45-minutes of INSANITY (the good kind)

Let me start off by saying that fitness has always been my "forte" (#humblebrag). On any given week my workouts transition between high-intensity power yoga classes, running along the Toronto waterfront, spinning at RIDE or SoulCycle and playing co-ed soccer. I like to change things up by doing a lot of different activities so that my body doesn't get too comfortable and also, so I don't get bored!

I've always been (overly) obsessed with health and fitness. I love pushing my body and seeing my edge, I love sweating so much that I can no longer see because there's salt in my eyes AND I live for the chills I get when everyone is riding on the same wave. I've never experienced a problem with staying motivated or committed to my workouts, but I have definitely felt the desire to become more challenged.

Which brings me to the point of this entire post- I'm really excited to share with you a Toronto based fitness find that I am totally (and newly) obsessed with- it's called F45 Training (Liberty Village) & here's why you need to know about it.

OK so I know what you're thinking.... Another gym- what could be so different about this one? I mean, I've been to my fair share of gyms, studios, boxes, etc. and this is definitely one worth reading about. ***And before I go on... NO! THIS IS NOT CROSSFIT!***

F45 (F= Functional Training & 45= 45-minutes), founded in Australia is a high intensity interval training group workout. The concept is simple: 45-minute high intensity circuit training workout class, which focuses on the full body. Let's break it down. The workouts change daily and include a wide range of exercises including; cardio (biking, jumping, sprints), strength training (kettlebells, medicine balls, battle ropes), agility (speed ladder, box jumps, tuck jumps) and the list goes on.

Why you'll love it

1. No workout is ever the same!

And it really isn't. Everyday is different, always evolving and most importantly, never the same thing. There's no chance in France that you could ever be bored @ F45 based on the variety of over 3,000 exercises you have access too (yep, I said it, 3,000!). Everyday is unique and you'll never really know what you're in for (now isn't that fun?).

To be honest, I've never really been a *gym person*, but I do know that my body would really benefit from incorportaing strength training. Whenever do I go to my condo gym I literally just end up running on the treadmill, doing some light ab exercises, then leaving. WOMP WOMP.

At F45 I'm consistently being challenged and put to the test. After I leave the workout my body is in a ton muscular pain for the next few days. This actually makes me happy because it means that it's working and that I have a long way to go.

2. the people #FitFam

As a young female it can be super intimidating to walk into a new space. I definitely feared not knowing anyone and I was terrified that I would have zero idea of what I'm doing and look silly. 

What's great about F45 is that it's totally suitable for all fitness levels. You can make the workout as easy or as difficult as you want. The tools are there, but it's up to you to use them!

Jarrett, Phill, Umi and team are beyond welcoming. I literally want to keep training here to be their friends lol. The atmosphere is really different than a traditional gym environment. During one class this week I really wasn't getting one of the stations and Umi (the trainer), ended up doing the entire circuit with me while I mimicked him. 

The music is bumping, everyone is friendly + sweaty and the people are fun / fit. #HOTDUDESALERT !!!

3. the app / technology

Isn't technology everything these days? The F45 app is definitely something worth mentioning. It's super user friendly and functional (and isn't that the point). The app makes booking classes, canceling classes and waitlisting classes easy peasy- especially for someone like me whose schedule changes every 2.5 seconds. There's also an app specific to the 8-week challenge I'm signed up for as well. The challenge app provides a full meal plan and daily tracker. But I have to say, the weekly grocery shopping guidelines has to be my favourite feature!

4.  it's organized chaos 

Yeah, that's right... To help navigate you through the class, each station is displayed on a TV around the room. You basically learn how to do your workout by watching your circuit # on the TV. At first I thought this concept was super odd.. like, shouldn't an instructor be helping? But actually that's what makes this system work. The trainers demonstrate every movement before the class begins, then they walk around throughout the class to assist you with form and the other technical stuff. You kind of have to experience it to know what I mean (aka go try it for yourself).

5. the results

You get what you give. I know I've only been at this for about a week or so, but I already feel 120% better about myself since starting. I first joined back in the winter on a 2-week free trail. Now I've signed for the 8-week Define Challenge to help prepare me for the summer. If you want to get fit and shed body fat then I consider trying this place out for yourself. No, I'm not getting paid to say this, but I am partnering with them on their social media so follow @F45LibertyVillage on Instagram & Facebook for more!

P.s. sign up for the 2-week FREE trail on their website so you actually understand what I'm getting at ;) You really have nothing to lose except a kick-ass summer body.

