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

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Friday Five: If I knew then…

my friday five
I hope you’ve all had a lovely morning! And – furthermore – I hope that you are enjoying your afternoon! Here, it is beautiful. The sun is shining, the skies are blue, there is warmth and it is just absolutely fantastic. Baba is off taking a (much needed) nap before we head off to work.
Today’s Friday Five will include, not one, but two sections. First, the regular old five along with another five things I’d like to share with everyone. Over the past week I’ve learned a great deal about myself. And furthermore, a great deal about the people around me. I feel like it would be very much a shame to not use this as fuel for my post.
As you know, lately I’ve been struggling with writer’s block. To be honest, I’ve been feeling rather… uninspired. I have been getting the feeling that this is never going to flourish. That my work her is entirely in vain and no one is reaping any of the benefits – other than me. Then, this morning, I received an email from a new reader thanking me for my insights. It warmed my heart. I immediately turned to a – half asleep – Baba and told him. Thank you, reader; you’ll never know how you’re words have made me feel.
Without further ado, I present to you…
the regular friday five

favorite moment

Although this has been a week full of many memorable moments, I think the one the touched me the most was receiving the snickerdoodles from the lady from work. I’ve been having a huge issues lately seeing the good in me. I’m sure we’ve all been there in our life. Lately, I’ve been very hostile – for no good reason – and lashing out at those I love the most. Upon discovering this, I’ve felt nothing but hurt and pain for those around me, and distaste for my own regard. Naturally, being the self-depricating weird-o I am, I took this information and decided one thing and one thing alone,
Life would be better without me.
Ok. Let’s cut the mellow-drama. Regardless of how sappy it sounds, the validity of it is – unfortunately – very much present. After a few talks with Mama and Baba, I’ve learned to snap out of it (even if only a little) and am working on making myself whom I wish I truly was.

The moment Elizabeth presented to me these cookies, I realized that I can’t be all bad. There is good in me, without doubt. In so many ways I’ve made this little women so happy. Every single time she sees me, her face lights up (which causes me to feel extremely happy). To know that I’ve had such a positive affect on this one person allows me to fully accept that there are definite good bits in me. I just need to let them shine more then the bad bits.

favorite food
This one is really quite exciting, to be honest!

We all know I love almond butter – and all other nut butters alike. But, most recently I found myself low on the almond butter. I was frantic. Whatever could be done? Then, I saw it…
Stashed behind the ever-wonderful almond-y goodness lay a tub of butter I had completely forgotten.

Sunflower Seed Butter.

At first the taste was kind of… different. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I liked it at all. But then, I started to crave it. Now, I almost prefer it. I compared the stats of almond butter and sunflower seed butter and both proved to be extremely nutritious. While almond butter seemed to have a little more healthy fats, sunflower seed butter hold a few more grams of protein. So, now, I can rotate my butters!

Not to mention, the price of sunflower seed butter (at my superstore) is about half of the almond butter.

Can you say ‘sunflower seed score’?
favorite exercise

This week my work outs were very much inspired by ballet barre and pilates. I’ve become a convert. Currently I am loving to work my thighs and my abs. I’ve been noticing little tiny spots of abs, so I’m quite pleased with my progress.
This week I’ve tried a new exercise

The Mermaid
Lying on the side of your tush, with your head resting in you palm extend you legs out and cross you ankles. Breath in and pull your legs up, forming a V-shape and slowly lower down. That is one rep. Do this 20-30 times. Repeat on other side.

Ensure that you’re rested on your bum and no on the side of your legs. That will make the exercise more straining in your side.

The above is the starting position, by the end your feet will be in the air, still crossed, working your obliques.
I discovered this exercise from the TIU girls (pictured above). It’s awesome. Extremely hard, but a must-try!
favorite quote
Take these words with you. This week, I’ve really come to discover that I need to remember that I do deserve what I have, regardless of how I feel sometimes. I need to stop worrying and getting scared of silly things, and really let myself enjoy all that life has given me.
A beautiful mom, a caring and wonderful father, the perfect boyfriend, amazing friends, a bright future and a really adorable dog.
🙂
favorite find
I’ve heard about it a great deal. BB cream. It is an amazing invention. Extremely light weight, not think, moisturizing… bliss. I don’t like heavy make up, so when I found this it was a total score.
today’s five theme: if i knew then, what i know now:
1. I’d always listen to my mother/boyfriend when they tell me to quit it. I have a tendency to get defensive and hurt those around me. It’s never good. I really need to work on this one the most, I think. I need to learn to accept my faults more, be less defensive and still accept that I too have great strengths. People are not out to attack me.

