It’s been a while

university: more than just academically educating
signs on doors are often of great value
It was my first day of classes and – without any real regard – I walked into the class written on my weekly schedule. The professor had been incredibly late, while I had been incredibly early. After about ten minutes, the prof decided it was time to show up. Apparently she was unaware of how far her office was from the classroom.Tardiness is unacceptable.
Regardless, after about two-three minutes into the lecture and a whole bunch of words I didn’t know, I turned to the girl on my right and sheepishly asked, ‘is this Research Methods in Psychology?’
The girl looked at me, puzzled, and replied: ‘No. No, this is taxonomy’.
First of all, I don’t know what ‘taxonomy’ is, but if ‘tax’ and/or ‘taxes’ are involved, one can assume business and/or money is also involved and therefore a one Ms. Caitlyn Mearns needs to get out. So, quietly, I walked out with absolutely no idea as to where I was suppose to be.
Turns out, another building completely.
So, consequently, I boogied my ass right over to the right building and meandered about to find the right class, which by this point was already well on its way. Which, I’ll have you know is no walk in the park  (no pun, intended) considering womem of my age group seem to deem it completely reasonable to wear heals that are way too high for them, causing them to not only walk awkwardly, but slowly. Yeah, I have no time girls. You’re going to Mathematics, not Milan.
But, I digress.
I reached my destination, hoping to find that it was a large class, that allowed me to sneak in unnoticed. Nope. It was actually quite small, housing – at most – 20 students.
So, in the future, I intend to make sure I look around because apparently – unbeknownst to me – there was a sign outside of the original classroom, informing students of a classroom change. Observant? Me? Apparently not.
students are frugal s.o.b’s 
Being a fan of the ability to fold and contort my body in most unusual ways, it is not unlike me to do so in the chair of any given classroom. That is, I tend to sit and balled-up as virtually possible during lectures. Considering the areas where we need to sit tend to run… small, I often find myself placing my textbooks underneath my seat.
Now, being that I am – like – extremely focused, sometimes my mind slips and I leave mentioned book there. Not 75 minutes passed before I scurried back to that classroom to get my book and it had already been scooped up. Now, in the event that this was not a school-made course book valued at 20 dollars, I probably would have had a stroke. But, I just bought a new one. Regardless, I have not again put any book – coursebook or otherwise – under my chair.
being awkward is not something the decreases with age
The moment I turned 21, I thought maybe – just maybe – that would lend itself to my being a little less awkward. Turn the big ol’ two-one is an exciting thing, right? Well, I think it is possible that my levels of awkwardness have only proven to show a correlation with my increasing age: it’s going up with it.
After getting out of class and meandering through my bag – starving – looking for my apple, I looked up to see this guy from my high school. He had changed a fair bit, and I hadn’t seen him for two years so I had to adjust my eyes on him a bit. Anyhow, point is, there I am apple in mouth, apple juice dripping down my chin giving this guy the shocked, “I know you” look that is still somewhat laced with the, “Wait – do I know you?” look.
This would have been weird, yes, but had he of remembered me it would have been justified. Most unfortunately, he did not. So, I merely looked like a apple-hungry weirdo giving him the weird set of eyes known to man.
you’re mind is stronger than your body – lactic acid can kiss me arse
Since there is now a change in my schedule, there is also a change in my routine. Instead of my normal morning routines, I’ve broken it into two smaller routines (20ish minutes each). One in the morning and one in the afternoon. My morning one is mostly cardio with some body weight training and I usually do some toning exercises in the afternoon.  I’ve started to lift a bit heavier and I love it. I’ve also incorporated more yoga – much more yoga. I’ve re-re fallen in love. I happily say I’ve mastered (MASTER) crow pose.
I used to be afraid of working out twice a day. Furthermore, I used to be afraid of only sweating for 20 minutes (typically each work out runs to 30 minutes long, but I do a lot of stretches). But, nope. Turns out, my body loves it and I do too.
school is my home away from home and i’ve missed it
This will sound lame, but on the way to my school I pass where I was working. Or, rather, was working full time. There have been two to three occasions where in I almost turned to my father – who drives me to the bus stop so I don’t have to transfer… cha-ching! - where he was going because he was passing work. It would only be for a split moment until I realized that I wasn’t going to work.
Additionally, last night at work I was talking to a woman about ‘getting out’. I used to literally fear my permanence in retail. Maybe it was just my own insecurities getting the best of me, but I used to look at my name tag and think, ‘get used to it Princess’.
Furthermore, school has pushed me to get better my health. And by that, I mean my diet. And my fitness regime. Each day I go to school I am reminded that I have an entire life ahead of me. A career, a beautifully amazing boyfriend to whom I plan to share a life with (a home, children and probably a few furry friends, included)… I need to get over this. First of all, I want to be strong and beautiful, not brittle.
I’ve decided to commit to 30 minutes of exercise, daily. I love to work out each day, but I need to remember… you don’t need to hurt yourself or over do it. I’m also going to focus more on strength training and yoga, rather than cardio. Essentially, it’ll look like this
Monday and Wednesday: 15 minutes of cardio + 15-25 minutes of lower body work .
Tuesday and Thursday: 15 minutes of cardio + 15-25 minutes of upper body work.
Saturday and Sunday: 30 minutes of cardio (5 warm up, 20 HIIT, 5 cool down)
Friday: 45 minute of Spin N’ Stretch (this is my own thing, that incorporates my spin bike and my yoga mat)
These times are pretty set in stone. Until I can prove to myself that I can eat more, I am to stick to these time constraints. This said, stretching is not part of the time limits. If I want to do a 20 minute yoga routine on top of this, I can. Why? Because yoga – in my mind – is more important than anything else. Yoga has toning benefits, cardiovascular benefits, without killing you.
As goes for my food, I’m – effective immediately – increasing my caloric intake. Generally speaking, people – active or not – should be taking in 1900-2100 calories, depending upon their sex and stuff. Well, I’m still at 1750 (on a good day). Last night, I finally made it to 1850 and today will be not different.
I will still have my six meals. Why? Because I still think eating smaller meals is better. But, I will NEED to ensure that these small meals are not… so small. So, essentially, until I can do this without numbers
I will have three meals of 400 calories
and three snacks of  200 calories
:) Wish my luck!