Namaste ✌️

I like you so matcha

...isn't that what everyone's saying these days? What is matcha and why the heck is everyone so obsessed with it as of late? It's being used in lattes, oats, baking and even cocktails! After doing some much needed research on the product myself, I've come to learn that matcha is actually an ancient trend that has recently made it's way back in popularity.

Matcha is an ancient Japanese greentea in powder form that is said to have amazing effects on the human body. For some, drinking matcha is a great alternative to coffee as it still contains caffeine (53 to 72 milligrams per serving, to be exact) but leaves you without feeling the jitters you may experience while drinking traditional coffee.

Why should you love matcha?

Well for one, the colour is naturally so pure and green it's really fun to play with (or is that just me?). Matcha is also known to have a ton of antioxidant rich properties that have been said to combat certain types of cancers (anti-cancer effects, if you will) through the high concentration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Matcha also compliments fat burning by lowering blood glucose levels and boosting antioxidant activity.

So, if you aren't sold on the magic green beverage yet, try out this recipe for a homemade matcha latte and then let me know ;)

ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk (or any nut milk!)
  • 1 *heaping* spoon matcha powder (I used David's Tea)
  • 1/2 cup boiled hot water
  • 1 teaspoon stevia (recommended as I find matcha quite bitter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or peppermint extract (optional, but better!)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Combine ingredients together in blender and mix on high speed for 2-minutes or until frothy. Pour into your favourite instagramable mug & enjoy! xx

all about diy almond milk

Let's talk about DIY almond milk for a second because I mean, it's friggen bomb! I'm always game to create any milk substitutes when possible- how do you feel about traditional cow's milk?

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup almonds (raw, unsalted & soaked overnight)
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (+ maybe a little more...)
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Method

  1. Place soaked almonds and water into the Vitamix and secure lid
  2.  Add remaining ingredients into your Vitamix
  3. Turn on Vitamix. Select variable increase speed slowly from 1 to 10 for approximately 1 - 1.5 minute
  4. OPTIONAL: Strain through cheesecloth or nut milk bag (I personally do not strain- the pulp has all the fibre!)
  5. Enjoy!!! <3 

Living in gratitude, everyday.

How often do you find yourself living and thinking in judgement or comparison of others? "I'll be so much happier when I make X amount of money... everything will be better for me when I get X job position or achieve X specific body or travel to X side of the world.... or retire...etc.". The truth is that the majority of us are guilty of living with these thoughts and mentality on a daily basis. Reality check: there will always be something else, something more and it might never be "enough", even if and when you do finally reach the goal you set out to achieve.

Striving for absolute perfection is only a fantasy that can never and will never be attained. When we compare ourselves to ideas such as perfection we will only be left with disappointment, resentment and frustration. Having awareness of your thought patterns is an important step to recognizing that you are living in a perpetual chase. Become more present and recognize when your mind wonders far out into the future with thoughts such as: "once this (insert specific thing) happens things will be better/good/great/perfect/etc". It's great to set goals, achieve goals, be motivated and inspired but not at the mercy of putting yourself down, judging and belittling yourself. If you continue to compare your life to an unrealistic fantasy that you've created in your own head, you will never win the game.

Today, I urge you to take a step back and realize how far you have come on your own journey. Every little step that you've taken has been a step thats brought you to where you are today. "If you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future, if you are content you are living in the present".

Realize that there will always be someone somewhere that has already obtained something that you want or are working towards. Understand that the person you are comparing yourself against is on a very different path/journey then you are. Good things take time... relationships, careers, Instagram captions, etc. lol. Don't rush the process- it's half the fun! You get what you get when the time is right and when you are attracting "it" into your life. Everything that happens in your life is manifested by you on some level and some frequency. Every single thing that happens in your life serves a particular purpose. Whether it be to grow, learn, teach, expand or inspire. Use the law of attraction to your advantage and start being grateful for your current life- realize that everything that is happening right now is serving you in some way- instead of wishing, hoping and praying for something different.

avo on toast

Is this trend dead? I think i missed the stop on the avo toast train. Even still- avocado toast is probably one of my MOST favourite (aka easiest) meals I make. It literally takes 2 seconds but amounts to 2.5 hours of happiness (zero exaggeration)...

DO IT! (what you'll need)

  • ACE Bakery organic ground flax toast
  • LIBERTE 0% plain greek yogurt
  • mashed avocado
  • pink salt
  • cumin
  • roasted pumpkin seeds

Smash it all together and voila! Delicious avo on toast coming right up.