2. I would stop cutting vegetables with steak knives. This week I cut a chunk (a legitimate chunk) out of my finger. It was gross. Also, I’d like to learn how to better handle cutting chunks of my finger out. I foresee this happening again (I’m spastic with the knife), so I should probably learn to maintain my composure a little more.
3. I’d never let a friendship end on a bad note again.
4. I’d update my iPhone a bit more frequently….
5. I would tell a very young me to look at herself in the mirror everyday and say five things that you love about who you were the day before, and five things that you could improve upon.
Five things I love: 
– I make Elizabeth happy;
– That I’ve forgiven and forgotten past hurt
– That my hair is starting to highlight itself
– That I have green eyes
– That I have gotten back into writing
Five things to Work On
– Thinking before I speak
– Correcting people all too often
– Lighting up on life and letting my hair down
– That I didn’t full-y stand up for myself
– That I let myself cry when I should have handled it more maturely
Alright, stay sweet,

You and your flowers have brightened my life 🙂

HodgePodge Wednesday

Good morning everyone! Today I have a lot of things to share with you.
warm and fuzzy
Yesterday was a really, very special day.
It was Tuesday, so Elizabeth – a lady I work with to whom I frequently go to movies with – was working. If you’ve been following me, at all, you’d know that Elizabeth and I have developed a real relationship both in and outside of work.
A few weeks ago, while discussing baked goods, I informed her that my all-time favorite baked good was a snickerdoodle.
I got to work yesterday to find Elizabeth sitting in the lounge doing a word search. Upon seeing me, she immediately informed me that there was a ‘surprise’ for me in the fridge. I opened the fridge and there sat three adorable snickerdoodles baked by a one Ms. Elizabeth. I nearly cried. She asked me to try them and at first I said I wasn’t hungry. But, then I said screw it and took a bite, just so she could see my reaction.
Best snickerdoodles ever.
The gesture almost caused me to shed a tear. How could one little women be that sweet?
I put the snickerdoodles into my purse and thanked her again. After that, we together tackled the rest of the word search together. Probably the best moment of my day.
You never realize how sweet such a small thing will be until something small and sweet lands in your lap.
If it is in the form of a yummy cookie, all the better. 🙂
words to live by wednesday
Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about who I’ve become. I am by no means perfect. In fact, I could not be further away from perfection. Unfortunately, I still have this need in me to achieve perfection. I hate to admit it, but I am consistently worried about how I am perceived. Whether it be by the people I work with, the people I love, anyone…
So, whenever this goal of mine because more and more difficult to achieve I become somehow discouraged and enraged. I feel poorly of myself and therefore because extremely defensive and… I hate to admit it… rude.
Most aspects of my personality are decent, but there is one that I do need to work on. I have this slight tendency to take out my inner anger on the people I love the very most. I feel stressed, scared and worried and because of these feelings and behave most inappropriately. I often say things without thinking about how it could sound to another person, then immediately feel horrid that it came out that way. I always apologize, but by then it is often too late. What is said is said, and I need to live with the consequences.
Last night my mother and I had a good and eye-opening discussion regarding it. She informed me that I need to stop or I could risk losing someone I love a lot. I couldn’t even imagine what I would do if I lost any of the people in my life. This is no longer about me, it’s about those to whom I love the very most.
I have mentioned in the past that I am no afraid to admit my faults. I have them; I have many. But this is the one that plagues me. I don’t take these people for granted, at all. I love them and worry everyday that they will leave my life in some way. So, my actions are impossible to explain.
I wanted to say I am sorry and I love you, publicly.
You three are the most important things in my life; without you, I’d be extremely lost. From this point forward I plan to make it an effort to not let my inner anxieties by any reason to treat you poorly. You’re worth more than that and it is time I start owning up to this. Thank you for being in my life and I will love you always.
work out update
Lately my work outs have been great. I haven’t shared any because they haven’t been very inventive. Though, I will inform you that lately I’ve been drawing most of my inspiration from ballet. I find ballet to be a great way to tone and sculpt a beautiful body.
Lately, I’ve been trying to learn to slow things down. I still love my intervals, both high intensity and not, but I’ve come to love the art of toning my body a great deal more. In fact, on the weekend I my phone malfunctioned (which is where my interval timer is). I had already had an interval based work out planned, so I needed to come up with a Plan B and quick. So, I hopped on my bike and basically did a 30 minute tempo run. Now, it was fun and effective, but it seemed long. I need to break up my work outs right now. It’s the only way that I can stay motivated.
It’s funny how every now and again work outs change, isn’t it?
Anyhow, I’ve become very influenced by ballet. My current obsession is <a href=”www.balletbeautiful.com”>Ballet Beautiful</a>. If you’ve seen the movie Black Swan, then you’d recall Natalie Portman being all very ballerina. Well, Ballet Beautiful is a ballet inspired fitness program designed by the very woman who trained her, Mary Helen Bowers. Not only a website, but also a book, this regime is pretty perfect for any person. I’ve already spent too much time reading up on it. I haven’t yet invested money, but would definitely say I’m getting close.
I think in a lot of ways, my workouts are defined or designed by how I want my life to go. Right now, I need to slow down. I need to let the beauty within me come out a little more. So, beautiful and elegant work outs it is!
I am also planning to use my work out time as a time of reflection. I need to center myself and remember what I am truly grateful for.
My mother and father, Omar, Zooey, my friends – both new and old, my health and my passions.

