Category: Food


Sometimes, we all need it. Whether it’s a reminder from those snug jeans, your FitBit beeping at you because you haven’t moved from your office desk in two hours, or those moments when we get sick and realize stress and poor nutritional choices have been taking their toll, we all need a little tough love from time to time. I was chatting with a client recently who mentioned that her life seems kind of “meh” right now, and I knew exactly what she meant. No real changes in work, relationships, personal growth… Sometimes life is just “meh.” While it’s so okay and we all feel like that occasionally, we had a great chat about WHY the MEH’s were taking over and came to the conclusion that this type of apathy or complacency can creep in when we feel overwhelmed about the things we can’t control. The good news, though? There are a few things we CAN control:

  • Attitude
  • Movement
  • Nutrition
  • Stress/Sleep

I want to focus on the first three points as sometimes the life stressors are too much or we have late nights due to different schedules and we aren’t always able to control these two “S’s.” That being said, very often we are choosing to look at screens or start a project late at night or allow our circumstances to dictate how we feel and therefore the stress compounds – but that’s for another post. ūüėČ So… Attitude, movement and nutrition. Let’s apply a little tough love to all these areas (and read to the end where I share some good news from my last post!):

Attitude

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This is one of my¬†favorite quotes because there is SO MUCH truth in it. We ARE in charge of our attitudes, and there’s not much more I need to say except to reference this quote and encourage you to keep the bigger picture in mind.

Movement

You guys, we always have a choice. I know some people have crazy work hours and working around them or their families brings up many obstacles to movement, but you can always get up for a 15 min walk, squat while you brush your teeth, or do a few push ups before bed. I know it’s easier for me – I work at a gym, can squeeze my workouts in between clients, and genuinely love to move, but I want you to know that there are still times I make myself take the long way home while walking, or choose to drop off a letter at the nearest mailbox on foot instead of driving. I still have to make myself do workouts when I don’t feel like it, and¬†choose to focus on lots of walking when I’m not feeling in the mood to lift.

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The bottom line? Do what you can. I taught a bootcamp with an amazing group of young adult cancer survivors at our recent Survive & Thrive Weekend Hang Out and there were people with limited mobility, different bodies than they used to have pre-treatment, some who were recently in accidents and in pain, and another girl who had part of her back muscles removed for her stomach. And guess what? Even if the exercise was greatly modified, they did it!

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Get yourself to the gym, guys. Get up off the couch and go for a 20 minute walk after dinner in the fading light. Jam out to some fun music in your house and get those steps in!

We always have a choice.

Nutrition

This is a tough one, isn’t it? Especially as holiday baking begins and the fun of Thanksgiving seems to kick off an endless streak of eating, eating and eating! Here’s the thing – you know i”m a proponent of enjoying life and community (which often means enjoying food!) and using food as fuel (post-thanksgiving squats, anyone?!), but if you’re wanting to see results, you are going to need to be mindful of how you’re choosing to eat.

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Don’t settle! Practice moderation but be really honest about what your goals are; they may or may not be aesthetically-minded, but if they are, you can do this! It’s just food.

Stay the course, enjoy nourishing your body and keep those goals front of mind. If they’re not, you can loosen up a little (more of the camp I tend to fall in), but do what makes you feel your best, fuels your attitude and spirit and body to live well!

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Well friends, Mikey and I are off to California tomorrow to celebrate Thanksgiving¬†with my fam! We can’t wait – for the fellowship, the obscene amounts of black coffee and constant conversations, some oceanside hikes and good food with family! I wanted to share an update – after a few weeks of praying for an earlier appointment (as I referenced in my last post for my probably septate uterus) and learning how to truly WAIT on God, he answered my prayers! I received an appointment in a small, neighboring town for early December – much better than the anticipated 6-12 months for an appointment with a gynaecologist in Calgary. I am so thankful and anxious to have the appointment and learn more about what’s going on in my body. Thanks for allowing me the space to share some life updates as well as encourage you to get after it in the gym, on the trails, in the kitchen and with your attitudes. ūüėČ

Live well & be well,

Bonnie

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Ahhh, Friday, long time no see! It’s been a long week for me and having a cold and feeling run down hasn’t helped. But, regardless, I’m happy when Thursday’s roll around because they are busy and signal the end of the work week! So, because it’s Friday, I thought I’d share some of my favorites from the week; please share any fun links to good articles, workouts, recipes, or your favorites from the week as well in the comments below!

So…On to the favorites! When it comes to food,¬†I’m eyeing up Lindsay’s¬†Blender Paleo Sticky Coffee Cake Muffins. They look so good! And in reading her post, I also learned a lot about if traditional coffee cakes contain coffee or not… (read on for the answer!)

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On the food note, I was given the opportunity to make my own cereal thanks to Chris from Mix It!

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Mix It, originally launched in Quebec a year ago and now expanding to the rest of Canada, offers healthy, customizable cereals delivered right to your door. I love local and¬†national companies so I was very excited that they reached out to me, especially because I have oatmeal almost daily! Their website provides a fun, easy-to-follow format¬†that allows you to¬†create your own hot or cold cereal with a few clicks. It’s self-explanatory (I appreciate that!) and you can choose from different types of either pre-made cereals or you can create your own.

If creating your own, you start with a base cereal (oatmeal, quinoa or rice flakes, all bran, etc), add your dried fruits (dates, figs, mangoes, papayas), pick¬†your nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sesame, chia seeds) and finish with your toppings (cinnamon, protein, organic dark chocolate popped quinoa, organic maple chunks, and more!). I was shocked at all the options – things I wouldn’t pick up on my own but have always wanted to try, or would only want in small amounts – check out the website and see for yourself!

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They are now launching it to the rest of Canada and I’ll be trying another mix again.

I always have fun oatmeal toppings at home so I created a pretty basic mix that I could add anything to. Oh – and you get to pick the tube (like my little fall¬†animals eating their warm oats! Thought it was a good transition into the new season when I’m warming up bowls of hot oats for breakfast!) AND title it yourself…I really liked that:

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You can see what was in my mix: a base of organic rice and quinoa meal, cinnamon, hulled hemp seeds, pea protein isolate, dates and rice flour. Like I said, mine wasn’t too adventurous just starting out but I like it – there’s very little sugar and fat but it’s a great source of carbs with 7 g of protein per serving.
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Mikey loved the idea of Mix It and looked on the website; he might create his own next. Thanks so much to Chris for the complimentary chance to try it out!
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Here are some articles I’ve been enjoying around the web this week:

Shoe Fit has some solid stuff, like why you should pursue a certain look rather than a number on the scale if you have¬†physique goals. Also, I really liked her post about willpower and how it’s not the answer to sustainable weight loss.

