10 Tips To Start a Healthy Lifestyle

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Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t happen over night. It starts with small changes that become a habit and develops into something you like. If you are looking to start a healthy lifestyle these are my tips on how to get started.

Tip #1- Start Now! All the time I hear people say they will start tomorrow, next week or next year. You don’t need to wait till you have all the right clothing or equipment. Be creative and use what you already have. These are all just excuses to keep living how you currently are.  The future is not guaranteed so why wait till tomorrow, next week or next year to start living a beautiful healthy life.

Tip #2- Set goals. Set achievable short term and long term goals. Be realistic when setting these goal make them something that is possible for you to accomplish and when you do it will motivate you to continue living a healthy lifestyle.

Tip #3- Drink more water. 75% of all Americans are chronically dehydrated. Most people are not getting enough water throughout the day and don’t know the difference. Water is important in making our bodies run smoothly and effectively. It helps to flush out toxins out f the body and drinking more water will help with acne, cause your skin to be brighter and vibrant and will help with weight loss. A lot of the time people mistake hunger for thirst. Drinking more water in a day will allow you to feel fuller in turn making you eat less. Drinking more water will also boot your metabolism helping you to burn more calories. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces. This can be simply done by making the conscious decision to drink water instead of pop or juice. You can also spice up you water by adding lemon sliced, frozen fruit or mint to your water.

Tip #4- Cut out processed foods. Aim to eat more whole foods like fruit and vegetables. Processed foods have so many preservatives, additives and chemicals in them so they can have a longer shelf life. Just imagine what all those things are doing to your body. Try to cook more of your meals that way you know exactly what is in the food you are using to fuel your body. I’m not saying you have to cut it out cold turkey or completely but, start by adding more raw and natural foods to your diet and work your way up from there.

Tip #5- Find healthy alternatives for junk foods.  There many healthy options and recipes for the junk foods you crave and once you start eating healthy continuously you wont crave junk anymore instead, you will crave healthy foods. Check out my last blog post for a healthy brownie recipe.

Tip #6- Plan. If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Planning out your meal and workouts a head of time will give you no excuses to not eat healthy or work out. Often times its when I don’t plan out my meals ahead of time that I turn to fast food because its quick, easy and convenient but, if you plan ahead healthier options can become quick, easy and cheap. Also, by planing your workouts before going to the gym will prevent you from lollygagging and wondering what you should do next.

Tip #7- Do what you love to do. Do exercises or activities that you like to do. Eat foods that you like to eat. Don’t try and force yourself to do things or eat things that you don’t like just because you know its good for you. Eventually, you will stop doing what ever it is you are doing because you don’t like it.

Tip # 8- Mental health is important too. Being healthy is something that is often attributed to having a nice body because that is something that we can see but, it is actually so much more than that. Mental health is important to. Someone can look healthy on the outside but are struggling mentally. Mental health is something that is recently been coming to light. Many people suffer from all sorts of mental illnesses and it is a sickness that cannot be seen. If you or someone you know are showing signs that they may need help please tell someone and take the steps forward to getting help. With that being said it is important to take the time to relax, stress cant take a toll on a persons body. Light some candles, read a book, write in a journal, take a bubble bath or watch a show do things that you like to do to unwind form the stress of everyday life.

Tip #9- Get a good night rest. Sleep is very important in regulating our bodies. While you are asleep is when your body repairs the muscles that were broken down while exercising. So, sleep is very important for recovery. Sleep regulates lepton and cortisol levels in your body. These keep your metabolism up. A good nights sleep will also give you the energy you need for the next day.

Tip # 10- Give your self a cheat and rest day. Cheat days and rest days are much needed to reset your body and mind. having a cheat day will allow you to indulge in all the food you have been craving. This is kind of like a mental reset button that will allow you to continue eating healthy. The same thing goes for a rest day. I often find that all I want to do on a rest day is go to the gym and it gets me excited to get back in the gym the next day.

 

My Favourite Healthy Brownie Recipe: Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

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I found this recipe on minimalistbaker.com, where I get a lot of my recipes for vegan treats. It is my absolute favourite and I make it at least once a week. These are great for snacks or a cheat day. It is a great healthy substitute for when you want something chocolaty (which for me is all the time). These brownies are great with some peanut butter on top or some coconut whip cream.  Recently, I tried coconut whip cream and it is the best thing ever, its changed my world. This whip cream is vegan and the sugar and calories are not too bad. If you have not tried this you need to, it is amazing. I bring these brownies in to work all the time since everyone is always asking me to make them. People who thought they would be gross since they are vegan had their minds blown away with how good they are.

Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies
Prep time
5 mins
Cook time
25 mins
Total time
30 mins
Black bean brownies that are vegan, gluten free, and require just one bowl and about 30 minutes to prepare! Healthy, easy and delicious – the best kind of dessert.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free Brownies
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz. (425 g) can (~ 1 3/4 cups) black beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 2 large flax eggs (2 heaping Tbsp (~16 g) flaxseed meal + 6 Tbsp (90 ml) water)
  • 3 Tbsp (45 g) coconut oil, melted (or sub other oil of choice)
  • 3/4 cup (72 g) cocoa powder (the higher quality the better)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • heaping 1/2 cup (105 g) organic cane sugar, slightly ground or pulsed in a food processor or coffee grinder for refined texture
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Optional toppings: crush walnuts, pecans or semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
  2. Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan (not mini). Make sure you’ve rinsed and thoroughly drained your black beans at this point.
  3. Prepare flax egg by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients (besides walnuts or other toppings) and puree – about 3 minutes – scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.
  5. If the batter appears too thick, add a Tbsp or two of water and pulse again. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger.
  7. Optional: Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips.
  8. Bake for 20-26 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides. I found mine took about 25.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so remove gently with a fork. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don’t be concerned if they seem too moist – that’s the point. Plus, they’re vegan so it doesn’t really matter.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate to keep longer.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 140 calories Fat: 6 g Carbohydrates: 22 g Sugar: 9 g Sodium: 163 mg Fiber: 7 h Protein: 5 g

 

Comment if you try it out and let me know how you like it

My Fitness Journey: How I Lost 70lb

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My fitness journey started in 2013. I was in my fourth year of university and loving life. I’m not going to say my life was miserable before I lost weight because it wasn’t, I was very happy with myself and my life but, looking back I think I was in denial. I was in denial about my health and my weight. After gaining what must have been 50 pounds in freshman year I still thought I was the same size I had always been. Although, I knew this was false seeing as how none of my old clothes fit me. Nevertheless, I got new clothes and thought I was fabulous (which I was just fluffier). My wake up call came when I started getting asthma attacks more frequently. It was scary and my friends who where there and helped me through them can attest to that. My second wake up call was when I stepped on the scale for the first time in years and the number read 225 pounds. I was mortified. That was the moment I decided to turn my life around. I did not tell anyone about this self revelation because I was too ashamed. So I started going to the gym. I didn’t do anything other than the bicycle because 1. I didn’t know how to work out properly and 2. I was way too intimidated to even attempt going into the weight area. I also changed my diet started having smoothies for breakfast and sauté crab wit bean sprouts for dinner. I did not starve myself or eat anything I thought tasted bad. During this time is when I lost the first 25 pounds. I didn’t even realize I had lost weight my friends started telling me and I weighed myself.

It was after that I realized I had to step it up a notch and decided  to check out the Goodlife fitness near my house. My roommates had been telling me about it and I wanted to see if I should sign up too. This was when I started working with a personal trainer for the first time. I learned so much from her. She taught me how to squat, deadlift, and bench press. I was soon able to do my first full push up and shortly after that I reached my goal of 50 push ups in a row. I started getting very strong and my trainer started teaching me how to do snatches and clean and jerks. That was when I fell in love with health and fitness. The weight started melting off and my clothes were getting looser and looser. Slowly over time my diet changed completely. I switched from milk to almond milk, I stopped eating cheese, rice, pasta and would occasionally have bread. I had broccoli, chicken and sweet potatoes every night for dinner. It was in December 2013 that I started joining boot camp classes on top of my training sessions with my personal trainer. I met a new lifelong friend in that boot camp and I’m so glad I made the decision to sign up and try it out. By spring 2014  I had completed all my personal training sessions and I weighed 163 pounds.

Fast forward to today September 2016 I still have a passion for fitness and am now training for my first half-marathon. I became a vegan and have been for over a year now. I am loving life and living it to the fullest.