Fitness Goal Setting

Goal setting. Seems simple enough right? "I want to loose weight"," I want to build muscles" or "I want to run a half marathon." Seem simple that think about something we want and boom it's a goal. 

But is it? Not to pull out all the cheesey fitness quotes but as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said "A goal without a plan is just a wish." 

So how do we set fitness goals? How do we make it a goal and not a wish, a real live attainable thing? Let's take it back to elementary school with how to solve a problem. Figure out the 5 W's and the H.

  • What? What is your goal? Do you have an event you want to race in, a weight/size you are looking to achieve? This I think is the easy part of goal setting of course. What do you want?
  • When? When do you want to achieve this goal by? Thinking something reasonable, maybe planning to run a marathon in 3 weeks and you've never run a day in your life is a bit too much too fast. But set some timelines of the things you wish to obtain.
  • Who? Who do you need to support you in your goal? Tell these people your plans. They can hold you accountable and/or help you with your goals. You might be surprised to find the people rooting you on and/or you inspire to do the same! Do you need a personal trainer or coach? Do you need workout buddies?
  • Where? Seems like an odd question, but in reality, where do you need to be in order to obtain this goal? Do you need a gym membership since home workouts and self motivation you know are a hurdle for you? Do you need to be able to run outside, do you have a place to do this?
  • Why? Ah, this is the tricky one. Think good and hard about why you want to obtain this goal. If you heart isn't really there, the love and joy of obtaining your goal likely won't. I wrote a bit about loving your personal fitness journey and it helping in this post Love Your Fitness . Take some time to sit and actually think about why you want to do something, because if it comes from this place of self hate or self loathing, you'll likely hate every minute. Taking an honest look at your feelings will help you use them constructively, instead of burying them inside a workout. 
  • How? Sit down and write out how. I'm a pen and paper gal, where if I write something down its official. Maybe you like spreadsheets of how often you plan to workout or what your nutrition will look like. Write it out, type it, print and put it somewhere you see often. A reference to look back on to see if you are on track, or a place to write what did or didn't work. Remembering sometimes our journeys take us different routes then we thought.

Now go and take action!!!! You have planned and prepared, go crush those goals!

Love, 

Jen

Trinity Workout

Our 6am club has been doing the stairs and a full body style workout at the top halfway through. I made this "Trinity" workout and designed it to be legs, then arms, then some core/abs work. Trinity because well, all the 3's. I'm weird like that. 

We did 7 rounds of the stairs today so only went through this workout once, but I'd love to hear if you did it the full 3 times! Rest in between each of the sets for a minute or two and get on it!

Quick description of each move is below.

Squats - Bum low, chest up

Tricep Dips - palms down, fingers pointing to toes, bend at the elbows

Plank Toe Tap - 15 a side. High plank reaching opposite hand to toe

Lunge to high knee - 15 a side. Lunge back then draw back knee into the chest.

Push Ups - Can be done from the knees.

High/Low Planks - high plank to the forearms is one 1, then back up and down for 30.

Plie Squat - feet pointed out, legs wider, chest up.

Diamond Push up - hand in a diamond shape on the ground, bum high, feet wide. Draw the head to the floor.

Genie Abs - On the back, arms over the chest, draw the knees to the arms and lift the bum. 

Enjoy!

 

Love, 

Jen

10 Tips To Celebrate Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Here is a guide on a few ways to celebrate Earth Day with a little impact for either the environment or your connection to the Earth :

  1.  Get outside and feel the earth underneath you. Walk to the store rather then driving. 
  2. Bring a reusable bag with you for shopping, even at a clothing or other non grocery stores. 
  3. Take a reusable cup to get your coffee from your favourite coffee shop.
  4. Grab your water bottle and fill it up instead of buying a bottled water.
  5. Try for one day to not use paper towel. Use a rag to clean up. 
  6. Open a window for fresh air in your home.
  7. Turn off some lights. Have dinner by candlelight maybe?
  8. Pick up garbage in your neighbourhood.
  9. Thrift store shop, before making your way to a box store. Not just clothes but even appliances, sporting goods and furniture can be found!
  10. Find a new purpose for one thing in your home. Thinking about putting that glass pasta sauce jar in the recycle bin? Turn it into a pen holder, change collector or make your own batch of Kvass with it!

Love, 

Jen

Take It Outside Workout

This morning my 6am club friends and I took our workout outside. It's been record breaking warm and beautiful here in the city for mid April and we took advantage of it. 

We met up at the bottom of one of the 50 sets of stairs in our city and got to it. Up and down a few times and at the top as the sun rose we did a fun bodyweight workout I put together. 

