Happy Birthday, Swim!

Sometimes I wonder where I would be if I wasn’t with someone like this guy….

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Someone who supports my every crazy (though usually not so crazy to me) idea and dream! When we met back in 2010 I was not a vegetarian nor was as I fitness-focused as I am today. The first summer we spent together, I probably went to the gym 4 days a week and it wasn’t a big deal if I missed. I wouldn’t have even considered working out in the mornings and definitely not on the weekends.

I indulged in the occasional McFlurry, my fair share of pizza, and a lot of Twizzlers and french fries. I didn’t know how to slice a pepper let alone cook a meal. I learned to make basic stir fry that year but mostly survived on pre-cooked chicken wraps, BBQ’d chicken breasts, and a lot of instant breakfast shakes. I still remember the first time I made Ryan spaghetti (with meat sauce, not meat balls) and felt like a total domestic goddess lol…

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Ryan likes to think he taught me how to cook but I can’t recall that memory so well… but I do remember the first time he cooked for me and I knew this guy was a keeper 😉

I wouldn’t say I was unhealthy, but I definitely wasn’t where I am today. I wasn’t completely comfortable with myself and I was the definition of a weekend warrior; depriving myself as much as possible through the week to erase my progress in a weekend.

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I slowly transitioned into a healthier person, becoming more concerned with what I put into my body and how I spent my time at the gym. Ryan couldn’t have been more supportive and never once tried to guilt or convince me into indulging or skipping a workout. He never said I was “taking it too far” or that I should or shouldn’t do something I was doing. He always gave me space to try new things and figure it out for myself. Most of the time he was right there with me, and if not, it was understood with zero judgement – he ordered pizza and I ordered salad.

The biggest change for me was definitely committing to a plant-based diet in January of last year. After spending 3 years with someone who had close to the same eating habits, I can imagine it would be difficult when suddenly the dinner menu changed completely. But not once did he complain or push back. Not once did he make a single negative comment. Not once did he ask me to cook or buy meat and he’s tried every one of my kitchen experiments.

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In fact, he decided to become a weekday vegetarian, not just in support of me, but because he knows the major impact it has on the world as a whole. He studied renewable energy in school so he gets it.

Even today on his birthday he suggested going to dinner somewhere we know I can get a vegan meal. Sure its one of the nicest places in Fredericton, but he easily could have said he wanted wings and beer or dragged me to a steak house.

So on your birthday, Mr. Swim, I just want to thank you for being there for me, with me, through thick and thin, through ups and downs, through getting my engineering degree, moving halfway across the country, a partially long distance relationship, crappy jobs, countless traveling, Insanity, juice cleanses, veganism, burnt dinners, shared holidays, blogging, 30 days of yoga, and the list goes on…

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We are not the same people who met in 2010 but the fact that we are still so happy together assures me that no matter what comes our way, I will be making you breakfast waffles (with or without the maple syrup) for many years to come ❤

I can’t imagine having a someone more supportive and encouraging by my side. I don’t think I would be who I am today without you. And even if I was… I bet I’d be pretty lonely 😉

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Love you more than words can say!

Happy Birthday, Swimmer 🙂

Lizzie xo

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Half Juiced: Cleanse Update!

I am officially halfway through my juice cleanse! If you missed how I got started or what program I’m following see my intro post here! I figured I’d do a real time, half-way point update to let you all know that I’m still alive, this isn’t crazy, and if I can do this so can you 🙂

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So…

How am I feeling?

It’s Day 5 and I feel great! Day 4’s audio coaching said it should be the last day for headaches if you have any but most likely they will be gone at this point. On Day 2 I did have a slight headache at times and felt a bit tired but I was back to myself on Day 3. It was definitely a bit of a mental game in the beginning where I kept saying to myself, “am I hungry?”, “do I feel weird?”, because I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I just relaxed and went about my business I didn’t feel any different at all 🙂

Am I hungry? 

Surprisingly, no. The juices are very filling and one juice is about 2 cups in size. Because they give me all of the nutrients I need, my body is sending hunger signals to my brain to search for food. Day 2, again was a little tough… I was checking the clock often waiting for my next juice but I often do this on a regular day.  Day 3 I woke up a little hungry and was worried it would be another tough one but I kept busy at work and juice time seemed to pop up before I knew it. The key is keeping your mind busy!