Planning for Success

in forty eight hours, everything be changin’
I won’t lie and say that I haven’t been tacitly worried about school. I am not nervous about the classes, or the educational aspect at all. It’s just that I’ve become so used to living my life a certain way, this change… well, it’s kind of nerve-wracking. So, being that I am an avid planner, I decided to start a planning!
Every Sunday/Saturday will be my food prep for the week. What will I be prepping?
1) Hummus (I am going to start making my own hummus)
2) Soup and or chili
3)  Vegetables (roasted, chopped, etc)
3) Weekly workouts and meal plans.
This should pretty much take 1-2 hours of my time, leaving ample time for other things in my life. Like, you know… studying. Because now I need to do that!
Every morning, as per usual, I will get up around quarter to six, make my breakfast, eat it  and allow it to set. Usually by seven I am ready to work out! Thankfully, I’ve become accustomed to shorter work outs :) I will officially adhere to a maximum of 30-35 minutes on Monday-Friday. Thankfully, I love a good timed workout because I feel like I am racing the clock. 21\Saturday and Sunday I can go for 45 minutes if wanted.  Meaning by 7:45 I should be done my workout and getting ready. Usually it takes me about  20 minutes to get ready because I am horridly bad at hair and make up and feel no need to impress my fellow students and usually just throw my hair back into a pony tail, calling it a day. That said, I will need to start laying out my outfit(s) the night before and packing my bags. :)
A few workout plans are as followed:

5 minute cardio warm up + 5 minute cool down (always).

Leaving 20-25 minutes for toning and general cardio.
3 minutes toning + 2 minutes cardio x 4-5

30/30 intervals (30 toning/30 cardio)

1 minutes of toning + 1 minute sprint

Keep these simple! Just keep going!
In regard to food, I am going to start looking up quick, on-the-go meals on the go. Fruit and veggies will still plan a key roll. Nuts, in full form, rather than buttered form (for transport) and clean bars (like Lara, Luna and Nature’s Path). I will not be away from home for so long that I will not be able to make it on this.
I know this seems silly and short. But I am so excited and worried and excited!
Stay sweet. :)
Caitlyn

Sweat it Out Saturday
Switch It Total Body Work out

 Okay, if you’re anything like me, you love interval training. Whether it be high intensity or not, you just do!

Sometimes, however, the same old intervals and become a little… redundant, causing you to want to try something completely new! Well, that was me this morning… and yesterday morning. Yesterday, instead of actually doing my planned interval work out, I put on my Beach Babe DVD and HIIT the beach and toned my abs. It was an amazing work out, I’ll admit, but I mean – I love the feeling I get when I master a self-created work out. I can’t explain it.

Anyhow, so yesterday, I felt inspired and decided to take the concept of the 15/15/15/15 HIIT + 30 second rest from their HIIT the beach workout and create and entire total body work out based on that template. And let me tell you, it did not fail me! It was fun, I was sweaty and life was blissful.
other fitness fun
Guess who I met!
So I am standing at work and this gal comes in with two younger girls and buys some stuff. I keep looking at her because, she looks super familiar to me. After a while I ask her if anyone has said she looked like so-n-so and she smiled and looked around sheepishly, coming back with.
“That’s me… I’m…
TOSCA RENO”. 
Now, being that I am a huge fitness enthusiast and a love of all things clean, I was beside myself. I was near tears, speechless. I’ve never been starstruck before, but I am not surprised by how I managed to react. I started telling her about my dreams to open a wellness center for women, and hugged her and had her sign a giant piece of tissue paper, typically used for wrapping breakables.
It was the most amazing thing to have ever happen to met… next to meeting Omar and getting Zooey and spending time with my family and blahblah. I met Tosca Freakin’ Reno!
As sad as this may sound, I take this as a great sign, telling me that my path on the world of health, fitness, wellness and so on is the right path for me.

Just to say it one more time.

I met Tosca Reno. :)
Stay sweet,
Caitlyn

Coconut Salad!

thursday thoughts and treats
Lately I’ve been becoming more and more interested in salads -
coconut cashew salad with grilled shrimps

Ingredients

Serves 1
EVOO spray
75g zuchinni, sliced
50g red pepper, sliced
Greens
50g apricot, cut into small cubes
3-5oz of shrimp, detailed
50 grams of mushroom
1 1/2 tablespoons of raw cashews, halved
1-2 T of Coconut Cashew balsamic dressing (below)

1. Prep all of your ingredients as suggested.
2. First place the veggies on the grilled (I left out the greens and mushroom, grilling only the summer squash and the red peppers), which you’ve sprayed with oil spray.
3. Grill for about 5 minutes, checking to ensure everything it A.OK.
4. When the peppers and squash begin appear roasted, remove and set aside.
5. Meanwhile, grill the shrimp on a grill which has been sprayed for about six minutes, checking halfway through. When done, remove from grill and set aside.
6. Take sliced apricot and set on a low heat and grill for 2 minutes. Grilled apricots are a great addition to salad, but if on too long they will get mushy and gross.
7. Place greens into a bowl and top with all the fixings!
8. Eat. Om nom nom!

