20 Health Questions!

Yay for surveys! I found this on two of my favourite blogs, Amanda’s and Irina’s! And yes, I’ll be honest, I tend to stalk  peruse many blogs without commenting. I just feel like my blog is such a baby right now and I don’t want to reveal it to the world until I’m proud of it. Wow. That sounded lame pathetic weird my version of normal. Let’s get to the point of this post now, shall we?

1. What did you eat for breakfast? My new OBSESSION is 2% cottage cheese. I used to eat the fat-free kind, and let me tell you one thing, that stuff just does not compare. So I had to have that this morning, a long with a piece of rye toast with peanut butter. I was still hungry after that, so I followed it up with a random craving of snap peas and cantaloupe. Weird combination? Maybe. Hit the spot? Absolutely.

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 I wish I could say I was as adventurous as this picture, but alas. I rarely, if ever top my toast with anything but peanut butter. I’m just too loyal, I guess 😉

2. How much water do you drink a day? It honestly varies day to day. I wish I could say I was a star and had at least 10 cups a day, but that would be a lie 😦 I do have days like that, but I also have days where I’m lucky to get three. It all depends. 

3. What is your current favourite workout? Running. RUNNING. Did I say running? I have this tiny dream in the back of my head to run a half-marathon, so I’m just trying to stay in shape in case that dream ever manifests into reality. 

4. How many calories do you eat a day? I’m wishing I had lots of different answers to these questions. Ideally, I’d tell you I have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER and that counting calories is totally bogus and I’d rather eat pickled eggs than do it. And while the last two are true, unfortunately the first is not. I’m in the healing process from some disordered eating, and rigidly tracking my calories is a bit of an obsession at this point. HOWEVER, I have not added up anything yet today and it is already 5:26pm so I consider that a serious victory. I’m aiming for about 1500/day at this point, with the plan to work up to around 2000, considering I’m a moderately active growing teenager.

5. What are some of your favourite healthy snacks? Apples and peanut butter, smoothies (SMOOTHIES!) and baby carrots with hummus 🙂 Most of my snacks tend to turn into mini-meals, however, since I hate having big meals and prefer to snack all day long. I mean, come on. Who doesn’t want to eat every hour of the day? 

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 I am in a bit of a rut with my snacks though, and need to try these STAT. Yes, I live in Canada. I love my country but…. don’t remind me 😦

6. What do you usually eat for lunch? The life of a teenager involves lunch at school. And although sooooooo many of my friends buy the massive plates of alfredo from the cafeteria, I bring my own lunch every day. It’s usually a chicken & tzatziki salad with greek yogurt on the side, but sometimes I’m a rebel and have a sandwich.

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 I’ll have whatever he’s having.

7. What is your favourite body part to strength train? My heart ❤ But I’m actually serious, both figuratively and literally. I LOVE to run, and that is my preferred exercise 99% of the time. I don’t do anywhere near enough strength training, but if I did, I would probably  say arms because I can use light weights and be wimpy 😉 

8. What is your least favourite body part to strength train? Finally, my type of question! All of them! I know I should do more, and it’s very important to health, but i just hate it so much… Help?

9. What are your “bad” food cravings? Please don’t hate me for saying this, but I don’t really get junk food cravings. I think that just comes with eating healthy for a significant period of time. However, on the rare occasion I do, a Starbucks frappuccino makes me pretty dreamy. 

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 Summer, please hurry the HECK up. Oh that’s right, I live in Canada. Sorry, I’ll come back in August for spring, summer and fall. In one month. Because winter is literally 11 months of the year here 😦 Anyone in California want to adopt me? ❤

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements? Nope! Vitamin D would probably be a good idea, and I don’t really know why I don’t. Actually, let’s be honest, I totally do. I’m just really lazy.

11. How often do you eat out? Stemming from my issues with disordered eating, I literally NEVER eat out. It causes me pretty bad anxiety and I tend to avoid it like the plague. Something to work on, I suppose.

12. Do you eat fast food? Again, nope. But this time, not because I’m scared, because i just really don’t want to. Way before I had any remote issues with food and was eating a chocolate bar every day at lunch, I despised fast food. It made me sick to my stomach and held absolutely no appeal. And I have no need to change that. 

