It’s Never a Good Time for a Cold…


It seems like somehow a cold has snuck up on me this weekend, so I thought what better topic to talk about. I can usually tell a few days before it hits that I’m starting to get sick. I get extremely exhausted and feel like a could sleep for days, I have sneeze attacks just randomly and the back of my nose/throat gets itchy and dry. As soon as this start happening I get all my cold products together and start taking them before it really hits me. As a busy hairstylist who works on commission there is no time for sick days. We don’t get paid if we aren’t at work and clients don’t really appreciate having to move an appointment they’ve been looking forward too. We all live busy lives and who has time to lay in bed for days to recover? Not me! I also don’t want to. What works for me may not work for everyone but here’s some things to try since we are entering cold/flu season. I don’t take cold or flu medication I try to use anything natural first.
-up your water intake. We want to flush out any yucky toxins that are in your body
-add lemon to your water to increase vitamin C intake. (read my blog post Lemon Water to find out more benefits)
-add moisture to the air with a humidifier. I need this when I sleep with a cold so I don’t wake up with a sore nose and throat, it will also help the dry cough at night.
-grandma always said to take Echinacea. Studies have mixed results on this, but I take it daily when I feel a cold coming on and it works great for me. It’s a herbal supplement and of course before taking any medication it is best to consult your doctor.
-lots and lots of rest. I’m not one to waste away a day sleeping but when your body is fighting anything rest is best. Your body is an amazing machine but if its fighting something and your running yourself down how is it supposed to get better? Depending on how sick I am I will still go to the gym every day I am sick if it’s just a small cold. It will be a much easier, low-key workout but it does feel nice to sweat some sickness out.
-if you own a diffuser there are some different cold mixtures you can find to use while you are sleeping. The essential oils I use at night for the duration of my cold or are equal parts (2-3 drops each) lemon, thieves, purification. Thieves and purification are cleansing oils which will help enhance immunity and the lemon is meant to get rid of flu/cold germs in your house/room.
-if you have body stiffness or I usually suffer from a sore lower back when I’m sick take a nice hot bath. I add a few drops of lavender essential oils to promote relaxation if it’s before bed and I add a cup of Epsom salts. The Epsom salts help to soothe body pain, and draws out toxins from the body.
Hopefully these will help keep you healthy and cold free through the winter!
xo Rachelle

Homemade Healthy Granola

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This is the granola I made today.  It always looks different because I switch up what I add to my basic recipe.  Why do I make my own instead of just buying premade ones from the grocery store?  Well most importantly I can control what’s in it.  No preservatives, no “healthy” ingredients, just ones I can actually pronounce and know what they are.  This is also why I home make almost everything I eat.  Nothing comes from a box, bag or whatever prepackaged food you can buy.  Its also a lot cheaper the only downfall is yes it takes up time but when it comes to your health it’s worth the extra time.  I’ve been asked a few times how to make it so here its it is.  Super easy and really tasty

Ingredients:

4 cups quick oats

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter

1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey if you have that)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

-Grease a pan that’s deep enough to hold all ingredients

-Microwave peanut butter just until it’s a bit melted and soft

-Add all ingredients into a large bowl and stir

-Pour into pan and bake 25-30 minutes until top is slightly brown.  If you touch it with a fork it should feel a bit flaky

-Set aside to fully cool.  Once cooled use a fork or knife to break apart the granola to whatever size pieces you’d like.

Yields approx. 12 servings

 

Some ideas for extra ingredients I’ve added to mine:

-2 tbsp. ground flax seed

-1 cup golden raisins

-3/4 slivered almonds

-2 tbsp. chia seeds

-1 cups craisins

-1 tsp nutmeg

-coconut flakes

The options are really endless so make it your own and put whatever you enjoy into it!

