4 week healthy eating challenge




It’s time for a change. I’m not feeling great, often depressed and easily irritated, and I’m always sleepy. A friend of mine is working on her natural nutrition course and asked me to be her case study for class. I completed an interview a month ago and a few days ago she came back with her full analysis. I will change my diet for 4 weeks and get re-interviewed to see if there was any changes.

Diet dates: April 20 to May 17


Top things I’ve been recommending to focus on:

– There’s a chance that I have a dairy allergy, so I it has to be cut out completely

– Focus on preparing my meals ahead so I can enjoy my meals and not eat out all the time

– 3 meals a day and 3 snacks (plan the week)

– A glass of water with lemon each morning

– Increase vegetable and fruit intake

– Supplements: probiotic, multivitamin & fish oils


Any tips on being succesful a this whole diet thing? I’ve never been good at resisting chocolates and chips.


My 2015 Goals

Every year I make myself a list of S.M.A.R.T goals that I then break down in an action list. I look at my list almost daily and see what I could cross off or work on. I am using a platform called Lifetick (which I will share my review with you soon) to keep track of my goals and deadlines. I want to share my goals with you in hopes that maybe it will inspire you to create your own list of goals or to add to your current list. If you don’t have one, it’s not too late! Grab a pen and paper, and let’s go!


Hobbies and Passions

1. Go to Newfoundland this summer. Newfoundland is a beautiful province in Atlantic Canada which I have never been to. BF and I already have plans to go and visit friends there.

2. Finish and print Year One book. I started this book of pictures of the BF and I’s first year together. Great way to get all our pictures from hiding in a folder on Dropbox or on Facebook. I use Blurb.com to create my book. It’s awesome, but I have so many pictures that it’s taking forever to design.

3. Start, finish and print Year Two book. Still in year two so we are pushing ourselves to create awesome memories to add in the book.

4. Finish and print South East Asia book. I started this book as a nice way to keep all my pictures from my trip to South East Asia. Again, very time-consuming.

One of the many pictures I will be adding in my South East Asia book.
One of the many pictures I will be adding in my South East Asia book.

5. Go to the Drive In. I haven’t been to our local drive in in years. BF and I are planning a date there for this summer.

6. Organize pictures in albums. My mom gave me all my childhood pictures in a cardboard box. I want to make it easier to look at either in prettier boxes or an old school photo album. Thoughts?

7. Complete 1 knitting project. I am just starting to learn how to knit. I have done finger knitting but it’s the not the same with needles. A friend is teaching me to make a hat with one of her favorite patterns this weekend! I added to this goal that I need to give this project away as a gift to someone. The BF is getting a hat people! Fingers crossed it turns out.

8. Read 12 books. This could be I just need to read 12 books randomly throughout the year or a book a month. The goal is for me to spend less time in front of the TV and more time reading which I love doing but I don’t make a habit of doing it more often. Action step one is to read 5 pages min. every night before bed.


Professional Development

9. Become a better writer. Whether it’s building a habit of writing once a week on this blog or taking a creative writing course, I need to start writing more and getting feedback so I know how to correct my errors.

10. Find a fulfilling job. I love my current job. However, I will admit that I feel that I am not being challenged enough in a way that will make me grow in the direction I want to take my career. Maybe it is and I just don’t see it yet. I need to explore what I really want for the next step in my career and what I want it to teach me.

11. Develop a Udemy course. I love taking online classes to better myself and I want to encourage others to do the same. I am brainstorming a few topics that I want to cover but that is also something people want to learn. Bonus: extra income stream.



12. Find a strong group of friends. These past years have been hard to keep a steady group of friends around. People move away for school or jobs or better opportunities. I decided to stay here. While I do have some pretty awesome friends in the area, I don’t spend as much time with them as I would like. My BF is my best friend (which is awesome!) but haven’t had a girls night in almost a year. My current job doesn’t allow me to hangout with any of my employees either… Hmm time for new friends!