 

 

 

little cookie monsta

i could actually eat cookies everyday (breakfast, lunch AND dinner) for the rest of time! These sweet lil nugs are friggen bomb! I like to think they're not thattttttt healthy (they actually are), in attempt to stop myself from eating an entire friggen batch in one sitting. I feel like for me, especially in October/November months when the days are short/dark and my motivation to work out is at an all time low, i can eat a healthy batch of cookies and not feel like complete garbage about myself. I mean, it's the little things... you know?

cacao pumpkin cookies

*makes 20 cookies

ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour 
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 banana, ripe and mashed
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin, puree *(not the pie filling type)
  • 2 tablespoons white chia
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled

instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl add in eggs, coconut oil, pumpkin and banana
  • Next, add in coconut flour, oats, baking soda, salt, baking powder and chia seeds.
  • Use a spoon to drop dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. You can flatten the dough with the palm of your hand if you would like to have the cookies thin, or you can leave the dough as is and the cookies will be puffier.
  • Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes or until the cookies turn slightly golden brown around the edges. Allow them to cool on a cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Repeat with remaining dough. Makes around 20 cookies.
  • FINITOOOOO

SEXY SUMMA SALAD

Sexy rooftop monday's be like.....

  • chicken breast - panfried
  • arugula salad topped with sea salt & guacamole
  • chicken & vegetable dumplings - boiled then pan fried 
  • market fresh- handpicked tomatoes
  • + homemade blueberry bitter perrier virgin cocktail....

no words except this was actually divine. 

cookie queen!

I still crave chocolate & sweets (of course) but today i'm in the mood for a homemade healthy substitution straight out of KyKy's kitchen.

Enter: Guilt free, not-too-sweet, GLUTEN-FREE, pumpkin + oatmeal + flax cookies. perfect little bite-sized cookies full of pure blissssss. Great for a post workout pick me up or 3pm energy slump. bonus: very quick & easy to make!

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Yeilds: about 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups GLUTEN-FREE oats
  • 1 cup flax meal, ground
  • 1 egg, WHISKED
  • 2 large bananas (ripe/mashed)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 package stevia

Method

  • pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, mash both bananas until well combined.
  • Next, stir all remaining ingredients together until evenly mixed and moist.
  • Line your baking sheet with a layer of coconut oil to avoid sticking to the bottom of the sheet.
  • Use a spoon to grab the mixture and then flatten batter to desired thickness and shape (cookies will not expand upon baking).
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  • Allow the cookies to cool and store in an airtight container to preserve freshness.

pancake breakfast vibes

it’s gonna’ be a gooooood day… probably because these little delights put me into the best mood of all time. Sometimes, when you literally can’t imagine eating another egg for breakfast, making them into pancakes works just fine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 free range egg
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tbsp flax, ground
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (or more… 1 tbsp is conservative)
  • 1 tbsp white chia seeds
  • 20 g (1/2 scoop) vanilla isolate protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (for cooking)

Method:

  1. Add 1 tsp of coconut oil onto your skillet and heat on medium to high heat
  2. In a bowl, mix all wet pancake ingredients together (very important to mash your banana first before mixing in other wet ingredients)
  3. in a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together
  4. Fold bowl of wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir together till smooth
  5. Take a large kitchen spoon and scoop the pancake batter from the bowl and place it in the center of your skillet
  6. allow the batter to heat for 2-3 minutes (Or until you see small bubbles on the top) and then flip and repeat until you run out of pancake batter

Top with your choice of fresh fruit, granola, cinnamon, etc. Don't forget to enjoy!

AMAZE BOWL

Amaze-bowl... Amaze-balls... same same.

Let's talk about breakfast. Probably the most important (and delicious) meal of the day! This bowl of weekend goodness has you feeling full, energized and content for hours and hours. If you've been following my blog for a while (or not) you can easily see that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. My perfect weekend morning consists of getting up nice and early (around 7am), hitting up my favorite 8am yoga class (thank you miss maggie), taking a quick shower and while my hair is in mid-dry mode, i start my quest for the perfect breakfast - both equally tasty and aesthetically appealing. It's literally full kitchen take-over at my abode through the weekend. My most crave-able breakfast item of the moment is this overnight oatmeal, but on steroids. See below for the how-to & ingredients!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quick organic oats
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds, white
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon, ground (+ more if you love cinnamon as much as i do!)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp flax, ground
  • 1 tbsp coconut, shredded
  • hand full of blueberries

Method:

  • Using a fork start by mashing your 1/2 ripe banana in a small bowl.
  • Next, mix in oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, 2 tbsp chia seeds & stevia
  • allow the "ono" mixture to combine & set in your refrigerator overnight (or for 4-6 hours)
  • In the morning, remove your creation & top your oats off with sliced banana, chia seeds, flax, coconut shreds & blueberries!

