Why aren’t your meditating? 

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     My stress levels tend to run high this time of year leading up to our Annual Relay for Life. Between my job, fundraisers and road trips to and from my old hometown I seem very wound up. So about a month ago I downloaded the free Calm mediation app from iTunes after hearing from some friends say how much they were loving it. Well now I love it too! I’ll admit at first it feels a little strange and a lot of thoughts come creeping into your mind but this app advocates not to get mad that your mind wonders but simply, and calmly, bring your focus back your breath. Now while I can’t say that my road rage has subsided or I don’t feel like punching people in the junk once in a while I’m slowly learning to take things as they are and not let them change my energy. 

Another perk? I sleep like a baby after! Granted I’ve always slept pretty well but a couple times I’ve awoken in the morning in the exact same position I fell asleep in! Unreal! 

Recently I spent the $8.99 to get the app upgrade unlocked so I now have access to mediation programs for deep sleep, confidence, calming anxiety, confidence, compassion, creativity, energy, focus, forgiveness, inner strength, gratitude, inner peace, motivation, positivity, and self acceptance – man that’s a lot for $9! I’ve enjoyed the deep sleep one (clearly given my previous example of not moving) as well as the calming anxiety. 

Mo and I are big fans of treating whatever ails you with things other than drugs and hope something as simple as a free (or upgraded if u would like) app can help a few people deal with anxiety and all the tough times in life. 

Please let me know if you try this and how you like it 🙂

Xoxo

Mel 

Ps if you would like to donate to our Relay for Life team benefitting the Canadian Cancer Society here’s the link: 

http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFL_BC_odd_?px=5460176&pg=personal&fr_id=18416

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The DO’s and DON’Ts of the GYM

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Soooooooooo now that I’m back at the gym 6 days a week (we are going to Mexico in less than a month by the way) I’ve noticed some awesome and some annoying things about going to the gym. I’m going to start with the good things to do at the gym because otherwise I will scare off some people from ever stepping foot in the sweat box and that’s just not what Sister Act Fitness is about!

DO DO DO AT THE GYM:

1 – GO!!!!!!!!! Step foot in the door, actually as you open the door smile! It will trick your mind and body into thinking it’s gonna love what you do to it – plus if you smile as you walk through the door (any door in life for that matter) you look welcoming and happy instead of a “bitch on a mission who has 3.5 seconds before her preworkout powder kicks in so get the hell out of the way” look (If you have been to the gym you have seen the latter, she’s scary)

2 – WORK! It doesn’t matter if you sit on a bike and sweat and swear for 45 minutes if you are working you are benefitting every aspect of your life. Your mood, your relationships, your physical appearance, your organs – everything!

3 – DRINK WATER – it doesn’t need to be gatorade or vitamin water, regular water will do and will taste mighty refreshing once you start doing #2 (#2 on the list not the other #2 get your minds out of the gutter)

4 – SMILE (yes again) at the other people working out around you as you walk by, especially in the women’s only section. People (especially women) tend to walk around the gym like their shit don’t stink. We are all there for a common goal, to better ourselves and you would be amazed how not-snobby people actually are once you smile at them. I witnessed women talking and working together tonight at the gym, sharing equiptment and machines and it was nice 🙂

5 – TRY SOMETHING NEW – it took me years to feel comfortable in a gym but I still like to get out of my comfort zone sometimes – go try a new class, zumba is as awesome as you expect it to be believe me! Grab some girlfriends (or boyfriends or random friends) and go!

6 – WIPE DOWN YOUR CRAP AND PUT IT BACK WHERE YOU FOUND IT! (Ok maybe this should be in the don’t section because it seems grumpy but technically its a do so shhhh) If you put 100 pound plates on a bar please take them off after cause if I come behind you and have to take them off I’m gonna bitch and nobody likes hearing me bitch

Hmmmmm – I think that’s it for DOs – show up, sweat, wipe and leave 😉

Now the fun ones

DON’T DON’T DON’T at the gym:

1 – DON’T WEAR 5 POUNDS OF PERFUME!!!!!!!!!! There’s this really pretty girl at my gym who has ginormous fake boobs and a tiny little waist and over the last month we’ve smiled at each other and shared equiptment but she literally gives me a migraine if I go within 5 feet of her. Today when I got to the gym I knew she was there before I even saw her – seriously if you look and smell like that you should probably be working out in the co-ed section cause that’s the vibe you are putting out

2 – DON’T TALK ON YOUR PHONE AND SIT ON A MACHINE!!!!!!! Today (apparently there was a plethora of idiots at the gym today, hey something has to inspire me to write) I watched a woman wait to use the abductor (that amusing inner thigh machine) while some oblivious idiot sat on it talking on her phone. That woman had much more patience then I would have it that had been me – props.