Coconut Cashew Vinegrette
3-5 servings
Juice of one lime
1 T of balsamic vinegar
1 T of cashew butter (all-natural)
1 T of coconut milk (from can)
1-2 tsp of ginger (to your taste)
1 tsp of honey (optional additive)

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for a 2-4 hours. :)

stay sweet :)
caitlyn

Huskies and Happiness, HIITs and Hips

motivational monday
taking a moment for yourself
A year ago, when I first began my obsession with fitness and exercise, nothing stopped me. Nothing. If I was to be in motion for forty minutes, I was to be in motion for forty minutes and that was that.
I wouldn’t stop to smell the roses, because in my messed up mind that would mean I was in some way hindering my caloric burn.

What the heck, right?

Anyways, this weekend my boyfriend surprised me with a weekend in celebration of our one-year anniversary. As a result of this, I couldn’t very well do my at-home body weight workouts (thinking my downstairs neighbors don’t want to hear my rump jumping around like a maniac, but who knows). So, I got out my new Nikes and committed to two different outdoor interval-styled work outs. One focused on mostly using the outdoors to tone (like a bench, and rocks) and the other was just a ladder interval run (holy heck it was hard… I’ll type it up down below).
Regardless, on my outdoor toning workout, I finished up with a 6 minute jog around the cottage. During this short sprint, I saw this older couple walking with their two dogs (huskies). They were a bit in the distance, so I booked it for them and stopped.
That’s right. I stopped.
At first, I didn’t think twice. I asked the kind owners if I could get a photo of their dogs to show my boyfriend, who absolutely loves Huskies. They obliged and I got this bad boy!
It was not until after I chatted to the older couple and continued running that it occurred to me.
Lately, I’ve been stopped. Smelling the roses… looking at huskies. Even when I am downstairs, sometimes I’ll stop just to laugh at how silly I may look.
This will just be a short entry – more to come later.

But I just want to remind everyone to exercise for the right reasons. I now exercise to feel strong and empowered. It reminds me of how far I’ve come. Back when I didn’t eat, I wouldn’t have been able to do interval runs, at all. Or strength training. I would get too weak and too shaky for all that. But now, I’m stronger. I’m more alive.

If you’re of the variety of people who force themselves to work out, please take a minute. Evaluate your fitness goals and your personal needs and remember to work out so that you love your body. Not the other way around. Your body is your friend, treat it that way. Love it. Don’t hurt it. You’ll only be hurting yourself, right? :)
Now, without further ado, here are two awesome work out routines from my weekend!
Strength training Workout 


Cardio Workout
Warm up: 5 minutes moderate effort
20 minutes of intervals (roughly)
This will be interval work! Get out that timer folks. I set mine to beep every 15 seconds, and counted in my head how many beeps equaled the required time. 
15 seconds ON (maximum effort) / 15 seconds rest (moderate effort/light effort)
30 seconds ON (ME) / 30 seconds rest
45 seconds ON (ME) / 45 seconds rest
60 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
75 seconds ON (ME) / 75 seconds rest
90 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
105 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
2 minutes ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
105 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
90 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
75 seconds ON (ME) / 75 seconds rest
60 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
45 seconds ON (ME) / 45 seconds rest
30 seconds ON (ME) / 30 seconds rest
15 seconds ON (ME) / 15 seconds rest
Cool down: 5 minutes moderate effort
Anyways, stay sweet
Caitlyn =)

Cuckoo for Coconuts

oh, my word, much to discuss!
A lot of stuff to update on today!
First and foremost, I’m starting to develop a general interest in food, again!
You’re probably thinking, what?
Well!
For the past three-four months, I’ve been lovin’ salads. Loving them! Now, before you say something like, ‘have you turned against the greens?’ hear me out!
I still love salads, I have just been getting bored of my salads. Typically speaking, my salads involve grilling of vegetables and meats (which I still plan to do) throwing them on top of some greens (which I still plan to do) and blobbing a dollop of hummus on top and calling it a day! Which – I still plan to do. I mean, come on. It’s hummus!
Regardless, I feel my life needs a little more!
So, I kind of went Cuckoo…
for coconuts. :)
In my attempt get my ‘salad recipe making on’ I came up with a really yummy Coconut Balsamic Vinaigrette and two tasty recipes!
The Cuckoo for Coconut Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 2-3
1 tablespoon full-fat Coconut Milk from a can
1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or any oil of your choosing)
1 teaspoon honey (naturally)
1 tablespoon vanilla almond milk/water
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and let set for two or more hours, so all the flavors really start to dance!
From there, you can – if you want to – enjoy my
Cuckoo for Coconut and Peach Salad 
Serves me! Or you.
Ingredients
3oz-4oz of grilled protein source (I used chicken, but feel free to use turkey, salmon, shrimp, etc)
Two handful of Salad Greens
50 grams of mushroom, diced
50 grams of cucumber, diced
50 grams of summer squash, diced
50 grams of peach, diced
1/4-1/2 avocado, diced
1.5-2 tablespoons of my yummy in my tummy Coconut Vinegar .
Preheat your grill and lightly spray it with oil spray.
My meat was grilled by my father, so grill your protein according to what you’re eating with your salad. :)
Chop all your vegetables into fours, keeping your mushrooms with your cucumbers and your squash with your peach.
When grill is preheated, place all squash and peach on the grill, leaving it to cook for about five minutes. Keep a watch, so it doesn’t burn on you!
Place salad greens in a bowl and drizzle with a teaspoon of the Coconut Vinegar, then pile on your mushrooms and cucumber (alternatively, you could grill the mushrooms, but I wanted to eat mine… fresh!).
Once you’ve completed that, place all your grilled good on top! Peach… GOOD. Squash… GOOD. MEAT… GOOOOD.
Drizzle with the remainder of the viniagrette and enjoy!
Sorry, Chick(pea)… but you just didn’t make the cut tonight. :P
Then, today, I had another stroke of genius.
Whilst gobbling down my current cracker obsession (Rosemary and Herb Lentil Crackers), I thought to myself how much I love rosemary. And thus…
Coconut Balsamic Rosemary Roasted Brussel Sprouts
(with just a hint of… vanilla)
Serves 1 to 2 (depending on your belly grumblings)
So, uh, one for me :)
3/4 cup (around 80grams) of baby brussel sprouts
1/2 tablespoon of Coconut Viniagrette
1/2 tablespoon of strong vanilla tea (I used two bags to half a cup)
Up to 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice
Dash of Salt and Pepper
Generous dash (or two) of Rosemary
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut brussels into halves or quarters.
Lay tinfoil on a cookie sheet, in preparation.
In a bowl, whisk together vanilla, vinaigrette and tea.
Place brussel sprouts onto the tin foil, spray lightly with olive oil spray, drizzle with the balsamic coconut mix and season with rosemary.
When oven is preheated, put brussels into the oven for 20 minutes, checking 10 minutes in.
Enjoy with anything you’d like!
I had mine with a turkey salad that showcased avocado, hummus and cucumber!
Talk about tasty. :)
yep, this is the life for me
Just a quick note.Over the past few days, I’ve had several people – customers, old friends and so forth, come up to me and tell me that they think I look absolutely amazing. I have made a valiant effort to be kind and welcoming to this, rather than defensive. Some of the individuals have even told me that they’re trying to lose weight, or something a long that line.

