Chill Out and Have Some Fun!

The holidays can be really stressful with fighting crowds in the mall, battling the bulge of the waistline, making sure you bought the perfect gift and making sure that you didn’t forget about anyone special. Yes all of those things are really stressful, and they can make you want to pull your hair out (or have a temper tantrum in the middle of the mall).

*Is this what you want?? Nobody wants this reaction when they ask for some holiday cheer!! Check out the link. 

We all know the holidays are supposed to a time for fun, but it is sooo easy to get wrapped up in the stress of exams, gift buying, decorating etc. Remember when you were a kid and you thought there were monsters in your closet? Well do you remember how you didn’t want to admit it to anyone, because you thought you were the only kid in school who was afraid of the dark?

Not saying that we are all afraid of the holidays (well some of us might be), but it is refreshing to know that WE AREN’T ALONE! Seriously though everyone feels that way!

So why am I telling you this? You can stop thinking ‘Okay thanks Karlee for pointing out that the holidays are stressful… We clearly knew that already!’ Well this is me speaking out to remind all of you to have some fun today!

Ya you might have nine hundred things on your to-do list, you might be trying to cram for your last exam, or you might be trying to get your kids ready for the last week of school… but seriously I DARE YOU to take some time for yourself today and do something that you LOVE. It is easy to get caught up in the holiday rush and forget about the things that make you happy.

Today I am going to do something for myself. No I am not going to shred my to-do list and pretend like I don’t have to study, clean my room, or pack for home.  I am still going to get all of that done, but I am also going to go to the gym, watch an episode of my favorite tv show, and maybe even take a few minutes to dance around to Christmas music (okay fine I already did that today).

Stop stressing about the holidays! This is supposed to be a time to enjoy the company of friends and family, not a time to be angry with the world. Everyone has something they want to do, but can’t because they don’t have the time, money or energy. Today is your day to do whatever that thing is!

-Karlee

Questions for you guys to answer. We wanna get to know our readers!

What is your favourite holiday tradition? What is one thing you wish you had more time for during this busy time?

Glisten, Glow and Gallop into 2012

Ringing in the 2012 New Year has a different meaning for everyone – some people like to forget about all of the bad choices they made in 2011, some are looking forward to a fresh start in 2012, many people make a thorough list of resolutions and goals, and many want to continue on the healthy lifestyle train. If you aren’t quite where you thought you would be at the end of 2011, don’t fret! You still have time to jump on board the train! Still figuring out how to make healthy choices (especially fitness) fun? Well what is better than sweating it out with your favorite people?? If you will be in Vancouver on December 31st, then I encourage you to join me on the 1st Annual ‘Glisten, Glow and Gallop’! What is the mighty GGG? Well my friends, we are all going to partake in a little fun 5km adventure around Mundy Park in Coquitlam.

My goal of the event is to connect with my family and friends through one of my favorite activities: SWEATING! We will start the morning off by meeting, as a group, where we can assemble walking groups, racing buddies or running companions. Next we will all power through the 5km by walking, prancing, running, jogging, skipping, or dancing. After sweating it up, we will gather our endorphin-surged bodies for one final hoorah in the parking lot – who doesn’t love a good tail gate partay! I am still working out the details, but I am thinking delicious goodies, hot dranks, smiles, hugs and laughter. (Ok who is bringing the beer?)

Now can you think of a better way to finish off 2011? Why wait until January 1st to start healthy behaviors. Start 2012 off on the right foot, and do something good for your body, mind and soul. I know many of you won’t be able to trek to Coquitlam for the event, but I hope that you still find a way to get sweaty with your family or friends. Every day is a chance to Glisten, Glow and Gallop!

Who says that making healthy choices can’t be fun? Well definitely not this girl! I hope you all join me in making the last day of 2011 a happy and healthy one.

-Karlee

P.S. The tentative plan is to meet at Mundy Park on December 31 at 930am and to start sweating at 10am. Stay tuned for more information, as we are still ironing out the final details.

Getting in the Healthy Eating Groove

Open a magazine, read a book, surf the web, walk by a bus stop, or walk through a store – what do you see? Research tells us that the average consumer is exposed to
more than 600 advertising messages a day in one form or another. With so many of them are dedicated towards diet and lifestyle, shouldn’t Canadians be fit and healthy? Well the issue is that many of these ‘health promoting’ advertisements aren’t actually health promoting at all. The combination of crash diets and long stressful days have encouraged many of us to live off processed packaged foods. If you have a few minutes I highly suggest you read Meghan’s article on healthwashing – she explains what it is and also provides some tips on how to avoid being sucked in!

http://meghantelpnerblog.com/2011/08/10/healthwashing-makes-me-feel-dirty-10-tips-to-avoid-the-trap/

I could go on for hours about healthwashing and how it can turn innocent consumers into carb craving, aspartame stuffed slugs (well not really, but you get the point).

With all the contradictory nutrition information out there, how are we supposed to figure out what to eat? Well my first suggestion is going back to basics – stop eating things that your gramma wouldn’t recognize (hello dunkaroos, cheez whiz and microwave meals). Well actually before you do anything, take a gander at ‘Karlee’s Vegan Survival Guide’. No I am not trying to make everyone vegan, but by eating a plant-based diet you will inadvertently cut out many processed foods – sugar free flavored yogurts, cheese-strings, granola bars, and cereal to name a few. Eating a plant-based diet will also force you to go back to basics, because you will have to make most of your meals at home.

Recently a lot of people have been asking me “what do you eat”, “are you a vegan” and “why are you so damn good looking?” Well they mostly asked me the first two questions, but in my head people ask me the latter all the time. So for all of you wondering, no I am not a vegan. Do I want to be? No. Personally I don’t like labeling myself based on my eating patterns. I consume mostly a plant-based diet, and I eat small amounts of goat dairy, eggs, fish and chicken. My body doesn’t agree with cow dairy (if you know what I’m sayin), but sometimes when I am feeling naughty I eat some ice cream or cake :P (shhhh don’t tell). I love the taste fresh fruits and vegetables, but most importantly I love the way they make be feel! My transition towards eating an unprocessed diet has been a long journey, and it definitely has not been easy. Although I am still learning what foods my body likes and doesn’t like, I have solidified some pretty solid eating habits.

So should you eat low carb, high protein, low fat? How about you just try to find a nice balance between them? Start by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, then work on eliminating processed foods and soon enough I will be coming to YOU for nutrition advice ☺ You want to eat in a way that you can sustain for the rest of your life! I like to call it the ‘eat good, feel good diet’ … If you eat good foods, then your body will feel good too.

Your homework? Stop eating trans-fats and genetically modified foods and slowly try to decrease your intake of added sugars, preservatives and chemicals. Your body might still crave these foods, but soon enough your body catch up! Once you adjust to eating more unprocessed, natural, whole foods you will NEVER want to go back to the Kraft Dinner and Coca-Cola diet!!!! (well maybe at 3am after too many wobbly-pops, but I will save that for another post).

Karlee