13. Who is your biggest supporter? My mom, hands down. We’ve been through a seriously difficult three years together, and she has been there for me every single second of the way. It may not be normal for a teenager to spend so much time with her mom (and like it) but, since we’ve already established I’m far from normal, we’re all good. 

14. Do you have a gym membership? Only for 2 more days! It expires on April 26, and then I will never have one again! I only got it during the winter so I could keep my sanity by running on the treadmill, but thank GOD that is no longer nessecary. Nothing compares to trail runs, nothing.

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? At least 8. This is something I am completely adamant about because I cannot function on too little sleep. I consistently don’t do homework so that I can get to bed at a reasonable time. This might seem counterproductive, but honestly, if I were up late studying I would probably do worse on an exam than if I had just studied less and slept. So I get 8 pretty much daily. I have an inability to sleep past 9am, so by midnight on the weekends I’m dead to the world. 10 on weeknights 😉

16. Do you have a cheat day? No, but I want to! This and eating out are two goals I have for myself. Someday 🙂

17. Do you drink alcohol? NO. I am sixteen and underage and do not feel the need to risk my university acceptance, job prospects and ability to travel out of the country to get wasted. That is all.

18. Do you have a workout buddy? Yet another question I wish I had a different answer to. None of my friends are remotely similar to me in terms of caring about health. Two of my best girlfriends consistently eat a pizza for dinner and waffles for dessert, and the other two are “allergic” to running. I have gone running with my friend Jason before though, and that was nice. He’s not a regular, though 😦

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle? Copout answer, but everything. I feel better about myself, don’t feel weighed down by food, and have positive goals to aspire to. It’s just SO GOOD. 

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Please, for me? 

20. What was the last healthy thing you did? Wrote this post! I adore writing, and it’s therapeutic to me. I’m a huge believer in a healthy body and a healthy soul. ❤

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The Motivation Complex

Ah, motivation. Something I think every single human being struggles with from time to time, and most definitely with exercise. Through my experience as a highly competitive athlete (Yes, I’m only 16), I have learned LOTS of ways to trick yourself into getting the job done. When I was skiing, I was training all weekend, every weekend, and I had to fit all of my schoolwork, cross training and extracurriculars into four weekdays. Talk about stress. The absolute LAST thing I felt like doing after getting home with four exams the next day was go for a run. But because I had a goal, I found ways to make myself do it. And now, I want to share them! 🙂

So if this is you, read on. (Because it has certainly been me)

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1. Think of how you will feel in 30 minutes. No, this isn’t the #1 tip you’ve read in every single magazine since the end of time, telling you about all the wonderful endorphins and satisfaction you get after finishing a workout. Although that’s totally, 100% accurate, I’m referring to you making a comparison. You’re sitting on a couch/bed/chair/monkey right now, yes? So, you could either throw on some shorts and running shoes, go for a quick X mile jog, and come back in 30/60/180 minutes feeling like a million bucks. OR, you could watch a couple YouTube videos and read 2 more blog posts. What I’m trying to get at, is the fact that that time will pass regardless of if you work out or not, and it’s up to you to make the most of that time.

2. Think about your WHY. I learned this from the Jillian Michaels show that I went to! You need a real, honest reason as to why you are working out/eating right/you get my idea with slashes. If it truly is because you are desperate to lose those last 5 pounds, then great! But it’s usually deeper than that. For me, I run because I no longer play on a sports team or participate in a competitive atmosphere. I need something like running to give me a goal and to feel good about myself. If i didn’t have something to be working on, improving upon, I think I could start a downward spiral very quickly. 

3. Compare your life with and without exercise. This is similar to my first point, but more broad. Yes, you could continue relaxing on your butt right now, and feel more comfortable than if you were on a treadmill. But in the long run, staying active and feeling fit and good about yourself is far more comfortable. The pain of feeling uncomfortable in your own skin far outweighs the pain of exercise.