13. Work on my relationship with my mother. I get along well with my mom. However, we both work shift work which never seems to align. We also never have had a ridiculously close relationship except in the past couple of years after her separation from my father. I started telling her more about my personal life and she loves it. I am challenging myself to call her at least once a week and to plan a mini vacation with her this summer – even if it’s only going to the beach for a day.


Financial Independence

14. Pay off 25% of personal debts. I have awesome family and friends who have supported me through my travel adventures and new business ventures. Payment plan is already created. Payments are calculated on my current income but if goal #10 can bring me a higher salary, I can bring up the monthly payments.

15. Close my current business. I just want to make sure I clean it all up and have everything closed by the end of the year. I will definitely start something again one day.

16. Get out of business #2. My business partner and I parted ways last September but we still have outstanding paperwork to sign and I want to make sure everything is good with taxes. This is already on its way.

17. Save $8000. This was an increase from my original goal of $5000, but I have decided to increase it to really give myself a challenge. With my current salary, expenses and debt reimbursement plan, it is not possible without me eating and filling my basic needs. However, I have budgeted $100 each month to go in saving accounts and I want to start thinking laterally to find other avenues to bring in income (I.E. #11).

18. Work on my credit score. My score isn’t bad at all, but I don’t have a lot of credit lenders on my report except student loans and my one credit card. I want to find ways to make it better and more attractive to lenders when I am ready to buy a house or something.


Health and Fitness

19. Go to the dentist. I have been to the dentist in almost 8 years. I moved away from my old dentist when I was young and just never thought finding a new guy (or gal) to pick at my gums yearly. I think it’s time.

20. Go on a hiking trip. The BF and I thought about it last year, but it never happened. This year, we’ve already spoken to everyone about it, we just need to set a date so everyone can book the time off work and get the proper gear in time.

21. Lose 30lbs or fit in a size 10 pants/and loose M top. Gained roughly 30 lbs in the last 2 years. A bf will do that to you with all those dinner dates or simply getting comfortable enough that you don’t try as hard at the gym (or at all). Not all his fault though, I did have a desk job and worked 70hrs a week and ever made time for exercise or making healthy lunches. Big action list in this one filled with exercise and healthy eating. I even got a dietician!

22. Complete a race. Whether it’s one of those Color Runs or a fundraising race like Run for the Cure or Legs for Literacy. Now how to get from the couch to 5k…

23. Sleep better at night. I always wake up dry and sometimes not fully rested. Working on a better nightly and morning ritual. Also need to create a better sleep environment – the bedroom is basically a mess of clothes with a few bits of furniture around. I did get a humidifier for Christmas so that’s a great first step.


Personal Development

24. Donate blood regularly. I used to donate all the time with a friend of mine but then I went to South East Asia. I  to wait until end of June before I can start donating again since I was in a malaria risk zone. Looking for a friend to join me every 52 days to go give blood.

25.  Get better at conversations. I am terrible at small talk while at networking events. I am also always super late on news and current events. I want to start getting really involved in at the most 3 topics (because realistically I can’t do it all).

26. Create a meditating habit. I want to learn how to control my mind from wandering off and to relax. Anyone with tips for best techniques?

27. One Astree Day a month. Living with my BF can make it hard to find some alone time at the house. We are planning my days around his boys nights so he might just be making a tiny stop between work and going out. All day I spend watching my guilty pleasure shows and movies, eating my guilty pleasure foods and doing all random things I used to do while living on my own without any judgement. Before anyone says anything, the BF does not judge, the most he’ll do is joke about it then either join me or go gaming, but it’s just not the same when you can do it alone. I also get a lot more shit done without being distracted by Mr. Sexy.

28. Apply for something crazy. Maybe it’s a game show, or for a part in a play, or become the face of a random brand. I haven’t decided on this one yet… It just seems fun to try something new and out of my comfort zone.


And that’s it!


What are your new years resolutions, or better yet, S.M.A.R.T. goals?


– A.

