-0faa56100003Aside from the fake ass “candid” social media pictures (we all know that shit ain’t candid, you took 50+ photos just to get that perfect one. A girl ain’t gonna judge though!) there are the #fitspos, the #inspiration, & the #fitgirls just to name a few. These tags are marketed as harmless, unlike #thinspo, #thin, & #thighgap but are they really? Are wash board abs really inspirational? NO!

“Pffftt. Easy for Amy to say. She has abs!”

Wanna know what actually happens when you have abs?(& this is why I get REALLY awkward when anyone refers to me as inspiration.) 

  • You tend to avoid certain social situations like restaurants, movies, any activity with food or potential for slip ups.
  • You go to the gym seriously everyday. You might even sacrifice other life events just to get your workout in.
  • Essentially you stay home & do nothing.

Does that sound worth it? So while you stare at these images of perfect musculature just think about how much was sacrificed for that image. Many of these social media famous fitspos? It’s literally their JOB to look the way they do. They have no life other than improving their physique…& I’m NOT SHAMING THAT. But it’s pathetic to take those images & market them to the general public with an “anyone can do this,” attitude. No actually, not everyone can do that. What these people do is absolutely NOT for everyone & no one should feel shamed or inferior because they don’t have quads the size of Texas. It takes a special type of person with a very healthy mindset to be in tip top shape most of the time & honestly? In my opinion I don’t think it’s healthy. I’ve been approached to do bikini competitions in the past & I always say no. I know deep down I would wind up with a serious eating disorder. But that’s another post for another day!

Today’s post obviously shed some negative light on social media, but here’s the thing: Social media can be a tool or a weapon of mass destruction. It’s up to you to decide which route to take. Be rational. Recognize that the images you are viewing might be altered to some degree. Realize that we all lead different lifestyles we are all unique & special. We each have something different to offer the world. Your path in life might have nothing to do with getting abs or quads the size of Texas, & that’s “ab”solutely fine (see what I did there, I’m such a meathead.)

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Thanks for reading!!!

Amy xo

What I Eat in A Day

Happy Monday all. It’s also the beginning of a new month so today is a great day to start fresh!

Aside from the frequent vegetarian questions, many people are curious to know what I eat in a day. Why? I’m not exactly sure. But before I get started though, I just want to mention a few things:

Eating exactly what I eat won’t make you look like me. Holy crap that sounded vain AF. Please don’t take it that way. What I mean is, simply following someone else’s “diet” won’t give you their body type/shape, you feel me?

Everyone’s bodies are different. We all respond to food in different ways. I love pickles & mushrooms. I also know plenty of people who hate pickles & mushrooms. I despise cilantro. Lots of people out there adore cilantro. You see where I’m going with this. Embrace your unique taste buds!

I don’t believe in counting calories. This post will not end with a “daily calorie total,” or anything to do with a macro nutrient breakdown. I don’t like to over complicate my “diet” & personally never count ANYTHING because I’ve learned it’s not a healthy practice for me.

Okay let’s jump right in! Here’s what a typical food day looks like for me (I’ll use today as a real life example):

Each day usually begins with a glass of apple cider vinegar diluted in lemon juice, cinnamon, & warm water.

Da fuq you drinkin’ girl….?!?

Hold up. Let’s back track just for a moment. The reason why I drink this concoction every morning is to get my digestive system up & running. Due to bloating/gas issues, I always feel better when starting my day this way. The taste isn’t the greatest but it works for me!

If, by chance, you want to try it, combine 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (with the mother, super important), 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice, a pinch of cinnamon & fill the remainder of the glass with warm water. Enjoy! (should total to about 8 oz)

Next up is coffee. Duh. Would you expect any less from me? In my coffee I use original cashew milk as creamer. For people who prefer an alternative to dairy, cashew milk is by far the best in my opinion. I omit sugar/sweetener because I’m already sweet enough (lolol gosh Amy, you’re so funny). No but honestly though, I used to drink ONLY double doubles from Tims in high school. I could never imagine coffee without real sugar or cream. Now I don’t miss it. I actually dislike the taste of sugary coffee. Plus, I like to save my sugar for real treats!!!