Talking to them has reminded me why it is that I want to pursue a life in fitness, mental health and overall wellness. Each moment I spend pushing someone toward their goals, I feel a sense of power and happiness. Nothing would cause me more happiness that to watch as they achieve their dreams, becoming their ideal self.
I do have some work in regard to discussing diet. It can sometimes be hard for me to discuss food (even still) because I truly feel ashamed of who I’ve been. I’m also extremely worried all the time that people will hurt themselves life I have. I plan to work on this as best as I can to better myself for the future.
Talking to these people makes me remember how amazing I think it’ll be to open up my center, to help people!
If you ever feel like you’re losing sight of what you truly want, find a way to remind yourself ‘why’, okay? Then it’ll all become clear again. :)
Keep a close eye.
Tomorrow, I have a Cuckoo for Coconuts Core and Hip Workout to Share!
It’s bananas!
Or coconuts! :)
Stay sweet,

Caitlyn

Coyote Beautiful

thurdsay’s thinkies
Good morning lads and lasses! Welcome to Thursday, :)
1) Naps are vital in life! I used to be a anti-napper. I thought, ‘why waste the day, napping it away?’ but then I came to realized… sleep is good. I typically wake up early (I am talking 5:30) and, I honestly NEED to get out of bed. I just do. I like to get up, eat, work out and get ready, so 5:30 it is. Getting up that early can sometimes be difficult though, so naps it is!
2) Rhymes will never get old.
3) Neither will puns.
4) This right here:
Yeah, it’s kind of awesome.
5) Flowers never ever ever get old…

….especially purple ones.

6) Preforming Barre/Pilates and Yoga is a lot better when done without any footwear.
7) My current favorite way to raise my heart rate is go jog for 1 minute, sprint until I can’t (usually 30-45 seconds) preform 5-10 burpees (normal or yoga) and then repeat!
8) You should always mind what you say at work, as you never know who’s ears are right around the corner.
9) Yet, at the same time, if you mean what you say then you should never stifle yourself.
10)  Puzzles kick rump! 
11) And, while cheaters never prosper, using a literary aid has never hurt anyone…
 
12) Decreasing my cardio, while increasing my toning and stretching has been a really good move!
13) I want a long bob…
coyote beautiful
Speaking of napping, today Baba and I were able to share the entire day together completely and utterly alone. Not that I don’t absolutely love spending time with him as well as the rest of the family, but being that we don’t get a copious amount of strictly alone time, it is always nice when we do.
I think the main reason I love it so much is because it gives me a small taste of what it could be like when we live together. What our lives might look like. In a lot of ways, we’ve both kind of decided that this is it for us. We’ve found the person we’d like to grow old with. I mean, sometimes I’m still kind of in shock that it ended up being him – the guy who I thought was a real mean pants, in this undeniable cute and sexy (I said it) way, but it is and I am glad.
Anyhow, one of our activities today was an unplanned nap with Zooey. After a solid hour of rest, I opened my eyes up and saw him next to me. We had been holding hands when we fell asleep, so my hand was kind of… well, it was stuck and I couldn’t move. Usually when I am ready to get up, I’m ready to get up. I’m kind of a ‘go go go’ girl. I don’t like to lounge for too long. Even if I am watching a movie/TV show, I’ll get up after break, or 30 minutes, and just wander then come back (drives Mamabear absolutely bonkers). I don’t know why, but I get restless.
Anyhow, in that moment, I didn’t want to move. I was totally ready to stop napping, but I didn’t want to leave yet.
Why?
1. I was kind of worried to wave him up. He tends to be a light sleeper and he’s been quite tired lately being that he is working a lot, so when he’s asleep… I want him to stay resting, and
2. I kind of  found a calm in seeing him all rested. I’m a total weirdo, right? I love to watch people sleep. :) They always look so content and at peace. It makes me happy.
So I stayed there, looking at him for a solid… uh, well, time is but a number right?