xo Rachelle

Lemon Water

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I’ve been drinking lemon water for a few years now. It helps me feel less bloated and is a great way to get a bit of vitamin C, especially here in Canada where we are staring to enter cold and flu season. I personally don’t drink pop or juice as fizz burns my throat and I don’t need all that added sugar and calories in my diet. I’m a firm believer if you want orange juice eat the orange and save yourself the added crap and preservatives in a container of orange juice plus your missing out on all that fiber! Unless its Sunday brunch and mimosas are flowing I won’t pass up on one of those for special occasions. But back to the point, if you haven’t given lemon water a try just give it a shot for a week and see how you feel. I do a REAL lemon squeezed into my water bottle. You can also add it to hot water if you feel like having something warm it’s up to you. DO NOT use lemon concentrate from a bottle that is not the real deal, use a legit beautiful yellow lemon. But what are the benefits you ask?? Well here you go!
– like I said before it’s an excellent source of vitamin C. It provides you with approximately 53 milligrams of vitamin C which is almost how much your body needs per day (the average person needs 60 milligrams/day). Vitamin C may also reduce your risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, help with the effects of the common cold, and even eye health.
– promotes hydration. We all know how great water is for our bodies, so adding a bit of flavor to your water will enhance the flavor and hopefully promote you to drink more.
– help with skin quality. This goes hand in hand with drinking water because hydration is heard to help prevent wrinkles. More research needs to be done in this area as it’s a bit controversial but vitamin C however has been shown to reduce the risk of wrinkled dry skin.
– aids in digestion. Lemon water can act as a laxative to help with constipation as it wakes up the digestive track to help things move along.
– natural detoxifier. It helps prevent bloating and other symptoms of indigestion by loosening toxins in your digestive track.
Now what are you waiting for, go buy some lemons and feel better from the inside out!
xo Rachelle

Thanksgiving

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This weekend here in Canada we celebrated Thanksgiving and I celebrated my 32 birthday.  When I was still figuring out this clean healthy eating thing this used to stress me out.  Or I’d have the mentality, well I’m already going to be eating like crap so I might as well go all out, take the weekend off the gym and eat or drink whatever I want.  That is a HORRIBLE idea.  You should never feel guilty for “bad” meals or enjoying holidays and time with friends and family.  Through the years I’ve learned a few things that has helped me get through these times.  Never feel guilty for eating a bad meal, having dessert or a few drinks with a meal.  Of course I don’t mean every day but for holidays I defiantly make exceptions.  You know when a birthday, holiday or event is coming up, so plan the time around it.  I still go to the gym when I usually do I don’t take days off unless those are my scheduled days off because it will help keep you on the healthy eating mindset even at a party or get together.  Drink lots of water through the day this will help keep you feeling full so you’re less likely to binge on party snacks and also keep your alcohol consumption lower(crazy calories in alcohol!!).  At a big family dinner remember portion control.  Dinner plates these days are HUGE!!  You don’t need to cover every square inch of the plate and also try to put more veggies and meat on your plate then and carbs you may want.  The veggies and protein will help fill you up so your less likely to go crazy over the dessert.  Now when it comes to dessert that is truthfully my favorite part of any meal I’ve been known to get a bit crazy but just have one piece of cake, or square or a small scoop of ice cream.  You don’t need to say no to yummy dessert but you don’t need a whole dinner plate full of sweets either.  If you did have a really bad day where you just binge ate what felt like the entire contents of your fridge and freezer don’t be to hard on yourself.  Tomorrow is another day where we can wake up and start each day with a brand new 24hours in which to make better decisions and use all that bad food as fuel for a great gym session.  Don’t wait to start on that Monday that will never come, or the first of the month start tomorrow you’ll be more successful at getting right back on track.

xo Rachelle

 

Breakfast Muffins

In my last post I talked about meal prep. So today I’m sharing a recipe that everyone seems to love. I’ve made adjustments to it to change it up once and awhile so I’ll fill you in on those as well! I found this recipe on Pinterest of course by looking up healthy breakfast muffins. I personally don’t eat them for breakfast I have smoothies every morning so I choose to have them as a snack before my afternoon workouts. I recommend for females having 2 a day and for males 3-4 depending of course on activity level and fitness goals.

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Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins from Amanda @ Running with Spoons
Ingredients:
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
2 medium ripe bananas
2 large eggs
2 cups quick rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips, blueberries, craisins, whatever fun stuff you want!!!
Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400F and prepare muffin pan by spraying the cavities with cooking spray or lining them with liners. Set aside.
2) Add all ingredients except chocolate chips or whatever you’ve choosen to a blender, food processor or my favorite the stand mixer and process on high until batter is smooth and creamy. Stir in final ingredient by hand especially if you have chosen blueberries.
3) Pour batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each cavity until it is about 3/4 full.
4) Bake 15-20 minutes until the tops of your muffins are set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing. I store them in my freezer or in an air tight container.
*A change I have made to these is I’ve replace half the oats with protein powder and they turned out just as good with extra protein
Enjoy!!
xo Rachelle

I Have No Time…

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When I was planning this blog I asked people what their struggle with food was.  There was no surprise that the number 1 response was time.  We live in a society where we feel we have no time, we are constantly on the go with all sorts of priorities such as kids, jobs, pets, and a number activities.  The best solution I have found is what I like to call “Meal Prep Mondays”!  If you’re lucky enough there are great meal services that will prep and/or cook your meals for you which is a great option for the busy family but unfortunately we all can’t afford such a luxury.  Yes I am crazy, I LOVE COOKING! But for those of you who don’t (I heard a lot about that too), I spend 1 afternoon cooking all my meals for the week and never cook again until the following Monday.  I have only chosen Monday as that’s my day off and as a bonus the grocery stores are never busy!  Currently I am meal prepping for 2 and of course he eats more than I do but the time it saves us through the week is awesome.