We laughed, we moaned, we had a blast and I feel refreshed and energized for my day. Not just from the workout, but the fresh air and the quality time with people I adore. 

At the top of the Whitemud ravine stairs is this awesome crochet/pom pom tree project.

At the top of the Whitemud ravine stairs is this awesome crochet/pom pom tree project.

Grab some friend and try this workout! 

Where do you like taking your workouts outside?

Love, 

Jen

Coconut Rice

This is a super simple recipe meant to give a little extra something to boring old every day rice. My family gobbles it up without hesitation, even the kids! I like to make it along side chicken I've put some curry or spices on and voila a jazzed up regular old family dinner meal.

What you need:

  • 1 cup of uncooked white rice.
  • 1 can of coconut milk (equal to 2 cups), additional liquid will need to be added if using brown rice
  • Optional: 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, teaspoon of lime juice.
  • Salt to taste

Directions (you know in case you're new to rice cooking):

  1. Put rice, coconut milk and optional coconut into a pot.
  2. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until liquid is all absorbed. (10-15 minutes)
  3. Don't stir it, seriously just leave it until the liquid is gone. 
  4. Add salt and/or lime.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

It's that simple! Do you have a special way of spicing up otherwise boring foods?

Love, 

Jen

What's In The Fridge Stuffed Peppers

I love recipes that allow me to throw whatever is in the fridge into a meal, especially if it can be healthy. As we all do I believe. So loosely take what I have for ingredients and use whatever you'd like. 

What you need for this recipe:

  • 3 bell peppers (more or less depending on the amount of people you have.
  • 1 cup of precooked rice. This is great to do if you have leftover rice from the day before or food prepping. I used leftover brown rice.
  • half an onion
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup of kale/spinach
  • 1 cup of kidney beans. Other options could be cooked ground beef or chicken or any other bean you have on hand. 
  • 1 cup of cheese of choice. We used marble, but mozzarella or goat cheese would be fabulous. 
  • salt and pepper and/or any other seasonings you love. 

Directions:

  1. Preheat he oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Heat oil in the pan and add the onions and beans until tender. Or you can add your meat of choice until cooked.
  3. Add the garlic and the greens until wilted.
  4. Add the rice to warm it up, if it's been cold in the fridge from leftovers.
  5. Cut the peppers in half and scoop out the seeds.
  6. Add cooked mixture to the inside of each half.
  7. Top with cheese.
  8. Put the peppers on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven until the cheese is melted and the peppers are soft. I like to put on broil the last minute to get the cheese to bubble. 
  9. Enjoy!

What's in the fridge that you will put in yours?

 

Love, 

Jen

KVASS - The "New" Old Probiotic Drink?

I'm currently in the process of waiting for my Kombucha to ferment (watch for that blog post!) and some how Kvass came across my lap. Kvass is a very very old fermented drink originally from the Ukraine dating back as far as 996 A.D. they say. Traditionally made from beets and sourdough bread, it is very popular in slavic cultures and apparently it's found in barrels on the streets of Moscow. 

As with fermented foods and drinks there are probiotics and they help aid in digestion. Wonderful for people with digestion issues, leaky gut and so on. I find the more fermented food I enjoy, the more energy I have personally. 

So anyways, I came across Kvass and thought I would give it a try, especially since it seemed pretty simple, I had the stuff on hand and only 2-3 days for fermenting time!

What you need:

  • A large jar or container with a lid.
  • Filtered water (Okay I just used water I boiled and let cool).
  • 1 teaspoon salt. I used pink himalayan.
  • 1.5-2 cups fruit. I used apples, oranges and strawberries.
  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth (not required but nice to get the small strawberry seeds out)

Directions:

  • Mix water, salt and fruit together in jar. Leaving about 1 inch of space at the top.
  • Shake the jar a few times a day. I left it on the counter in a spot I would see and remember. 
  • Open up the jar once or twice to let off the gases. 
  • Enjoy! 

I left mine for 2 days, since I am a bit impatient, but I feel like it could benefit from another day or two. Possibly making it a little bit more fizzy. Some describe the taste as similar to beer. I believe that's probably the one made with bread, but it's a very light and fruity, part sour taste. I wasn't sure at first but every day I drink a few ounces and I actually quite like the taste! 

I just popped it in the fridge and take a swig every day. I probably should put it in a glass, but I'm not sure my family is ready to try it so I'm saving having to wash an extra dish......

Use whatever fruit you have available or try some varieties. I hate beets personally so it's unlikely I will do the traditional version!

Pink Himalayn salt

Pink Himalayn salt

After two days the fruit looks "cooked".

After two days the fruit looks "cooked".

After shaking it you can see the fizzy bubbles happening!