3 – DON’T BE A SPACE HOG (that’s a band isn’t it? Squirrel) Don’t put your barbell, dumbells, bench, water bottle etc all over the bloody place. Any workout can be done in a 4 foot by 8 foot space especially when the gym is busy – thank you

4 – DON’T BE A CARDIO JUNKIE – this isn’t me venting this is the truth. There’s a time and place for cardio but your body will be happier and you will see better results if you move some weights around. Muscle burns more fat, lifting weights will fuel your metabolism long after you leave the gym. Cardio burns calories and yes fat but as soon as you step off that treadmill your burn is done. If you love biking or the treadmill try sprints – work as hard as you can for 30 seconds then rest until you catch your breathe then work again for 30 seconds. Do this until you are exhausted but no more than 30 minutes – I guarantee you will see better physical results, you will spend less time in the gym and you will feel your revved up metabolism for hours after.

Have any DOs and DON’Ts to add? We would love to hear them!!!

xoxo

Mel

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5 – DON’T GO IT ALONE – yes I’m aware there are people out there that are so determined and goal oriented that they succeed at whatever they put their mind to – I’m not that person, Mo is but she still texts me what she has for dinner almost every night so there is definitely a two-way support system in place with us. Find a friend (yes I’m available) to go to the gym with – our friend Melissa and I went to a class the other night and it was awesome, I laughed my ass off, falling all over the place but it was good, it was hard but it was good. 95% of the people you know would love to be healthier, even the most skinny gals I know want to be more active. There’s no harm in asking so call up a friend and go ride the bike together, go for a walk, spot each other in a 100 pound bench press – whatever! Actually call me if you can do a 100 pound bench press cause I would love to watch!

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers – YES PLEASE!

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Mel here! So if you follow us on Instagram (or follow me) you will see I’ve had a recent flux in my jalapeno popper consumption. I’ll admit right now – I LOVE these things – the jalapenos roast so nicely making them tasty and not so spicy. When I’ve found I’ve eaten a lot of protein in the last few days and need to eat something with higher fat these are my go-tos! (And the bf loves them too duh)

I wanted to share the original recipe that I used and how I modified it a bit.

The original recipe can be found here:

http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/2012/02/bacon-wrapped-stuffed-jalapenos-2.html

When I made them I found one thing fairly obvious right away – DO NOT PRECOOK THE BACON! It becomes smaller and loses its elasticity and therefore does not wrap around the jalapeno causing me to have to lay the bacon on top (see photo below). Cut the uncooked bacon pieces in half and wrap a half a piece around each popper. Keep an eye on them in the oven you will have to cook them a bit longer than this recipe states – make sure to use the broiler at the end to crispy up the bacon and get the extra roasted taste of the jalaps.

If you don’t have salsa verde don’t stress, I used regular salsa (you know that rarely used jar that everyone has in the fridge – make sure it doesn’t have a layer of blue mold on it before you start cooking!)

I used herb and garlic cream cheese because, well let’s face it, herb and garlic cream cheese trumps regular cream cheese!

You can also skip the salsa and added cheese and just put your cream cheese of choice in the jalapeno then wrap them up – heck you could even skip the bacon if you are vegetarian! If you are vegan you could try using Daiya’s cream cheese products in this recipe (I would love to hear how those turn out!)

I suggest eating these in front of an episode of the Good Wife in your pajamas with a glass of wine because life should be awesome like that!

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FYI The picture at the top on the baking tray was a batch I made to take to a party. Those buggers sat on my lap for 45 minutes on the drive to the party, I literally had to keep my oven mitts on in the car to keep from eating them all!