My new favorite move? Swan arms, which is – again – a move designed by Mary Helen Bowers.

I suggest you check out this beautiful and effective form of exercise.

 

 

That is all for now.

Stay sweet,
Caitlyn

 

 

The Value of a Friend

Good morning world!
tuesday thoughts
Over the past few months, a common theme has become very relevant within my life. What theme is that? Friendship.
I’ve often struggled when it comes to friends. As with most people, the concept of ‘true friendship’ was never properly defined to me and I was therefore unable to distinguish which of my friends were genuine and which were friends of convenience. After high school the defining lines become more apparent. You are not forced to spend time with a certain set of people, so therefore it is entirely up to you to keep in contact. I won’t lie in saying that I have often been the cause of the drift.
During my younger years, I adhered to what I thought was me. And furthermore, would become extremely defensive should someone suggest I was anything else. Trying so hard to maintain a certain image is a sure way of suggesting that perhaps that that personality isn’t true to you. In high school I wanted to be a loud-mouthed activist. A feminist, among other things. Now, while I have absolutely no issues with feminism (when not taken to the extreme) and believe in and equality between men and women, that is no my true personality. So, the connections I had made in high school – although wonderful – were not connections made because of who I truly was. So, after I discovered my true self, the personalities held by these individuals and I didn’t mesh. This doesn’t mean I do not still miss or care for these people, but that we have merely grown apart. I will always love these people, looking fondly upon our moments together. However for now our paths are going in different directions – a concept I’ve grown to accept.
Then there are the friendships that always seem to work. Even after a great deal of hurt.
Most recently I’ve began to speak to an old friend of mine once again. Our friendship had ended quiet unfortunately, and I had honestly never expected for us to reconnect. Words had been said and feelings had been hurt, and there mere notion of letting each other back was somewhat… scary – for lack of a better term. Occasionally we would send the other a kind hello, but nothing ever came from it.
Tacitly, we were both saddened by the parting.
Then, one day something happened. We decided to make amends. Being that we are both full-grown adults, both of us saw no reason to hold such a grudge toward the other. We said our apologies, took responsibility for what we had done wrong and moved on. Now, in a lot of ways, our friendship seems to be more cohesive than ever. We have been supportive to each other in a multitude of ways: including our goals, boys, self-esteem and much more and have caused each other to laugh frantically, even though our friendship has only just regrown.
Friendships like these are the ones to keep; friendships like these are the ones to remember.
It is also important to remember not to forget current friends when introducing new friends – or re-establishing old friends – into your life.  I have made this mistake many times in life, and I am sure you have as well. Never forget the silver and gold saying, okay guys?
To essentially sum up my ramble, I just want to say:
1) Always give second chances
As I’ve said in the past, there is always two sides to a story. Always. Just because you feel like you were in the right, doesn’t mean you were. Accept what you did wrong, and accept any apologies that are given. Any relationship is give and take,  so ensure that a decent amount of both is being done;
2) Always remain your true self and look for people who will support and love you for that
Friendships really are not worth it if it is not because of who it is you are. Right?
Today is just a short entry, as I work soon. Tomorrow be prepared for two new workouts and two reviews!

Stay sweet

Caitlyn

Simple Sundays: Mother-Daughter and Surfer Girl Work Out

simple sunday
Last night Mama and I did something we haven’t done in a really long time. We watched a movie! Not just any movie! One of the best movies of all time. We watched Steel Magnolias!
If you’ve never seen Steel Magnolias, I’d suggest you go watch it right now – especially if you’re a woman who is close to her mother. So, today’s Simple Sunday is simply: Mother and Daughter Movies. I will list to you my top three favorite!
First and foremost, the inspiration itself:
First of all, look at that cast! Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton… you know things will be good when Dolly is involved (does anyone else agree that Dolly owns the song ‘I Will Always Love You’? I don’t care what everyone says, it’s hers). The relationship between Sally Field and Julia Roberts is absolutely breathtaking! Throughout the movie, they share little smirks and eyes, which really allow the viewers to get a feel for how strongly they care for each other.

It’s amazing.

The story follows a group of women living in a small town. Sally Field is the mother of Julia Robert’s character, who is a newly wed with a bad case of diabetes. Her case is so severe that doctors warn her about carrying a child – a piece of advice that is paid little heed. Soon, Robert’s character does, in fact, become pregnant and opts to keep the child. This creates a bond between the mother and daughter and a story that is both heartbreaking and comical at the same time. Honestly, while watching this movie, you’re not sure if you’re crying because you’re so sad, or your laughing so hard. I think it might be both.
The characters played by Olympia Dukakis and Shirley MacLaine (does anyone else not love this woman?) are my personal favorites. Throughout the entire film their constant banter and general regard to one another is so humorous you find yourself wishing that there was more of it. They love to hate each other; it’s absolutely hilarious. There are several parts in the film where I was concerned about having a laugh-inducing accident in my drawers.
Again, I say, should you be of the unfortunate group of people who haven’t seen this movie. Go, no. Watch it. You’ll regret nothing.