I really liked this no-nonsense, tough love, all truth video from Jeff at Athlean-X (language):

I finally visited Believe Fit in McKenzie Towne in Calgary and bought a few new clothes¬†for a photoshoot soon. It’s definitely not one of those “show your stomach” or “hold a barbell and flex” kind of shoots – just some headshots and a chance to update my website with the awesome Jeremy Bokkens! I’m thankful for a fitness professional discount (helps so much!) and also scored a few sale times. Here’s what I got:

Lorna Jane catch me 7/8 tight: These fit so well (despite their longer length on my short legs!) and have a secure feeling; I love the pink accents, too!

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Public Myth bamboo racerback tank: SO soft, so cute, and very flattering! (I’m wearing it in the photo above.)

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Lorna Jane Muse Excel Tee: Comfortable and super light.

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I thought I’d end with a question for you that I asked Kindal on our chat yesterday: If you could go anywhere for any fitness-focused vacation, where would you go and what would you do? I think I’d love to do an extended river kayaking trip in a warm weather spot! That or explore New Zealand via hiking, climbing and paddling, or climb in¬†South America… There’s a lot on my fitness-focused vacation wish list. ūüėČ And you?!

And that concludes this Friday’s favorites post! Share some of your favorites with me and I hope you have an awesome weekend, friends! Live well & be well,

Bonnie

 

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Hey guys! Can you believe it’s Friday? It’s been a long one for me – a good one but a long one!

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(Having so much fun being my corny self over on SnapChat… You can follow me under username buff bon!)

Well, as you know, it’s the first week of fall, and it’s sure felt like it here in Calgary! Beautiful, crunchy leaves, rainy weather and gray skies, and definitely cooler temps. It’s been a week that’s honestly made me feel like staying under a blanket, and for much of my time in between clients, I have! It’s also weather that makes me want coffee multiple times a day, so I thought for this Friday post I’d do a virtual coffee date! So grab a cup of joe, however you please, and catch up with me!

Mindfulness Dining Experience

On Wednesday night I attended a Mindful Dining event held at Market in Calgary. ¬†The setting was beautiful, the food works of art, and with each course (and subsequent kombucha pairing from TruBuch – I talked about them here), we learned tips for a daily eating routine from a psychologist, Sally¬†(follow her website at the link or her IG!)¬†and a nutritionist. It was incredibly fun and I’m so grateful my friend Amanda joined me – the $55 fee for 5 courses (plus a surprise dish!), kombucha and the 7 – 10:30 pm long, lingering chatting and eating was well worth it!

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Every dish was delicious, and we learned about mindful eating with each course we were served. This mindful practice brings us insight into the root of a healthy mind and body and can help cultivate a more loving, nourishing relationship with food. I wanted to share a few pictures as well as the 9 take-away tips from the night:

  1. Name your hunger: is it a physical need or an emotional desire?

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2. De-clutter: remove distractions and clutter from the kitchen. A clean kitchen can help you enter a more mindful state!

3. Set the mood: turn the TV off and put on relaxing music!

4. Breath: before you eat, take 3 deep breaths. This relaxes your body and shifts your parasympathetic nervous system into a resting state – rest & digest rather than fight or flight!

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5. Slow the fork down.: eat slowly and put your utensils down in between bites. Chew, chew, chew so your body can start the digestion process!

6. Tap into your senses: look at your food and take note of the colors and scents; feel it on your tongue and follow it as you swallow it.

7. The full factor: check in with yourself; on a scale of 0 to 10 (empty to overstuffed), where are you? Aim for a 7/10.

8. Reflect: when you’re satisfied, take 3 deep breaths and reflect on your eating experience.

9. Give gratitude: for all those who’ve had a hand in your meal, give thanks!

It was SO fun, and Amanda was the perfect dining and conversational partner, who got right into it and participated fully – how fun to have a friend like that as well as such a kindred spirit about so many things.

Have you ever practiced mindfulness in the eating arena? It’s so difficult for me to slow down and think through my hunger levels and appreciate my food!

Workouts

These haven’t been quite so mindful this week! I am running a half marathon on Saturday with friends in Canmore (it’s going to be a blast!) that I haven’t trained for one iota. Whoops! I’m comfortable with the distance and it’s going to be so fun running in the mountains, but without the training I’ll be running it, not racing it. Not wanting to go too hard on my legs coupled with the weather and just a general sense of the “blahs” made for very lackluster workouts all week. I did get a deadlift/step up workout in on Monday, a 20 min dumbbell HIIT session in one evening as well as a short kettlebell/burpee workout in Thursday.

Here’s what I did for the KB workout:

20/18/16/14/12 KB Swings

10/12/14/16/18 Burpees

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We’ll see how Saturday goes! I’ll be rested, that’s for sure! Plus, it’ll be a fun girls’ weekend in the mountains with some movement either way, which makes me happy!

Family

I got to meet my niece, two days after she entered the world in a short 30 minute labor from start to finish! Here’s what else is crazy: Sarah had a baby, yes.¬†At home. She didn’t make it to the hospital in time (aka she’s an absolute rockstar!) and¬†just like that, Eliana Grace was born! 👶🏻¬†Her name means “God answers with grace,” and it was very fun to meet this little one and see Sarah and Craig doing so amazing! We love you three (and their now not-so-baby girl, Annelise)! 💕

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Sadly, Mikey is out of town and will meet her this weekend, but at least there’s FaceTime to keep us connected while he’s traveling for work!
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…err… Maybe not. ūüėČ Oh brother. I sure love that man though!

Clients

I’ve been inspired by hard working clients all week, even if I haven’t been cranking out my own workouts like they have! My Young Adult Bootcamp started up again at Wellspring Calgary and the group did awesome! I am so proud of their first workout back at it, and some of them very new to exercise in general or post-treatment.

I also was proud of my three meet-in-a-park-clients who met on a chilly evening, after work at the end of the week, while it was raining, and did bear crawls up the hill, skaters, stair jumps, planks with their feet on trees… “Weird and awkward” – that described some of what I made them do, but they did it with smiles and coming off of difficult weeks. So proud of them!

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And those are the things I’d catch you up on if we were having coffee together! I’d love to hear how your workouts are, how work is going and what your family is up to, and thoughts on your nutrition these days. I hope you have a great weekend! ¬†Live well & be well friends,

Bonnie

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Don’t you love fall? Okay, maybe I’m a liiiitle early to proclaim this, especially because it does mean that summer is over, but when your summer has been rainy, stormy and chilly, you’re ready to embrace a new season (thanks, Calgary). ūüėČ But there is something refreshing about September – kids are back to school, the air is crisp, vacations and travels are over and routine is back. I think for many people September is a great time to reset our eating and exercise habits, routines, and

Spry September. Don’t you like the sound of that? “Spry” means¬†active and lively, and I think those words embody a wonderful way to enter a new season. I wanted to share a few ways that I’m bringing a spirit of spry into my life as September approaches, and I hope that they spark ideas in your mind to do the same in the coming month!