BreakfastIMG_0495This morning I ate the last slice (1/4) of zucchini pie I made over the weekend & an apple. I know it’s not a full blown calorie dense breakfast but I got in a hefty serving of veggies, fruit, dairy & protein so that’s really all that matters to me. Variety! Protein in the morning is always a good idea because it keeps you full until your next snack/meal rolls around.

Snack #1
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My mid morning snack today was a banana & almonds. I’m one of those people who prefers 6 smaller meals a day as opposed to 3 big ones. This method keeps my digestive system running smoothly.

Lunch

Sorry for motley image. Work lunches aren't pretty ok?!
Sorry for the motley image. Work lunches aren’t pretty ok?!

Lunch was amazing! I brought along some homemade teriyaki salmon & cauliflower herb mashed potatoes.

Snack #2IMG_0636Today I brought some cut up veggies (peppers, carrots & grape tomatoes). Usually I pair these with hummus but I have a confession to make…. I’m so sick of hummus I could vomit thinking about it. So while I know I should have some protein with my veggies, extra almonds will have to make due. I need a new protein dip. If you have any ideas leave a comment below!!!!

Supper IMG_0631Tonight I’m having a high protein plant based dish I made over the weekend. I totally slayed the meal prep game this week! It’s full of brown rice, edamame, baked tofu & veggies.

Snack #3

I have no idea what my evening snack will be. I’m thinking either a protein bar, a couple homemade protein muffins, or maybe a nature valley bar slathered in peanut butter. Who knows, maybe I’ll have one of each lol!

Obviously If I’m exercising & expending more energy than usual I need more fuel so I simply listen to my body. Pro tip: never, EVER, under fuel. Your workouts will suffer as will your body!

If you’re reading this, it might be because you want to adopt a healthier lifestyle & that’s awesome. Good on you for taking charge of your health. But all of this might seem overwhelming. Zucchini pie, Amy? Seriously? If you’re looking to become more educated on healthy eating & balancing out your meals with a variety of nutrients, a fantastic resource is the 28 Day Reset by Blogilates. I personally own this program & it is such an educational tool. I’d NEVER endorse a program that I wouldn’t personally use. Out of over 150 recipes, It’s where I found my go-to teriyaki salmon! Turkey cucumber roll ups are good too…yummmm my mouth started watering after thinking up that one!

You can read more about my experience with PIIT28 over on my PIIT28 page. I talk a little bit about the eating plan. This plan literally showed me how I’m SUPPOSED to eat to suit my lifestyle. If you have any questions about either the workout program or meal plan feel free to ask me. I am 100% honest & all opinions on the program are my very own!

Thanks so much for reading,

Amy xo

5 Reasons Why Yoga is a Perfect Workout

I guess you could say I have a pretty biased opinion when it comes to yoga. I teach a yoga-based fitness class!

I wanted to make this post because I feel like yoga is one of those workouts that’s quickly swept under the rug. Some folks think it’s “not real exercise,” or it’s “just for old people,” or “you need to be flexible.” As Sheldon Cooper would say, this is poppycock.

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In my opinion, yoga is definitely one of the best workouts out there! Here are 5 reasons why I believe practicing yoga is a perfect workout:

It’s a triple threat. Most fitness junkies will agree that a proper workout program includes three elements: cardio, strength training & flexibility training. Yoga incorporates ALL of these making it an ideal workout! Try breaking out a few sun salutations & notice your heart rate sky rocket. Arm balances? Requires a great deal of muscle strength. If you’ve ever tried to hold chaturanga for more than 10 seconds you know how strong your body needs to be! And flexibility? Pretty self explanatory as it’s essentially a by product of yoga.

It looks cool. Let’s be honest, some of those pretzel yoga poses look bloody awesome. Plus, yoga isn’t really something that everyone is doing, so pulling out a headstand or grasshopper pose at the gym can make heads turn. It’s also quite the confidence booster to overhear people conversing over your muscle control abilities. Don’t try to tell me you wouldn’t enjoy the positive vibes! Remember, you’re a Goddess even if you fall. OWN IT!

