GIVE UP/TAKE UP for July!!!!

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Wowza our apologies we dropped the ball the last couple months on our Give Up Take Up Challenge! I’ve never been good at juggling anyways 😉

I can happily say the previous month challenges have helped me create some good habits that have stuck (95% of the time). I have stopped biting my nails and am proud of how long they are (which is still short but long for me), I don’t eat (95% of the time) after 8pm, I’ve done a bit of yoga and continued with my stretches before bed. I’ve also (almost) eliminated dairy from my diet but I have to say I still struggle with this since having quite a, what I like to call, “inflexible” diet I would rather indulge in some cheese then hurt my insides with a plate of pasta and let’s face it, dairy alternatives are kind of gross.

As for July my Give Up is gonna be a toughy and one I’ve struggled with for years – I’m giving up negative self talk. No more calling myself names or looking at myself in anything less than a beautiful way.
To correspond with my Give Up I will be taking up one positive personal
praise
every morning. I have a feeling this will start with me flexing my right arm in the mirror and saying “That’s one nice baby bicep you got there” but hey that’s a start. Do you compliment other people but don’t compliment yourself? You should put as much effort into praising yourself as you do others, maybe even more! Self love reflects into everything you do, remember that.

Anyways we would love to know if any of your give up/take up attempts have created long term habits??? Please share with us what your Give Up/Take Ups will be for the month of July and make sure to be realistic! Notice I didn’t say I will be giving up wine in July cause you and I both know I would fail miserably, nobody should set themselves up for failure like that!

Lots of love and look forward to hearing from everyone,

Xoxo
Mel

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Now that the bloat is gone

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Good news! I’m down 4 pounds in 2 days! Bad news is I know I didn’t eat well on the weekend and those 4 pounds were probably just wheat bloat but hey – the scale is moving in the direction I want it to and that’s what counts!
Follow us on Instagram @sisteractfitness if you want to see some of the stuff I’ve been eating. I’m also on myfitnesspal @mpenn.

Will keep you updated 😉

Big Goals and Big Plans

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So back in the day I was a lean mean food prep machine (emphasis on the lean part), however, winter kicked my ass this year and has left me unable to fit into my jeans and uncomfortable in my own skin. What should I do? Wallow in self pity? CHECK! Stand in the mirror squeezing my belly while swearing? CHECK – Now that I got that ridiculous crap out of the way it’s time to correct my mistakes

Step #1 – PLAN! What’s that saying? “Failing to plan is planning to fail” (something like that) So I’ve planned my meals (all of them) for the next two days – pretty simple since I’m going to eat the exact same thing two days in a row since I’ll be at work and then Wednesday I can re-evaluate. Part of the plan is also planning my workouts and the week looks like this:

Monday (tomorrow) – Empty stomach cardio 6am on the spin bike and abs – 30 minutes

Tuesday – Empty stomach cardio same as Monday (I unfortunately have plans both Monday and Tuesday night so I gotta get my exercise done in the morning)

Wednesday – Legs and abs (odd combo I know but it’s the way the cookie crumbles this week, I am now regretting mentioning cookies)

Thursday – Clutch cut workout 3 rounds – http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ashley-conrad-21-day-clutch-cut-day-1.html

Friday – Rest (going for massage therapy Thursday night and at the age of 30 a girl needs to relax once in a while)

Saturday – Clutch cut workout 4 rounds

 

Step #2 COOK! Here’s a picture of what I prepped – it looks like a lot in the picture but I for see this being gone in 3 days (there’s two of us eating and we both work out) Image 

Incase these items look foreign to you here’s a run down – raw veggies! red pepper, cucumber, grape tomatoes, carrots. Steamed broccoli and steamed asparagus. BBQ’d chicken breast (with a bit of montreal steak spice, garlic powder, and onion powder). Hard boiled eggs and two roasted sweet potatoes (the potatoes are for my weight lifting days). For the potatoes all I did was stab them with a fork (this was slightly exhilarating) and baked them for an hour in the oven at 450 degrees (easy as pie, shit, now I want pie)

I know what you’re thinking – All that food looks so good but how does it translate into meals?