This post is partly inspired by¬†SPUD¬†(sustainable produce, urban delivery), with whom I’ve worked in the past (I first learned about how to juice via SPUD and loved getting their produce boxes!).¬†I received a $50 credit to shop online with SPUD¬†and instead of just getting food, decided to explore more that this website has to offer to help promote health! It was fun clicking around the site and took me ages to pick a few products out because they have everything from beauty and skin care to supplements to products for your pets to local fruit and vegetable boxes.

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I think the idea of utilizing a produce delivery service might seem like an “extra” in life to some, but here’s what’s so amazing about SPUD – it’s not just groceries! SPUD offers an incredible variety of safe, healthy products for kids, animals, your home, AND your belly. ūüôā There are amazing deals, especially considering the products are organic and often local, and the website includes recipes, substitution ideas for healthier items like energy drinks, and even DIY ideas.¬†(For more info on SPUD, check out the website links and be sure to read to¬†the end of the post for $20 of free purchases!)

So tip #1 comes at you from SPUD! My first tip to make September spry is to:

Take care of your skin

I’m not a big make-up wearer, and my skincare routine looks a little like this:

  1. Wake up, wash face with water.
  2. Put on coconut oil as moisturizer.
  3. Mascara and blush on.
  4. Out the door!

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I figured that it’s time to take care of my skin more intentionally; after all, health is not just eating vegetables and working out, it’s being mindful of the other areas of my life like my skin, too! So I decided to order something more specific for my skin.

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I chose the all-in-one beauty balm from¬†Andalou Naturals Fruit Stem Cell Science. This product¬†blends¬†superfruit antioxidants, nourishing moisturizers, and broad spectrum protection with natural mineral-tint color for clean¬†coverage in one easy step, which you can tell from my above beauty steps is perfect for me. I’ve worn this several times now since I received it and love the¬†sheer, mineral-tint color (that you can¬†wear alone or under make-up) that still looks natural.

I decided that Mikey needed something for his skin, too, and had him pick out a scent of beard oil because I know he lost his in the move recently. He picked out the Argan Beard Conditioning Oil in the Cedar and Mint Scent, which is from Calgary-based Mammoth Beard Company. They use the finest quality ethically sourced ingredients and no cheap filler oils, synthetic fragrances, or preservatives, which is important because he needs to take care of his beard just as much as anything else for his skin and hair health.
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We both love the scent, although Mikey commented that it was mintier than he was expecting and would go with the cedar wood or tobacco scent next time, but he loves how it feels – and I love how it looks being less scraggly and cleaner.

Here’s another no-purchase-needed, simple way to make your September more spry:

Up your steps

Yep. That’s it. Get more steps daily for better health, better stress management, a healthier body (less sitting = less health complications and more calories burned!) and weight loss. As I mentioned in my last post, getting more steps could be what you need to get you through a fat loss plateau and is a magnificent way to get more low intensity movement in that gives you a chance to breathe, listen to a podcast, relax during a walk or just pray as you move. Get up a few minutes earlier and start your day with a walk or head outdoors in the crisper air after dinner to help you digest and prolong the couch flop that happens to us all at the end of the day!

Manage your stress

On that note, another way to manage your stress besides walking is via supplementation. With routine and busier schedules often comes the onset of stress after a care-free summer. We all know how stress can affect our health in some major ways, and that while some element of stress is actually normal and good, stress can also make us more susceptible to illness, promote poor sleep, affect our mood and cause us to make less intentional food choices.

Through my partnership with¬†Social Nature, I¬†received a (complimentary) supplement¬†called Flora 4¬†Health. This product helps to support a healthy response to stress and helps to¬†temporarily relieve the symptoms of stress by supporting¬†cognitive health, mental focus and working memory – something that sounds pretty good for September! ūüôā

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I checked with my friend and acupuncturist about the ingredients in this product and she gave me the go-ahead to try it! It includes American Ginseng root extract, rhodiola root extract, ashwagandha root extract and schisandra berry extract. Ginseng helps¬†boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, promote relaxation and treat diabetes (source); ¬†rhodiola helps with¬†fat burning, enhancing energy and boosting brain power¬†and is part of a group of plants that can help your body adapt to physical, chemical, and environmental stress (source);¬†ashwagandha¬†has shown incredible results for lowering cortisol and balancing thyroid hormones (source); and schisandra berry helps to boost¬†liver function and aids¬†with adrenal functions to help prevent adrenal¬†fatigued helps with inflammation (source). I’ve been taking it for a few weeks now with no ill side effects and am feeling great! Hard to say how much this changes your stress – especially as I’m not a very stressed out person, generally, but I think it’s helped keep me balanced and free from sickness with busyness going on with our last Survive & Thrive expedition coming up this week and clients coming back in full force for September!

To my Canadian friends, anyone living¬†in the Greater Vancouver Area, and the Greater Toronto Area can try this product for FREE thanks to Social Nature! I you don’t live in this area, Social Nature has a deal going on Canada-wide right not for free super fruit snacks available in 3 different flavors and full of fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C. Just click here to get started with Social Nature – you pick a product you want, try it and then share about your #trynatural experience. ūüôā

Speaking of trying something new… My next tip for a Spry September is to:

Try a new food

Do you get stuck in food ruts? Mikey always jokes that every night is stir fry night…and it’s kind of true. I eat fairly routine foods, which I don’t think is a bad thing – I know what I’m getting, it’s quick and easy, and is healthy! – but sometimes it’s good to introduce more variety in your diet. At the very least, it’s important for not only me but for my spouse. ūüėČ

So via SPUD I decided to pick up two things I’ve heard about but never tried: micro greens and a red kuru squash, which is a thick skinned winter squash that looks like a small pumpkin without the ridges. The micro greens, or seedlings of edible vegetables and plants, are easy enough to get into my daily diet, packing a nutritional punch of¬†nutrients¬†like¬†vitamins, C, E, and K, lutein, and beta-carotene, 40 fold than the mature leaves of the same plants (source).

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I threw the micro greens on some nachos (made with kale chips for something new, too!) and love their mild but distinct flavor:

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The squash I’m currently using as decoration (perfect for the gray and stormier days we’ve been having, which sure makes me think about fall!) but am excited to try out in a recipe soon! According to a wikipedia page, red kuri squash is full-flavored and sweet, often cooked with butter and herbs in a variety of soups, stews and casseroles (source). It can also be used for cakes, quick breads, muffins, cookies, jams and pies because it has a¬†nutty-tasting flesh and in terms of cooking can be baked, boiled, microwaved, steamed, saut√©ed or fried…¬†Anyone have any ideas for this or special uses for micro greens?!

