I Eat Chocolate Everyday

I don’t ignore my sweet-tooth, I embrace it…..on a regular basis. I each chocolate probably every day. I’m not kidding. I tell people this, and they look at me like I’m crazy. How can I eat chocolate every day and still be “lean” or “fit” and not “fat”. Body composition is math. If you eat the amount of calories your body needs, then you won’t gain weight. If you eat less, you’ll lose weight, if you eat more, you’ll gain. Simple. Because chocolate is deemed as “unhealthy” people automatically assume that you cannot eat it without getting “fat” or feeling guilty. I understand where this mindset comes from. I honestly used to deprive myself of sweets and I went crazy. I would refrain from any kind of craving and then once I gave in, I would get a large DQ Blizzard and then feel bad. I thought I ruined my progress and would regret the choice all together.

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Since then, I have learned to embrace my sweet-tooth everyday. By doing this I no longer EVER crave that DQ Blizzard, or feel like I need to binge on 75 cookies (okay I’m exaggerating, but you get the point). I’m not saying that eating chocolate is the healthiest choice every day, but I am saying that one portion of chocolate is not going to kill you. I would rather eat my “treats” everyday than deprive myself and feel the need to indulge like crazy. With that being said, I’m NOT saying that having a DQ Blizzard (or any kind of treat), is bad in moderation. And I’m also not saying that I personally don’t ever go get ice cream (or whatever), because I do. But my point is, that if you eat balanced and in moderation, you should be able to go to a buffet and be able to resist the temptation to eat every single thing on display (then feel like crap after). It’s called eating intuitively.

I know myself, I know what I crave.ย  I let myself have these “treats” because I know that I fuel my body with mostly nutrient-dense foods throughout the day. I also make sure not to let myself go super hunger, because that increases the chance of devouring that bag of not-so good cookies, or that container of ice cream that my mom hides in the back of the fridge ๐Ÿ˜‰

Health, fitness and happiness takes work, takes practice, takes research and experimentation. Everyone is different. We all find various approaches to what works for us, for our personal goals and for what makes us happy. Sometimes you need to take a step back and evaluate what you’re doing, decide to make a change and then test it out. What you put into your body directly affects how you feel from the inside out.

My Workout Routine

“What does your workout routine look like?” – another question people constantly ask me. If I could answer this question with one word, I would use variety. I don’t think I have ever done the same workout twice. I constantly change my workouts to keep my body guessing, to keep myself motivated and because I get bored really easily. Also, it’s important to change your workout because your body will get used to the same routines over and over.ย  I never ever dread doing a workout because I do things I enjoy and find fitness and exercises fun and empowering. To be honest, if I didn’t like training, I probably wouldn’t do it. My workouts consist of weight training, HIIT, Pilates and yoga.

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Weight Training

I typically do weight training every other day and I do this at the gym. I started off doing full body workouts to build up strength because I wasn’t strong enough to do a full workout that just focused on 1-2 muscle groups. Once I got stronger I started splitting my days into back + triceps, shoulders + biceps, and legs. (Or something of the sort). Currently I still do that, or sometimes I do a full body strength workout. I honestly just decide what I’m doing the day before, write it all out in advance so I go to the gym and know exactly what exercises and sets/reps I am doing. I don’t like wasting time and I like moving quickly from one exercise to the next. This keeps my heart rate up and my body moving. Also, when I first started strength training I had a trainer set up a program for me. She went through every exercise with me to ensure I knew how to perform them properly. I highly suggest this if you are a beginner because there is nothing worse than going to the gym and not knowing what you are doing. Use your resources and don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s the only way you can improve.

HIIT

High intensity interval training. This is alternating periods of intense anaerobic exercises paired with less intense recovery periods. I love love love HIIT. This burns fat like crazy (more than steady-rate cardio) because it increases your RMR (resting metabolic rate), which means you burn more calories AFTER your workout. I honestly get a high from doing this. I incorporate high intense moves such as burpees, kettle bell swings, squat jumps, skipping, plank jacks, sprints, battle ropes and the list goes on. I would do these exercises for 1 minutes, and then recover with a less intense exercise, which is usually a core/ab focus. For example, weighted crunches, hip twist butt-ups, bicycle crunches, planks, side plank dips and again, the list goes on. I typically make up circuits with 2-3 exercises, perform them for 1-2 minutes each and do the circuit 3 times. I pair different circuits together to make up a 30-45 minutes workout and then I usually end my workout with 10-15 minutes focusing on just core. I have found amazing results with this technique. I personally hate steady-rate cardio. My only workouts used to be the treadmill and I hated it. I didn’t see results I wanted and it was the worst hour of my life (lol). HIIT keeps me engaged mentally the entire time, I focus entirely on the exercises and this is when I found the definition and strength I wanted in my core.

Pilates & Yoga

I started doing Pilates when I first began my fitness journey. It helped me gain so much strength, flexibility and control. I learned how the mind controls the body and I also learned the importance of controlling movements instead of rushing through them. I love Pilates workouts that move up and down on the mat, including standing exercises, plank exercises and of course, mat work. Pilates is no joke. It takes extreme stamina and body strength. I find it so empowering that you can use your own body weight to change and shape your body however you want. I am currently practicing to become a Certified Pilates Instructor, and I can guarantee that my classes will be a lot of “up and down” movements that will make you break a sweat, gain strength and get a killer core.