4. Make it work for you. It’s true what you’ve heard. Training for a marathon to get in shape if you despise running will never ever work. It just won’t. Do something that you genuinely enjoy, or at least genuinely enjoy how it makes you feel. (Because let’s get real, nobody actually likes elliptical-ing.) If you hate traditional exercise, go for a scenic bike ride. If you feel like a tool doing squats and lunges, take up yoga. I know this is all pretty standard information, but it’s just so true that I couldn’t not include it. Do what makes you happy, THAT is how you will be able to stick with it.

5. Be happy with yourself. If your only motivation to get fit is because you hate yourself now, I’m begging you: Please, PLEASE, just stop. Losing weight does not make you happy, nor will it make you love yourself. Believe me when I tell you I have been there. If you love your body now, you will want to nourish it and exercise it the way it needs. However it needs, because each and every individual is different. If you want to establish a good routine, do it because you want to do something wonderful for yourself and your body, not as a punishment or ANYTHING along those lines.

Those are what I’ve got for you today 🙂 I know a couple of them are pretty standard, but sometimes universal truths are the most important ones out there. Just remember that you (yes you) are beautiful, deserving, and worth it, and you are GOLDEN.

Peace out, my cheese-loving friends.

Boston.

As I’m sure everyone is aware by now, there were three explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon yesterday. Three dead & over 140 injured, if I am not mistaken.

I’ve been mulling over this post for two days now, not wanting to say the wrong thing or appear insensitive. But the fact is, when a tragedy like this occurred, every word said is the wrong thing to say. Because it never should have happened in the first place.

It makes me physically sick to think of how people can do something like this. How they can knowingly end a life. There was an eight year old boy who, just two days ago, had his whole life ahead of him. He would have graduated high school, fell in love, and experienced life. And then, in an instant, it was all taken from him. 

I think the worst part of it all is feeling helpless. Yes, people have been phenomenal with blood and monetary donations. But none of that will bring back those who lost their lives and those who now must continue on without a limb. 

I’m not exactly sure what the point of this post is. I absolutely wanted to recognize what occurred, but I suppose I also just needed to find a way to coherently organize my thoughts, and writing is the best way for me to do that.

I’m sorry so many of these posts have been serious and totally uninteresting. I don’t have an established blog, and if there is even anyone reading it right now, I’m pretty sure they don’t care about me. I totally don’t mind at all. But like I said in my second post, I don’t have rules about what I do or don’t post. I’m just here, finding my way like the rest of the world.

I hope reading this gave you a little something to mull over, or that it caused you send some prayers to Bostonians and people around the world. Regardless, all we can do at this point is truly cherish the people we love, because we never know when they will be taken away from us.

God bless. 

Forgive me? I’ll Bribe You.

I wasn’t planning to do this. Give in so quickly. But between moving, a huge IB English project, and my online class ALL at the end of the month, I knew something had to give.

I wanted to have a great recipe to post today, since I have literally had negative free time this week to do anything, let alone blog. I was feeling guilty, but also like a genius. I was baking up a storm! I substituted stevia for sugar, added fruit and flax seed and had essentially created 100% good for you VEGAN muffins. They should have been delicious. Except…

I forgot the baking powder. And the salt. And I stirred waaaaaaay too much. The end result? Uncooked after an hour, gluey hockey pucks. I was very upset. I’m sure that you can tell from my choppy sentences that this has not been easy for me to get over.

But, I know that I have to somehow. And what better way to make yourself feel better than fill your house with the wafting aromas of pumpkin and cinnamon? Perhaps if you added some rock cakes and ice lemon lollies you would find yourself somewhere very different… Anyone who gets that without thinking about it gets a free muffin from me. Speaking of muffins, here is your recipe! I must not blabber. I must not tell blabber. I must not tell lies.

The ComaInducingMostAmazingMuffinsEVER…

  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Combine the flour, baking power, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar, then mix in the raisins. Do that in a large-ish bowl. In a smaller one, beat together the egg, milk, pumpkin and oil. Pour this into the dry mixture and beat until you get a just combined, lumpy mixture. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes! Then die of happiness when they enter your mouth.

This month’s recipe is not very healthy. Or Spring-like. So with my most sincere apologies, I beg your forgiveness. And I PROMISE a wonderful healthified Spring recipe VERY SOON 🙂

Happy Saturday!