Now before I jump into how I got about Monday Meal Prep I will tell you, you DO have time.  We all have 24 hours in a day which can be looked at as 8 hour sessions.  On average per day we sleep for 8 hours, work for 8 hours and the last 8 hours we spend with our families, pets, or our activities, but do we really need 8 hours for that??  Now how much time are you spending watching TV or on social media?  Did you know the average person spends over an hour and a half on social media EVERY DAY!! BAM!! Time!!

While I watch TV on my weekend I plan our meals for the week.  These are 2 examples from last week and this week.  If I’m looking for new recipes to try I go on my Pintrest account, type in healthy meals into the search engine and voila!  100’s of healthy easy meal ideas at your finger tips.  I then create my grocery list for what I need to purchase if I don’t have the ingredients at home and I’m ready for my Monday morning grocery shopping.  This maybe takes me 20 minutes to plan and organize.  I wont lie to you though it does take me up to 4 hours to make our food.  That includes weighing, measuring, chopping, cooking and into the Tupperware to store in either the fridge or freezer.  I do do all of this myself because like I said I love cooking and I have it down to a science but if you have a spouse or children let them help and make it a fun family activity!  I do understand that if you do have a family dinner time is probably a time where you don’t want to take turns at the microwave heating up your individual meals but why not have your other meals including snacks prepped and ready so you just have to make one meal throughout the week.

Meal prepping really can be easy as long as you are organized.  The first time I did this it took me 6 hours to cook my ex-boyfriend and I’s food for the week which like I said it now takes me at most 4 depending on what I’m making.  Here’s a list of some pointers I’ve learned through the years:

*take the time to decide what you are eating for every meal each day

*if you’re looking to save money on groceries check your local flyers that come out usually Wednesday or Thursday for any specials they may have and plan your meals around those

*as soon as you get home from the grocery store weigh and measure to your proper portion sizes. This is different for everyone as its based on your weight, goals, activity levels, even your career, as a person who works all day at their desk has different needs than someone with a more physical job. I can touch on portion size in a later post for anyone who may be interested.

*cut and chop your fruit and/or veggies you purchased as you will tend to grab these over unhealthy alternatives when you are feeling snacky through the day

* when I’m cooking all my food on meal prep day I will use all my kitchen gadgets to help multi task such as rice cooker, grills, stove, oven, crockpot. It will help cut time and you can make almost every meal all at once

* placing your meals into Tupperware containers make it easy to grab in the morning to take to work or school or wherever your heading for the day. This will also help you from going through the drive-thru when you are hungry

This is truly the easiest thing I have come across for helping my stay on track with my healthy eating and limited cooking time through my work week.  Plus not having to think every day, “what should I make for dinner tonight?” or “what should I make for our lunches tomorrow?” is a bonus!  Hopefully any of these tips will be helpful so give the meal prep a try and let me know how it goes!!

xo Rachelle

A Little Introduction…

I really wasn’t sure how to start this blog I just knew I wanted to start one.  So please bare with me as I start this new(to me) and interesting world of blogging.  I figure the best way to start is from the beginning of who I am and how this came to be.

My name is Rachelle, I am 31 years old and am a licensed full time working hairstylist for the last 14 years.  I have a tiny Chihuahua named Josie(yes that’s her in the pic she never leaves me side), so if I’m not working I’m usually spending my time with her or at the gym.  I’m currently taking online schooling in Sports and Fitness Nutrition and have just started an adult tap dance class with my sister, something we did growing up but I haven’t done for 14 years!

Now how did this whole passion for food come to be?  Well a few years ago I was dating a fellow gym junkie who decided to participate in a body building competition.  During his prep process I weighed, measured, and cooked all our food and there is where I discovered my love for cooking.  That relationship ended but my curiosity for food and how it really works continued.  I started following fitness people on Instagram and YouTube, tried many different fad diets, and read all sorts of magazine articles trying to figure out this whole healthy eating thing.  What I learnt is that it’s damn confusing!  Fast forward to now and I feel I am still learning.  I decided, like I mentioned above, to start online schooling in nutrition focusing on the sports and fitness side because that’s what interests me the most.  I actually find it fascinating!  Through this blog I will share my years of struggles and experiences with you all.  A food diary to read, enjoy, and hopefully take away some helpful information to achieve and goals you may have.

xo Rachelle

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