First I’d like to say that it is complete coincidence that this movie also stars Julia Roberts.
 Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts will steal your heart in this timeless story of two women brought together by circumstances that are ideal to no one. Sarandon plays a divorced mother of two, who wants nothing more than to be everything her children could ever desire. Unfortunately when her ex-husband (Ed Harris) becomes involved with another woman (Roberts), her natural instincts cause her behaviors to often bias and driven by jealousy.
Both the story and characters within this movie come with many levels. During some moments you want to absolutely shake Sarandon’s character for being closed-minded, yet at the same time you find yourself slowly falling in love with her. Likewise, Julia Roberts plays a genuinely likable character – especially considering in the simplest terms she is portraying the ‘other woman’.
Similarly to Steel Magnolias, this movie will have you both laughing and crying (I’m beginning to wonder if this is a common theme among mother-daughter flicks). During one scene you’ll be dancing your heart out, and in the next you’ll be reaching for the tissues.
I truthfully don’t believe that they make movies like this anymore.
If you have not seen this movie, I again suggest you go pick it up!
The last is not a movie at all…
…but a show.
This show has also held a very special place in my heart. Maybe it is because through most of my high school career, I was endlessly compared to the character of Rory Gilmore (something that has been both a great compliment and a huge annoyance), or maybe it was simply due to the fact that it mirrors very closely the relationship held between my mother and I.
As mentioned, throughout my days, I’ve had several people ask me if this show was in some way loosely based off my life. Their reasons included: you are a the proverbial ‘good girl’, you’re close to your mother, you have a passion for writing and journalism, popular culture references make up about 55% of my dialogue and I am have a slight caffeine addiction and a mouth the won’t quit… talking.
During high school I disagreed. I mean, yes, it was a total compliment, but at the same time it made me feel as if I had to live up to the high expectations of a one Ms. Rory Gilmore (I simply do not believe anyone is that perfect). Now, looking back, I truly see where it is everyone is coming from. No, I am not suggesting that I am the real life Rory Gilmore, I’m just saying that I do see a great deal of parallels – mostly in dealing with the relationship between my mother and I.
If you’ve never watched this show, I suggest you proceed with caution as it is not for everyone. Perhaps you should chug back an 18oz mug of strong coffee beforehand. It might be for the best.
Other Movies That I Love:
1. How to Make an American Quilt
2. The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood
3. Little Women
4. Terms of Endearment
5. Anywhere But Here
What are some of your all-time favorite Mother/Daughter films?
think-y thoughts
I haven’t made a really good post about fitness lately, so I thought it was about time.
I will never understand why people are so comparative – myself, included – in regard to their fitness regime. Yesterday, I went out to coffee with a friend and she informed me that she worked out for the first time in a while the night before. She did forty minutes of cardio, followed by an additional x amount (I can’t recall the number) of meters in the pool. My first reaction? ‘Holy mother! I never exceed 45 minutes in a workout. That includes my warm up and cool down! Clearly, I am not doing enough’.
Then I said to myself (in my head, so I didn’t freak her out): “Caitlyn, cut that out!”.
Why do I do that?
I mean, no, I don’t exceed that much time. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t. I just don’t feel the need. Being that I used to be a cardio junkie, I still sometimes feel badly about cutting my cardio down so much. Instead of an hour daily, I’m doing 20 minutes each day along with toning and stretching. Since I began this system my body has changed in so many positive ways, yet hearing this still made me feel inadequate.
I think it is highly important for people to continually evaluate their own personal goals when they become interested in maintaining a physically active lifestyle. As human beings were are consistently changing, so why should our workouts be any different? Who knows, in a few months time, I might hate what I am doing now and become strictly interested in walking and yoga. Or maybe I’ll try out CrossFit or something equally and action-packed and become interested in pursuing that. Who knows? With fitness, it should always been about what makes you feel food in that given moment.
If you hate running long distances (Hello!), don’t do it. If you think yoga is pointless (although, I think everyone should include some kind of stretching into their weekly routine), steer clear of the ‘OM’… it’s not rocket science, it’s fitness. I know it is a cliche, but find something that you love and stick with it! Now that I follow this I wake up every morning thinking, “I can’t wait to work out!” instead of thinking “God damn, I need to work out”.
So please! Should you be guilty of being far too concerned with how your fitness routine matches up to someone else’s, ask yourself three questions:
1. Do I like my work outs?
2. Do I get excited to work out?
3. Do I feel good after my work out?