Yes you are seeing that correctly – in an act of sheer craziness I put poppers on top of a lettuce burger – it was mind bogglingly (holy crap that’s actually a word?) delicious !!!!!

Please let me know if you try out this recipe and if you love them as much as me!!!!!! I may be partial but I think these trump the deep fried/breaded poppers you get at restaurants 😉

XOXO

Mel

Disclaimer: “But Mel, all those saturated fats! Aren’t you going to die?” (dramatic I know)  Relax, we only have these once every week or two, I lift weights 5 times a week, am losing inches and losing weight and feel pretty damn good. Saturated fat is not going to kill me but I’m happy to discuss why your multigrain cheerios might be killing you in person sometime 🙂

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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!!!

Maureen’s Personal Health Transformation

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This picture is taken after a bootcamp class in October 2010. I weighed approx. 150 pounds.

Hi everyone! Mel and I started this blog as a means to motivate ourselves and stay accountable with our fitness. We hope to share some of our personal struggles and help inspire a few people along the way. Writing this post is very difficult for me as I am a little embarrassed to post some of my old pictures. It always amazes me that sometimes we don’t realize how much our bodies have changed or the size that we are, until we see a picture of ourselves. However, I think it is a great thing to show people how much your body can change through nutrition and exercise. Check out Mel’s amazing transformation here: https://sisteractfitness.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/my-personal-health-transformation-what-a-doozy/

I am 5’4… I always wanted to be tall like Mel, who is 5’10 but unfortunately I got our dear Grandma’s height. When you are 5’4 a few pounds on your body makes a significant difference. As I have told you before, I grew up being an athlete. I have never been obese but have been overweight at certain points in my life. After two years of college soccer I stopped playing in 2005 and started packing on the weight. I ate Lipton Sidekicks all the time and adopted an unhealthy eating style. I went backpacking with my best friend to Australia and Thailand for 3 months and I came back with dark hair, a tattoo and weighing in at approx. 162 pounds. My families mouths dropped when they saw me and I guess 3 months of inactivity, cheap beer and food was showing through in my body. I had to do something!  I joined the running room and started training with my best friend for our first half marathon. I love to run and it has always been my meditation and my therapy. I slowly started losing a few pounds but didn’t really change my eating habits. I hovered around 150 pounds for about 4 years. Side note: It is amazing when I share this part of my life with my friends because although they realized I am more fit now, they didn’t realize how big I was until I show them the pictures.

In 2009 I lost a bunch of weight and got down to around 128. I wasn’t particularly muscular but started really watching my portion size and eating healthier. Image

I was happy with my body but I didn’t develop habits that were sticking with me. I still ate processed foods but did it in smaller portions. I had met my goal of getting skinny in 2009 but not fit and I didn’t set another goal for myself. I adjusted and slowly reverted back to my old ways of eating processed foods and not exercising. My brain and body thrives on exercise and when I don’t workout then I feel lousy which makes me eat crappy. In the span of one year I blew back up to approx. 158 pounds. This picture was taken when I was in Egypt in 2010. It still shocks me to look at this picture. This was taken almost exactly one year later.

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A few months later I moved to the Lower Mainland. Mel and I went for a couple runs and I was slowly starting to get back into shape. I started running again and ran another half marathon in May 2011. The following week I blew out my knee and was incapacitated. It took from May until August for my MRI to show a completely torn ACL, partial MCL tear and a fractured tibia. I was devastated. I had finally gotten back into soccer and running and now I was sidelined. I had to do something but was unable to workout. I started to really look at my nutrition and what I was putting into my body. I was determined to get my body as healthy as possible before I underwent surgery. Surgery for my ACL was February 2012 and I weighed in that morning at 145 pounds. I remember being proud of myself for getting down to this weight. I was determined after surgery to get back in the best shape of my life. I started eating clean and avoiding processed food as much as possible. I started lifting heavy weights and saw some huge changes in my body. I did the LIVEFIT trainer program in January 2013 with a couple friends and got incredible results. I weighed in at 127 pounds but had more muscle here.  Image

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My weight was approx. the same as 2009 but my body composition was significantly different. I had a lot more muscle in 2013. I was working out and lifting heavy 6 days a week and eating clean. I have tried my best to keep up with working out at this level. Currently I am running 4-5 days a week, paddling 3 days a week and still lifting weights. I have been working on trying to find balance with working out and eating clean. The best judge for me is my energy levels. I have low energy when I don’t workout and eat healthy food. I do have cheat meals because I do not believe in deprivation. I have learned through my experience that you can’t out train a bad diet. Nutrition is the main ingredient in looking and feeling healthy. Currently I weigh approx. 130 pounds and my weight fluctuates 5 pounds either way depending on my food intake. I do not weigh myself daily but chose to judge on how my clothes fit and how I feel.

