What’s your plan?

Ever heard the term “Planning is the key to success” or “Failing to plan is planning to fail”? I have. Probably a million times too! But do I always do it? Not always. Life’s too busy right?!?

In my experience, the sayings are true and planning can play a big role in your success. One thing I often recommend to my clients is that they plan out their meals in advance. Especially when it comes to whatever meal is the hardest for them to make. Mine is dinner.

Last week, my wife put together this little plan:

We’ve been eating out a lot so it’s time to get back on the horse. A big step for eating better is to make your own meals.

For me, I could eat meat and a vegetable as my meal and I’m good to go. For my wife however, she likes more than two ingredients in a meal and has a desire for things to actually taste good. (weird right) So, along came the plan.

From the plan, we went and did a grocery shop to make sure we had everything we needed. Since then, it’s been as easy as: look at the plan, grab the ingredients, cook them, and eat them. Simple, easy, and actually fun.

We’ve been making dinner together, eating at home and feeling way better. We’ve had to modify our plan a few times, but it was just a matter of switching out the days and re-arranging. In 1 week, our plan has proven extremely successful and it has made dinner a much more enjoyable meal.

Do you plan your meals? If so, how has it changed your life? If not, how would it change your life if you did? 🙂

Please share you your plan on my Facebook page. You can find the one I posted above right here.

The Way We Were

Blog# 14 ~ The Jane Experiment

The plank goes on!
I’ve been noticing a very healthy competition with myself over the last week while doing my daily maximum plank. I constantly want to better my time from the day before.

Instead of planking in the feeling of fear or whining about it, Chad has encouraged me to explore other feelings. Like power, and its awesome, my plank is kicking ass!

I also did a workout yesterday, because I actually fit it into my schedule. Note to self; use iCal, it is helpful, and it reminds you that this is the only time you have to workout, so do it! Another reminder is set for this afternoon!

In the past, I have always been one to make my workouts harder in my mind than they actually are. From the length, to the amount of energy they will take, etc. Now as Chad and I have been working together, and I’m changing my negative patterns, I’m also less concerned with the result. Now when someone happens to compliment me on looking fit or loosing weight I’m excited and proud of the work I have been doing. Therefore I’m happily surprised, not totally dependant on that compliment.

All this measuring, and tracking, and learning about myself has helped me to see how completely different I am now in my approach my heath, wellness, and fitness.

And when I missed a day of planking, I really felt it in my gut. Not because my abs were enjoying the day off, but because I wished I had remembered and kept my word to myself. A word I have broken so many times when it comes to going to the gym or treating myself right. That is now another muscle to work on, so I can believe in myself when I say I want to do something.

I have also become super open mined when it comes to food, and honest about how food makes me feel. Just getting in touch with thinking about my body without the fear or judgement, is slowly helping me find my centre.

Now my centre is asking for a detoxing breather. So I’m going on a cleanse. Starting this Sunday; details to follow in next week’s update, which will probably be full of random food cravings!

I’ve decided to keep pushing with my daily plank, and I would like to put a challenge out there to see other peoples max hold times. Post below and lest keep this healthy competition going!

xoxo
Jane

 

 

Wind Beneath My Wings

Blog # 13 ~The Jane Experiment

I’m not going to die, I’m not going to die…Breath. What’s the worse thing that could happen? I’m fine, not dying, fine ,I’m great, it’s like flying, I’m fine… Ok now I think I’m going to die. Ahhh.

That ahh isn’t a scream, it’s a sigh, of realse, the release of dropping your plank hold.

My goal for last week was to plank hold everyday, for max time; as long as possible. Question is, what is ‘possible?’ I noticed it’s pretty easy to get into the mind set, that “I can’t hold it any longer!” at about 26 seconds. But when I encouraged myself instead of discouraging myself, it was amazing what I could accomplish.

The same goes with coaching. One of the main reasons I’ve never liked working with a Personal Trainer in the past is because I don’t like being yelled at to push, do it, man up! etc. With AnthroPhysique I feel like Chad is upholding me. Reminding me of my goals and what I want, and guiding me as I help myself get there. Not scaring the living daylights out of me!

This past week when Chad and I connected we talked about why on Thursday I had an epic fail in eating healthy, how I can/can’t fit my workouts in, and what a realistic max plank hold might be for me. As I’ve blogged before, fitting in the workouts has been a major reason they aren’t getting done (well there are some fears too…) Chad has now developed some short, intense, timed workouts so I know how to directly fit them into my schedule. I recommend knowing how long a workout will take, makes it so much easier to get done. Facing the fear is what I can now focus on, with all that extra time I spent mindlessly scheduling! Easy as Pie, ohh pie…

Plank results: in seconds. (sharing this is also push myself and comfort zone!)
Friday: 33
Saturday: fail, 0.
Sunday: 50
Monday: 45
Tuesday: 40
Wednesday: 49
Thursday: 52

And today as I was writing this blog I felt determined to make it to a minute, just to test my limits…
Result: 1 minute and 5 seconds! 