If you said ‘yes’ to all three (which, I have), then please disregard that comparative nature and keep on trucking!
At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is how you feel.

Speaking of which, today I had a GREAT work out. Sunday’s are the one day I extend my 20 minute cardio to 30 minutes and pair it with a 15-30 minute stretching session. My cardio today was designed by me and inspiring by… surfing! Why? Because it is summer and that is when people surf…

This definitely will make you sweat and get your heart rate up. With some really good music, it’s an awesome workout!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you today.

Stay sweet,

Caitlyn

Simple Sunday Survey

a simple saturday

out and a bout

Since yesterday was so beautiful, Baba and I took advantage of our day off to enjoy some lovely summertime weather. Originally the plan was to go to the Discovery Center and have a seriously awesome time with bubbles and other weird concoctions, but with the state of the weather, there was no use wasting it indoors.

So, instead, we walked the waterfront. It was absolutely beautiful a walk! It was an absolutely beautiful afternoon. Perfect, really.

Our first stop was this quaint, little Antique shop that I didn’t know existed. A little hole in the wall. I was so excited to have found it. Inside housed records, old nick-nacks, jewelry; you name it, and you’d find it there. Due to my recent interested in starting a seashell and ocean related collection, I contemplated purchasing a shell (yes, there was ample shell-age) but opted against it. The way I see it, my shell collection should begin with beautiful shells collected from the ocean, itself.

After was meandered about there – deciding to return – we decided to head to the Waterfront (hello, no brainer!) and head to the Market. This is where I found this!

This was a little more than a ‘hint’ of honey, if you know what I am sayin’!

After our stroll around the market, we decided to head out to eat. The walk back was so nice. Everyone was out and enjoying life. Smiling. Baba was in a good mood. It was bliss! Yes, I said it, ya jerk. Bliss!

Being that I am a total spaz, Baba was definitely the navigator of the afternoon. I could have easily had my eyes closed the entire time and I still managed to get from point a to point a without fail. Dinner was held at none other than my favorite place to eat: The Wooden Monkey.

This is my all-time favorite place to eat. I don’t know if it is the design, the food, the atmosphere or the workers. I think it is just everything. First of all, the waiters actually take the time to discover your personal needs as a consumer. They understand that in this day of age, people come with many different dietary restrictions (both Baba and I do: I maintain a generally low starch diet, while his stomach is unable to handle certain foods properly).  The staff is kind, warm-hearted and often humorous (one of the waiters did this neat flip-y thing with our glasses, that I just need to learn… to YouTube, with me!)

The food, in my opinion, is absolutely delightful. If going, I recommend one of the salads, their trio of dips (including a really interesting hummus – unlike any I’ve ever tasted) or their coconut quinoa pilaf. Absolutely amazing!

Baba ordered the BBQ chicken pizza sans onion and red pepper! He absolutely loved it – as he always seems to. He had polished the plate clean, which is not at all surprising to me. Only two nights prior, he single-handed-ly ate a sixteen inch pizza. I don’t know where he puts it!

I, on the other hand, enjoyed their Sweet Apple Salad avec 3 oz of free-range chicken and a whole grain mustard sauce. I loved it! The carrots and apple (which, I think, was granny smith) were done julienne and were  extremely tasty when eating together. It was sweet, crunchy and absolutely delish!

If you are ever in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I’d highly suggest you stop by and enjoy some grub!

a simple survey
An alphabetical list of simple things I love
A: Almond butter. Just simple almonds. Nothing makes me happier.
B: Babies. I absolutely love anything baby related. Sometimes, you’ll find me disappearing into the children section at my work place – or any store – to look at the baby stuff.
My cousins, Megan’s, son Jackson. HOW CUTE, RIGHT?
C: Coffee. I will attest to being a caffeine addict. Waking up to coffee every morning is the best feeling… ever.
D: Doodles. I am a avid doodler. Sometimes, there are lady bugs… with top hats. They’re fancy.
E: Elephant statues. I love elephants. One of my favorite animals.
F: Flowers. I honestly think that all problems can be solved when you are in the company of flowers.

G: Giving gifts. I love seeing the look on someone’s face when I give them something they’ve always really wanted. It’s so sweet.
H: High fives. I think they’re just as romantic as other physical forms of endearment. Plus, they’re positively reinforcing.
I: I love yous. Three itty bitty words. I say it a lot. I’ll just be sitting
J: Jumping Jacks. Gets the job done, am I right?
K: Kisses (fore head ones are the best)
L: Love. That’s all.
M: Mothers. I love Mothers. I mostly just love my Mother.