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Shop local

Now that we live in Inglewood, I’ve been enjoying shopping more local, and I think it’s a neat practice to be in if you can make it happen. Supporting local businesses makes you feel more connected to your community and is investing right where you’re growing in your own life! Which is why, instead of picking out a kombucha that you can find in any store around the city, I decided to try a kombucha (another good option for something new for you to try like the above option!) from a local company via the SPUD website.

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Kombucha “is a uniquely delicious bubbly fermented tea elixir with Asian roots dating back over 2000 years. It is full of living probiotics, enzymes and amino acids that are all beneficial for the digestive system.”¬†An easy way to think about it, is that Kombucha is to tea what yogurt is to milk (source).¬†I love that this is a local Calgary company (check out the nutritionals and the cute little logo at the bottom); this is the first kombucha from a local company I’ve tried before and it did not disappoint; this¬†one was SO TASTY! I loved the slight ginger taste – I put it in a wine glass and enjoyed it as a treat, knowing that kombucha has so many health benefits!

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Set a new goal

As you know from some previous posts and my Instagram feed, I’m loving powerlifting! It’s a new=-to-me sport and I’m learning so much as week by week, workout by workout I’m adopting the beginner mindset and practicing form as I watch my strength grow.


It’s been fun to have something to focus on in the gym and has given me a new direction. Maybe you also need a focus and could benefit from a plan, whether that’s with a trainer, a workout partner, or a new program. Want to get that first chin up? Hoping to put more weight on your squat? Want to learn how to properly swing a kettle bell? Use September to focus on something and set a new goal!

So there you have it! A few ways to make your September more spry. We are off this week for our last Survive & Thrive expedition of the summer, our sailing trip in BC, and are starting September off with an adventure! I’d love to hear how YOU are going to make September spry in the comments below.¬†

And, if you’d like to try SPUD out yourself,¬†you might as well save some money and enjoy $20 of free groceries on SPUD¬†when you spend at least $50 on your new SPUD account – simply sign up with SPUD to have your $20 discount automatically applied to your order. My referral code is¬†CRCAL-LANBON. Remember to check out fruit snacks and stress supplement via Social Nature to check the links above and take advantage of those complimentary offers while they last!

Have a great last week of August, friends, and let me know what you’re planning on doing to make September a spry month! Live well & be well,

Bonnie

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Hello, blog world! I know in the past few months I wasn’t as consistent in posting… I think my readership has dropped off because of it but if anyone’s still kicking around, I want to wish you a happy Canada Day and happy Fourth of July!
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It’s been another full week of training, enjoying s’mores with the neighbors (since school’s out for summer, baby!), and prepping for that time again – adventure time! Summer is here, and that means more Survive & Thrive Expeditions – for the 8th summer in a row. It’s hard to believe Mikey and I have been running trips for this long, and we are so thrilled for the connections, community and fresh experiences with a new group¬†to come in the next few months. Saturday we leave for the Owyhee River, one of our absolute favorite trips, and go from that kayaking trip to the Yampa River in Colorado for a second inflatable kayak trip, this one with friends from university. It’s going to be a fun-filled few weeks.

As I prepare to leave, there are several main considerations on my mind:

My heart: On our trips we have a unique opportunity¬†to love others in a real way – to listen authentically to those being vulnerable enough to share their stories and give them space to process their lives. This requires me to lean heavily into Jesus! Because I cannot love and listen and live well on my own strength. My mom sent me The 30 Day Praise Challenge book that I’m loving by Becky Harling and the simple act of praising, not just asking God for things (like strength or for the trip to go well or for my focus to be on others, but simply praising God) turns the focus from myself to God, and it’s been such a good way to prepare not only for our trips but for every day!

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My body: I’ve really been enjoying following a training plan (that I am doing with Mikey; John Romaniello’s Omega Body Blueprint) and eating according to my Eat to Perform macros. I’ve been feeling stronger and fitter than ever, maintaining my physique while eating carbs and drinking wine (although that’s only about 1-2 glasses a week) and also learning to eat just enough and keep myself in check more than I was a few weeks ago.

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(Having good gear helps you push hard in the gym, don’t you agree?! Pictured above:¬†Adidas Stella McCartney Capri Trainers¬†and my new favorite, lightweight Under Armour Run Streaker Women‚Äôs Tank).

I’m grateful for the focus I’ve had that has been simultaneously deliberate and yet seamless in terms of programming into my life, but now I’m entering 2, almost 3 weeks of no My Fitness Pal, no food programming, no official workouts, and eating at the whim of the guiding companies with whom we’re adventuring… So, am I stressed? Anxious? Nope! Here’s why:

My life is more than my body, my muscles, my progress, or my LOSS of muscle, progress and structured eating! Life happens, and I wouldn’t trade these weeks on the river¬†for anything! I know I will likely lose muscle and perhaps gain a bit of fat, but I’m also moving all day in a less intense way but for more hours, and that kind of evens itself out. Plus, I’m doing it with people who will soon become good friends and the focus is no longer just myself. When I’m in my routine, it’s great to focus on fueling properly and training hard because I love it, but when I’m not in my routine I can enjoy those hard-won muscles and use them; I can get after life OUTSIDE the gym! Isn’t that what it’s all about anyways? I #SweatBetter IN the gym so I can go live life to the fullest outside of it!

And my only other concern? Whether or not my nails are going to keep their fun color over the weeks on the river. ūüėČ

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And with that, we’re off on a few adventures! I look forward to reconnecting when I’m back, but it’s going to enjoy being disconnected for a while. Live well & be well, and enjoy your celebrating this weekend!

Bonnie

 

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Hey you guys! It’s been a bit since I updated you on life after sharing about our new house, which is still amazing! I’ve done another load of laundry and need to cut the grass again with my push mower, we still don’t have furniture, but¬†nothing else new besides that thus far. ūüėČ

I have had a change since I last wrote though – I had a birthday! I turned 31 on Monday and felt extra loved all day with text messages, phone calls, Facebook posts, some cards and just a light, joyful spirit that God gave me that day. Mikey and I had a great workout together; here’s a snippet of the ending:

And I made us take a selfie afterwards and Mikey didn’t even fight it, because, #birthday.¬†

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And I enjoyed training my clients, who always work hard and are generally just pretty awesome. ūüėČ The in between clients I’d planned to get a pedicure, but one of my clients beat me to the salon and pre-paid for my pedicure! Can you believe that? It was such a gift and I felt so pretty afterward!

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After work we had our final business networking group meeting before we break for summer and went out to BLANCO Cantina on 17th Ave in Calgary and I enjoyed two margaritas, a half order of the chicken burrito, some guac (a must at Mexican!) and some salad – it was delicious after I hadn’t had much food that day!