Increases body awareness. I’m not much of a spiritual or religious person but yoga feeds my soul. Being able to be completely aware & in control of your body is a beautiful thing. We spend our entire lives with ourselves so it makes perfect sense that we should try & tune into our bodies the best way possible. By increasing body awareness, we train ourselves to control our minds rather than vice versa. We become more patient, thoughtful, & calm even in high stress situations.

Aids in managing stress & anxiety/depression. Most types of exercise will help with symptoms of depression since it releases endorphins which we all know make us happy! With regular practice, yoga helps you relax, become more aware of your surroundings & be present in the moment. I can attest to this one without a doubt. I suffer from all 3 of the above & yoga has certainly helped manage my symptoms! There hasn’t been a time yet where I finish a little yoga sesh & haven’t felt some sort of peace or happiness.

Can be practiced anywhere. I mean anywhere. At the airport, at a bus stop, at your office desk.  You can literally do yoga in bed (NO that’s not what I mean ya little nasty. Acro-partner yoga anyone? LOL). There’s really no wrong way to practice yoga. It could be as simple as focusing on your breath to calm your mind during a hectic workday. Get rid of some of that mental chatter. Create your OWN yoga!

I realize there are stereotypes that perhaps scare people off from practicing yoga but don’t give into that nonsense. Take myself for example: many yogis will say I’m “not a real yogi,” because I don’t do things like “practice the 8 limbs of yoga,” or know any sanskrit names for poses (other than chaturanga) or know how to “tune into my chakras.” I swear like a sailor & I’m not a vegetarian. I don’t post life changing quotes or captions under my Instagram yoga photos like all the cool yogis do or practice daily mantras. And that’s absolutely OK. It’s not in my character or personality other than “kumbaya save the whales.” In my opinion, this is your own personal journey & there’s no right or wrong way to do it.

If you’ve ever thought about trying yoga this is your sign to give it a shot! You probably won’t be good at it. No one is their first time around. Leave your ego at the door. Have patience, a little faith, & don’t take yourself so seriously. I have yet to meet a soul who didn’t feel significantly refreshed & rejuvenated after taking a yoga class.

I will end this post with a shameless self promo because why not?!

Take my BodyFlow class this summer!

Mondays, 8pm (Mount Pearl Goodlife Fitness)

Wednesdays, 6:30pm (Village Mall Goodlife Fitness)

If you have any questions/advice about yoga I would love to help to the best of my abilities. Remember though, I’m not a certified health professional!

Thanks for reading,

Amy xo

How to Deal with Negative Body Image

We’ve all been there.

Regardless of size or gender, body image is something we all struggle with at some point in our lives. We are conditioned to believe that, no matter how hard we try, our bodies are a never ending work in progress.

How sad is that?

Why is it frowned upon to simply accept & embrace our bodies? When we feel good, we look good. It just radiates from the inside out. Improving body image can be a long process but definitely possible. When you’re feeling particularly down & out, here are a few little tips for embracing your inner Queen (or King!) Sheeba:

Stop comparing yourself. Repeat after me: the presence of someone else’s beauty does NOT take away from my own. Let’s use flowers as an example. Roses are pretty. Tulips are pretty. They look COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Are we on the same page here? When you love yourself, you can easily appreciate & admire the beauty in others. “Dang, that girl is beautiful & so am I!”beauty-quotes

Realize that people do not like you because of your appearance. My friends are not friends with me because of my size. They like me because I’m genuinely nice & funny as hell (not trying to toot my own horn here at all). Real friends will like you for your PERSONALITY which is so much more important than looks anyway! Be a beautiful soul. That shit is important & will outweigh appearance every. single. time. When you’re 80 & wrinkly are you going to be concerned if you or your friends have abs? That’s what I thought.

Stop scrutinizing yourself in the mirror. Do you find the urge to glance at your reflection every chance there is? If you must, look at that gorgeous face staring back at you & take a moment to honor a body part that you feel particularly good about. Maybe your hair is on point today. Thank those strong thighs of yours for allowing you to move freely. Exercise is a blessing folks. Not everyone has that luxury! You’re a freaking GODDESS I tell you (or God, Unicorn, whatever floats your boat).