*taking photos is also highly recommended... I heard it makes it taste better, too! ;)

Enjoy!

salad sunday

Sunday, my favorite time the week to unwind and detox my weekend away... currently Fueling up for Monday and a major work week with this delicious sunday salad!

Ingredients:

  • bed of fresh organic kale
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 ripe tomato
  • 1/3 sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup mango salsa (whole foods)

No dressing needed for this one. Enjoy :)

health is more than physical

*repost from my Instagram caption*

Sweet tooth? You are not alone! 👅 The word "healthy" means different things to different people. Some consider healthy to be a low calorie, low fat aka no nutritional value diet, others think of healthy as eating foods that they *think* are unprocessed. It's kind of bizarre how much of a mind fuck health really is... Eat fruits & vegetables but avoid sugar? only eat carbs with protein, don't eat any dairy, avoid red meat, eggs are bad for you, being gluten-free will make you skinny... And the list goes on.. and on.. and on.


The truth is everyone's body is different and reacts differently to different foods you consume. At the end of the day, you know yourself best so don't listen to all these crazy health rumors and decide for yourself what works to fuel your body. Today I'm committing to giving up "artificial sugar" in ALL forms (bye bye gum addiction/chasing vodka w. sugar-free red bulls 😕).. This whole zero calorie or 0 fat this and that is making me crazy. Anything in the form of "0" should be frightening as it just means it's a highly processed chemical instead of REAL ingredients. I've known this for a long time but calories have always somewhat scary to me. I've come to realize that any amount of artificial/fake flavoring is actually going to end up being worse for me then just eating the real thing.


Artificial sweeteners are so toxic on the body and should not be consumed. They are known to cause inflammation of the body, increase cravings and ultimately make you GAIN WEIGHT. 🙅Not to mention the negative effects on your health/body in the long term.
Make conscious decisions about what you're putting in your body to fuel you. Your body is fair and will always react best to natural, whole, nutrient dense foods. Awareness is everything. Just like in every other area of your life, being "fake" doesn't get you anywhere. Eat with purpose. Health isn't just physical. 🙌🏼 #foodforthought

Time is precious

It's exactly that. Time is money and money is time. At the beginning of this year I made myself a long list of "things" that I want to accomplish in the year 2016. My Top 16 of 2016, if you will. In addition to that very specific list of goals, I also created a smaller, more niche list. This secondary list is one that serves as my guiding principles or values to be used on a daily basis. I do my best to bring these values into consideration and throughout my decision making process/way of living. Since I have been traveling close to every-other-week since December, I truly realize how important my time really is (not in a selfish way, I just don't have a lot of it to spare at the moment). With that in mind I have been making my short time at home count! What this really means for me is that I have been spending more time with good people who have happy hearts, healthy minds and want the best for me in all respects. And by now I've pretty much said goodbye to all the rest! Surround yourself with people who make you better, not bitter. This has been my mentality since getting back from that incredible Thailand trip I was referencing in my earlier posts. Time is valuable and so are you, so make it count!

3 things I’m working towards:

  1. Physical health & mental health
  2. Career success & financial success
  3. Connection & experiences & world travel

3 things I’m moving away from:

  1. Self obsession & self destruction
  2. Wasting time
  3. Wasting money

Commitment to: Growth

*Kit and Ace photo

*Kit and Ace photo

Cow's Milk Debate - Y/N?

Vanilla Cashew Nut Milk

Let's chat! Recently something that I've been actively integrating into my lifestyle is making my "milk" from scratch. I have been seeing a lot more information surface online & social media surrounding the idea of how *terrible* cow's milk is for human beings.. After reading the facts on both pros & cons for the ongoing cow's milk debate I have made my own personal decision to cut it out of my diet (as much as possible) for the following reasons;

  • milk is a highly processed food (it's definitely not what it used to be)
  • said to causes acne
  • said to increase/causes ovarian sists
  • may cause prostate cancer
  • contributes to high cholesterol levels
  • high in saturated fat
  • very high sugar content
  • poor source of calcium (despite popular belief)
  • said to cause weight gain
  • finally, homemade simply tastes better!!!