Maximize Your Life.

Oh. My. God.

There are literally no words to explain HOW EXCITED I am over what just happened last night. By the title, you may or may not already know what I am talking about.

I saw Jillian Michaels. That’s right, in the flesh. I swear to you the moment she came out for the first time, I was hyperventilating. In the non-creepiest way possible, I’ve been obsessed with her for ever. I only watch the Biggest Loser when she is on it, I buy every magazine she’s on the cover of, and I know what she has for breakfast every day. Yeah. (It’s two ezekiel english muffins with almond butter, by the way.)

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Blurry iPhone pic, ftw (Taken from standing in the middle of the aisle)

My point is, I’m a huge fan. And when I found out about her tour, I just assumed that she wasn’t coming to my city. Nobody comes to my city 😉 But the day before her show, I found out through twitter that she WAS coming! And so the heart attacks and seizures began, frantically attempting to get last minute tickets.

And boy, did I get them. Front row. Sure, we were off to the side, but there were moments when she was less than 5 feet away from me, and that was completely priceless.

Now, I  want to talk a little about what her show was actually about. She did talk about nutrition and fitness, and it of course was very logical and enlightening. She recommends a diet of 40/30/30 (protein/carbs/fat), with no starches at dinner so as not to mess up your HGH hormones while asleep. HOWEVER, she didn’t act like it was necessary to stick to this exact ratio or we would all be fat. She has two kids, she gets that life is busy and people don’t have the time to calculate all that out. What was more captivating than the first half of her show, the diet/exercise portion, was when she talked about the WHY.

What is the WHY, you ask? It is WHY you are doing what you are doing. She was saying how when the Biggest Loser contestants get to the ranch, she gets them to figure out a good, solid reason that they are there, because that place is literally hell on earth. (Her words, not mine.) We need a why for our nutrition and fitness routines, yes, but also for our everyday lives. Now, I’m not going to divulge too much information seeing as it’s probably copyrighted and I would rather not be arrested, but just think about that. Why are you doing something? Does it have a purpose, a reason? Answer it, and respond accordingly.

This night was probably one of the best nights of my life for a few reasons. One, I’m only 16 so I don’t actually have a ton of truly life-altering experiences, and this was definitely one of them. I honestly feel like a different person. Truthfully, I went through a bit of a rough time this year, and I was starting to feel extremely lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, or where I wanted to go. I’m not saying that I magically do now. Of course not. But now, I feel like I deserve even my biggest dreams, and I have the motivation to go out and get them.

I do apologize for having two semi-deep posts in a row. I promise the next one will be more fun! I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to post about this experience 🙂

Hope you all have a maximized Monday! (Yep, I just said that)

Well, Long Time No See

I’m honestly embarrassed.

I thought when I started this blog that I would be super gung-ho and have new, exciting posts up every day and life would be a gem. Alas, that has clearly not been the case.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I haven’t wanted to post. Believe me, every single day I’ve been wracking my brain for something original to write. A week later, nada. I don’t want this blog to be just another “healthy living” blog, nor do I want it to be one that only updates once a week. I’ve been reading other health and running blogs for so long, and I’ve just been itching to start my own!

So, eventually I decided I would just write what came to mind. Hopefully, most of the time it is interesting and doesn’t bore you to tears, but one thing is for certain. It will be mine. I think the reason I’ve been having so much trouble coming up with ideas is because I’ve been trying to fit into the mold of the typical healthy living blogger. The truth is, I don’t run 8 miles every day and I despise overnight oats.

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They were as awful as they look. Maybe I did something wrong? I used:

1/3 cup Quaker large flake oats

2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

3 large, chopped strawberries

1 tbsp chia seeds

Maybe someone can give me some help? I’m really intrigued by the idea of making them in leftover nut butter jars, but both our peanut and almond butter still have a ways to go 😦

Anyway, back to the point. I am going to be posting regularly from now on (yay!) but I truthfully have absolutely no idea about what. I don’t know if it will be awful or captivating, (let’s just really hope for the latter) but I’m still excited nonetheless!

Let the 74th annual blogging attempt, BEGIN. (Yes, I did just do that.)

-Emma 🙂