Treat yoself. This doesn’t need to be food. You might like to get your nails done or indulge in a relaxing massage. Try a new EXPERIENCE! Those trendy Room Escape games? Lit. A day-long hike with a friend? Yaas. Ziplining? Sign me up girlfriend! I’m beginning to realize life is all about experiences. Material things mean absolutely nothing. Experiences have a direct influence on our souls (look at me getting all deep on you). More life experiences = more happiness = improved body image. Legit.

Look for inspiration in body positivity blogs. Do “thinspo,” & “fitspo,” hashtags appear often in your Instagram feed? If so, change that immediately. Search tags like “bodyposi,” & “body positivity.” UNFOLLOW social media accounts that make you feel inferior & FOLLOW accounts (mine? hehe) that are motivating & inspiring. Often times than not we are hurting rather than inspiring ourselves when we look to “Excuses Don’t Burn Calories” memes for motivation. Girl, YOU’RE LITERALLY SHAMING YOURSELF IN ORDER TO FIND MOTIVATION TO EXERCISE. STOP THAT!

If you ever see this shirt please do me a favour & burn it. Thank you.
If you ever see this shirt please do me a favour & burn it. Thank you.

Give out compliments. Making other people feel good will naturally make YOU feel good. I’m not sure if this is like a karma thing or a human thing but all I know is that it works! Maybe your co worker is slaying life with her new hair cut. TELL HER. It gives us a sense of accomplishment & purpose. Do something nice for someone every once in a while. Pay for a strangers coffee. Positivity & good vibes are infectious. Sprinkle that shit everywhere!

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At the end of the day, there will always be someone out there who is “prettier,” “stronger,” & “thinner,” than you. The very best thing you can do is love yourself. When you are content with who you are, the success of others will not bring you down. It will lift you up! If you already suffer from negative body image you might think this is damn near impossible. It isn’t. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change (love that quote!) …Speaking from experience, this doesn’t happen overnight. Patience, young grasshopper.

As much as I want to help other people with my posts, I also write them for my benefit. Blogging so far has been quite therapeutic for me, especially when I’m having a “rough go at life,” as I like to call it. Expect to see more of these types of posts at a later date!

Also, if you have any future topics you’d like for me to talk about feel free to reach out!! I would love that.

Thanks for reading,

Amy xo

Are You a Vegetarian?

Disclaimer: If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you might get offended by this post. You’ve been warned.

I’m asked this question all of the time.

I get it. I eat a lot of vegetarian & vegan food. It’s a no brainer many people assume I’m of the veggie variety. However, this isn’t true. Let me explain (in great detail nonetheless) why I will never be a vegetarian or vegan.

Just to put it out there, I’m not throwing shade at anyone who follows a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. I’ve met vegetarians/vegans who give me the urge to ravage a hot dog in their face but I also know plenty who are simply wonderful people that never push their lifestyle on others. My kinda folks! Remember, you are free to live your own life how you see fit but don’t try to tell me how to live according to your moral code. K thanks.

To start things off….

I grew up on a farm. We raised/slaughtered all of our own animals. This next bit will either disgust or intrigue you, but at a young age I actually helped my Dad with the “mass slaughter.” It was like a big family event. He would chop off the heads of chickens with an axe & I’d throw em in a bucket, eyes still blinking & everything. Sometimes the headless bodies would run after me. Thinking back on it, these events probably contributed to my phobia of birds. That, & the fact that giant turkeys chased me down the driveway everyday going to school. I can still hear them walking on the roof above my room. Cringe. Yup, that’ll do it alright. 

While I didn’t kill the animal myself, (that would have been a bit much at such a young age don’t you think?) I honestly would now without much hesitation for food purposes. Now, you might think I’m a totally awful person for admitting this but I’m being 100% unapologetically honest. If you can’t deal with that then, whatever. Cares. However, I can’t wrap my head around concepts like “trophy hunting,” but that’s going into a whole different ball game. I still named the animals. I knew their fate. They lived an amazing healthy life unlike most in todays factory farms. That was our way of living. After growing out of my picky eating stage, I was pretty darn healthy throughout my entire childhood & into my teens. I owe that to my Dad & his desire to grow his own produce & raise his own animals. We literally lived off the land which is a rare thing nowadays.