With all that being said, try making a non-dairy milk at home for yourself that you can use as a substitute for that yucky cow stuff! I know it can be challenging at times when you're out either working or on the go, but wherever possible, try integrating non-dairy milk products and watch closely for the results! Even popular restaurants now carry non-dairy milk products, whether it be soy, hemp, almond or even coconut, more brands are jumping on the dairy-free train!

*If you happen to have any other insights into the cow's milk debate pls feel free to comment below or PM me with your thoughts! I'm also super interested in the pros/cons of using soy milk as a milk substitute when necessary. I don't know too much about soy milk health benefits/detriments besides the commonly referenced "high in estrogen" comment. Would love to hear from you!

Smoothie Sunday!

The only reason my friends come over to visit me is when I offer to make them food.... haha, I guess I set myself up for this by offering in the first place!!

This Sunday's Smoothie Bowl is filled with a mixture of blueberries, blackberries, banana, strawberry, mango, shredded coconut, vanilla protein powder, white chia seeds, almond milk & ice cubes! Super simple but super delish. Offer to make it for your friends and I'm sure you will have more visitors!

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apple pumpkin spiced (overnight) Oatmeal


Don't cha want some?

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quick organic oats
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1 small apple, diced
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1/3 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp hemp hearts

Method:

Start by mashing your banana together in a mason jar or small container. Next, mix in all above ingredients, then allow the mixture to set in your refrigerator overnight while the flavors combine together. In the morning sprinkle your oats with some additional cinnamon & enjoy!

Happy brekkie!! xo

freshii obsessed

The green queen spotted in her natural habitat munching on a delicious Metaboost Salad with grilled chicken from Freshii!

Metaboost Salad

  • Spinach
  • Field Greens
  • Mango
  • Carrots
  • Almonds
  • Goat Cheese
  • Edamame
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • + chicken (or tofu & steak)

An omelette a day....

Three things I will never get sick of = overnight oatmeal, paleo pancakes & omelettes (yes, i do realize that all are breakfast foods)! Kylie's picture perfect weekend breakfast = veggie omelette stuffed with green peppers, red onion, tomato, egg whites & salsa with avocado and lemon on the side! You just can't beat it.

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Blackberry banana paleo pancakes

Hell friggen YES! Felt like embodying a little bit of my "creative edge" this afternoon and BAM! out popped these Paleo friendly pancakes for the win! No other way to spend a Saturday (in my option) then in the kitchen making something deeeeelish! These ones are blackberry banana flavor & drizzled with a blackberry currant lemon sauce! 

 pancake Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 4 free-range eggs, whisked
  • 1 ripe banana, medium sized
  • 1/2c blackberries, whole
  • 1 package/tbsp stevia (2 if you want em' super sweet like i do!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon flax seed, ground
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • coconut oil (for skillet)
  • splash of almond milk (if consistency is still too thick)

Lemon Sauce ingredients

  • lemon
  • blackberry

Method

  1. Place skillet on medium heat & add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  2. Add wet ingredients together in a mixing bowl and blend using a whisk or fork (try not to completely mash the blackberries or your pancakes will be completely purple/blue colour!)
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the all dry ingredients together
  4. Fold both wet and dry ingredients together and then whisk till smooth
  5. Spoon batter 1 tablespoon at a time onto skillet (add coconut oil to skillet as necessary)
  6. After 1-2 minutes flip pancake with bubbles appear
  7. Repeat step #5 till all batter runs out
  8. Transfer pancakes onto a warm plate and top them off with blackberry currant lemon sauce, strawberries and fresh banana slices!

Have a beautiful blissful day xo

Pancake Sunday~

Cacao CASHEW paleo pancakes

Serves: 3

Ingredients

  • 2 free-range eggs + 1/4 cup organic egg whites
  • 1 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews, whole
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp flax seed, ground
  • 1 tsp stevia, powder
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 20 g (1/2 scoop) vanilla protein powder
  • 3 tbsp cacao nibs, chopped

+ coconut oil for cooking

Instructions

  1. In a food processor (or Vitamix), pulse cashews until finely ground
  2. Pulse in baking soda, then pulse in eggs, banana, and vanilla until very smooth
  3. Stir in chocolate cacao nibs by hand
  4. Heat coconut oil in skillet over medium heat
  5. Spoon batter 1 tablespoon at a time onto skillet
  6. Flip pancakes when bubbles form
  7. Cook for about a minute on second side
  8. Serves best with organic maple syrup, dairy-free coconut whip cream & granola!!

These are sure to make you feel *blissful* !! Enjoy xo