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BLANCO was great; I’d always wanted to go so while it was technically for our last meeting (which is always more of a celebration than a typical meeting), I felt very loved with birthday greetings and the chance to hang out with some awesome people whom I look up to as entrepreneurs and good friends!

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(thanks for the pic, Amber!)

We had a great time catching up and lingered for a while, which was nice (I’m always thinking about my early mornings with clients but I just relaxed and enjoyed the bright sky and long nights we’re having as summer is here) and around 9 pm we parted ways. But what was missing on my birthday? Some ice cream! So Mikey and I hit up another local favorite spot, Village Ice Cream, for a tasty night cap:

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Later on, Mikey gave me a gift card for eyelash extensions (I mentioned them a few weeks ago for our summer trips – thought it would be fun since I’m always make-up free on them) and I can’t wait to get them! Any tips for me if you’ve had them before? We are also going on a mini-adventure this Friday (where we go out after work, hike up a mountain, sleep there, and then come down back to the city before lunch time Saturday!) and he has planned out a fun location that is top secret. A great way to celebrate!

In other news, I’m re-certified as a CPR provider (although I sure hope I never have to use it!) and had a pretty relaxing weekend besides my course and some housework.

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I also went to church on Sunday while Mikey was working (he taught a digital story-telling workshop for two days) and I was so encouraged by the message. As I turn another year older, too, I’m a bit more reflective, so join me in thinking a bit about who we are – our identity. Our pastor began a new series called “Perspectives” based on Jesus’ Beatitudes, and in the first week of this series he referenced where Jesus speaks about two groups of people: those who have NOTHING and those who have EVERYTHING.¬†Well-versed in the Bible or not, you are probably somewhat familiar with the passage of Scripture from Luke 6:20-26:

Then he [Jesus] looked up at his disciples and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you[a] on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

Jesus does it again – being so counter-cultural and saying that it’s not those who have food and are well-fed (think: comfortable in life), are wealthy (think: secure) and are laughing (think: sneering at others as per the translation), but those who are the exact opposite of that! Jesus attaches blessings and woes to both sets of people, which is interesting because our culture loves to look for success stories – the “started from the bottom now we here” kind of story.

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We love stories about people rising from the ashes, coming from nothing, or overcoming a challenged or rough upbringing and then succeeding. The wealthy, the comfortable, the winners – those who are powerful and accepted – those are the ones we look up to! But Jesus flips this idea on it’s head and says it’s really the other way around. Why? Because those who have nothing depend on Jesus, look to him for their source of security, for their value, for their identity, not their lifestyle around them. In other words, when Jesus is all you have, Jesus is all you need. I don’t need to be worried about disaster striking, cancer coming back into our life, Donald Trump becoming president, or something happening to my family or to my business – because my hope does not lie in those things.

Now…don’t think that because you have a nice car or a retirement plan that¬†you’re “out,” or that if you’re a college kid living on top ramen with $20 in the bank that you’re “in!” What matters is where your identity lies – do¬†the external¬†things of your life make you feel secure or is it in Jesus? It’s a hard question to ask, and a tough one to truly be honest about – we can say we’re not identifying with the things around us, but what about when they are taken away?

“Your identity establishes your lifestyle” – that’s one of the things that Pastor James¬†said on Sunday and is worth dwelling on, especially as I turn another year older. I’m reminded that when comfort, satisfaction, and STUFF become what we live for, they define us, and ultimately disappoint us. With recently moving and de-cluttering, living with less but simultaneously being entrusted with more, and desiring to set my heart upon Jesus more and more with each passing year, I am reminded that I need to continually lay down the trappings of my identity daily before God. If he chooses to take everything away, what is left of me? If grief comes and I am no longer laughing but mourning; if I am hurt and can no longer work as a personal trainer to others or train my own body and my health fails; if poverty strikes and we are down to one income or must forfeit what we own; if my trust and identity are in Jesus I will be fine because HE defines me and not these things.¬†What a great reminder on my birthday! And I hope it is a good reminder for you, too, wherever this word of conviction, curiosity or encouragement finds you.

So… Three questions for you:

  1. Have you experienced a timely reminder lately in your life?
  2. Have you ever struggled with or thought about your own identity in the way that I am above?
  3. …and if you could eat anything on your birthday, what would it be?! (Mexican and ice cream of some sort for me – which is what I had!)

Have a great week and stay updated on Instagram and Snapchat (username: buff bon) to follow my #SweatBetter tips and adventures with SportChek!

See you around the inter webs this week… ūüėČ Live well & be well,

Bonnie

 

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We all know that in order to be healthy – truly fit and able – we need keep the long game in sight, keeping your life in perspective. But when we’re working on something specific, like a goal that’s focused with an end date or a goal that’s aesthetic like growing your biceps or losing a dress size, it can be hard to keep a bigger perspective¬†in mind. Here’s an example of what I mean:

Last week I went to workout after a rest day. It was Friday and I was excited to workout before the weekend, but when I changed into my workout clothes and started warming up, I simply had no energy. I was disappointed because I had rested the day before and didn’t want to throw in the towel for my workout, so I gave myself a few minutes and, eventually, felt able enough to continue, just at a scaled pace. When I finished, I thought, “Better than nothing!” and didn’t sweat it. Later that dad I chatted with another trainer who mentioned his workout wasn’t the greatest that day and we bonded over our joint half-assed workouts. ūüėČ He said he gave himself a set or two, noticed the fire wasn’t there, and packed up and left! Geoff mentioned that it’s totally fine to listen to your body because fitness isa game of decades, not minutes – we’ve got to keep the long-term perspective of health in mind.

The game of fitness isn't a game of minutes. It's a game of decades and a marathon, not a sprint,

But the reverse is also true, we agreed: know when to call it day and allow your body to rest, but also know that when your body is ready to go, hit it hard and get after it! Both sides of the coin are true, and we certainly need to keep moving and pushing ourselves even when we don’t feel like it, choosing healthier foods when more convenient but less healthy ones are available, etc. I love that there’s a place for intensity and a place for rest, and that’s because it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Sometimes when we’re working towards our ideal body, we lose sight of that bigger picture. I totally believe that aesthetic goals are fine – they have there place, they motivate us, and who doesn’t want to look and feel better? – and that there’s nothing wrong with wanting abs (right, Paige and Kindal?), but I encourage you to keep the bigger picture in mind. You’ve heard it before but maybe you need to be reminded of it again: one day of a missed workout (or heck – even two weeks!) or day of poor eating won’t significantly alter your physique just like one week of solid workouts and salads won’t give you the perfect body.

That being said, are you really working towards what you want? Sometimes we need a bit of encouragement to push a little harder. This quote says it best!

