My second favourite F-word: FAT

ALERT This is another TMI post. Not in the catch-you-in-the-feels kind of way. More in the, “I’m talking about lady things and hormones” kind of way.

I don’t need to be another person to tell you how good healthy fats are for you. The rise in avocado toast says it all.

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How much fat do I consume? Well… some would argue too much.

  • I start my day off with a tablespoon of coconut oil/peanut butter (maybe more if I’m feeling adventurous)
  • And if the price is right (a.k.a. $1 avocados), I’m eating about one/day
  • Every meal is cooked in either coconut oil, sesame oil or olive oil, and I’m not shy with it
  • I put tahini on next to everything: eggs, toast, salads, stir-fry…
  • My night-cap is generally a piece of dark chocolate with coconut oil on top, or make my own Reese’s cups with coco powder, melted coconut oil, and almond butter (recipe to come)

This may not be the right approach to unleash my abs of steel, but since I’ve started incorporating more fats into my diet I’ve noticed a BIG change in my everyday life. I’m not someone who is “regular”. I’m not just saying I’m weird mentally, but also some physical irregularities including digestion and hormone health.

I’m not like clockwork, and missing a beat it pretty normal for me (hint: imagine the stress of getting your “monthly” friend, twice a year).

Visit a physician, and it’s likely you’ll here: “here’s a prescription for the pill”

… huh? I didn’t ask for that. I don’t like it, and it kind of does a lot of f*cked up things to your body, the environment and your chances of getting preggo later on (not just on your end, it’s screwing up your SO too).

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Not saying this is the cure-all for everyone, but I’ve seen a lot of women start incorporating this way of eating into their lives and see a huge difference.

So give it a try and see if you notice a change!

 

 

Sunday Spotlight: Embrace that healthy body, even the rolls.

Pre-warning: If you’re averse to TMI or don’t like emotions, leave now. Close the page. Stop reading. This is about to get personal.

I will never, and have never claimed to have an eating disorder. But, like many girls, I have had an unhealthy relationship with food as I navigated adolescence and adulthood. And it wasn’t until recently that I became okay with the little layer of soft that covers my middle-half, or the jiggle that happens in my arms as I start lifting weights again.

I write this because too many women and worse, too many YOUNG women are shamed for their body. Fat, skinny, big boobs, no ass. As a genetic trait, I classify myself as “skinny-fat.” No butt, slender, little muscle, but always active and loved food.

In university, I started running. I became a vegan. I became fixated on the calories going in vs. the calories going out. I ate raw vegetables with 2 tablespoons of hummus for lunch, taught dance all day, ate a light dinner so I “wouldn’t get cramps when running later”, ran, slept, then did it all again. But I was eating nutrient dense food, and working out regularly, so I was healthy, right? That’s a hard no.

I wanted the rock hard abs, the ballerina-slender legs. I didn’t want to have a single roll. But what does a roll on my belly really signify about me? What does that jiggle in your thigh say about your passions? Your values? Your loyalty to friends?

While I still want the abs of steel, care about putting healthy, whole foods into my body (I’m not a wannabe health guru for nothing), I don’t judge myself for the muffin I just ate for lunch or skipping a run before work because I was up late with friends.

And I wish I could say it was as easy as recognizing when you put good in, you get good out. But when we deal with life’s big blows – death, family woes or school bullies – it becomes easy to fixate on and control your little imperfections.

Try to find solace in what you love. Lucky for me, my insecurities steered my passion for health and nutrition.

Put your energy toward making the world a better place, one person at a time. Because when you’re fighting for something good, it makes it a lot easier to forget your bad.

And remember to embrace your imperfections. Fly your freak flag high and proud because it’s people like you that make this world a better place.

-RL

 

Bean and Barley Soup

It’s no Toronto, but the dampness of a typical Raincouver day leaves you with the chills. And when a hot cup of tea doesn’t fix it, soup does.

Full disclosure: I’m not a soup person. Maybe I just haven’t found “the one” (prelude to the rest of my life). But when I’m in the mood for soup, boy am I in the mood. See the photo below for proof.