After shaking it you can see the fizzy bubbles happening!

When it's ready remove the fruit and compost them!

When it's ready remove the fruit and compost them!

Extra step here to run it through the cheesecloth to filter further, removing strawberry seeds and small fragments of the orange that go through the funnel. 

Extra step here to run it through the cheesecloth to filter further, removing strawberry seeds and small fragments of the orange that go through the funnel. 

Will you give it a try? Let me know what flavours you are trying!

 

Love, 

Jen

Reducing My Footprint

Really what kind of urban hippie would I be if I didn't care about our planet and my environmental impact? I've always been sort of conscious of recycling and trying not to waste food etc. 

But, my new years resolution this year was to really start trying a little harder. I love seeing those Zero Waste people who can fit an entire weeks worth of garbage into a small mason jar. I'm not sure I will ever get there, but it's damn inspiring. 

You can google forever about how we waste. Seriously, pick a topic like water usage in manufacturing of water bottles. You could read for hours. 

So, starts the journey of me trying to reduce my consumption. A little bit at a time. I'm not perfect and still have a garbage bag at the end of the driveway on garbage day, but every little bit helps. I was in some training yesterday and someone shared a quote I think fits perfect for this situation. I don't have the exact words, but was long the line of "it's just a day without noticing any changes, until a year has past and everything has changed." Exactly. It's just a water bottle, until a year has past and it's been 100 or 200 water bottles. It's just one person, until it's 7 billion. 

So a few tips I've learned so far about just starting. Pick even one thing to work on and you are changing the world my friend. Even one thing.

  • Stop fast fashion. Buying clothes from thrift stores or doing a clothing swap with friends. I've been to a couple and am hosting one next month. I'll share all about it after! Check out this awesome instagrammer/blogger The Spirited Thrifter who gives awesome tips and challenges and shares her gorgeous outfits all thrifted. I've actually challenged myself to not buying any new clothes for me or my kids for at least 6 months and I'm doing awesome 4 months in.  Also check out this video about clothing production and waste
  • Buy in bulk. Check out bulk stores that let you either bring in your own jars or put in their bags. I assure you the thin plastic bags have was less impact then the packaging we usually see. 
  • Clean with rags rather then paper towel and disinfectant wipes. Just put them in the laundry and use again, rather then throwing away and the packaging put into selling it to you. 
  • Make things at home. If you have the time and baking skills, make granola bars or bread. 
  • Even when out you can make a difference. Ask that fast food joint just to hand you your burger and leave the bag behind. Bring a refillable coffee mug. Be creative.
  • This last one is a bit dear to my heart. I've been a vegetarian for nearly 21 years. Try a meatless Monday. Just one day a week your family goes vegetarian. There are sooooooo many delicious recipes and protein filled foods/products out there I promise you'll barely miss it. 

Here is a little bit from the Waterfootprint.org 

"The production of one kilogramme of beef requires approximately 15 thousand litres of water (93% green, 4% blue, 3% grey water footprint). There is a huge variation around this global average. The precise footprint of a piece of beef depends on factors such as the type of production system and the composition and origin of the feed of the cow.[download report]"

I'm not perfect. I still buy and use things that are wasteful. It's not about being perfect. It's about changing a little bit, until one day it adds up and it's actually a really big impact without you even noticing. You are more then "just one person". You make an impact.

Love, 

Jen

The Power Of A Workout Buddy

I've been mostly a loner in the gym. I like to workout by myself, go at my own pace, do the exercises I want to do and just jam out to my music.  When my husband was/is in town we usually spend some time in the gym together. He helps motivate me  and pushes me a little harder and I love that too. 

But the past little while I've been very busy with some new adventures and teaching that I've lost a lot of motivation to go to the gym or work very hard while I am there. 


Maybe a month or so ago I invited a couple friends to come do a 6 am hot yoga class with me atthe gym. I wasn't teaching, it was just to get some Zen in before starting our day. We felt so good getting a bit of work in, getting zenned out but I think just being there together too.  Of course in classic gym style if you don't take a selfie it didn't happen, so here we are. My friends are babes even after hot yoga. (While I look a bit like a drown rat. ha ha)

Then something compelled me to take my Insanity Live Instructor training, and I thought "crap, I should probably take a few classes so I'm conditioned to teach it!". So I asked my friends if they wanted to take a 6am Insanity class with me the next week. We all almost died and there was no selfie taken because I think we were all in too much of a haze to think to take one.

But we realized we all loved getting up before our kids and husbands and getting in our time and doing it together. We created our own little message group and ask each other to go to classes. Yoga, HIIT, Insanity whatever. We go to at least one class a week and we motivate each other. 