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Hmmm… Is that convicting to anyone? We can’t gripe about the body we don’t have (or, in that bigger picture, the health we don’t have, the fitness to keep up with our kids or the sleep to function at our best) if we aren’t working towards it, eating better, making sleep a priority. You get where I’m going with this. ūüėČ We all need sometime to kick our butts into gear from time to time!

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Lately I’ve been thinking about the long game and grateful that I’m able to move in a way that bring me joy, challenges me, and also gives aesthetic results! I’ve been eating more (especially carbs and especially on workout days!) and feeling like my muscles are happy about it!

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(sorry for the blur – both are post-workout and I was shaky from lifting!)

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I occasionally eat donuts, as pictured above, and licorice, but most often eat lean meats, a ton of greens and veggies, a daily banana (one of my favorites!) and try to only eat what I really want (i.e.: no mindless snacking if it’s not serving me). I am tracking my calories and macros in My Fitness Pal¬†(you can follow me here!) for accountability and enjoying the process – it hasn’t lead to me restricting (quite the contrary, as you can see above!) but that with my studying Precision Nutrition has lead to a greater awareness of the bigger picture while simultaneously seeing changes in my physique.

I recently saw a menu of a weight loss retreat centre that only had about 1,250 calories on it, and for a place that’s meant to be one where you work hard and sweat all day, I was shocked! Your body needs more fuel! So another part of this idea of the long haul is saying no to gimmicky diets or anything that restricts so badly that you inevitably bounce back (and sadly, often gain more weight than before). Fuel your body well not just for better results right now (don’t believe me? ask my clients! eating more and feeling and looking better!) AND for the future – we want sustainability in your change, friends! Not something that is ultimately short-lived.

Challenges from friends like Kindal (I linked to her abs challenge above – and need to send her my accountability pics!) help me stay on track when it could be easy to just be so-so in my efforts. It’s an interesting balance between going hard and also pulling back for that bigger picture, especially because as a Christian my body is secondary to my heart and soul! It’s just a piece of the puzzle, but it’s fun to play with and continue to tweak.

Do you walk this line well, or are you more of an all or nothing person with fitness and nutrition? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic of pursuing aestethics while remembering the bigger picture –¬†do you think they are synonymous or not?

Just some thoughts for you as the week begins – keep the marathon in mind, have fun along the way and wash every bite of donut down with some chicken and veggies. ūüėČ Have a great week ahead, friends! Live well & be well,

Bonnie

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It’s a new day and another beautiful one here in Calgary – spring has definitely sprung and I’m loving the warmer air in the mornings when I walk out to my car, the evening warmth as the sun goes down (seems to be the warmest part of the day!) and the buds that are slowly showing themselves around the city!

Yesterday in my blog post I reflected on busyness and rest, and today I wanted to share a few thoughts on food.

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Over the years I shared about different programs I’ve done and different plans I’ve tried like the¬†21 Day Fix, Advocare Challenge, dabbled in juice cleanses¬†(sorry that the photos were lost in the posts when my blog transferred! :(), and recently was asked to do another program. I see quick fixes like this all the time on Instagram, websites, in ads on Facebook, and you know what? I’ve finally decided to swear them off. There’s nothing wrong with participating in a program that focuses on real food, but when there’s an element of restriction (like no dairy, grains or sugar on the Whole 30), even if it’s only for a period of time, it’s really not sustainable. More and more, I’m interested in eating and living in a way that I can sustain for the rest of my life, not just until a set time period is over. Again, those challenges are fine, and most people see change on them, but they mess with my mind, make me want the banished foods more, and I always return to my same weight and body composition once it’s all said and done.

I was also practicing Intermittent Fasting (IF) for quite some time, and while it did work for me (and I love Brad Pilon, linked just above!), I’m starting to think about my body in a bigger health perspective, like looking at my hormone health and my insides, not just my outsides. I think I was using IF as a way to restrict myself so that later I could justify an entire bag of licorice or not worry so much about what I was eating because I had fasted all day. Again, it can definitely work for you, but reading this article made me realize I *could* be headed down a road I didn’t want to travel, so I decided to pull the plug a few months ago.

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(Back to breakfasts and it feels so good!)

What’s funny is I never considered myself to be a dieter – I was always focusing on real foods and not doing anything crazy like just drinking lemon water and cayenne pepper – but the truth is that behind it all I was still wanting to lean out, to lose body weight and appear more cut. I finally decided to stop with the fat loss mentality and focus on my strength. While my workouts still need help to get me in a muscle-building vein of movement (I would like to do more heavy lifting but right now I’m¬†holding steady at about 3-5 total body strength workouts a week), my food is now focused on eating to fuel my body and without obsession!

Enter: Eat to Perform.

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I have followed ETP for a while online with their podcasts¬†and emails and really like the concept of eating to fuel your performance. It’s very different than the “less is more” concept for eating and especially for women. I decided to sign up for a few months, get my macros set for me, and see what others thought in terms of where I should be if I want to build muscle in terms of my macros (carbs, proteins and fats). Here’s a quick snapshot of my starting numbers and where I’m trying to increase to in a few weeks:

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(hopefully you can read that – had to take a small screenshot to get it all in!)

¬†You can see that I’m eating quite a bit! And you know what? No weight change! I’m eating more, am more mindful of getting enough protein and carbs (yep! you read that right) and don’t feel afraid of any foods. I wasn’t before, but now I’m eating in a way that fuels my workouts and isn’t based on making my body move while I’m fasted. I feel stronger, my muscle definition is great, and while I would still like to lean out a bit (yep, that urge is still there!), I’m excited about how I’m doing in terms of eating well. While I’m tracking I’m not always hitting my numbers exactly (it’s tough for me to stay low on fats, but I feel better when I’m not eating too much, as it’s easy for me to be in the 70+ grams of fat a day phase!), I’m slowly working my way up and feeling good about it! Now to get my training to match so that I’m really putting those calories to use!

I’m not an affiliate but I love the program, the massive (HUGE!) resource guide that is given when you pay, and the online forum – both on Facebook and on a separate app – that offers support and tons of info and access to coaches. There’s also group coaching available but right now I’m soaking up everything and very happy I’ve joined this community. It’s only $29.95 and I would highly recommend it for freedom from food and if you want to change your focus to being, as they say, a more capable human!

Last week I also took the plunge and signed up for Precision Nutrition! I can’t believe it and am excited to add this amazing program to my credentials to help better understand, listen to and coach clients. When it comes to nutrition, I’ve learned over the years that there’s NOT one-size-fits all and that every body is so different out there – both composition, genetics, habits and preferences – and it’s okay to change the way you eat and view food. I’ve changed! And will continue to change.