I can see results when I measure! Wow!

Positive energy really was the wind beneath my wings! And as corny as that may sound, it feels awesome to not punish, provoke, or instil fear in me, in order to get what I want.

After 13 weeks of working with someone who has my back, and not just fighting with myself, by myself trying to motivate and inspire what I want, I can so see the purpose of working with a trainer. and sharing this process with all of you, whoever may read this is continuing to challenge me, and I love it!

I’m continuing my max plank holding, everyday this week. Care to join me?

Jane
xoxo

A Fish Called Wanda

Blog #12 ~ The Jane Experiment

I’ve never much liked fish. Well, not eating them anyway. Not because I had a cute gold fish growing up who died in a dramatic fashion or even because I really love the movie Finding Nemo. I just wasn’t one for that fishy taste, growing up.
I occasionally didn’t mind fish if it was battered and deep fried, but even then I preferred the chips served on the side.

I have been a vegetarian for the last year and a bit, (something else that started as an experiment) but under Chad’s advice and the advice of many others I have been really questioning why I’m a vegetarian and why I might want to, or not want to eat meat.

There are obviously arguments for all sides here, and I don’t really want to play a ‘who’s opinion is right’ game but I will share some of my honest personal reasons for being veggie.

I do think it is better for the environment, the way animals are treated is horrible, and personally, it does feel weird to eat something that was once living. Maybe it had a family and a name? (that is if you’re unrealistic like me and Disney.)

Before I became a vegetarian I was actually a far pickier eater than I am now, it completely changed my taste buds. But it’s also a very good excuse to eat junk, but feel healthy because you eat vegetarian. Potato chips were a major part of the beginning of my veggie diet, as was Thai food with tofu. But over the past few months as I’ve become more consistent with my healthy choices and learned more and more about myself and food from working on this ‘Experiment.’ So, I have decided to start pushing in more new and uncomfortable ways.

Also, it’s September, so that’s pretty much January to most people. Time for new goals, new dreams, new clothes, new workouts and therefore new tactics!

Chad and I met yesterday to discuss where I’m going, how I’m doing and perhaps a new approach to the fitness side of things. We have been very ‘food’ focused, and that has been great, but I also want to build consistency and self esteem in exercise.

First plan: don’t imagine the workouts to be way harder than they actually are. Just try. Fail. And try again.
Second plan: Do it little by little. We are starting with a daily practise of a max plank hold, measuring and tracking results.

So I figured with this new time of year and new season, since I’m experimenting and pushing my limits; why not try fish? I’ve had it a few times in the last week and it actually is kind of yummy, without the batter. Who knows what it’s name was or how it was treated, but figuring out those parameters and conditions of satisfaction for myself will be part of the journey of fish eating.

I’m off to plank now, and I will report back next week with my results!

xoxo
Jane

Wanted.

Blog #11 ~ The Jane Experiment

Sometimes I really wonder if I actually want to be thinner. Or fitter, or faster or healthier. I mean, if I really, truly wanted it, wouldn’t I do everything in my power to get it?

Funny, how that is not always so. How in fact, sometimes we push away from what we want. Or hide, or ‘change our minds.’

Not quite sure who or what the culprit could be here, but I have a sneaky suspicion it could be fear.

All my life I’ve been on a roller coaster with my health. Which I assumed I would one day just hop off of. But as time goes by, I have come to see that it actually has just become more of a temperate roller coaster. And slowly, but surely I’m learning to navigate the ups and downs and take some control over my trolly.

In the past two months or so that I have been an Experiment I have not fixed all my problems, or changed all my ways, but I have become increasingly knowledgeable about myself and my patterns. In doing so, I am much more capable of making the healthy choices I want to make.

Whenever I feel like quitting on myself, or eating ice cream, or just fearful, I now really know how to weigh the options for myself; with my own wants and values in mind.

As we move into the season of Fall, I feel myself caring less about a ‘hot bikini body’ and more about a healthy immune system so I don’t get sick. This is also a part of an evolution in me, caring really for menot just about how I look. That was a major goal when I started working with Chad. It’s amazing how I have become truly loving towards myself, more energized and more aware.

This past week, I was on set filming again and Chad was out of town for an Evernote Ambassador conference so we didn’t get a chance to have our regular check-in pow wow. At first I thought nothing of it, oh well, we’re busy, blah blah. But a few days into the week, I realized how encouraging it is to have someone who wants your goals for you too. Who cheers you on, and holds you accountable. It’s invaluable how helpful a little chat can be to spur you on, or remind you what you want. That is what is great about a personal trainer, and also what’s great about this blog!