Another friend recently started coming and she's loving it. Even drives across the city almost to meet up with us. This morning she text me as I was getting into my car "sorry I slept through my alarm".  I woke up a bit tired and sore this morning so I thought to myself this was the perfect excuse to get back into my warm bed. I messaged the other two friends to see if they were going since they seemed on the fence the night before hoping they would say no. But no, they both said they were going to be there. Motivation back on. Game time. Let's go. 

The power of having those friends to hold me accountable is simply priceless. We even motivate each other while working out. Push each other harder and faster. And take pictures of you doing post workout yoga poses so you look cool....

 

Thanks my friends. You are amazing.

Find your tribe and love the shit out of them! 

Love,

Jen

Enter to WIN a Monat Replenish Masque!

I LOVE giveaways! I've won my share of them recently, time to spread the love!

The Replenish masque is a repairing and hydrating masque ideal for damaged and moisture starved hair that penetrates and nurtures the scalp while helping boost natural hair growth, improve follicle strength and reduce hair thinning.

The masque infuses essential moisture and delivers vital nutrients to help eliminate frizz and reduce split ends. Hair is left silky and more manageable. The masque is safe to use on color treated hair and extensions!

Here is my hair using the Renew Shampoo and Replenish Masque!

Make sure to follow our Facebook page for an extra entry on the page. 

Also follow our Instagram for bonus entry! 


Contest closes February 26th 2016. 9pm MST.

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PMS Smoothie

Aunt Flow likes to visit every month, and while she is a natural process in life, most of us aren't fans. Check out this smoothie recipe for some relief before she packs her bags and leaves

The base is Raspberry Leaf Tea that’s been brewed and chilled. Some moms might know this from being pregnant to try and induce labor. It has antispasmodic properties (supresses muscle spasm) that helps with cramping.

The flaxseed has essential fatty acid that also helps relieves symptoms and aid in proper grandular function (hormome balance).

The kiwi and spinach are high in calcium for backache, cramping and nervousness. The higher magnesium contents in these foods, also helps you absorb the calcium.  Banana’s potassium and B6 help with water retention, not to mention have the right sweetness to kill the sugar craving.

Recipe:

  • 1 Cup of cooled Raspberry Leaf Tea (less or more depending on how thick you like your smoothies)
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 2 kiwis peeled
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • half a banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • handful of ice cubes

Blend smooth and enjoy!

 

Love, 

Jen

Bundle The Bissell

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My friend Christine over at Just Another Edmonton Mommy contacted a couple of us about wanting to do a drive for the Bissell Center. A local to Edmonton non for profit company that helps the homeless and vulnerable of our city. With her heart of gold and best intention I was inspired and offered to run a yoga class or two to support this drive. People could come and attend the class for free as long as they brought a donation for the Bissell Center.

Then another wonderful and generous friend, Deanne from Box Social Event Planning, who works with some local malls on events, said she would check to see if someone had a space for this type of thing.

Well lucky for us, Kingsway Mall was gracious enough to donate some space for us to hold this drive. Here is some wonderful pictures from the weekend.

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At the end of the first day the bin was overflowing and even more came in on the second day. We didn’t have as big of a turnout as we had hoped (was a very super cold weekend, and many yogis were shopping a super sale) but even then, the people who should up, really showed up!

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It was a great pleasure and wonderful honor to guide these generous people through a yoga practice.

 

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The Bundle The Bissell Drive is going on until the 22nd of January. If you missed the yoga event you still have time to drop off donations at these locations:

WHAT TO DONATE TO BUNDLE UP THE BISSELL

o    Gloves

o    Toques

o    Scarves

o    Winter Work Gloves  

o    Winter Jackets

o    New Underwear/Long Underwear  

o    New Thermal/ Wool Socks

WHERE TO DROP OFF DONATION ITEMS

Dominelli School of Music North -#203, 8119-160 Avenue
Monday-Friday 1pm-9pm Saturdays 9:30am – 5pm

The Grange Physical Therapy – 2484 Guardian Road NW
Monday –Thursday: 8am – 9pm Friday: 8am-8pm

Wheaton Toyota on the Trail – 5210 Calgary Trail Edmonton
Monday -Thursday 9am-9pm Friday & Saturday 9am-6pm

Pamper & Play Salon and Spa – 228 – 91 st SW
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00 – 6:00
Thursday 10:00 – 9:00
Saturday 10:00 – 5:00

 


Today, see if you can stretch your heart and expand your love so that it touches not only those to whom you can give it easily, but also those who need it so much. - Daphine Rose Kingma

 

Thank you everyone for your support!

Love, 

Jen