This kind of reminded me of the whole concept of coyote ugly, but only instead of want to eat my own arm to get away, I’d rather stay there for as long as virtually possible because it’s really wonderful there.
I have not spoken much about my intimacy issues on here, but I have them quite badly. In fact, I have an issue showing intimacy at all sometimes. I can’t really explain it, at all. I get scared really easily. Of what, I am unclear, but I do. It has often caused slight issues because it does tend to send the wrong messages to the people I love.
Verbally, I’m fine. I have no issues letting people know I love them. It’s when physicality comes into play. One of the things I have a hard time with is staring at people/looking people in the eye/being stared at. I don’t know what causes it, but I have always had a difficult time. I feel very exposed in those moments. Unsafe. The ironic thing is it happens to me mostly with the people I feel most safe around.
That’s right. I’m weird.
I am trying to get better though. I am making more of an effort to look Baba in the eyes, at all times. :) Which is becoming easy as he has some adorable peepers on him!
 
stay sweet
caitlyn

My Take Tuesday: Cutting Carbs and Cardio.

my take tuesday: cutting carbs and cardio
Alright, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. I’ll start off by telling you my position on both matters: In regard to cutting your cardio, I am very much a pro! But, in regard to cutting your carb intake… I am a solid heck no!

cutting cardio: when too much sweat is not sweet

Being the erstwhile cardio-queen that I am, I can completely understand why people absolutely love cardio. And, I am not going to sit here and say that isn’t a good form of physical activity, at all! But at the end of the day, I don’t think it is the most important for, by any means!

I guess it really all depends on your goals, but even in the even that you’re looking to lose weight, I think cardio should merely be something to further your toning regime. In my opinion, cardio is extremely harsh on the body. Don’t get my wrong, I love a good sprint or HIIT on my spin bike, but my cardio is usually broken up into small, intesne 5-20 minute blasts. If it is a mainly cardio day, I’ll warm up for five minutes, do a 20 minute HIIT routine, then cool down for 5 minutes. Alternatively, if I am doing Barre/Pilates or Yoga, I will often add 15 minutes of cardio into the circuit, just to keep my heart-rate elevated. That’s it, though. No long distance running. No two hours on the elliptical.

First of all, what is that really accomplishing? Unless you’re training for a marathon of some sort, long distance cardio has virtually no benefits if continued for longer then an hour (depending on your energy expenditure, this time could easily lessen). The more fuel your body burns, the more fuel your body requires. Therefore, after a certain amount of time running on the treadmill, while you’re thinking ‘I’m awesome’, your body is thinking ‘you’re nuts’. By the end you look down at your caloric burn, seeing a high number (which is probably incorrect) and get a feeling of accomplishment.

Then, you go eat a lot because you’re starving.

In my opinion, long distance cardio is best at a low intensity for about 45-60 minutes. If the idea of it didn’t bore me so much, I’d probably adhere to committing to doing this once a week, but eh, it’s not for me. Not to mention, who really here has the time to be at the gym that long? If you do, you might want to evaluate your life a little. Fitness is a great additive to any lifestyle (one I think more people should include in their own), but I don’t think it should ever become the main part of your life. For me, fitness is huge. But not that actual doing of it. Yes, I work out daily, but what I love more is the feeling after and the learning of new and inventive moves. And from there, sharing it with everyone I know! Teaching, inspiring and growing. Not just the part where I sweat.

In the event that you are looking to lose weight, I would suggest HIITs as well as longer distance cardio. Maybe twice a week do a HIIT routine lasting 20-3o minutes, then two times a week do a long distance cardio routine lasting 30-60 minutes. Pair this with ample stretches and toning exercises and you’re set. Oh, and of course – let’s not forget – a clean diet.

Abs be made in the kitchen, not the gym!

 

cutting carbs: when you can have you’re cake and eat it, too… kind of… 

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the healthy living phenomenon of the ‘low carb’ diet.

I’d like to go on record to say:
This, right here, is bullshit.

Excuse my french.

First of all, I will never condone the ‘cutting’ of any major macro-nutrient from one’s diet.  Second of all, carbohydrates are the best form of energy out of the three! Carbohydrates – from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pulses – give your body ample energy! So, if you’re looking to increase your cardiovascular activity, please don’t think for a moment that you’re allowed to cut out these bad boys! In all honesty, if you were to talk to a marathon runner, you’d probably find yourself shocked with how many carbs they eat. Why? Because they’re burning so much fuel in their work outs, that that need to refuel with – yes, that’s right – carb-y carbs!

What people don’t seem to comprehend is that fruits and vegetables are carbs. When people hear the word carb, I think they’re actually registering the word ‘cake’ or ‘cookie’. Carbs are not the enemy! What is? simple sugars, processed and refined carbs and even starches in high amounts.

This is where things get a little tricky.

While I don’t ever want you to cut carbs, I am a huge advocate of focusing on getting your carbs from certain foods, instead of others. If you were to read the Canada’s Food Guide, you’d see that you should be getting seven to 11 servings of grains a day. I think that is a load of crock, to be completely truthful. You can get the same nutrient value from fruits and vegetables. You just need to eat more of them and focus on vegetables with a lot of fiber! Broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes, squashes, cauliflower… etc. They’re all starchier, but they’re full of vitamins and fiber. Not to mention your body is meant to process them, so during the digestive process your body knows exactly what to do! This is why eating refined foods – like cakes and chips and stuff – causes weight gain. Sometimes your body isn’t sure how to react to the fuel your giving it. So, instead of thinking too hard, it stores it as fat. It’s kind of like your body’s ‘when all else fails’ approach. Aside from produce, whole grains are a great way to get your carbs! I have committed to having four full grain servings (around 90-110 calories each) and four full fruit servings (60-80 calories each) and an unlimited supply of vegetables. Eat your greens!

yum, carbohydrates!