Here’s the transformation:

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This is how my food break down will go tomorrow and Tuesday

Breakfast – two eggs and 3/4 cup of egg whites, sauteed in coconut oil with some pre-steamed broccoli, topped with salsa. On the side a smoothie made with a 1/2 cup blueberries, squeeze of lemon – to get the iron benefits from the 2 cups of baby spinach, one scoop of Enerex Greens.

Snack – 1 oz (I meant to have more but had to share and had to sample and that left literally nothing for tomorrow) beef jerky with cucumbers and carrots

Lunch – 6 oz bbq’d chicken breast on herbed salad with 3 olives, a couple of marinated artichoke pieces, 4 sundried tomatoes and a half of a red pepper. Topped up one tablespoon of extra virgin olives oil and a half tablespoon of balsamic drizzle.

Snack – 2 slices of Maple Leaf’s Natural Selections Oven Roasted Turkey Breast Slices, half a can of tuna mixed with a bit of salt/pepper and some salsa and a half of a red pepper to scoop up the tuna with

Dinner (have to pack dinner cause I have a meeting after work and “picking up” dinner is not an option) 4.5 oz of bbq’d chicken, a cup of steamed asparagus and two more slices of turkey breast. 

Total calories 1450 – Honestly when I first put all this food together it was only 1100 calories  (that’s why I’m eating a friggin cup of egg whites and you see those random turkey slices stuck into meals)- my current goal is to eat about 1600 calories a day cause contrary to my inability to fit into my jeans there’s a fair bit of muscle on me and eating anything less than 1400 calories a day will set me back in my quest to restore my adrenal/hormonal balance.

Want to see what the bf’s food looks like cause it’s much tastier?

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Breakfast – is a bounce ball and an apple

Snack – Turkey slices, a bit of organic raw cheddar cheese, two pieces of salami (have I told you he’s Italian), a pickle and some cucumber

Lunch – A salad with 7 oz of chicken, a hard boiled egg, tomatoes, olives and artichokes – he gets goddess dressing with his salad (I’m jealous)

Post Workout Snack – 1/2 of a sweet potato with a bit of montreal steak spice, some raw cheddar, steam broccoli and beef jerky

Dinner – no idea but I will probably be jealous of it, there’s rumours of sushi with the boys (jerks) 

 

Some strict crap that I will be abiding by:

No nuts! I have a problem with nuts – I love them, if they are roasted I love them more and I can’t stop eating them and then I feel like garbage so no nuts!

No grains – I’ll admit I dabble in the rice and gladly tasted a chocolate croissant and a couple of adorable mini sandwiches at the baby showers I was at today – not only am I bloated but I am in pain, not worth it and definitely does not help me reach my goals

Less salt – this is a toughy for me cause let’s face it, healthy food doesn’t always taste as good as it makes you feel

No cheese – man if I had a nickel for every time I’ve written that in a post 

Now that I’ve gotten all the NO NO’s out of the way the stuff I will be incorporating

1600-1800 calories – those clutch cut workouts are a bastard and if I undereat I will feel the affects drastically

Exercise 6 days a week – mixing it up – lifting weights a few times, cardio a few times and intervals when possible 

More veggies

Also something that I am vowing to put back into my routine that I sadly forgot about is starting every morning with a glass of hot water with a half of a squeezed lemon – this little trick kicks ass, kick starts your metabolism, flushes toxins – here’s a great article about it – DO IT! http://tasty-yummies.com/2013/03/18/10-benefits-to-drinking-warm-lemon-water-every-morning/

 

Anyways I will try my best to keep you updated as the week goes on – My goal (and since I’m putting it on the internet I better stick to it) is to lose 8 pounds by the time we hit the track Friday June 20th for the Relay for Life. That will put me about to what I weighed last year when we did the Relay. 8 pounds in a month is a very lofty goal but if I come up shy at 5 pounds I’ll still be happy 🙂