I am not an animal lover nor will I ever claim to be. In my opinion, if you truly loved animals you wouldn’t eat them. Then again, I’m not gonna call you out on it! I don’t think “pet animals” are to be held at a higher pedestal than “wild animals.”  Some meat eaters think consuming animals like dogs & cats is morally wrong but the same won’t be said for animals like pigs & goats. Why though? Try to dig deep & think about this one. Quite the controversial topic yes?!

I believe humans are superior than animals & we do have some sort of “right” above them. Before you go all “keyboard warrior” on me, this does NOT mean I would go around killing animals all willy nilly for no damn reason. I’m not the best at getting my point across, but take the following for example: If I waltzed on into a lion’s territory, he’s going to kill me. There would be no handshaking, no “how’s it going pretty lady?” That lion is gonna eat me for lunch & definitely does NOT view me as an equal. He doesn’t think it’s morally wrong because that’s what lions do! Circle of life friends…

“But, we have a conscious choice in what we eat…”

True. I admit, I tried my hand at a vegetarian diet about a year ago & it didn’t work out well for me. I actually ended up on iron pills for a few months. Apparently my body requires meat protein to thrive.

“Well, obviously you didn’t try hard enough.”

Maybe, maybe not. Following an animal cruelty free lifestyle takes a lot of planning, work & passion. I just don’t care that much about my lifestyle or the animals to do that. Kumbaya save the whales….steam might be coming out of your ears by now but I’m simply being honest.

I’ve watched all of those documentaries on Netflix (including that “Best Speech You Will Ever Hear” video on YouTube). Hasn’t changed a thing. Call me cold, callous, a murderer, whatever. At the end of the day, if I ever committed to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle it would be for all of the wrong reasons. It wouldn’t have anything to do with saving animals or the planet. I own two pairs of seal skin boots & a Canada Goose jacket for goodness sake. None of which I plan on throwing out. That shit is expensive. (LOL I’m over here talking like I paid for these items myself. Shout out to Dad! Love ya!)

I don’t believe the consumption of animal products is unhealthy. If someone told me I had the choice of either going vegan & live to be at least 100 or consume animal products & die at 60, I’d be fine with eating a grilled cheese bacon sandwich daily until my time was up. Not one word of a lie. Obviously eating a grilled cheese bacon sandwich everyday isn’t a great idea health wise, but big picture here people. A chicken breast isn’t going to clog your arteries & kill you. I would rather have the real deal than purchase a processed fake meat or cheese product (NOT judging people who enjoy those foods!! It’s just a personal thing.) OHHHHH, & I would survive the zombie apocalypse 100% hands down. Just sayin. Had to throw that in there somewhere.

I still think I’m a decent human even though I have no intention of ever becoming a vegetarian or vegan. How about the time I baked homemade Christmas cookies for people in need? Or the time I helped out a few people financially? Or the time I paid for a strangers order in the drive thru because I thought she was mad at me for “skipping the line” hoping to make her day a little bit better? I’m not changing the world or anything but it’s something (btw I did NOT skip the line at the Tim’s drive thru on Topsail Road. It’s a MERGE PEOPLE. A MERGE. NLer’s, you know the one).

With all that said, I’ve drastically cut down on the amount of meat protein I consume over the past few years. I will never completely eliminate it. Plant-based proteins are awesome & I eat lots of them but only to ensure I’m getting a variety of nutrients. I think most people overestimate how much meat is actually enough. I usually only eat it a few times a month to be quite honest. You do you & eat as little or as much as you like. I’m not Judge Judy. But please for the love of all things holy do not try to “convert” me. Just no. It ain’t gonna work….throwing that out there now before shit gets real awkward.

Lastly, my goal with this post wasn’t to try & offend anyone. This is legit a question I’m asked so frequently & I wanted to create a post about it just to clear the air. If you are offended I won’t say I’m sorry..because I’m not. These are my own opinions, my life, & my experiences. If you thoroughly enjoy following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, more power to you! That’s freaking awesome. But don’t think for a second that you are “above” anyone who chooses to eat meat/dairy. That shit ain’t cute.