This works for me, but it may not work for you. Remember when eating listen to your body and you’ll see great results.

That said, I also don’t condone refusing yourself treats. I am kind of a weird girl who doesn’t crave baked goods. If I want a bite, I’ll have a bite. But I don’t have much of a sweet tooth (okay, honey aside) so I don’t really ever want it. I’d much rather suck back on a spoonful of nut butter, to be honest.

Probably with some honey…

and some Greek Yogurt…

Regardless, if you want a slice of cake, I am in no way saying that you can’t have it. That’s, again, denying your body of something, which is just not at all productive. Treat yourself to cake!

 

Gosh dang, Mama makes a good looking baked good, hmmm.

 

That’s my take
Stay sweet,

Caitlyn

Thank You for my AZzzzzzz

simple sunday: surveys and afternoon sleeps
I know for a fact that I’ve completed this survey on my previous blog (or, perhaps, on my current one… I can’t recall). When I saw it circulating again (via http://www.pbfingers.com) I knew I had to do it again. I’ve done so much changing in the past… few months, to be honest, that I thought it would be fun to do this again and see if my answers differ, at all.
simply a to z

A – Apples (and all fruits – banana, berries and peaches). I absolutely love fruit. They’re so naturally sweet and tasty! Not to mention extremely good for you! I aim (and succeed) to have three to four servings of fruit, daily. Usually this consists of an apple, berries galore, bananas and perhaps a pear/peach/apricot. Typically speaking I prefer my fruit in the natural and fresh form, instead of dried and/or juiced, but whatever cranks your chain, right? My all time favorite go-to fruit at the moment is Pink Lady Apples. They’re such a treat! I eat an apple daily, I’m sure. I love them.

B – Barre/Pilates styled workouts are definitely going to take the cake for B. As you know, when I started to incorporate more Yoga/Pilates and Barre into my fitness regime, I noticed so many changes in my mind and body. I feel beautiful, graceful, elegant… the list could go on. Let’s be honest, I feel girly. I love to feel girly. 

C –  The clean eating lifestyle. I absolutely love the feeling of eating clean. Knowing that the food I put into my body is extremely healthful and good for me has helped me – in so many ways – overcome my struggles with disordered eating. Instead of focusing on what I shouldn’t/couldn’t eat, it caused me to focus on what I should and need to eat. If you’ve never tried out the lifestyle of eating clean, I strongly advise you to give it a go. :)

D – I love being able – or being surrounded by people who - dress up. I know it sounds kind of ridiculous but ever since I took part in a high school program a few years back where one of the events require me to dress up, I have loved the whole concept. I am not huge into dressing up like a total skank, though. Halloween to me is about being cute or funny, not looking like I just walked out of a porno, thank you muchly!

My friend, Shelby, from work at the Sunshine Bear and I!

E – Exercise has become an important and required part of my life. I love to create work outs (see below for this weeks ‘Love Your Body Toning Every Inch’ work out).  I used to think I didn’t have it in my to design a good work out, but now I love making them up. Every morning, over my oats, I plan my work out. I live for it. Some people don’t understand and some people take the whole concept for granted (which, never should be the case). I feel grateful that I am able to sprint, sculpt, spin and stretch! It makes me who I am; it makes me feel beautiful.

F – Friends the TV show. It’s actually almost ridiculous how much I love this show. I – at the drop of a hat – can reference the show without even a thought! My mother and I have kind of turned this into a small game. OK, OK. A really large game. It’s embarrassing, really.

 

Truth!

G – Games are like my all-time favorite pass time. Mostly word, card or board games. I am in LOVE with crazy eights, cross words and… pretty much any board game under the sun. I love challenging my mind and thinking, so trivia games are a big plus. Lately I’ve been kicking serious rump at them, too! I just love them. My Friday nights are usually spent curled up with a tea and some kind of word game. I think that I found my perfect match considering last Friday night, Omar didn’t hesitate to join me on the coach with a book of Suduko. :)

I – Intellectual conversation with strangers (and friends, too). I absolutely love exchanging knowledge on virtually any topic with a multitude of people. If I don’t know something, I want to learn about it! I don’t feel the need to be an expert on every topic, but I love expanding my vocabulary  and knowledge everyday of my life!

J – Jewelry of all kinds. Typically I find myself drawn to elegant and simple pieces, with a timeless flare. Currently my favorite is the necklace Baba got me while he was away. :) It goes with virtually everything I own!

K – My dear friend Kathryn who has always supported me and has always been there for me. I love her so much, I can’t even begin to explain it. We can go months and months without seeing each other and the moment that we see each other again it is as if no time has passed at all. I absolutely love her and am so grateful to have her. No matter what happens, she will always be my dearest friend. My very own kindred spirit :).

L – Laughter (mostly from small humans… yes, babies). I absolutely love the sound of a laugh. More than you can even understand. It’s the most beautiful sound there is. When people laugh, it makes me smile. When babies laugh it makes me feel like nothing bad in the world could happen.

M – Me time. I knwo it sounds odd, but I’ve always been a pretty quite and to myself person. I require so quiet quality time with me, or I will go completely nuts. I’ve discovered that this is best done in the early morning between 6 and 8 AM. This is when I work out and eat breakfast and plan out my day. I love it. After that time, I want nothing more but then to be surrounded by those to whom I love, I’ll admit. Too much me time can also make me a little crazy. But in that hour, I love just quietly sitting with myself.