If you have any helpful tips for me I would love to hear them or if you have any food ideas or meal prep ideas I can steal please post them below or post them to our facebook page (Sister Act Fitness)

As always thanks for the love,

XOXO

Mel

 

 

Camping is kind of like Christmas

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Whaaaaaaaaaaat?
What I mean is camping is similar to Christmas in that there’s food all around you, usually not great healthy choices and let’s be honest – What goes better with a box of wine and a camping chair in the middle of the woods then a bag of BBQ Lays? Exactly!
However a few years ago I realized that gone are the days of eating hot dogs and buns (mostly just the bun part) and bags of chips while crushing a case of beer around a campfire and not because I don’t love doing that (trust me I would if I could) but alas, buns and chips and beer 3 days in a row make me grumpy, bloated and just plain lame. Sigh. What’s a girl to do?
Well we know the inevitable when it comes to camping BOOZE and FOOD! So this year I’m still going to indulge but just in my favorite tummy friendly (mostly) foods.
We are leaving tomorrow morning to set out into the wilderness (well actually just off the highway outside of Hope but luckily the river is louder than the traffic) and I’ve got my trusty box of wine in tow. I also spent a few hours today getting some (somewhat) healthy food ready

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From left to right
– BBQ Lays (as if those beauties needed an introduction)
– Rice Worx in Sweet Chilli
– Munchie Mix (cause you don’t make friends with salad and I think it’s fun to see what piece of the mix is everyone’s fave, I’m cheesies)
– Paleo Pizza Bread cut into cracker shapes and bread shapes to go with the
– Two Cans of tuna mixed with pickles and mayo (the intention here is to make sandwiches but I forsee me, drunk, hitting that with a spoon)
– Hot dogs (duh) hiding behind the bf’s all beef wieners are my cheddar hot dogs (which I ate a few of when I got home from buying all this shit cause I was starving and I have no willpower when it comes to cheesy things)
– Bounce Balls – little balls of protein and other yummy goodies
– Lindt Sea Salt Dark Chocolate – don’t leave home without it
– 2 big ziplock containers of cut up veggies – Mmmmm I’ll be eating these when I’m sober and still have a conscious
– 2 containers of rice pasta and a dressing – the bf’s notorious pasta salad mix 🙂
– A couple of dips for the veggies or chips or hot dogs let’s see where this goes
– Gluten free buns that were delivered to the house c/o Spud
http://www.spud.ca
– Raspberries and Apples to go with breakfast which is hard boiled eggs that I forgot to take out for the picture (sorry guys)

Not pictured here cause I forgot to buy them in my starving cheddar hot dog craving stupor are Steaks! Nothing beats a good camping steak!

I’m looking forward to fueling my relaxation (and drinking games) with some yummy food and hopefully can keep control on my chip consumption 🙂

Will keep you posted how it goes – wish me luck!!!

IT’S TIIIIIIIIMMMMMMMME! (Yes in a UFC introduction voice) April’s Give Up/Take Up Challenge!

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We are a day late ahhhhh!

We wanted to make sure to get a post in today and remind everyone to set up some goals for the month of April. This month I will be continuing my journey on taking up H.I.I.T. – I am really enjoying it, seeing results and loving the revved up metabolism, however, I need to get my eating under control. Being constantly hungry is not a state I like to be in as it’s leaving me in undesirable situations with a still fairly weak will power. 

Case in point, my eating today. I set a world record in salad consumption today. I packed a beautiful salad for work – spinach, tomatoes, yellow pepper, green olives and chicken. Unfortunately by ten am I was pretty hungry and only had that salad, an apple and a red pepper left to eat for the day. Luckily a coworker was running out for lunch and I had him pick me up a apple pecan salad from Wendy’s (roll your eyes all you want, there is limited healthy options in Port Kells and this seemed like a better choice than most). Around 2pm I ate the salad I packed and by 4pm I ate my red pepper. I met up with a couple girlfriends for a drink after work because, well, work bloody sucks right now and I needed it. I looked at the menu and settled on a greek chicken burger, no bun, so essentially a greek chicken salad – so yummy, but so not satisfying. A half an hour later I was still hungry and proceeded to do something I am now regretted – I ordered parmesan french fries – uggggg, they were so tasty going down and have done nothing but cause a ruckus since. I bloated so quickly I literally had to undo my jean button while driving on the freeway, the relief was mind boggling.(I call these jeans my ego jeans cause whenever I feel confident about myself and my body I put these jeans on and am immediately reminded that I have goals that still need to be tended to – ego check, ego jeans) I should write a book on all the weird things I do while driving down the freeway, and then not publish it cause I could probably get in some big sh*t for it.