So that will do it on my reflections on food today! What style are you eating in right now (or is it not even a “style”)? What’s the best thing you’ve eaten in the last few days? I think my glass of wine last night + breakfast of brussel spouts, greens, eggs, goat cheese and sweet potatoes is top of my list right now. ūüôā

Live well & be well, and catch you guys later!

Bonnie

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(me and my banana – one of my favorite post-workout eats – after yesterday’s workout!)

 

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Last weekend our church wrapped up a series called “40 Days in the Word” in which¬†we dug into our Bibles daily and learned different¬†methods of studying Scripture. I wasn’t quite sure how the series would wrap up, but I was so encouraged by the sermon on Sunday that I wanted to share with you guys, especially because, like everything in life, I think it applies to your fitness journey, too!

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Brad Young spoke about how to remain in God’s Word. The question was after committing to reading our Bibles, how do we keep it up moving forward? Brad¬†brought us to Psalm 1; below are the first 3 verses:

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf¬†does not wither‚ÄĒ
    whatever they do prospers.

What’s interesting (and something I’ve never thought of) is that the first thing the author¬†says about how to be blessed is by saying DON’T do these things. So after saying NOT to walk in step with the wicked (make life decisions¬†like them), stand with them (live like them) or sit with them (where we stay most comfortable – our home isn’t ultimately here, it’s in Heaven!), we are given a positive way to live. I love this because¬†negative reinforcement isn’t always a great motivator, is it? We must DELIGHT in God’s law (the Bible) and meditate on it day and night.

Okay. Sounds simple enough. Find delight in the Bible. But¬†HOW do we delight in God’s Word when there are so many other flashy things and distractions and instant interests all around us? The root of finding delight¬†isn’t in being more disciplined in reading or studying but in¬†pursuing the one behind the delight; it’s about falling in love with Jesus and realizing that He¬†delights in US! Here’s an example of what I mean:

When I think about what I really delight in, aside from family, Mikey and movement,¬†I really¬†delight in going to movies. I anticipate what we’ll watch, love when the lights go down, look forward to the previews as I begin to eat my candy and enjoy settling in when the story begins. I go to movies and spend money and time on them because I delight in them – it’s as simple as that! So it makes sense that if you actually delight in God in terms of your relationship, you’ll want to be with him, and want to read His word since that’s how we get to know God! When there is a delight there is a FREEDOM; as Brad shared, delight is the opposite of duty and indicates pleasure.

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Freedom!

Think about it – who do you want to be around most in your life? People who love you! What really struck me about staying in God’s Word from the sermon was this idea that we need to know we are loved and delighted in by God in order for us to delight in Him! 1 John 4:19 says it best: “We love because he first loved us.” Knowing that God truly delights in me fuels me to want to be with Him,¬†and it’s a reminder that as Christians,¬†we don’t live directed by duty but by relationship. This¬†originates with a changed heart and knowing we are loved by God and then bleeds into the rest of our lives in terms of how we live.

I wonder if it’s the same in our fitness journey? You might grind¬†yourself into a pulp in the gym or beat yourself up for eating some cake “off”¬†your meal plan but are’t you just working from a place of negative self-motivation?

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Let’s change that paradigm. What if you worked out and nourished your body with real, nutrient-dense foods because you loved yourself? What if you enjoyed movement and the occasional piece of cake without hating yourself afterwards for how your body jiggles and for enjoying that sugar? There is so much freedom in pursuing a healthier body and lifestyle when you’re doing it from a place of self-love. [And remember, accepting yourself and moving towards health aren’t mutually exclusive; you can do both at the same time!] Saying you embrace who you are doesn’t mean you’ll throw out all your healthy habits and eat a bag of chips; it means you’re not disciplining yourself to workout (or eat well or read your Bible or meditate, etc) but rather moving, eating, growing and¬†living from a place of love.

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Do you know that you are even delighted in and loved? Do you really believe it? And IF you believed it, how would that affect the way you workout, you think, you talk, you interact with others, you LIVE?

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Hey guys! Well, I’m breaking my internet silence and absence of a few days to share because I simply enjoy connecting with you in this space. Isn’t that neat? It’s a community – a small one, an online one, and one that serves me well as a place to process, share¬†and explore ideas – but a community nonetheless!¬†¬†Today I wanted to share some tips and tricks (no, not a “hack” – I’m done “hacking” my way through life!)¬†that are contributing to my health and invite you in to the conversation to share ways that you are living well. I am slowly¬†realizing that I enjoy writing about life in a broader sense because I’m so interested in pursuing balance and coaching others to live in such a way that facilitates, simply put, fuller life! I think I’m moving away from sharing my meals (which I never did much of and wasn’t very original with) and workouts (which will always be a part of this space) and stepping into how to live well. I want this to be a place of encouragement, motivation and growth for us and not just a place to share content that others are sharing in more complete ways.

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Bear with me as I explore the root of this shift… Perhaps it all stems from my favorite verse, John 10:10, “I [Jesus] came that you may have life and have it to the full!” I’ve always been about “full life” ever since I started blogging about our cancer journey 8 years ago and it continues to fascinate and inspire me as I see so many others, with so much success, wealth, opportunity and connections living such dull, meaningless or negative lives. What about full life? Isn’t there something more? I thought about this the other morning while driving to work. We live near the Alpha House, a half-way house of sorts that is a place for people to come down off their high, and we often see people passed out or stumbling along in our neighborhood. It’s hard to see and hard to know how to help; the food I’ve often offered is passed over in favor of beer or money so sometimes I feel like my hands are tied in terms of¬†helping in a tangible way.

So…back to the story. As I was driving, I saw a man sitting on the sidewalk with his legs crossed, and as I got closer I realized that in his hands was the face of another man, seated facing him. It was such a striking image to me of (likely) addiction, homelessness¬†and pain¬†and yet also of deep love, care¬†and community. These men understand the importance of community, of walking through life with one another, of loving others in a profound way because they rely on each other daily. That picture stuck with me all day and brought me back to a recent sermon I listened to by Tim Keller¬†called “Blessed Are the Poor.” The rich – or the middle class, comfortable folk like me – hear the gospel (literally, the “good news”) and aren’t always excited by it; why do we need a Savior? What am I really being saved from? But the poor…The poor hear the good news and they GET IT. They are given hope, given love, given acceptance and redemption which they so desperately need – the same things we need and are offered while simultaneously not seeing our need for them.

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Mikey and Misha – community in action at our recent Wellspring skating event!

Those guys sitting there at 6 am, one face resting in another’s hands, eyes locked and still, get this need for community. I wonder how much we get that, or sense our need for it? How often do we spend lost on the internet in communities that may¬†provide some connection but don’t necessarily fill us up, check in with us or care for us deeply?

These are some of things I’ve been pondering after taking a break from being online.