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I look forward to having a healthy last year in my 20’s and continuing on with my fitness for the rest of my life. Thank you to everyone who has loved and supported me through all my different fitness levels. The ones who have run with me, hiked with me, paddled, walked, biked, surfed, yoga classes, etc. I love you all very much. I have now found a recipe for success that works for my body and I intend on continuing to use it. Please feel free to share your personal story with us. We would love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading!

Mo xo

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To our loyal followers

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Since we are fairly new to the blogging scene still we wanted to thank everyone and celebrate reaching 3,000 views total as of today. Honestly we don’t care if it was 2 people who viewed us 1500 times each we are still happy what we are blabbing about isn’t falling on deaf ears. It’s really cool to go out with friends or meet up with family members and hear “Your blog really inspired me to get moving” or “I tried that fish taco recipe you posted and it was amazing” – We know staying healthy in such a fast paced world isn’t easy but if you can learn from our mistakes and enjoy in our ventures with us that will truly make us smile 🙂

Thank you again,

xoxo

Mel and Mo

Is not blogging the same as not going to the gym?

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Is it just me or does anyone else find it hard to get back to the gym after a couple days off? This weekend we were in Osoyoos taking advantage of the two-night stay at the Walnut Beach Resort that we won at my work Christmas Party. Needless to say after a slightly stressful drive up (it’s snowing here in BC if you didn’t know and no it doesn’t snow all year long and we don’t live in igloos) and after some amazing massages at the spa were in no mood for exercise. Saturday was the same thing, a day spent relaxing and sipping wine, however we did go for a nice little walk along this cool island that jets out into the middle of the lake – beautiful and peaceful. How can you go and lift weights when your body and mind are so relaxed (I know, my justifications are amazing) Sunday came and went without exercise – 3 days with no sweat OMG!!!! Monday also came, with a runny nose, and alas, no exercise. Did I care? Ya a bit but I didn’t kick my own ass too much because beating up on yourself will bring forth the “Well if I took 4 days off I’m obviously a failure and shouldn’t bother” – if you took 4 days off to relax, clear your mind and enjoy your life I say all the more power to you, BUT you have to get back on the horse sometime and that horse loves to remind you of those 4 days off.

When I opened up the computer I thought the same thing – I haven’t blogged in, well, I don’t know when – crap! But I gotta get back on the horse (except this horse is much less of a jerk than the exercise horse) and here I am! Blogging about horses at 11:35pm while my nose is running away. 

Anyways – Tuesday morning I set my alarm for 5:35am (ungawdly hour, especially in winter) and got moving – I wrote out 3 triples sets of exercises and did eat triple set 3 times through for a total of 25 minutes – What did I do you ask? (Besides cried, whined and at the odd moment smiled)

Reverse Lunges x20

Barbell Curls x10 per side with 15lbs

V Crunches x10 per side

Drink water

Squats x20 with 10lbs

Tricep Kick backs x10 per side with 10lbs

Toe Touches x20 with 10lbs

Rest, drink water, change song on Ipod 5 times til it played something I liked

Sumo Squats x20 with 10lbs

Overhead press x10 with 20lb dumbells in each hand

Reptiles x20

Catch my breath and stretch and reflect on how much taking 4 days off sucks

As for taking a week or so off blogging – much easier to get back into, although I’m sure this random nonsense post may not seem like it

Does anyone else feel the pain of taking a few too many days off? Do you eat healthier on days when you know you can’t make it to the gym or do you oink out on nachos one night like I did?

Regardless, us gals at Sister Act Fitness appreciate your support

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xoxo Mel