N: Necklaces – or jewelry – that holds significant meaning to you.
O: Omars. They’re simply wonderful.
(If you are not aware, this is Omar the Duck from one of my favorite Christmas movies)
You know, this one’s pretty okay, too…
P: Post-It Notes. I love writing notes to people on Post-Its. Ask Mama or Baba. They’ll tell you. 🙂
Q: Quiet time. I love the calm and still feeling of people being quiet and relaxed. AKA: I am pro-nap time.
R: Rain. When you’re inside and comfy/cozy. Best feeling ever. 🙂
S: Seashells. I love anything ocean related. To me, the ocean forces you to dream and aspire. When I look at the ocean, I feel anything is possible.
T:  Tea. I think it is my favorite drink of… ever.
U: Umbrellas! They’re right cutesy.
V: Vintage paintings and antiques. I love old things. They have stories. I want to know them.
W: Weddings and anything wedding related! I love love, guys.
X:  Xmas time! I love Christmas time. The baking, the music, the warmth, the family time. Ah, bliss! Also, watching The Ugly Duckling’s Christmas Wish, Annabelle Wish and The Tangerine Bear while it is snowing.
Y: Yogurt (greek). Addiction (yes).
Z:  Zooey Luigi Mearns. My pooch. I love her.
Yes, Zooey LUIGI. Like the Mario character. 🙂

today’s work out

So, this morning, I had a stroke of genius!

This was a lot of fun! Try it out 🙂

Stay sweet.

Getting comfortable

Good morning lads and lasses!

over the breakfast bowl

It’s a big word. Well, actually, it is a medium sized word, with a big impact. What word?

Change.

We all know about it. We’ve experienced it, discussed it. We could love it; we could hate it. Either way, it’s always there. Each day we wake up, we’re prepared for it. Or, perhaps we’re not, and freak out when it should occur. Regardless of its relationship with us, change has a way of coming in and often causing stress.

Your job is having cuts in hours, so you need to lose a few; you injure your leg, so you can’t run on it until told otherwise; after nine months of planning a beautiful wedding, you and you’re significant other realize that perhaps this isn’t what either of you want, thereby leaving you single. These are all examples of changes in one’s life that could easily cause someone to become frantic and/or depressed. This is especially true if you’re of the variety of people who find it difficult to ‘go-with-the-flow’ (me). That’s right, I’ve never been good with change.

For as long as I can remember change has freaked the heck out of me. Even still, I find it to be a difficult thing to get used to. Ask anyone who knows me; I’m a very structured person. Now, I’ll have you know, in most senses, I love it. Organization and planning – for me – is relaxing. I like to have things planned out perfectly, so I know everything will go well. That said, when things fail to do so, it does lead me to a wee bit of stress.

So, I have a new plan:

Changing Challenge

In My Workouts
I’ve already begun with this. Each day, I try to incorporate a new move I’ve never done before. I also rarely repeat the same workout twice. A year ago, it was all yoga. All of it. Same routine everyday. Which, was fine for a while, but did cause boredom. Now, I’m learning to incorporate HIIT protocols, yoga, Pilates, Barre movements, and classic strength and body weight training into my work outs. Alternatively, I’ve learned to work with – instead of against – my own body. To be quite frank, I’ve seen more results in the past few months (since I started developing my own, shorter routines) than I did following people fitness gurus – excluding the ToneItUp girls and ZuzkaLight. Currently I’m loving my yoga toning hybrids with bursts of cardio. They’re well-rounded and highly effective.

In my Life
This one definitely needs work, I’ll admit. I am going to start trying new foods (vegetables, most likely), pushing myself out of my comfort zone a little more often and take up a few new hobbies. These hobbies may include: cake decorating, floral arrangement, clay painting (:P). There is a craft store right next to where I work and I plan to head over soon to check out what exactly that offer in terms of classes. I, personally, love crafts. I find doing them very relaxing. So, why not take up a few that interest me?

It is also important to me that these hobbies I pick up, are in no way fitness related. I have a huge passion for fitness, yes. But I think it is also very important to have other things in your life. So, flowers and cakes it is.

And… maybe…

Maybe I’ll eventually rock this length….

Regardless, I think it is very important to learn to love change. It is not something to fear, but something to embrace. I don’t know about you, but when a positive change happens in my life, I get the most incredible feeling; and how will you know whether a change will be positive or negative unless you take a change?

Get comfortable with change. It could change you. 🙂

Stay sweet,

Caitlyn.

(An upper body yoga work out is soon to come!)

Straight from the Heart and Residual Habits

Good morning everyone! I hope you had a lovely sleep 🙂 Or, a good day.

sweet spots

Yesterday was a lovely day, I’ll tell you.

My best friend, Hannah and I decided we should go out for lunch. So, we did. It didn’t take too much discussion for us to figure out where we wanted to go. Heart Wood Cafe.

She had never been; I’d been several times. During my vegan days, this was my absolute favorite place to eat! Known for their healthy and organic baked goods, the Heart Wood Cafe is always a pleasant place to enjoy a good bite!