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Have I been working out?

Of course. The program encourages regular exercise to help keep oxygen flowing and aid detoxification. Have I been pushing myself to my usual max? No. I reduced my weights slightly at BodyPump on Monday and took some low options in Tuesday’s BodyAttack. Wednesday night I took a hot yoga class and it was perfect in every way. I plan on finishing the week with more yoga and some light weights!

Did I cheat?

No. It’s only 7 days… cheating would make this a total waste of time. Did I consider it? Yes, but I reminded myself – 7 days, Lizzie!

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Is it time consuming?

No more so than prepping my usual lunches and dinners. Actually I think I have more time on my hands.

Is it expensive?

Again, no more so than my usual grocery bill. Think of all the things I’m not eating: protein powder, nuts, dried fruit, cereal, oats, chocolate, almond milk, etc. Yes I had to make an initial investment to purchase the ingredients for the cleanse but the things I normally use on a daily basis will be right there waiting for me when I finish this. The supplements were a bit pricey but I’ve been wanting to incorporate wheatgrass and a probiotic into my repertoire anyway 😉

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But what do they juices taste like?

Umm amazing. How can something with fresh pineapple and apple juice not taste like a little sip of heaven? I love fresh juice and with the added creaminess of avocado, yogurt or banana it might as well be a dessert!

How do others respond?

The first response from most has been, “Oh I could never do that”. But honestly, anyone can do this. Once I reassure people it’s not a restrictive crash “soup” diet and the Jason Vale program ensure you are well nourished they come around a bit. Most people are just afraid of what they don’t know. A very short time ago, while reading Crazy, Sexy Diet, I looked at my bf and said “I just couldn’t to a cleanse with my job”. And here I am… working and cleansing. Go me 🙂

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It’s not that crazy. It’s just drinking juice instead of eating meals. You are getting all of what you need and none of what you don’t. Some crazy people out there don’t even eat breakfast or eat only 2 meals a day. Now tell me how filling myself with 5 nutritious juices is crazy?!

If you think this is something you could get into… check eBay or Kijiji for a juicer. You don’t need a top of the line model if you aren’t sure its for you. Decent brands are also available at Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart, etc. for ~$100.

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For a little added motivation, next week Jason Vale is putting on The Big Summer Juice Detox. Last year, over 28,000 people from 60 countries took part in the 7 lbs in 7 days challenge together (exactly what I’m doing right now). You can sign up online and get everything you need, including support, right from the website. At first I felt kind of disappointed that I didn’t know about it earlier so I could do it with the rest of the world… then I remembered that I’m halfway through 😉

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Please let me know if you decided to incorporate some (or 7 days of) juicing into your summer! I’d love to support you in any way I can. If you have any questions you’d like covered in the recap post, leave them in the comments box 🙂

Happy Juicing!

Liz xo

Staying on Track

Happy Sunday 🙂

Where did last week go?! Whenever I travel for work the weeks fly. My team attended an advanced pulp training course in Bangor, ME which was a nice change up from the usual routine.

It’s always a challenge to stay on track on these trips because our breakfast are always provided by the hotel (bagels, croissants, muffins and thankfully fruit) and the group dinners always include an abundance of appetizers, drinks, and pub food of course. I got around it, however..

1. Our group rate included free breakfast from the restaurant – oats and peanut butter for the win!

2.The Sea Dog restaurant in Bangor had a decent vegetarian selection. I request the Mediterranean plate be added to the appetizer spread which had a bean dip, hummus, and taboulli (tabouleh?) with pita chips. For my main I had the sunflower burger (no dill sauce) with a side garden salad. All delicious!

Thankfully I never travel without my running shoes…

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Or my green juice nowadays 😉

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After a week like this which was preceded by the graduation celebrations last weekend and the Victoria day cottage weekend before that…. I feel kinda crappy :S

I did my best to make healthy choices while still enjoying myself – who goes to a microbrewery and doesn’t have a beer?! Or 10 mini samplers?

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Ok so I only drank 6 but I ate enough pita chips to feed a small army 😉

So in lieu of this I thought I would write a post about staying on track! It can be tough but if it were easy then everyone would be on their game all of the time and let’s get real… no one can be perfect all the time.

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1. Be prepared! 