So anyways my Give Up for the month of April is eating like a jerk. Like a jerk who doesn’t care what she eats, cause I do care, and my body needs me to care. I will be continuing to Take Up High Intensity Interval Training through bodyrock.tv and Zuzana Light’s webpages – these people are amazing!

What’s your Give Up/Take Up for the 4th month of the year? Do you have any lofty goals before swimsuit season? Any stupid habits you want to try to break? We want to hear them! If you didn’t join us the months prior join us now!

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H.I.I.T. and me

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H.I.I. WHAT?

I introduce you to high intensity interval training – my arch nemesis of work outs that produces ridiculous results – fast.

So I’ll be honest, I have never completed a workout regime. I get a week or ten days into something and get bored, or I start seeing results then I self-sabotage (that will be a whole other post) My sister on the other hand finished Jamie Eason’s 90 day Live Fit Trainer (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jamie-eason-livefit-trainer.html) something I dabbled it but could never commit to doing it start to finish. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t like being a quitter, in fact I don’t like it so much that I’m determined to break this habit. I have been a fan of bodyrock.tv for years, their short but sweet workouts have always given me good results. The best part is they are usually short enough that I only drop the F bomb 5 or 6 times instead of my regular 13 times in a normal 45 minute workout. What’s even better is knowing you are done your workout in 20 minutes so you can push really hard and know that the end of it is very near. 

So – enter my first Bodyrock.tv BOOT CAMP! (Seen here http://www.bodyrock.tv/ ) It’s 21 days of ass kicking workouts and I am loving it. Well, loving it may not be the word, enjoying it? Hmmmm…. I’m tolerating it and I’m feeling great. I started on Monday with a arms and abs workout and I killed it. I actually did the workout after work and seemed to have a really good energy level during my workout – maybe my preworkout snack of red pepper and olive tapenade was the key? I doubt it.

Yesterday I could already feel the benefits of these style of workouts as my metabolism was revved right up, which I knew because I was hungry all day. I literally had to eat my lunch and afternoon snack in one sitting just to get my stomach to shut up for a couple hours – I love it! The key is though I had to constantly fuel with good, healthy foods or I will just be throwing the benefits of these amazing work outs out the window. Yesterday was Day 2 and it was legs, and it was long and it was hard. I’m sure my boyfriend heard me drop approximately 18 F bombs during the 35 minute workout (yes I’m aware that averages 1 bomb every two minutes – shut up). After that workout I was starving – we made lamb sausages, scrambled eggs with red and yellow pepper and cucumber and tomatoes on the side. We also baked up some Otimo Brazillian Style Cheese Puffs – these thing are the bomb – check them out here http://otimo.ca/ – And I’m not going to lie I put a bit of unsalted butter on each of the 5 little puffs that I ate. Mmmmmmmm

Anyways back to the work outs – today was Day 3 – and to be honest I have no idea which specific muscle groups we worked cause it seemed like everything! Chest, back, arms, abs, cardio – this workout was shorter and I was thankful for it cause my butt is pretty sore from yesterday. Again today I’ve been fairly hungry all day long. After my workout this morning I cooked some extra lean ground beef with cayenne pepper, cumin and salt then mixed in a tiny bit of rice pasta and green olives – so yummy and luckily I cooked enough to have leftovers to take with me to eat after the dentist. After I ate I rushed to the dentist (40 minutes later) and I was already getting hungry again (proof I clearly should have eaten that extra amount I packed for leftovers) – of course my dentist (not knowing I was bordering on hangry) started talking about him being in Vegas and how they went for greek food, then to this omelette house and I can’t tell him to shut the hell up because his hands are in my mouth and I’m starving and I now hate the dentist even more.