I encourage anyone who is planning on, or thinking of going through some personal or health related transitions, to really look at where you start, where you want to go and all the little steps and tumbles you take along the way. Journal, blog, or just check in with a friend or measurement notes. Trust me, it really builds a sense of accomplishment in Self.

Have an amazing long weekend!

xoxo
Jane

 

 

Sleeping Beauty

Blog #10 ~ The Jane Experiment

I love sleep. I love to nap. I love it all.

Usually when I’m tired, or lethargic, or low energy, I assume I’m sleepy. So I take a little cat nap; 25mins to an hour usually does it.

But lately as I’ve been measuring and documenting my food, I’ve also started measuring my sleep. (both with iPhone apps!) And I’ve noticed that food actually gives me energy! And, maybe, those times when I’m sleepy, it’s because I’ve forgotten to eat, or I ate sugar and then crashed. Totally news to me that all that was related.

This may seem like common knowledge to most, but I’m really starting to see the correlation between what I put in my body, how I treat it, and then how it delivers and behaves.

I still enjoy a great nap and a good nights sleep, but with my spastic schedule it is good to know that there are other ways to energize myself. Lots of people drink coffee or green tea, or do jumping jacks. I want to find/create an optimal state of having just enough sleep, plus eating the best food for me and my body and lifestyle.

The general ‘rule’ of 8-9 hours of sleep sounds so lovely and awesome but feels closer to a fairy tale most of the time. Of course, sometimes after a long day I feel like I could sleep for 100 years…

When there are so many things we want to do in a day, how can we optimize our sleep and eating to best serve us? I’ve noticed for myself that I’m likely to sleep less when there are more ‘fun’ things to do in my day. Being on set, having a hot date, etc.
There must be a way to motivate myself into that energy, even when all I have to do in a day is get up and go to work. That’s something I’d really like to find.

As I’ve been working out more, and monitoring eating in and around the workouts, I’ve noticed there seem to be ways to stay more awake and present while sweating and exerting. Feeling jazzed afterwards, not exhausted. Protein, water, and less sugar seem to be a few I’ve attacked with my measuring stick of curiosity.

I remember once hearing that sleeping burns calories, and that really enforced my love of sleep! Of course it doesn’t burn as many as running, but it is important to keep our bodies going.
When I get just the right amount of sleep and a great breakfast I feel so rested, healthy and full of energy! Doing the research and talking to Chad about how to use this effectively is beyond helpful, slowly I’m making my life more regular.

What are your sleeping patterns like? Is it best for you to keep the length somewhat normal, or the same? Does that even effect you?
It’s so interesting how each of our bodies and systems are so unique!

Hope you all have a fun and restful weekend! Check out some sleep apps, or even noting when you go to bed and wake up in Evernote can be helpful. I put it in with my food diary.
Jane
xoxo

 

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Blog # 9 ~ The Jane Experiment

I’ve always told myself things are right and wrong and good and bad.

Sugar, Coffee, Sleep, Boys etc. Nothing seems to just be with me, there is always something to learn, or to punish for.

Especially with food. I’ve always had the notion that we’re pulled in all these opposite directions about what or how to eat, or do. And that makes my brain go in a tizzy!

This week I thought a lot about all this “good” and “bad” and my fears of how should we eat, or be, or do, so I asked Chad about some of his opinions. Some of his new recommendations for me are; eat more often, (I’ve recently noticed eating food actually gives me energy, shocking I know!), have more protein and don’t eat fruit after noon, as well as cut back on sugar and what seems to be pointless carbs.

The no fruit after noon thing is the biggest change. I’ve always loved fruit but taken no accord to it’s sugar levels in my body, and then been upset when i don’t understand my crashes and cravings.

It’s really nice to be able to run these ideas and questions by people, like friends and a trainer. Then, of course I still have more questions like almond milk or whole milk? Coffee or not? Wine or a cocktail? Yoga or Pilates? Really it’s endless and just like when you’re asking for love or career advice, every single person you talk to says something different!

One thing Chad has always made a major point of, in all of our chats and meetings, is that it’s more than what ‘they say’. And this has got me thinking more about intuitive eating and choosing, like the listening I’ve talked about in previous blogs, I noticed that it’s actually something that’s becoming easier and more a part of my daily choices. Completely exciting! Wow!

In the past week or so, a few people have commented on me ‘looking thin’ or ‘loosing weight’ And I have such an odd reaction. Usually those comments are ones I’m so invested in hearing and love to lap up, but now it feels like such a surprise and joyful Christmas bonus! Whether I’ve lost weight or not, to me the main difference is I’m actually starting to be in my body, feel it’s needs, be thankful for it, and actually love it.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I told myself I was Ugly. And that is so cool. Seriously it was something I used to hear in my own head all the bloody time!
It’s a beautiful change. Whenever i do start to get in that yucky, self pity and loathing mood, I try to remember that I have one life to live and one body to do it in, so I might as well enjoy it. And yes sometimes that body wants nachos instead of salad, but that body can also hold a plank for longer and longer each day!