Choose a day to prep some meals and snacks for the upcoming week.  I like to have at least one meal that only requires re-heating (casseroles, curries, soups), one that the boy can get together for us since he gets home from the gym before me (quesadillas,  BBQ, stir fry), and anything else should require minimal effort on the night of the meal. If you want baked potatoes, bake them the night before you plan to eat them while doing other chores or relaxing.
If you will be away for the weekend, keep this in mind the week before so you can have a few things in the fridge/freezer when you come home like frozen burgers, wraps, a few fruits/veggies,  soup. Your produce won’t go bad in a couple of days. Plan to stop at the grocery store on Monday or Tuesday for some easy meal ingredients – spaghetti squash is a good quick one that you can bake on Monday night to enjoy the following day.

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I don’t recommend shopping and cooking in the same day. I do recommend spreading out your prep to avoid an entire day in the kitchen. Browse cookbooks one one day, make some protein bars or green juice on another, and choose something quick and easy to have on meal prep day.

2. Keep healthy snacks on you at all times

If you are leaving for a few days or just for the afternoon, always keep something to snack on in your purse, carry-on, car, whatever! This will keep you from grabbing fast food on the run. Protein bars, nuts,  fruits, veggies, & individual (soy or coconut) yogurt packs, are all easy to throw in your purse when running errands. If your on an overnight trip, luckily most hotel rooms have a mini fridge 😉

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3. Plan ahead when dining out

Check out the menu online. My mom says this takes away from the experience but if you are trying to lose weight or are vegetarian/vegan than you will be excited to know you can dine out AND enjoy a healthy/veg-friendly meal 🙂

4. Keep a food log

I swear by this. This doesn’t mean you need to count calories but writing down what you eat will help you see the type and amount of food you took in at the end of the day. If you find you aren’t making any progress, take a look through the past few weeks and maybe you’ve been overeating or eating too much salty, fatty foods and not enough whole foods. Just the same, you can keep a fitness journal and also try to include your mood that day. This will help you learn what works for you. Remember, you can’t get your dream body on a “diet”. If you do, you’ll only have it for a short time, not to mention you won’t be healthy.

Don’t diet. Live healthfully.

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5. Focus on your goals 

When you are tempted and losing willpower, imagine your end goal. Really focus in on how bad you want it. When I feel weak I pull up Instagram and scroll through the health and fitness inspirations I follow. When I see someone else posting a healthy meal or a post-workout pic it motivates me. Make an inspiration board, post motivational pics in your cupboards (I’ve done this lol), call a friend for support, open up your Women’s Health magazine. Do not sacrifice what you what most for what you want right now.

6. Cheat day is not a free-for-all

I enjoy a treat just as much as the next person. I am a total chocoholic. However… cheat day doesn’t mean as much fries and drinks as you want. Cheat day means one bad meal or maybe a few extra calories on a given day. Do some research on calories in vs. calories out. No matter how hard you work all week, if you have a wild and crazy cheat day you will have a net positive calorie intake for the week. Don’t live week to week and throw caution to the wind on the weekend.

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6. Find support 

A group exercise class, a friend to walk/run/gym with you, books and magazines for information on fitness and nutrition, blogs, Instagram, Pinterst.

Make yourself accountable either to a class that you pay for, a friend that you’ve committed to, or by publicly logging your progress. If  you regularly post on Facebook or Instagram when you make a healthy meal or accomplish a sweaty workout, I bet you’ll feel guilty when you skip!

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7. Get results!

This may sound a bit backwards but there is no better motivation than results. Once you start seeing your progress whether it’s in the mirror, your measurements, your energy levels, or your physical abilities, you will feel SO good about it you won’t want to mess it up.

8. Don’t beat yourself up

Like I said, none of us can be perfect all of the time. If you fall off the wagon, don’t stress out, don’t go crazy and cut your calories to 1200 for the week (actually more ineffective than anything), don’t say “screw it” and continue to eat everything in sight either! Just take a step back, breathe, forgive yourself, and get your head back in the game.

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Hope you’re all thoroughly motivated get get back on or stay on track! Remember, if you can reach your goal, it is so much easier to maintain it! Take a few months to just focus in, quit the junk, commit to your workouts, and JUST DO IT.

Have patience. Be consistent. Do it for YOU because you deserve it! 🙂

Hope you all have a great week. Stay tuned for a light, summer dinner recipe!

E xo