Thanks for reading friends!

Amy xo

Recipe: 3 Ingredient Protein Pancakes

As you know, I love breakfast. It’s my favourite meal of the day! I’m a huge lover of pancakes. Especially with some bacon on the side. Sweet & salty? My jam right there.

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon a recipe online for 3 ingredient pancakes but to be honest I have no idea where I found it. I can’t take full credit for the recipe so thank you to the person who created it!! Definitely one of my most used pancake recipes due to the simplicity.

These pancakes are fluffy, sweet, flourless, & packed full of protein. Also incredibly customizable to suit your tastebuds, but today we are making a cake batter version with sprinkles (would you expect any less from me?).

IMG_8997You will need:

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

1 egg

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

As many sprinkles as your heart desires! (Optional)

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Essentially, just mix the first 3 ingredients in a bowl then slowly fold in the sprinkles (if you’re too rough you might end up with tie-dyed pancakes but they’re just as fun right?!)

Melt some coconut oil, butter, or cooking spray in a skillet on medium heat & wait until water droplets sizzle on the pan. Cook on one side until edges start to look dry & bubbles form. Flip & cook for a couple more minutes. This batter makes about 3-4 medium sized pancakes (just enough for one person). You can double or triple the recipe for more servings.

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Here’s where the real fun begins! Top your pancakes with whatever floats your boat. Maple syrup, honey, jam, Nutella, cookie butter, cinnamon, powdered sugar, fruit, chocolate chips, more sprinkles (there’s no such thing as too many sprinkles, ever!)

Protein content will vary depending on what brands you use, but the entire recipe packs in approximately 32g!!! Can’t really beat that especially for breakfast. A delicious, filling start to your day!

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Notes/Subs:

  • I always use plain 0% greek yogurt. You’re welcome to use any flavour (although I haven’t tried this recipe using regular yogurt so I can’t vouch for the outcome if you choose to go that route.)
  • I use this plant-based protein powder by Arbonne. Mine is already sweetened so I didn’t add any extra. If yours isn’t, add 1 tsp of granulated sweetener to batter. (keep this in mind if you’re using sweetened greek yogurt. You probably won’t need extra.)
  • Another note on protein powder, I have used whey in the past & had great results. I can’t vouch for casein or any other type of powder but it won’t hurt to give it a shot!
  • Please feel free to add in any extra extracts/flavours. This base recipe is incredibly forgiving. So things like vanilla, maple, butter, cinnamon, etc.

Amy xo

How to Eat More Vegetables

When I was a little girl, I despised vegetables. My diet consisted of one food group: beige. I know you’re probably all like “Amy, beige is a color not a food group. Get it together.” But honestly though. Think along the lines of breads, pastas (ie: macaroni & mayo…I give you permission to judge me for that), potatoes, cakes, crackers, etc. I was the poster child of a picky eater. I actually ended up sick since I wasn’t getting enough nutrients (this was no fault of my parents though. I was just hard to get along with. Sorry Mom & Dad. Love you!).

Not my pic..but cute though right?!
Not my pic..but cute though right?!

Nowadays, I aim to eat at least one vegetable per day. In the beginning I’ll be honest, it was hard. I gagged on virtually everything. But taste buds change! It’s not going to happen overnight by any means but don’t give up. For those of you interested in incorporating more vegetables into your diet, here are a few little tips (none of which include salad..& yes, I realize my cover photo for this post is salad. #hatersgonnahate):

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Become a smoothie enthusiast. No brainer right? So called “green smoothies” are all the rage right now & for a good reason! There’s no better way to start the day than ingesting a hefty serving of veggies & fruits. My advice? Invest in a decent blender. Who likes chewing their smoothies? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I personally own the Nutribullet & the NutribulletRx. While the Nutribullet gets the job done, the Rx is phenomenal! I rave about it all of the time but you need to try for yourself! (btw this post isn’t sponsored or anything I just freaking LOVE my NutribulletRx & think everyone should own one) The Rx has a giant cup compared to the original model. Three cheers for more veggies! Start with greens that are mild tasting like spinach. When you’re comfortable move onto more bold flavors like swiss chard, collard greens, kale, zucchini, celery, cucumber, go WILD! I’m after creating smoothies that incorporate an entire days worth of fruits & veggies in one drink. That means more wiggle room for decadent foods yes?? Absolutely.