My favorite additive of their menu is their offering of the “Wild Card Salad”, which basically is just a hodgepodge of in-season foods! This is what I get every single time I do. All you need to do is inform them of any dietary restrictions (i.e; I don’t eat tofu) and they’ll ensure that it doesn’t show up on your plate! Alternatively, you can also inform them of certain foods that you would absolutely love to have upon your dish (Kind of like how I told that waiter that I’m a huge fan of a certain green fruit, fully of fatty goodness).

My friend got the Tomato and Avocado (also a fan of a ol’ ‘cado) Sandwhich:

And, as mentioned, I ordered my tried and true Wild Card Salad:

Unfortunately, my salad of today was not my absolute favorite. The best part was definitely the avocado. It wasn’t their fault, though! I had a really tough work out that morning and needed a little more fuel midday. Mostly it was just a bed of greens, some carrots and sprouts. Along with a few cubes of tofu and the requested ‘cado (anybody else think that they could easily eat a whole one in a day?).

All in all it was an awesome outing! Good food, great company and full tummies!

I know she’s beautiful, but unfortunately for you, she’s my best girl. 🙂
sweet eats

Tonight I made a salad that was so good.

Included was a: salmon patty, shelled edamame, roasted asparagus, grilled broccoli and snap peas, greens, with a peanut ginger hummus I mixed up. Delish!

Thinky Thoughts

In most ways, I like to consider myself relatively – for lack of a better term – ‘healed’ from the aforementioned Ed, but often certain behaviors rear their heads for no apparent reason. The one I noticed most recently was at Heart Wood.

I have this unusual issue with holding a conversation while I eat. And, furthermore, I feel uncomfortable eating in front of people. So, basically, if someone is talking to me and I want to eat, I feel I can’t until they stop and begin to eat. It’s silly; I know. I hate that this still happens. I just (for some odd reason) have a difficult time with it. I’ve developed a certain relationship with the whole digestive process and do it kind of intuitively. I suppose the thing I need to remember is that eating isn’t such a big deal to other people. It’s just something they do. You know, ‘oh, I’ll grab a bag of chips’ or ‘I’ll just bring an apple for if I get hungry’. My friend even laughed at how prepared my lunch was for the workday. For me, this is totally normal. I have six meals a day, each meal needs certain nutrients and that’s that. I love living like this, but not everyone really understands it.

Regardless, there are moments in our life – for those of us recovering from such issues – that we will discover residual behaviors such as this one. I think what we need to remember is that a) not everyone has the same relationship with food, b) there is nothing wrong with finishing your plate first or eating while other people talk and lastly c) the only person who matters when it comes to food is you and your body.

So, if you’re hungry, eat. Don’t worry about the people around you so much! And furthermore, remember to accept who you are. If you have a similar relationship to food as I do, embrace the aspects that are positive and understand that some of them are not.

This was mostly just a ramble, I’ll be honest. I am not sure how eloquently this came out, or how well it was written, but I just wanted to say something from the heart

Stay sweet,


Caitlyn

Slow down, Challenge Yourself (June Yoga?) and Feel Amazing

Good morning everyone. 🙂

yoga challenge
Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

This week I managed my three yoga sessions! Not only that, but I’ve also incorporated yoga moves into ALL of my work outs.

Session One: Long and Lean (Tone It Up) 10 minute session (short and sweet, but highly affective);
Session Two: Goodess Work Out Circuit by the Tone It Up Girls, which uses yoga postures along with toning exercises;
Session Three: My 40 minute yoga/cardio hybrid.

Additionally, this week, I’ve decided to do Sun Salutations for my warm up, rather than my usual warm up of light jogging. I will do 20 salutes total, ten of which will be normal Sun Salutes and ten will be – what I refer to as – ‘Sweaty Sun Salutes’.

Essentially, it is the same as a regular sun salute (mountain –> forward bend –> plank –> chaturanga –> upward dog –> downward dog –> forward bend –> mountain), but you add a few more steps. It really gets the heart rate up. If you’re interested in trying, here is the flow:

sweaty sun salutation

Being in mountain pose, hands pressed firmly over your heart, feet hip width apart. Inhale and slowly raise your arms laterally and sink your hips into a strong squatting position, or into chair posture.
From there exhale and straighten your legs – as best as you can – and relax into a forward bend, pressing your palms onto the mat. Keep your core engaged (imaging someone pulling your belly button to your spine).
Inhale as you walk or jump your feet back into plank position, then exhale as you lower into a chatrunga (low plank) and as you push yourself forward into upward down (arms placed firmly next to your hips, chest opened, tops of feet pressed into your mat – if you need to have your knees on the floor, that’s okay) inhale and hold.
As you exhale push yourself back into the lower plank, elbows close to your ribs.
On the inhalation, with all your strength, push your entire body up into a high plank (this is difficult after a few rounds) and exhale, again, as you return to downward dog (your body should be at a 45 degree angle, relative to the ground. Bend your knees if you feel too much resistance). Repeat cycle as many times as needed.