Okay, Zooey didn’t get the memo and joins me. In fact, now she comes and gets me if I am not up at a certain time. She tends to be a quiet attendant in my morning routines, so I decided to let her stay.

N – Spending time with  nature would definitely be the number one on here. I love trees and trails and birds and butterflies. All of it. In the summertime and fall, most preferably. I love sitting among the trees and reflecting on life. I just love nature. It’s simple beauty makes me truly calm and relaxed.


O – My amazing boyfriend, Omar, who has come into my life in the most beautiful and profound way. Before him I was an honest wreck. I didn’t know who I was or what it meant to be loved by someone other than your family – in that very special way. H’es made me come to terms with the fact that I am strong and beautiful and smart. When I am with him I feel safe and able to do anything. He makes me happier than I ever thought I could be.

P – My loving and incredible parents.

It is no secret that my mother is my best friend. Our relationship is unlike any mother-daughter relationship I’ve seen. We talk about everything, enjoy doing everything together and I am not the least bit embarrassed about it. Why? Because my mother is truly one-of-a-kind. She’s the most generously beautiful woman I’ve ever met and I feel very fortunate to have someone like her in my life.

My father is also no joke. He’s odd and strange, albeit, but he would bend over backward to keep the people he cares for happy. I’ll never forget about the kind and thoughtful things he’s done for me over the years and will never forget the many wise words he has bestowed upon me.

I really don’t know how I got this lucky, but I am certainly glad I did. :)

Q – Quotes and quoting. Whether is be awesome Friends references, or quoting the famous words of Dr. Suess, the whole concept of a good quote makes me happy. To know that words have had such a great impact that they’ve – in many ways – been eternalness, makes me happy. I would absolutely love to one day be quoted.

My favorite quote of ever:

 
R – Roses and all other flowers cause me to feel at complete and utter ease. If I could live in a flower garden, I probably would. I’d sleep of the petals of a rose and dance along the stem of a sunflower. Life would be perfect!

S – Anything related to the sea or the ocean. As I’ve said in the past, I absolutely love large bodies of water! I love them even more if there is waves involved! Anything in this category makes me truly happy shells, dolphins, swimmingsailing (though I am not a sailor, I’ve gone out of boats many a’time), sand! Okay, until this moment I didn’t realize how many ‘s’ words related. The sea makes me extremely happy! :)

T – Telling people you love them

It might be the best feeling in the world to see the smile on the face of a person who knows they’re truly loved.
Mama, I love you. Omar, I love you. Daddy, I love you. Zooey, I love you. Kathryn, I love you.
I LOVE YOU :)

U –  Unusually child-like behavior….

Like eating off a child’s plate…

FYI: There is an owl smiling at you under there, I promise.

V – Vegetables! All of them. I haven’t met a veggie I didn’t like.

W – One of my largest passions has to be writing. Every moment that I can sit down and write, I will. I love the feeling of constructing a well-thought out sentence and sharing it with the people I love. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback regarding MY writing. I love it! Typically speaking, I’ve never felt like I was all that good at it, but wit all this kindness, I feel I am really starting to develop a true belief in myself.

X –  Total Cheat: x-mas Eve is probably my favorite time of the year. I absolutely love the feeling of family and togetherness. Typically speaking, the idea of squishing so many people into my Grandparents house causes to me feel a sense of claustrophobia, but Christmas Eve night is something completely different. If we weren’t crawling all over each other, it just would NOT be worth it, it wouldn’t. Chrisrmas Eve night is also the one night a beg for snow to come. More often than not, I find myself wanting to get a hold of one of them snow removal cans from Frosty Returns and get rid of it all, as well as the cold. But, the two weeks leading up to and Christmas Eve itself is a whole other thing. I love snow at Christmas time.

It’s so x-citing :P

Y – Yoga! You all know how I love me a good bend and stretch! Lately I have been loving Tara Stiles yoga via Livestrong woman, The routines are short enough that you COULD do a few of them, or add it to the end of your own work out for a new stretch. I absolutely love the feeling you get after completely a yoga routine. Light and relaxed. I fell out of love with yoga for a bit, but we have reconnected in a more healthy and practical way! Thank Heavens!

Z – Zooey, my dog, is absolutely the number one Z in my books, I love everything about her :). Including (but no limited to) her strangeness, her goofy moments, her snuggles… everything. :) She’s a true keeper.

Also…

Nap time.
Yesterday Omar, Zooey and I took a solid two hour nap together and it was total bliss.

Oh, yes, and the work out :)

stay sweet :)