These baby steps are kicking some ass!

Hope you’re all working away at your fitness goals and not letting the little things matter so much. Because what’s the point in counting celery sticks if you’re not going to enjoy your life? Personally, I don’t want to be so results oriented, waiting to be thin, to be happy. I’m actually starting to love my imperfections!
Ok, honestly my thighs still seem like my mortal enemy on certain days, but I’m working on it!

xoxo
Jane

Growing Pains

Blog #6 The Jane Experiemnt

Pain: Ow! Learning to grow: Uncomfortable.

I don’t particularly enjoying being sore, stiff or aching. I don’t mind pushing myself a little during a workout or a dance class and ‘feeling the burn’, but the left over limping burn is not my best friend.

And thus, I’ve been avoiding/skimping on my workouts…
I was off to such a great start! Then I over worked myself a bit, got a little sore and got sick, and now, (I feel silly about this;) I’m kind of afraid. I probably just shocked my system, but now it seems like I just want to crawl back into my shell (bed).

When I was checking in with Chad this week he says this is actually a common obstacle. We feel pain; we face the reality of where are bodies are at, and then we want to change but we don’t want to hurt. Apparently I’m not the only one!

It’s also been a challenge to even fit in my workouts. I’m also trying to look at what the fears are behind the limitations.
Scheduling is actually tough. Sounds like a cop out, I know! I don’t believe in the age old “not enough time.” Trust me, I have time, I just chose to spend it elsewhere, or on other projects. Or I don’t quite know how to make this part of my life and routine yet.

Time is much easer to look at than the fears…
I don’t like feeling uncomfortable. I like soft fabrics, being snuggled and my very cozy bed. Right now I am repetitively choosing comfort over health and wellness.
The funny thing is once I get used to that little bit of pain or discomfort I will probably feel much more comfortable in my body: the ultimate dream!  

Looking back at previous attempts at ‘life changing’ or diets, I can see a pattern of when things started to get easy, or started to get hard and how that effected me wanting to slip up or quit.

For example I’ve been doing really well with the food choices that Chad and I have been discussing. Such as cutting out a lot of processed sugar, it has made a tremendous change in my energy, sleep and what I choose to put in my body. I can see the greatness and feel it too, and even the scale and my jeans have noticed! But now that I’ve lost a few pounds I have the strong urge to slip up!

I’ve also seen how even just eating healthy can make a difference, so I don’t feel motivated to work out any extra.
Its quite a conundrum. And a pattern I’m trying to watch very carefully.
This is when it’s great to have a Coach/trainer/friend who I can ask these questions too and we can discuss what the fears are and how to look at them!

I think at the moment, this week, and hopefully in the future, I want to practise more patience with myself. Rome wasn’t built in a day and we’re always growing, and learning, and changing. So, I might as well accept I won’t look like Kate Moss tomorrow. But I can choose to make these ‘growing pains’ a joyful experience or a rotten one.

How do you look at your growth? With admiration or like a drill sergeant? It’s interesting how different people like a different approach.

Have a great weekend! I’m off on a little mini-road trip; hopefully I won’t trash my diet…

Jane
xoxox

Basic Instinct

Blog #5 ~ The Jane Experiment

Why do we do the things that we do?

Whoa, heavy topic for a health and fitness blog!
It’s something that I often wonder. I used to assume we do things; such as eat, sleep, cry, laugh because of instinct. Born that way, no control, or we don’t know any other way. What if our instinct, or mine at least, is just to feel good, ALL THE TIME? Because thats what it occasionally feels like.

I’ve been asking myself; ‘How do I know if I’m hungry or sleepy?’ Really how do we know? It kind of goes back to the listening and translating idea I explored a few weeks ago. I’m just starting to give myself the time to recognize these feelings even. Before, I would just hop into bed and have a nap, or dash down to the store and eat as fast as possible.

If it’s a Basic Instinct to want to feel good and take care of ourselves, why do we self sabotage? Do you ever say you want one thing but do another? Look good in a bikini – eat a whole pie? Want a loving relationship – fall for a guy who’s a jerk? What instinct are we embracing then?

And then there’s all the worrying and complaining and weighing of options. Such a time-consuming practise! I may be projecting, but I think we fear choosing the wrong instinct, or answer or path. I know I do.
But I can’t help but think there has got to be a better way to look at it.