Try it! It’s fun!

over the breakfast bowl

In lieu of this yoga challenge, but I’ve learning a lot about slowing down. In one of the at-home yoga videos I follow, the instructor informs us that in life, not only do you need to test your strength, but it is also important to slow down and cherish what you have. It is all reflective of the true importance of yoga: a balance.

Life in the Western culture makes it difficult to find balance. With work, school, kids, friends; sometimes it feels like we’re juggling so much we don’t have the time to slow down. But, we do. Even if it is just ten minutes out of the day. Take it. For you. No one else; just you.

How have I practiced this?

Every morning I get up around 5:30 and begin to make my breakfast (which, to me, is relaxing). Then, I eat it and plan out my mornings work out which – once food is properly digested – I tackle. After that, I’d usually run up and shower, but instead I’ve taken to lying on my yoga mat immediately after my work out for a little while to just reflect.

What on?

Well, first how proud of myself I happen to be for completing my days challenge. But also to think about how lucky I am to be where I am today.

In the past, my work outs were too long to do that. Once I was done I needed to run and get ready and go! But, now, thanks to my appreciating other things in life, I am able to do that. And, to be honest, it’s the best part of my work out: when I work my mind.

a quick review

I love trying new shampoos. Absolutely love it. And, this, right here, is amazing!

Typically, when shampoo shopping, I try to find products that have – mostly – natural ingredients. Why? Because it’s a habit I got into and I like it. Also, I just find that they clean my hair better.

This little bad boy not only smells awesome, but has also made my hair super soft! It has a coconut flavor (and I happen to be a coconut addict), with hints of kiwi. Bottom line? This stuff is absolutely wonderful.

As for pricing, my Mama actually bought it, but I don’t remember it being outrageously priced and you get a good amount on the bottle. So, if you find it, I would definitely pick some up.

That pretty much sums up what I have to say for now. Check in soon, and you’ll get a review of one of my favorite local vegan/vegetarian health food cafes here in Halifax!

Remember, stay sweet and smell the flowers,

Caitlyn

Mama Bears goes [un]Nuts and Pancake Perfection

Many months ago, tragedy struck this household…

MamaBear discovered a negative reaction to, you guessed it, peanuts – both in nut and butter form.

sweet treats

That creamy, sweet and nutty indulgence was one that she would never be able to enjoy again. Now, I know what you might be thinking: ‘so?’ Well, allow me to inform you of MamaBear’s deep obession with all things peanut butter related. To quote, ‘peanut butter was a staple…a staple in my diet. I miss it so so so much!’

Well, something clearly needed to be done about that.

So, I did what any rational foodie would do.

Almond butter.

No dice.

Cashew butter!

Ain’t happening.

Sunflower seed butter is clearly the –

Nope. Not interested.

Then, I found it.

Then, I found what she wanted.

WOWbutter is gluten, dairy, peanut and tree nut free. All of which, is admirable. The aim of this specific butter is to provide peanut butter-y spread that is 100% safe for schools. In MamaBear’s opinion, this guy definitely delivers. I actually think the word ‘wow’ came out her mouth upon sucking back on a spoonful. Which, being the pun loving gal I am, pleased me to no end.

In regard to the nutrition, this little guy proves to be pretty clean, it does:

“Non GMO Toasted Soy, Soy Oil, Granulated Cane Sugar, Monoglyceride (from vegetable oil, prevents oil separation) and Sea Salt.”

I can read all the words, know what they mean and can count them on ONE hand.

So, this is Caitlyn approved!

However, I’ll happily stick to my all-natural almond butter, thank you! 🙂

today’s work out

Today the plan was to tackle every ‘s’ of fitness: strength, speed and stretch. So, I completely a 16 minute HIIT routine, a 10 minute AMRAP routine (compliments of ZuzkaLight and my Long and Lean Routine from the ToneItUp Beach Babe DVD. At the end I felt amazing! And – you know – sweaty!

sweet treats

Along with being addicted to the TIU work outs, I also love the TIU protein pancake, which I’ve yet to perfect…

My Protein Pancake
1 scoop protein powder of choice
1/4 cup of egg whites
3 tbsp Fat Free Greek Yogurt
2 tbsp Unsweetened Almond Milk
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Mix all ingredients into a bowl and wisk;
Heat a pan over medium heat and spray lightly with an olive oil cooking spray;
Pour mixed ingredients into bowl and cook until showing side starts to bubble;
Attempt to gracefully flip;
Fail at any sort of grace;
Let other side cook for approx the same amount of time;
Get something that looks like this…

Allow mild depression to ensue for a few moments, then decide that the show isn’t over…

Cover pancake with your choice of toppings, smile and mow!

My toppings included three strawberries, almond butter and additional Greek Yogurt. 🙂

Stay sweet,
Caitlyn