15 Minute at Home Workout (15MV1)

15 Minute at Home Workout – Version 1

Full disclosure: We do this in our garage so there is a bit more space than the regular living room or space you may do you exercises. All exercises can easily be done at home with possible exception of the jump rope section which I offer an alternative. 

Also, this workout was designed by my kinesiologist (a.k.a my roommate), Ashley. My boyfriend and I have only tried this workout a couple of time but it kicked our big butts in gear after a lazy morning.


Now let’s go!

What you need: 

– Yoga mat

– 1 weight (I use 5-10 lbs)

– Jump rope (optional)

– Timer (I use the timer on my smartphone)


Warm up (3 minutes)

  • Jog in place (30 sec)
  • Jumping jacks (15 sec)
  • High knees (15 sec)
  • Butt kicks (15 sec)
  • Jog in place (30 sec)
  • March in place with arm circles (20 sec)
  • Frankensteins (15 sec)
  • Shallow squats (20 sec)
  • Jog in place (20 sec)
Frankensteins. For additional details on what is the Frankenstein: http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/60/2920/7-not-so-scary-halloween-inspired-exercises/
Frankensteins. For additional details on what is the Frankenstein: http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/60/2920/7-not-so-scary-halloween-inspired-exercises/

Circuit #1 (Continue doing the circuit over and over for 3 minutes)

  • 10 Jump squats
  • 20 Mountain climbers
  • 10 Lateral bends
Lateral Bend - To learn more:  http://www.womenfitness.net/xbx_plan.htm
Lateral Bend – To learn more: http://www.womenfitness.net/xbx_plan.htm

Circuit #2 (Continue doing the circuit over and over for 3 minutes)

  • 10 Burpees
  • 10 Lunge and twist (hold on to a weight to add a bit of a challenge)
  • 10 Triceps extensions
Tricep Extension - Details on how to properly do tricep extensions: http://www.fitnesswellnessblog.com/fitness/exercises/proper-method-of-the-triceps-extension.html
Tricep Extension – Details on how to properly do tricep extensions: http://www.fitnesswellnessblog.com/fitness/exercises/proper-method-of-the-triceps-extension.html

Circuit #3  (3 minutes)

  • Jump rope (with or without rope) (2 x 30 sec)
  • Quick feet in place (2 x 30 sec)
  • Superman (2 x 30 sec)
Quick feet. Link to Hope Solo's 15 minute workout!: http://www.fitbie.com/get-fit/hope-solo-s-15-minute-workout
Quick feet. Link to Hope Solo’s 15 minute workout!: http://www.fitbie.com/get-fit/hope-solo-s-15-minute-workout

Cool Down  (3 minutes)

  • Side steps with arm swings
  • Chest and shoulder stretch: interlace fingers behind your back and pump out your chest as far as you can
  • Overhead tricep stretch
  • Let it hang a.k.a touch your toes!
  • Quad stretch of your choice : I like doing the kneeling quad stretch (in the picture on the right)
  • Calf stretch of your choice : I like to simply put my flexed foot against a wall and pulling myself close to the wall. You should feel an awesome stretch in your calf area
  • Child’s pose

    Kneeling Quad Stretch. For more details on doing it right: http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/photo-gallery/33387812/image/33698994/Kneeling-Quad-Stretch

Voila! Now jump in the shower and continue on with your day!


What is your favorite 15 minute workout routine?


– A




Christmas Movie Workout List

Let’s face it. It’s November 1st and Christmas is everywhere! Stores have the music blasting, everything is glittering and ABC announced their 25 days of Christmas movie schedule.

I’m a sucker for Christmas movies. In the past month, I’ve already watched Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone and Santa Clause 1 & 2.

Since I’ll be watching them anyway, might as well multi-task and get my workouts in at the same time!