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Soup. There’s seriously nothing better than a bowl of piping hot soup on a chilly day (if you’re living in NL like myself, this is essentially any day of the year!). I love purees or the chunky variety. Some of my favourites are butternut squash, carrot & ginger, broccoli, creamy tomato basil, lentil & rice, etc. Use veggie broth in place of chicken or beef! (& with your new NutriBulletRx you can make your own damn soup with one push of a button!! #winning) Add in some protein or a side sandwich & you’ve got yourself an awesome nutritious lunch for the entire week. #doublewinning

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Pasta/ Pasta Sauce. When I make pasta, you bet I’m gonna stuff as many veggies as I can in there! Just smother the entire thing in pasta sauce (homemade marinara is delish) & you are good to go my friend. Now, I can eat practically anything…but I live with a dreadfully picky eater! (Love you!!!) My go-to pasta veggies are: onions, mushrooms, spinach, bell peppers, broccoli & zucchini. Better yet, make your pasta sauce out of veggies! Think cauliflower alfredo or spinach basil pesto!

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Swap grains for veggies. This one actually correlates really well with pasta. Try swapping your regular wheat noodles for spaghetti squash or zucchini once in a while, even try half & half if you’re apprehensive about it! Another awesomesauce idea is to make a cauliflower crust for pizza or garlic cheese fingers. You can literally eat the entire pizza by yourself! Oh, you already do that? Good on you! Other ideas include: cauliflower fried rice or mashed potatoes (with mushroom gravy this is seriously to die for!), zucchini crust, lettuce or portobello buns, & even eggplant pizzas. Step outside the boring salad box my friends, there’s an entire world of yumminess going on!

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Baking. SO many options…zucchini bread/muffins, pumpkin EVERYTHING, sweet potato pancakes, kale chips, avocado cookies (yes, I know avos are fruits), black bean brownies or other bean desserts such as flourless muffins & cookie dough dip (& yes, I know beans are legumes). I’ve even made spinach pancakes & crackers before. It’s a thing. An eccentric thing nonetheless, but a thing!

Now, I understand some of these options might seem pretty “out there” & overwhelming to you right now but I promise they are delicious. Remember, I live with a picky eater. He’s eaten some of this stuff raw right out of the mixing bowl & has been none the wiser. My perfect guinea pig! <3

Also keep in mind that we can’t like everything. I don’t eat brussels sprouts. I hate them & I’ve accepted that. Don’t bother eating foods that you hate!!!! Eating is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. This post isn’t meant to scare you away from your favorite “regular” foods. It’s meant to broaden your horizon & open your eyes to an entire new world of food. You don’t need to incorporate every single thing listed but maybe one week try a new smoothie & the next try spaghetti squash noodles. Baby steps! Play around with spices & create your very own recipes! One of my favourite things right now is sautéed garlic tofu with onions, peppers, mushrooms & spinach smothered in BBQ sauce. Some people might think that’s weird. I, however, think it’s bloody delicious.

This day in age we are so focused on working, making money, taking care of others, etc. Dining out isn’t for special occasions anymore, it’s a daily thing for some. Make time to create your own meals. There’s no doubt it’s healthier & a money saver. This way, when you do dine out, it’s a much more enjoyable experience.

One more thing though…most veggies/fruits/legumes have a high fiber content. It’s really important to take your time incorporating more fiber into your diet or it will send your digestive system all out of whack. Feel my vibe? I don’t wanna get all “TMI” on you but it’s the truth. I’m no dietician by any means, but the normal range is 25g per day for women & 35g for men. It’s best to check with your doctor first but you definitely don’t wanna overdo it or else you’ll end up in the bathroom all day (speaking from experience unfortunately…).

I really enjoy food puns...
I really enjoy food puns…

Hope you enjoyed!! Thanks for reading,

Amy xo