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If you know me, you know my metabolism is fast. Faster than I would like it to be. But a small mason jar of this stuff kept me going for a full 3 hours – WOAH!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 tbs of coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • One head of Kale
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 cube of veggie bouillon
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of barley
  • 1/2 cup of buckwheat
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 pepper
  • 4 large carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 can of kidney beans (or the bean of your choosing!)

Directions:

  1. Toss the coconut oil, onions, garlic, celery, mushrooms and carrots all together and cook for a bit
  2. Add in the water, veggie cube, crushed tomato, sweet potato, barley and buckwheat
  3. You MIGHT need to add in some more water here, depending on how broth-y you like your soup
  4. Save the kale for last, unless you like it soggy

Eat up!

<3 Rhi

 

 

 

In the spotlight: Kefir

I can testify: the key to a healthy life is a healthy gut.

While I may be leading a plant-based diet, I know a lot of people aren’t. Discrimination is a no-no for digestion. So let’s get the facts out and we’ll talk vegan versions another time, cool?

For those of you that suffer from digestive issues (can I get an AMEN?!), anything that can balance you is a god-send. While there are many ailments that can cause poor digestion, i.e. IBS, lactose or gluten intolerance, incorporating probiotics can be an easy step to fix the mess going on inside … or outside, if you catch my drift.

If you’re not all about the supplements, probiotics are easily found in fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt and, my favourite, kefir.

Kefir has recently been in the spotlight since its release in grocery stores across Canada. It is basically a level above yogurt in term of friendly gut bacteria and it helps you digest your food to get it moving. The strains of bacteria found in kefir are also super important in warding off intestinal infections – believe me, these are NO fun for you or the people around you.

If you’re hesitant because of a lactose intolerance or sensitivity, many people find that Kefir (and sometimes yogurt) are easily digestible because of the bacteria strains in them.

How you can incorporate kefir into your diet?

  • Purchase flavoured kefir and drink it like milk
  • Blend it in a smoothie
  • Use it as a base for homemade granola
  • Mix it in to some overnight oats (my fave is mixed with chia, mango, tumeric, cinnamon and kefir)

Happy digesting,

Rhiannon

She’s back!

Ladies and gents,

Clearly I took an extended hiatus, please let me explain.

I moved across the country and, it turns out, that can take a toll on one’s blog-writing abilities. Oh, and I got a little lazy.

So here’s my 2016 so far in a nut shell:

  1. The West Coast is the best coast, but Toronto will always have my heart.
  2. I’m a vegan again – plant-based recipes for the win!
  3. I still have a pulled hamstring.
  4. 2016 Goal #1: meet new people. So far, success!
  5. 2016 Goal #2: get my creative on. Cue adult colouring book.

So please prepare your eyeballs for the vegan recipes, thoughts on my new (but actually old) plant-based diet and Vancouver adventures.

Chat soon,

Rhiannon <3

 

 

The Watermelondria

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Labour day tends to mark the end of summer.

While fall is definitely in the air here in Vancouver (PSL’s are looking like their in my near future… jks they’re just sugar), most of my family and friends are trying to beat the heat over in Toronto.

Celebrate labour day and keep the summer feels with a little watermelon concoction of mine that I have now called “Watermelondria”. If you haven’t seen this video, I’m not even going to show you because you were living under a rock when it came out.

It’s quite simple, and a healthy way to get a little buzz going to forget about the weather that’s waiting.

The Watermelondria: 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/8 of a watermelon
  • 1 shot of vodka (or two… or three)
  • Mint leaves (give them a little massage)
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • Club soda

Directions:

  1. Blend up the watermelon (take out any seeds!)
  2. Use a fine sieve to strain the pulp (or keep it, but that’s weird)
  3. Mix everything else together
  4. Drink up!

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Soak up the sun, cause soon we’re all going to be vitamin D deprived and pale. Boo.

Become a matcha master

Praise the lord – matcha finally hit the big league.

What is this glorious powder? Well its green tea, but more intense and in powder form. Simple, right?

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You know all the antioxidants that people rave about in green tea? Yup, those are in matcha too. The toasty taste you get from a cup of Japanese Sencha? Check. Gives you energy sans jitters? Yessir – in actual fact, it’s also used at a relaxant. Those are only a few of the benefits.