I only recently started doing Yoga and I have absolutely fell in love with it. I am currently doing Hot Power Flow yoga about 2 times a week. This is an extremely intense style of yoga because you are constantly moving non-stop, going through a series of power movements that use your entire body and also, you’re in a 40 degree room. I have never sweat so much in my entire life. It is literally the best feeling in the world. This type of yoga has allowed me to gain a crazy amount of lower body strength, helped me stretch and gain more flexibility and it’s 100% a mental exercise as well as a physical one. It’s the definition of empowering and I highly recommend trying it!

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My favourite post-workout snack is obviously a Quest Bar. If I’m at home I usually broil them because they are delicious broiled, but still just as good eaten as they are right out of the wrapper. You can buy them by clicking this link. You also get a free bar with your purchase ๐Ÿ™‚ Check out recipe posts for ideas on how to add Quest Bars to make delicious recipes!

 

White Chocolate Raspberry Questbar Protein Cheesecakes

Haven’t made aย Questbar recipe in a while! Do you ever just sit and dream up all the possibilities that can be made from Questbars? I do. This time I decided I wanted to make something with a fruity bar instead of a chocolate/peanut butter flavor (my favourite). Theย White Chocolate Raspberry Questbar is one of my favorites! Especially heated up – that white chocolate gets all warm and gooey and delicious. Omg so good. I always wanted to try a version of a cheesecake recipe, so this is what I did!

Ingredients

  • 1 White Chocolate Raspberry Questbar (You can use any Qubestbar)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tbsp cottage cheese
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp protein powder of choice

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Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 and spray 2 muffin tins
  • Microwave Questbar for 10 seconds and then cut in half
  • Mold Questbar halves into each tin
  • Blend all other ingredients together and pour into each mold (I had extra leftover because I wasn’t sure how much would fit into the molds, so you can probably use less yogurt/cottage cheese)
  • Bake for ~20 minutes

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Macros (For entire recipe)

Calories: 265

Carbs: 26g

Fat: 9g

Protein: 35g

Buy Questbars to make recipes like this here! (You also get a free bar with your purchase :))

 

Quick Nutrition Tips

Happy Monday! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love Monday, do you love Monday? New day. New week. New goals. New attitude. Happiness all around.

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I thought I’d share a few of my nutrition tips that have worked for me over my health/fitness journey! People always ask how to eat and it’s honestly so difficult to answer. I feel like sometimes people expect a secret answer, but in all honesty – eating healthy for me means eating balanced and a variety of foods. I eat foods I enjoy, that fuel and give me energy and make me happy. I’m not going to tell people what to eat and what not to eat because I believe all food can and should be enjoyed (in moderation)

1. Water for days!

Water water water. Drink it up. Flavor it with fresh fruits and vegetables. Lemons, limes, mint leaves, cucumbers, berries – the options are endless! Water is so good for you – it keeps you hydrated, it keeps you full, it flushes out your system. A lot of people are dehydrated and they don’t even know it. Also, people tend to mix up hunger with thirst. Keeping a bottle of water with you at all times is a great technique to make sure you are drinking lots throughout the day. Replace the sugary juices, sodas and highly carbonated caffeine drinks with water and not only will your digestive systems thank you, but so will your skin!

2. Say goodbye to microwave meals

When I was in university it was so easy to buy 2-minute microwaveable meals. Heck, they were advertised as “healthy”, low-calorie, cheap, quick and easy to make! Sounded great to me. But, when I actually took the time to look at the Nutrition Label and evaluate the ingredients, this option was not so good. These meals are small portions, so yeah they are maybe 200 calories – but they didn’t keep me full. Also, the sodium content was out-of-the-roof. Now, I cannot recall the last time I had a microwaveable meal. You can still prepare meals that are cheap, quick and easy without resorting to highly processed meals that basically taste like plastic.

3. Don’t be afraid to try new foods

Almonds, sweet potatoes, fish, oatmeal, yogurt, apples. Just to name a few of the foods that I only started eating in the last couple of years. Before, I would say no to sweet potatoes just because they were orange (LOL). I didn’t try certain foods for no reason. Since then, I realized there are some absolutely delicious foods out there that are healthy! Imagine that. Seriously, just try things. You might find a new favourite food! Also, this makes it easier to say goodbye to some of the not-so-good foods you eat on a regular basis. I used to eat ice cream after school every day. Now, I hardly crave ice cream because I can satisfy my sweet tooth using various healthier options (take a look at my recipes :))

4. Don’t deprive yourself

This is probably the worst thing you can do. Makes sense, if I eat breakfast and then don’t eat all day then I’ll lose weight. Wrong. You’ll get home and you’ll be so starving that you will eat your entire kitchen plus half of Africa. Seriously though, if you eat healthy snacks throughout the day then you won’t come home and binge (on probably junk food) at night. Bring snacks with you to work, to school, out shopping to ensure you always have something to eat when you get hungry. You’re less likely to indulge in something you really don’t need.

These are just a few tips/tricks that have worked for me. Making small changes will result into bigger changes in the future. I promise. I’m a living example.

Thoughts? What other issues do you guys find difficult to change?

๐Ÿ™‚ โค