As I was getting ready to work out the other day, I was moping and moaning to myself. All like ‘Ugh I have to work out!’
Then I stopped myself, in my tracks, and asked ‘Do I Have to?’ Like, who says I do? Who cares?
Then it hit me, I GET to. I get to work out. I have a body. I can feel, I can express, I can change, I can grow, and alter, and improve, I can chose.

It’s actually kind of awesome, awesome-sauce! I know we may be told as children, and as adults, that we are all special and to be grateful! But hearing that didn’t necessarily make it sink in for me.

Even when I was writing this blog this week, I was mulling to myself ‘What do I talk about? I HAVE to find something interesting to say!’ But the beauty is; I GET to. I get to talk to you. I get to share with you.
Human connection is one of my highest values, but I’m so comfortable with wallowing and putting things off, and not pushing myself that I limit myself, and put a negative spin on things that could be positive.
I do this with people, at the gym, at my job. I forget that I do actually get to choose what I do, and how I do it. Boy, is that inspiring! We are human and we can do more than just follow instinct.

One month ago, Chad started an Evernote Fitness Challenge: Get outside and move for 15 minutes a day. Well I didn’t quite do 30 days consistently, but it’s been in the back of my mind, urging me to go outside. And outside my comfort zone, away from my instinct that I need more sleep and to stay in bed.

I almost feel like I’ve been pushed into a war zone; with scary, healthy looking foods, running, listening to my body and treating it with love and care.

As I’ve been trying to treat myself with compassion I sometimes want to indulge in things like chocolate bars, or day dreaming. But when I really think about it, what is it that I want in that moment I think I want candy. Maybe I just want to feel better, feel loved, asap, by eating or fixing.
On some level I want to be super skinny, but also indulge the ‘instinct’ to eat gluten-free cake or potato chips whenever I want, and not have to run them off! Realistic, I know.

I’m starting to feel like I’m getting to a very settled place, where I ask myself if that’s really what Healthy Jane wants, in that moment and in the future. Maybe it is; I had an amazing glass of wine a few nights ago and a great nap yesterday afternoon. I’m not nay-saying doing nice, indulgent things, I’m just proposing the idea that perhaps we can monitor our ‘instincts’ a little more and discern the difference between needing something and enjoying something.

As a bonus I lost 5lbs! And I’ve been on as little artificial, processed sugar as possible over the last week! Listening pays off.
How’s the listening going for you? Do you feel like we have instincts we can’t ignore? What runs us, the body or the mind?

If you’ve been doing the Evernote Fitness Challenge, don’t forget the Twitter Party on Tuesday. Details will be on the Facebook page.

Have a great weekend!

Jane
xoxo

The Value of Water

While about leave my apartment the other day, I went to fill my bottle up with water. Sure enough, the Brita jug was nearly empty. Then came the slew of thoughts:

Do I have time to wait for the filter or do I just go straight for the tap water?

When was the last time I actually changed that filter?

Is it supposed to be changed every 3 months or 6?

Will there be a difference in my water quality after 3 months vs. 6?

How much are the filters anyway?

I bet it’s cheaper than bottled water!

Crap water is expensive!

Why?

Since then I’ve been thinking about the value of water. On one side, it’s the second most valuable thing in the world. As in, only air is more immediately needed than water to survive. Without either, we’d die pretty quickly. But, why don’t we pay for air then… It’s polluted too… Will there be a Brita Air filter? How much with that be? Uh oh, here we go again…

In north america, we pay more for bottled water than we do gas in our cars! Is it really that valuable? I mean, I know we’d literally die without it, but is the quality we’re buying truly worth that much? Is the quality we think we’re buying actually the quality we’re getting? Does that quality really matter?

I know plenty of people that mainly drink filtered water. I know plenty that mainly drink tap water. Believe it or not, there’s plenty of people that don’t even have tap water. Can we measure our health differences between bottled vs. tap? To what degree does the filtered water win out over regular tap water?

Crap. So many questions!

As you can see, I have many questions around this subject and I wanted to put them out there to stimulate some though and discussion. What is your view on the value of water? What do you choose to drink and why do you make that choice? Is it because it’s available and marketed to us or are there health benefits you can measure? Please post your thoughts in the comments and see if you can do it ‘un-googled’.

 

Fast Food Nation

Blog #4 The Jane Experiment…

It’s not that I like McDonalds or KFC, I’m not talking about that kind of fast food. I just don’t seem to allot much time in my schedule for preparing meals, so I chose what’s easy, quick and immediately satisfying. Not what will necessarily nurture me the best.

My assignment this week from Chad, while I’ve been healing, was to look at protein options.

As a vegetarian it seems that I don’t’ get enough protein, therefore I am not staying full or sustained for long enough and then when I’m ‘starving’ or in ‘dire need’, I reach for easy, accessible foods; usually packed with sugar. They may give me a blood sugar high but with no fiber or protein they later send me into an inevitable Crash! Bang! Boom! I want to change these ways.