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Emails and texting with clients, yes, but no social media including Facebook (my biggest time waster), tweeting, blog reading and Instagram (my favorite). I’ve found myself wanting to pop online for no real reason at all or thinking, “I should snap a photo!” and then realizing I simply didn’t need to and found other things to do. I can honestly say I’ve wasted less time and haven’t felt disconnected from people. I am breaking this technology fast early because I feel like my reset button has already been set, and it feels great. I’ll be keeping Facebook¬†(and possibly Instagram?) off my phone and eliminating that opportunity to go online just for the sake of using up time. I’ve read my Bible more, connected with people for coffee, gone on more walks and even started a new book (for a non-reader, this is a big one for me!), and it feels great. I do use Facebook to connect with people for my business (both fitness-wise and with Wellspring as the young adult team lead for cancer programs), so I’ll hop back on for those purposes mainly and because it¬†IS a good way to stay connected, but I will have more parameters¬†on how long I allow myself to browse online, and that focus feels good!

So now that I’ll be limiting my online time, here are a few other ways I’m cultivating health in my daily life:

Relaxing about food. You’ll remember from my last blog post that I’m practicing If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM)¬†right now (Kindal has an awesome blog post about this if you want more info on what IIFYM¬†is and how it works!) and I’m relaxing how good real foods make me feel! I’ve also been reminded that I truly enjoy that once-a-week licorice snack I have Fridays or a glass of wine and piece of dark chocolate throughout the week. I’m not practicing IIFYM to lose weight (although I do want to reduce some bloat and feel stronger in the gym!) and am not practicing it as much as I am understanding my protein needs, not going overboard on fat and enjoying good carbohydrates. It’s more of an awareness thing and it’s working for me – and that, coupled with intermittent fasting (refer to last post), is allowing me to relax about my intake, enjoy life and be fueled primarily by healthy, voluminous foods! I like that. ūüôā

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Supplementing my diet. While a solid foundation is the main part of eating well (with real, whole foods), I also take a few supplements that do just that – supplement my diet. This includes a greens powder (right now it’s Amazing Grass’ gogi and acai berry flavor) for the day that I’m running around or don’t have vegetables in the fridge:

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Vitamin D (I DO live north in Canada, after all – all of us northerners¬†should be taking it!) and a fish oil (because I don’t get those Omega 3’s from fish 2x/week – it’s just not my favorite thing to eat or prepare!):

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And occasionally an additional supplement like SierraSil, which supports healthy cartilage, pulls heavy metals out of the body, and helps fight inflammation. I was sent this via my partnership with Social Nature, and it’s been great to incorporate into my routine.

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SierraSil¬†promises results in 14 days or your money back, so while you can’t tell taking it once or twice, you do feel a change over time with aches, pains and stiffness! This is especially great if you have joint pain, are training hard, and even for pets with problems!

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I’ve noticed quicker recovery in between workouts and a general sense of feeling good going from the gym to the backcountry for long ski days to the running trails. If this sounds like something you’d benefit from and want to give SierraSil a go,¬†click here¬†for 20% off on this product! And thanks to Social Nature, if you’re interested in looking at more products to help you #trynatural, check out this link for many other free sampling opportunities.

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Walking more. I’ve read (and told people!) for so long about the benefits of¬†walking. It’s the not-so-secret for weight loss (low intensity, do-anywhere, burns fat not muscle, good for your mind and emotions) but I’m often found home at night without having moved too much that day besides a short workout. Simply because it’s good for me, there’s so much research about it, and it’s relaxing, I’ve been getting out and waking more. To work, to the store for a few groceries, in between clients even if it’s for 20 minutes. I’ve had some amazing moments of worship and prayer times, watched the sunrise and sunset, chosen to walk rather than even do a weight workout for that day (many days lately, actually!) and been listening to some great podcasts. A few I’m enjoying these days:

Girls Gone Wod

Harder to Kill Radio

The Paleo Women Podcast

Timothy Keller

The Model Health Show

Serial 

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Seen on a recent walk; I took some time to kneel and pray and then look out over our city and enjoy the view and quiet.

Are you walking much? It offers¬†reductions in diabetes and heart disease, decreases in high blood pressure, increases in bone density, is good for cognitive function, helps alleviate symptoms of depression, improves fitness and physical function (source). ¬†It’s not a waste of time, is great to do with other people, is great alone time, and can be used for leisure or fitness. …go walk! ūüėČ

Not fighting myself. I’ve realized that I’m not a reader or book person as much as I desire to be. So, instead of fighting that and getting disappointed in myself, I listen to audio books, read on my phone (NOT Facebook any longer!), and listen to fun and educational podcasts (I like a mix of both). So now I go with it! Might as well make life easier for myself and set myself up for success!

Another way I do this is by buying pre-chopped foods like broccoli slaw or cauliflower heads. Little things like this go a long way in me being successful in the kitchen, so again, it’s about making life a little easier and setting myself up to do well. I make my coffee the night before, I do what can be done in 1 minute right then rather than procrastinate and keep the house tidy. Not necessarily clean, but tidy! ūüėČ I think better and live better in that space, and a few minutes here and there sure goes a long way.

Make time for people. From quick text messages to friends to let them know I’m praying for them to in-person coffee dates; from sitting and talking with Mikey at night BEFORE we watch a show to staying at the end of the day to talk with clients about what’s going on their lives, making time for people is something that contributes to my health and a better way of life for me. I know Tina just sent some “stay well” packages (such a neat idea!) to family and you can invite someone over for dinner. Being involved in a weekly group, like our small group (you know us as “Fat Tuesday!”) from church, is something that keeps us connected and, while often a struggle to get there weekly after full, busy days, is ALWAYS such a positive commitment in our lives because of the community. What’s one thing you can do to stay intentionally engaged with others in life?

Prioritize sleep. Man, is this ever important. There are resources aplenty about the value of sleep (Shawn Stevenson’s new book Sleep Smarter is one of them!) and all I can say is, don’t keep running on all cylinders. Your relationships will suffer, your brain won’t function as well, your energy will eventually run out, you might lose your sex drive, and your fat loss AND strength gaining goals will stall out.

At this moment, these are the things that come to mind in terms of living a healthier lifestyle. It starts with community, branches out to managing technology well, hits my food and movement (not even necessarily “working out”) and lands on sleep. There’s more to the list, sure (value of living a more-than-one-dimensional life, stepping out of your comfort zone, staying accountable to friends or a professional of some sort for your goals or life direction, not ignoring your spiritual life, etc), but this is a start!

What’s one thing you’ve done in the last while that’s made a difference in your health in some way? I’d love to hear what you would add to the list and please feel free to leave any links and discuss more in the comments below! And remember, if you’re looking to try some new products, join the Social Nature community and #trynatural for FREE! ūüėÄ

Live well & be well friends!

Bonnie

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