Here are some workouts that I have collected from Pinterest (click to be redirected to right site that originally posted the workout):


Christmas Movie Workout
Sorry link was blocked and couldn’t find the original post!
Source: http://fitbottomedgirls.com/2013/12/interactive-holiday-movie-workout/#_a5y_p=1127739
Source: http://www.heandsheeatclean.com/2013/12/the-grinch-movie-circuit-exercise-workout.html


Source: http://nutbutterrunner.com/post/70886089875/christmas-movie-workout-and-holiday-frittata


Elf movie workout

No link to original poster but Pin said it was made my a Julie Pharris. Props to Julia! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/273312271109388993/

Holiday Movie Workout
Source: http://www.theskinnyonhealth.com/2013/12/23/the-holiday-movie-workout-game/


Elf Workout
Source: http://www.heandsheeatclean.com/2013/12/buddy-the-elf-movie-circuit-workout.html
Rudolph Workout
Source: http://thesweatybetties.com/


Now go get your ass in gear so that you can enjoy those holiday goodies guilt free!



– A


How I plan to get my ass back in shape!

Happy Halloween folks!

I start my 30 day workout challenge tomorrow. I used to be much more athletic years ago. I was taking dance classes, playing team sports, going for jogs just for fun… but now, my boyfriend and I try to plan dates for walks in the parks because it’s the only time we make for fitness these days. We could blame it on “it’s because life happened” or we we’re just too busy or too tired, but in reality, we stopped investing time into maintaining our fitness.  We’ve all been there. I’m sure you can all agree with me on this, the couch is way more comfortable than a bike seat!

Ok, excuses over! Time to move yo ass missy! 

Here is what I’m planning on working on in the next month:

  1. Each day of the week represents a different body part that I need to work out more muscle strength. Some days, I’ll have more than one since it’s a similar muscle group. For example abs and back exercises.
  2. Each week, I’ll try a new routine for the muscle workout until I find one that really is killer!
  3. Find alternatives for cardio instead of running. Winter winds are quickly approaching and it will become impossible to have a decent run in 5 feet of snow (not kidding, we have some snow banks as high as 20 feet in the city some years!)

I’ll share what workout plans I find offer better results. My new roommate is a kinesiologist. I will be working with her on designing workout and strength building exercises around previous injuries so I don’t end up hurting myself [again]. I will be sharing workouts supporting back, hips, knee, shoulder and wrist injuries. I know I know, I’m a mess. There’s a ridiculous and/or funny story attached to each injury so I will definitely share those with you. 🙂

Lastly, I’m taking before pictures and will take a new one each week to see the progress. For now, I’m not completely comfortable sharing my flabby belly, jiggly butt and flying squirrel wings. Especially after eating all the leftover candies for the trick-or-treaters. I’m the biggest I’ve ever been and I’m not proud of myself for letting myself go for so long. However, maybe after things have tightened up I’ll be comfortable showing the before and after shots.


What are your thoughts on the best time of day to workout? Morning or nights?

– A.

Eat Breakfast Like a King!

Eat Breakfast Like a King!


I’ve heard this saying more than once over the years but never really followed the rules. I have decided that I would use this approach for my portion reduction challenge in November. Let’s see how I do with small portions around dinner time… I like me my night snacks!

What are your thoughts on this eating approach?


Source: http://www.ozkitchenware.com.au/blog/eat-breakfast-like-a-king

November Challenge

This November I will be starting a new job. I wanted to keep my challenges simple but at the same time build new habits with the new work schedule. My biggest problem with my current schedule is that it is all over the place with meetings and work sessions. There is no routine and caused my health and fitness to take a hit over the years. 30 pounds and my butt grew 4 sizes… yikes!

30 day challenges in November:

1) 8 glasses of water a day  

Because I forget to drink water most of the time…

2) Workout every day  

Because my couch has my ass curves…

3) Reduced portion sizes

Because I like to eat… a lot.

I’ve gained weight over the year and my clothes is getting just too tight. I’ve also let myself go a bit after I started dated my boyfriend, my trip, new contracts and buying a house… there’s just so much I have to do. Ugh I know excuses. I don’t expect to lose it all now, but this will be a great way to kick off new habits and build a regular fitness routine to tighten up the jiggly-ness!

Ok now to get nice and healthy! Woo!

– A.