I’ve always been a picky eater, but as my taste buds have matured and I’ve learned to enjoy more vegetables and ethnic foods I have also made certain choices in my diet. Four years ago I was diagnosed Celiac, which means I can’t eat any Gluten or wheat. I’ve been pretty good at following this for the last few years. It has made a huge difference to my health. I know it sounds crazy but I suggest everyone try giving up gluten and wheat for a month or two, trust me, your sytem will thank you.

It was one year ago I made the choice to be vegetarian. It started as a one-month challenge with myself to see if I could do it. I wondered how it might change my fears around food and my lack of imagination with choices. It totally did. I became brave and learned to expand my options and try new things. Like tofu, turns out I like it. Plus eating vegetarian is really in line with many of my values. But still, a year later, I’m not getting enough protein.

One thing I desperately want to work on is kicking my sugar addiction; I believe it’s literally as bad as smoking, just more acceptable. And I’m hoping more protein is the answer.

So I went grocery shopping…

In the past my experiences with grocery shopping confused me and I mostly bought yummy things. It was like a kid in a candy store, if the candy store had fancy cheese and coconut ice cream. I would make the effort to go to Whole Foods and buy some healthy things but once I was in there, I would have no idea what I wanted or how to cook half of it. I’d be hungry and easily distracted and feel overwhelmed with ‘shoulds’ and options. It became easy to eat a lot of crackers and cheese and veggies or ‘healthy’ snacks like GF granola etc.
Yesterday when I went shopping I had things in mind. I had a list, I had a plan.

Personally, I like food to be simple, yummy, portable, and flavorful. I prefer smaller snacks throughout the day rather than massive meals.

The first thing I looked at in my diet was breakfast. It’s something I usually skip or I choose to just have orange or carrot juice. I love to make smoothies, but I don’t like to clean my blender; slight conflict of interests. So I was on the hunt for healthy ways to start my day.

I had been chatting on Monday with a good friend and she recommended some great high protein low sugar/low carb snacks. So I picked up a few of her favorites to try.

New beloved snack or meal, an invention of Leah’s: plain Greek Yogurt, hemp protein powder, chia seeds, a few sliced strawberries, some blue berries and a little almond butter. Oh my goodness, actually so good! Adding a little honey is also an option, or I assume agave or maple syrup, but I liked mine plain. 

Also putting almond butter on celery is awesome. (reminds me of being a kid, which totally ties into my blog from last week!)
Other fixings I picked up included: ingredients to make fancy and flavorful salads, tofu, carrot juice, almond milk for smoothies and drinks, nuts, yogurt, veggies, berries, chickpeas, beans and eggs.

My main goal that I’m aiming for, is to avoid ALL processed sugar. And actually eat the food in my fridge! Starting this week! I’m holding myself accountable and I will report back next week with any other fun recipes I’ve tried or created, or my level of failure or success!

This is the first time in awhile that I’m actually excited about eating. And happy to be treating myself well.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about airplanes. (I have a bit of a Travel bug) And how in a crisis they ask you to help yourself first before helping those around you, I think this is a lesson we could all take a little hint from. It’s much easier for me to accomplish my goals, do what I want to do, AND be in a good mood, if I’ve been well fed. Observation.

Do you have any high protein options you care to share? I would love some ideas!!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Xox
Jane

We prefer Fat? What!?!

One of the most common discussions I have with my clients is around consuming fat. It’s been marketed so heavily that we just believe consuming fat is bad for us. Every item on the shelf and everything recommended on the news talks about low-fat this and 0-fat that. We have been taught that eating fat makes us fat.

This just isn’t the case.

I was recently reading a great article from Mark Sission of The Primal Blueprint.  In the article, Mark talks about the fact that not only do humans do well on a diet of fat, we actually prefer it!

Fat and protein were the dominant macronutrients (when food was even available) over the majority of our two-and-a-half million years as evolving humans. The lack of regular access to food and a scarcity of carbohydrates for much of this time necessitated that we adapt efficient pathways to readily store and access body fat for energy if we were to survive day-to-day and generation-to-generation.

Through evolution, our bodies have adapted to being better at using fat as a fuel than carbohydrates. We can actually go a very long time without any dietary carbohydrates at all. If needed, our body reserves and liver can provide and create all the glucose we’d need. Once our body gets used to this system that is.

For many, because we consume so many carbs, there is a transition period while our body adapts to a higher fat diet. When your body is so used to getting all it’s glucose needs met and then some, through dietary consumption, it’s not that quick to produce it on it’s own. Instead of kicking the liver into gear, you just get cravings for more sweets. This is often why people feel so hungry all the time when they reduce their carb intake. It’s your body trying to get you to consume more.