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Because matcha has so many wicked properties, it takes a little extra love to make that perfect cup. Luckily, I’ve had my fair share of matcha making opportunities. There’s two ways to go about this beautiful cup: straight tea or latte. Let me start with the basics.

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Necessities: 

  • Matcha green tea 
  • Matcha whisk – this means no lumps
  • Wide-bottom bowl, mug, etc.
  • ALMOST boiled water (75 degrees). Let it boil, then sit for a minute before mixing.

Directions:

  • Use about 1/2 tsp. per cup of matcha
  • Fill the bottom of your bowl with about 1/4 cup of post-boiled water
  • Whisk the matcha in a side-to-side motion. Refrain from going circular as that will break your whisk
  • Once you don’t see any more balls and bubbles have started forming on top
  • Add in more water to fill the cup. Alternatively you can boil milk (I like almond milk) and add that in
  • 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup is a nice little touch
  • Added bonus if you get creative – brew a cup of coconut flavoured tea, vanilla tea, etc and use that instead of water or milk. YUM!

NUTS for cocoNUT!

Spring has sprung and its time to start acting like it, even if the weather isn’t.

To celebrate I decided to buy myself a young Thai coconut. Best.Decision.Ever.

You should already know about my love affair with coconut everything and that I don’t understand people who don’t like any and all things coconut (ahem, mother).

While I’ve touted the benefits of coconut oil, I’ve never dove in to the whole coconut. so let’s get cracking.

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The water:

  • High in potassium and electrolytes. This makes it perfect for after a sweaty workout. Don’t like the taste? Mix it into a smoothie!
  • Makes a great substitute for the sugary packaged stuff we buy for Piña Coladas! Mix together coconut water, pineapple juice and rum.
  • Great to hydrate with after a night on the town.
  • Boost in hydration also means better skin health

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The meat:

  • High in dietary fibre and good saturated fats. This keeps you fuller longer and can also kick a sweet craving in the butt.
  • The types of fat in coconut meat are actually used as fuel rather than deposited on your body.
  • Helps to support the absorption of key vitamins and nutrients helping you digest better.

So show coconuts some love and pick up a few today. They might be a little tricky to open, but they’re worth it.

<3

Rhiannon

International Day of Happiness!

Happiness is When what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.

Happy International Day of Happiness people! I hope you’re enjoying the first partial day of spring here in the Great White North. It’s the perfect day to be happy (well any day is). The sun is shining, it’s not freezing and it’s FRIDAY!

To honour the great feeling that is happiness I’ve listed JUST A FEW of the things that make me happy… there’s actually a lot, so I narrowed it down to what I have pictures of.

1. That places like these exist:

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The Grampians, Victoria, Australia

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The French River, Ontario, Canada

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Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territories, Australia

2. That Christmas exists – I don’t think you get how obsessed I am.

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3. That creatures like these will willingly love me

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4. That this picture was taken nearly six years ago and I’m still friends with them all.

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5. I’ve only know these human beings since September, but it feels like forever. 

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6. That I had the balls to go skydiving. And I want to go again. I CAN DO ANYTHING. 

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7. I chose to be a Golden Hawk. Best decision of my life. Laurier will always be in my heart and has definitely made me who I am today. 

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Some things that make me happy but I’m not posting pictures of:

8. My family

9. My aussie (well, Welsh) family plus an Italian.

10. Being able to be happy based on my own free will. 

Irish you all a happy St. Pat’s!

While beer will be flowing tomorrow, make sure you start your day off on the right foot. 

This smoothie is also beneficial for the next morning when you say, “Irish I didn’t drink so much yesterday.”

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With a whole lot of ginger, spinach and cacao, the antioxidants will be flowing and you’ll be seeing green before your toilet bowl does … too much?

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Ingredients: 

  • 1 massive handful of spinach
  • 1/4 cup of greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of Kefir
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Little chunk of ginger (add this based on taste, I LOVE ginger, so I put a decent amount)
  • 1 tbsp of hemp hearts
  • 1 tbsp of cacao powder
  • 1 tsp of maca powder
  • You can also throw in a little luck o’ the Irish if you have any around ;) 

If you want to get the party started early I think some peppermint schnapps would go nicely in this.

Happy St. Patrick’s day one and all! May your beer be green and your smoothies even greener :)

Until next time, 

Rhiannon