Caitlyn

Friday Five: Fitness and Future

learning to accept 
Most of you don’t know that about three months ago I applied to be an ambassador of a online fitness group. Yesterday I got word from them, declining me. At first, I was extremely depressed. They told me that I wasn’t yet ready to be an ambassador, but that I have potential and then proceeded to tell me where I should improve. This was something I really wanted, so hearing that I wasn’t ready was a total blow to my ego.
Then it occurred to me that isn’t the end, at all. In fact, that is only the beginning.With the information provided I know how to properly improve my blog – not only to become an ambassador, but to become a full-fledged blogger (which, is an ultimate goal of mine). This inspired my Friday Five of this week, which will be five Fitness and Career Related Goals of mine.
my fitness bucket list
learn to do a full-out yoga headstand
Okay, I know this sounds a little… lame… but a huge goal of mine is to learn how to do a headstand, yoga style! Truth be told this all came about from watching the – you guessed it – Olympics. Damn, those Gymnasts are impressive, huh?
While the idea of being a Gymnast has never really appealed to me, the challenge of balance is something I always strive to accomplish. Why? I’m not overly balanced for being a lover of yoga. I have been known to topple over every now and again. Regardless, I make it an effort to improve! To achieve the yoga headstand would prove to be a great feat for me. It’s something I’ve always looked at thinking it could never and would never happen. But why? Things are only prevented from happening if someone prevents them, and you are in control of your own life. So therefore, one could infer that if you do not allow something from not happening it is most certainly a probability, couldn’t one? :)
become certified in Mat Pilates, Yoga and Barre 
It is no big surprise that I love Pilates/Barre/Yoga work outs. In combination to my forever loved intervals, I find this form of exercise to be most beneficial. In the past few months I’ve noticed more changed in not only my body, but in my outlook on healthy living.
As mentioned, the grace and poise of these exercises have allowed me to feel more beautiful and more graceful than ever before (might I remind you that I already told you I have a balance-related issue which needs work).  I kind of shutter to say it, but when I work out I watch myself in the mirror. Why? Because I’m crazy self involved? No, because I absolutely love watching my body grow and change. I love feeling accomplished. Sweat and tears make me feel accomplished, :P
I don’t really know how to explain it any better than that. This makes me feel beautiful, so why wouldn’t I want to do it every day?
support women all over the world pursue healthy and active lifestyles 
The former leads right into the next goal of mine: the help women all over the world pursue healthy and active lifestyles. Alright. I don’t want to get into it too much, as you know very well my life goals. However the more and more I think about it, the more and more excited I become. I’ve always hated that I let myself go down the road of eating disorders and addictive exercise. It’s made me feel like I’ve been focusing far too much on the wrong things. Ironically enough, I’ve never been too concerned with impressing guys. I mean, yes, there was a few gentleman who’s attention I would have liked, but in a lot of ways I made valiant efforts to go unnoticed. In short, I – not my weight – was my own worst enemy.
So, am I am sure you can imagine, the mere concept that I let this happen to me, Caitlyn, was extremely depressing. I was a strong, independent girl. I loved words and poetry, intellectualism and depth. I was not the kind of girl to get caught up in silly and superficial things such as my appearance. Why the heck am I rambling about this?
Well! I refused to let my disorders go in vain. Simply refused. I knew from the moment I began my personal recovery that I needed to make helping others with their healthy lives a huge part of my future. Granted, I doubt I’ll ever been stable enough to help severe cases (please note that this is my a degradation, but simply a stated fact which I am perfectly happy to attest to). I have become extremely sensitive to the topic and do not believe I’ll ever be stable enough to consider myself the ideal help for a person going through serious and critical issues.
That doesn’t mean I cannot help, though. I’ve discovered a genuine interest in helping women feel good about themselves – even the ones who are not slowly killing themselves have great insecurities, which need to be treated. Why shouldn’t everyone have the chance to boost their self worth and feel elegant and beautiful?
From that moment I knew that I wanted to get a Psychology degree, along with life coaching and fitness credentials to one day strive toward helping women pull physical activity and mental therapy. I’ve always been passionate about Yoga and recently developed a deep connection to Barre and Pilates. They’ve reminded me that strength is not killing yourself and they beauty is not hurting yourself. This a message I want to share with others; this is a message I want to make known. To be able to do this one thing would make me the happiest girl – along with a few other things not related to fitness. :)
take up swimming
I used to be a fish. A legitimate fish. I would spend hours upon hours swimming in my small, yet adorable poor in the backyard, absent-minded and blissful. During my childhood, that is when I was most happy. The smell of chlorine…. the taste! As disgusting as it is, the taste and smell of chlorine strike a nostalgic chord with me.
Then, I turned into a electronic-obsessed, house hippo. I spent my days glued to a computer screen (what is all this past tense usage, right?) never stepping foot outside. God forbid I greet the sun, right? I became more interested in chatting instantly, then splashing intensely. In short, the only water-related activity I did was surf. The net, that is.
I miss it.
Today my work’s mail-man (who’s name I don’t know) dropped off some mail, as he tends to do every Friday. Being that it was dead and I was bored, I struck up a conversation with him. Actually, to be honest, he started it, I just kept it going. During the conversation I learned that he had just recently moved here from Calgary for two, simple reasons.
One: His family
And two?
The ocean.
The moment he said it, I couldn’t have agreed more. One of the most valued aspects of my current residence is how close I happen to be to water. I am a true believer that water – life flowers – force people to dream and hope and aspire. Perhaps it is the vast shorelines, or the calming breeze. Or, you know, a combination of the both. Just something about the ocean and water makes me feel like I can do anything.
So, I feel like it is stupid that I don’t spend more time with it. Even if it means a artificial creation (a pool).
Also… I could probably use a tan.
I’m, like, a glitter away from being confused for as a Twilight fan.
try out classes, rather than working out solely from home
As much as I love fitness, I sometimes get discouraged about how it is something that I haven’t gotten anybody to connect with. No one I know is as passionate about it as I am. Or, at least, in the specific style that I am. I feel like it would be extremely beneficial for me to get out more and try out some classes. In the past, I was scared to do so because I felt insecure about my body and technique, but now I understand that no one is really focused on anyone else but themselves. Especially in regards to yoga. You are there because you have a connection to your body. The others are just a great additive and a wonderful way to make friends.
I’ve done a few yoga classes here and there, but I want to get involved in maybe some aerobics classes, or even Pilates.
Maybe one day.
Regardless, stay sweet.Caitlyn.