Overall, fat is not bad for you. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I encourage you to read the article linked above or at least test it out in your body. Of course, talk to your doctor first or get some professional guidance.

Let us know your experience of high-fat or low-carb diets in the comments below.

Lost in Translation…

Blog Number 3 ~The Jane Experiment

When I first started this project, I was so gung ho! So ready to give-er and make waves and changes in my life. I’d recently recognized that I was the perfect example of the definition of insanity and I needed to switch things up if I actually wanted to change.

One of the main reasons I was so keen, was because I’d just been sick with a bad infection, and had a root canal and I was tired of healing and resting. I really wanted to get going with my health and weight loss goals!!

Guess what happened this week? I got sick again.

And though it was an inconvenience and I didn’t accomplish my mini goals or plans for all my workouts, I did have a few interesting discoveries about myself.

Mostly when I’ve been sick in the past I usually take 1 of 2 routes:
A: Push through, pretend I’m ok, take some meds and try to ignore being sick, or
B: Wallow in my sickness untill it goes away. Also ignoring how I really feel.
Both are equally not so effective. And in neither one do I really take care of myself and listen to my body.

I find when I’m sick, I really just don’t want to be, I feel week, puffy, sore, tired, angry and not ‘perfect’ (a major complex of mine.) I just want to feel healthy and energized so I can have fun and keep functioning.

But all that energizer bunny-ing persistence, which is great for making things happen and working hard, can also be detrimental.

So much of my time and energy goes to ‘being ok’ ALL THE TIME. Not showing weakness, pretending a lot, and not caring for myself in a loving way. I often opperate in a ‘do more, be better’ way.  I’ve become pretty good at ignoring my body or my feelings, when that serves me. Which is helpful when my feet hurt but I need to push through the last two hours of a serving shift, or when I have a headache or cramps but I have an audition. I drive though the discomfort, but without listening, without reading the road signs saying; ‘Remember to feed me nutrients’, or ‘Please give me 8 hours of sleep tonight!’

Listening. An exercise I could use more practice in.
(Granted I’m pretty good at listening to my body when it’s telling me it wants chocolate…)

I’ve discovered it’s more about translating rather than listening. If I took constant care for my body and listened to it, how it felt, what it needed and wanted, how certain foods feel or how much sleep is required to function, then I might not get sick so often!

This week I was reminded of what I’ve always believed, but forget in the moment; we don’t get sick for no reason.  Either we learn something, have time slow down or take a new approach to our health.

How do you function when you’re sick? Do you listen to your own body’s feelings, wants and needs? The balance is doing that, while still being operational and successful.
I think it takes baby steps, check ins with one’s self, and perhaps treating ourselves a little bit like we are kids again.

A few months ago, I read a Women’s Health Magazine article about Heather Morris and she said ate like a kid. She aimed to diet like she would feed her six or ten year old self.

Food for thought:
Would you constantly give a six year old food filled with chemicals? Would you starve them or eat at random, unpredictable times? Would you deny them the enjoyment of a few treats here and there? Would you give them all the sleep and vitamins they needed?

This sounds like a lovely way to live, with love, and care for ourselves and enjoyment for life. It’s going to be my new approach to how I eat, and treat myself; with love and joy! Of course I like a lot more foods and flavours now than I did when I was six, so I’ll be adding a little spice to that mix but still translating how that feels for me.

I would love to hear your thoughts about how you care for yourself with love, good food and fun exercise. It can be applied to exercise too; I jumped skip rope with my nieces yesterday and it was so much fun!

Also, if you have any topics you would like me to cover and rant about, suggestions and feedback are always welcome and appreciated!

Hug your six year old self for me, and have a great weekend in the sun!

Xox
Jane

The ‘Fitness Challenge’ and the challenging of getting to know myself.

I done it. I’ve started, it’s happening. I’m actually about to work on a health/fitness challenge with a Coach? Seriously?

It all started with a Questionnaire….

Well, actually it started with a conversation about Twitter, and it turned into my good friend Chad, of Anthrophysique, explaining to me about his company and his training process. And then we started to chat about me, my issues, and my goals. And it was clear from there: I’m a fascinating mess!

I’m a person who has tried many ways, methods or styles of working out, several fad diets and who loves a good juice cleanse. So it’s quite natural that my relationship with my body and food is rather convoluted.

I began explaining to Chad that I wanted to feel healthy, be loving towards my body, and be kind in the way I treated it. I would also like to be less concerned about what I ‘perceive’ people think of me. And to know, understand, and embrace my body.

So much of ‘me’ seems wrapped up in “If I lost 10lbs I’d be happy!” “If only I was that thin!” or “if that skirt just fit, everything would work out!”

Logically I know this isn’t true, but I still FEEL it sometimes.