So to sum up this boot camp challenge so far – LOVE IT! To be honest we have been so busy lately and even busier coming up its really nice to only have to worry about a 20-40 minute workout – not my usual 60 min plus.

I will keep you posted how the rest of the week goes – I can already see that tomorrow’s workout is H.I.I.T Core and I’m scared but it has to be done because it’s only 21 days and I’ve slayed 3 of them – I’ve got this!

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xoxo Mel

Coping With Change- The Healthy Way

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Mo here and I would like to discuss the dirty C word…CHANGE. I have been experiencing some major changes in many areas of my life at the moment. I am the first person to say that change is quite difficult for me. I normally try to avoid change at any cost but I have often found that the more I resist, the more painful it is. There is unplanned and planned change. I am a type A planner to the core. I have even been known to try and plan being spontaneous. Lately I have found that I can only focus on today and the challenges that lay ahead of me. So here is what I have been doing to work on dealing with the changes in my life:

1. Sleep: do your best to regulate your sleep. I try to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. Our bodies actually need a sleep schedule. If you are having a hard time sleeping try drinking something that will help you calm you. I try to have some chamomile tea or a Bob Marley Mellow Mood. Marley’s Mellow mood is super tasty and has made me have a long nap in the middle of the day before. Mel also recommends Valerian Root which can be found in Marley’s Mellow Mood.

2. Eat Healthy: I know it is shocking that Sister Act Fitness would recommend eating healthy but you are what you eat. When I am stressed I have been known to visit some drive thrus and possibly be found eating in bed while watching Dance Academy. Yikes! (If you don’t know what Dance Academy is then you are missing out. It is a show for 16 year old ballerinas so naturally I am embarrassingly in love with it. ) Try to get all your nutrients in and drink tons of water. You may be tempted to eat crappy but it will only make you feel worse.

3. Ask For Help: Sometimes you need to yell and scream for help and the real people in your life will come running. I am extremely grateful for the people in my life that have been there for me to lean on. I learn that friends have so many different ways of helping in times of change and it is important to slow down and ask for the things you need. Take my sister for example, who is currently channeling some Italian mother,  as she is busy creating a paleo inspired pizza for me as I write this.  There are the friends who will listen to you for hours or the ones who take you on fun adventures to distract you. Whatever works for you, you need to have people in your life who support you. One day when your feet are back on the ground and your head is clear, you will be called for other’s to lean on.

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4. Look for Moments of Joy: One of my co-workers decided we should spin in our office chairs this afternoon and called it a joy moment. I had a big smile and my face and thought that she made a very good point. Another joy moment for me today was my sister dragging my ass to the gym and noticing my hard earned muscles have not disappeared in the last couple of weeks. Try your best to see the things in your life you can be grateful for. We all have them, even in moments of uncertainty.

5. Listen to Your Body: If your body needs a bit of extra rest, take it. If your body is craving exercise, meet up with a friend and hit the gym. Be kind to your body. In times of change and uncertainty it is not uncommon to be exhausted. Do not beat yourself up and learn to be gentle. In my work I teach Non Violent Communication and it is focused on gentleness and compassion. It is often easier to be gentle and compassionate with others but remember that we need to be kind to ourselves too. Listen to yourself, you ultimately know what you need.

6. Put Your Feet on the Ground: Often when I am experiencing a lot of change, I have a great deal of anxiety. A simple technique for alleviating anxiety is to place both your feet back on the ground and press your toes into the earth. It is important to come back into your body and out of your head. Remember that our bodies cannot tell the difference between what our minds are creating and what we are actually experiencing. If your head is creating disaster thoughts then your body will respond accordingly. Deep breaths…

What are your tips on embracing and dealing with change? We want to hear from you!

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Thanks for reading!

Mo xoxoxo