Get Into SPRING By Eating THIS!

With this past Sunday marking the beginning of Daylight Savings, I was reminded of how quickly spring is approaching. It’s practically here!

We’ve “all” been there. Where we’ve been happily covered up and cozy in our sweaters and jeans during the fall and winter months only to find ourselves feeling completely naked as soon as that first wave of warm weather hits and we realize that we are totally unprepared for the lighter attire of Spring. We find ourselves regretting our choice for late night ice cream over the early morning spin class we promised ourselves we’d show up for.

I get it.

I can tend to resist lugging myself and my gear to the gym on snowy, blowy, icy, cold days. It just feels sooooo goooood to lay in bed a little longer or bundle up under the covers and pretend that my body is fiiiiiine to go another day workout-free. “I’ll just do a reeeeallly good one tomorrow…”

But waiting until that first inkling of summer approaching to care of our bodies means we’ve missed out on the perfect opportunity in the colder months to get our sweat on! While exercise is about so much more than fitting into an outfit or seeing a number on a scale, it’s part of it. 

But one reason people resist exercise is that we see all the magazine covers and we hear our doctors telling us to exercise to lose weight, and yet, we often don’t see weight loss when we exercise, and so we become discouraged. I encourage you to exercise simply because your body loves it. Show yourself love by moving, and remove the pressure of losing weight. You may just find that you release excess weight as soon as you start enjoying exercise for the joy it brings rather than the weight it removes!

But the truth is exercise feels GOOD. Our bodies were designed to move! Research shows that exercise not only improves our physical health, but it improves our mental health, as well. It boosts our mood by the effect it has on our neurotransmitters and it has been shown to alleviate chronic depression by increasing serotonin. It can also help quell anxiety. So, if you’ve been feeling particularly anxious or blue and you’ve talked with your doctor about how you’re feeling, then grab those runners and get yourself to a class or a gym or your living room to do some simple moves. It might be exactly what you’ve needed to feel so much better.

But start slooooow.

In fact, if you’ve been avoiding exercise for a while, one of the MAIN reasons people stop exercising is because they injure themselves trying to do too much, too quick. Don’t try to push yourself too hard on Day 1 or else you may not make it to Day 2. Remember the mantra, “Progress, not perfection.” Don’t compare yourself to anyone else when you’re working out, either; you have no need to prove anything to anyone.

Personally, there are days where all I have time for is an at-home workout. If I want to focus on my arms, here is what I do:

I start with some jumping jacks (or you could try marching on the spot) and then, while my heart is pumping, I grab a set of 3 pound weights and do arm circles (with my arms extended out, I do small circles with the weights–you can also use NO weight if you are just getting started, and I don’t recommend anything higher than 3 pounds for these).

Then, I reverse directions.

I take a short break and start again with the jumping jacks and then I do bigger arm circles frontwards and backwards.

I do 3 rounds of the jumping jacks & arm circles and then I hit the floor for some triceps pushups (keeping my elbows glued to my sides) and you can feel free to stay on your knees or else challenge yourself to go from your toes.

Then, I finish out with 3-30-second planks. I squeeze EVERYTHING (my calves, thighs, abdominals, arms…). Feel free to work your way up to a minute if you can, but make sure your back isn’t getting sore. Perhaps start with 5, 10 or 15 second holds and work your way up.

Then, I grab some water, hit the shower and get on with my day! It can really be as simple as that.

Abs Are Made In The FRIDGE; Not The GYM!

But as awesome as exercise is for toning and tightening our bodies, improving our musculature and boosting our feel-good hormones, you’ve probably heard the saying that “abs are made in the refrigerator, not the gym”. And it’s true! While I exercise to feel good, I eat well to feel well–to maintain a healthy weight range, positive state of mind, and increased mobility. I eat well because I want to feel healthy; mentally, emotionally and physically.

That said, I get cravings, too!

When I first got sober, I would sit in front of the TV with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and a spoon. I never felt good after one of my nightly binges and yet I didn’t want to abandon sweet foods forever.

I love sweetness and cold, creamy treats just like everyone else. But if I want to feel my best, I have to limit store-bought ice cream to rare occurrences. It’s a decision I make and reinforce daily…through my habits.

So, here is my latest obsession because it makes me believe that Spring really IS around the corner and it fully satisfies even the worst ice cream craving. I hope you try it an enjoy!

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.

 

Raspberry Bliss Ice Cream

Why I Make This: I loooove ice cream. It is cold, sweet and oh-so-tasty. But the parlour kinds are typically loaded with refined sugar that make me feel sluggish after eating. I can enjoy this one a few times a week and still feel great! The bananas add creaminess but only mild flavour as the raspberries steal the show in this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup milk of choice (I like home-made or store bought vanilla almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk or you can use organic cow’s milk. You could also use water, it will just be more sorbet-like.)

2 cups frozen organic raspberries (I buy them at Costco or else buy in the summer and freeze)

2 ripe bananas, sliced into coins and frozen overnight

Pinch of Himalayan salt

DIRECTIONS

In a high speed blender, add the milk, berries, bananas and salt.

Using a tamper, keep pulsing the blender and tamping down the fruit until everything is blending and incorporating.

Scoop the ice cream into a freezer-safe container.

You can enjoy it as soft-serve right away or else freeze for a few hours to make it firm.

Scoop, serve and enjoy!

If you freeze it overnight, you will need to place it in the fridge (or on the counter) to thaw a bit before serving.

P.S. For garnish, if you have them, use a few fresh raspberries....heaven!

 

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P.P.P.S. Speaking of brains and bodies, on April 21 & 22, 2018, Roger and I, along with our team, are hosting The Healthy Brain and Body Show in Ottawa for a second year. We are so excited to bring this show back even bigger and better! We would love to see you there as an attendee, where we have so much we want to share with you. We can't wait to explore, connect, learn and shop at the show WITH you! Please say hello if you come. Roger and I will both be there the entire weekend. It would be a thrill to meet you. 🙂

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