Chad suggested I work with him, as client and a bit of ‘test subject’ I would measure, track results, be open to feedback and share my vulnerability to the world via guest blogging.

First thought: Sounds fun! 2nd thoughts: How much vulnerability? When you say measure you mean like just looking in the mirror every now and then, right? 

Wrong! Hard core, detailed measurement. Apparently this is how you can see growth and change or something… blah. 

So in order to see where I am, and therefore build where I want to go, I had to take pictures… in a swim suit! Something I pretty much avoid unless I’ve been on a 10 day liquid diet and then, only in flattering light. So my brain went: AHHHHHH! 

Then came the measurements; just some things I totally prefer not to look at, and to ignore, most of the time. Way safer and more comfortable right? Gulp. 

Even more ‘stuff’ came up with the Questionnaire…..

I’m mentioning it because honestly it was bloody scary to ask myself some of these questions. (I‘m an expert at ignoring uncomfortable feelings, and pretending to be happy about it, and then eating.) 

Questions such as “Describe the ‘current you’? Umm, kinda freaking out! Umm me? I’m fine! Like not thin as I’d like to be, but ya, fine. I mean I guess it would be nice to be fitter, or something right? …. 

OK Honestly? Slow, groggy, frumpy, nervous about my body and the way I look, flab where I want ab, rolls where I don’t want them, kinda weak-ish, stiff joints. Oh, and I have weird, hateful, and confusing relationships with food.

Now when it gets to questions like “Describe the ‘perfect you” and “How will your life be different?” I’m all over that! Imagining myself in cute bikinis, slinky dresses and maybe even a boudoir photo shoot! I visualize the body I used to have when I was a dancer and didn’t have a love/hate relationship with Ruffles Potato Chips.

I also really want to inspire people to be healthy, and to not feel like they have to hate it. I mean I’d like to learn that, wouldn’t you? But in my head I’m going… is this possible? What if I want to eat Nachos at The Foundation, or Frozen Yogurt? 

I really just want to feel excited about my health, not treat it like it’s a chore.

Motivation also comes up. If you’re like me and you grew up reading Vogue, that is some golden material, or the fact that it’s the middle of June and it is rumoured that we may have a bikini season in Vancouver, eventually.

Or possibly, its warm (ish) out and wearing black to ‘look thin’ is becoming not so fun.

For me it is all of the above; the value of beauty and clothing, enjoying one’s self etc. But also health and my relationship with ME. I’m the one person I’m going to spend my life with, and I want work on loving, and getting to know me.

Which, for those of you know me, know that I already work on a lot, either in Acting class or with books, workshops etc. But at the moment, when I look in the mirror; I still butt heads with myself. I become this judgemental, non-loving person who I don’t want to be.

Compassion for others, I believe, must come from compassion for ones’ self.

I want to learn how to take care of myself with compassion and have a body that I’m proud of: consistently.

I’m sick of Yo-yo ing and as I said to Chad, there has to be a better way!

Then came the goal setting, like baby steps and plans for the next year, 6, 3, and 1 months. It gives you a nice road map to dream of! And also a presence in the back of your mind when you want to veg out with nothing along the lines of a vegetable in sight.

Those little goals are a check in point, a point of accountability. A little hand holding, a little pushing. And that’s exactly what I need, to take the right steps forward.

So, to challenge myself to do what I say I want, I’m going to be sharing my journey with all of you. Asking for your feedback, and bringing in results each week will be my way of being accountable to you and myself. I will also be sharing what is really going on with me as I try to make change; what’s holding me back, or guiding me forward. Because as much as I know I want to lose 20-25lbs, I also want to become friends with myself and my body and there is an emotional journey that I’m embarking on too.

It may be fitness challenge, but it’s a love building challenge too.

I hope you’ll join me, set your own fitness challenges, join the one by Chad on  Evernote, or just laugh while I try to do push ups.

Looking forward to the blood, sweat and tears as I face all my fears!

More to come, every Friday!

Jane
xoxo

Nutritional Inflammation

I read a great article the other day written by a heart surgeon about chronic inflammation in our bodies. Dr. Lundell states that chronic inflammation comes from “the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.”

It appears that the low fat diet we’ve been pushed all these years is actually harming us rather than helping us.

What I like most in the article is his descriptive terms for visualizing the damage created by inflammatory foods. He writes “Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding and you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury.” This is what these foods do inside our body.

I always try and inform my clients that it’s not only the ‘fattening’ effect of food that matters, but that many of the foods we eat are physically damaging to the lining of our digestive track. This leads to inflammation in our body and eventually autoimmune diseases if we continue to consume these damaging foods. However, sometimes we need to hear it from our doctor before we do anything, so here is what Dr. Lundell suggests:

“What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.”

What’s your experience with nutritional inflammation? Post thoughts in comments.