It's that time of year again to bundle up with extra layers of scarves … but hopefully no extra layers of skin!
Holiday parties, office treats, cold weather, family visits, and peppermint hot chocolate are all reasons why it is so important to up the workout ante this time of year and keep your game face ON.
Here are my top tips for keeping your Santa belly far far away:
1. Relax: my number one tip for any weight-loss client is to R-E-L-A-X. Whenever I was paranoid about my weight – during my rowing years – I could never lose weight. The second the scale stopped being the centre of my universe is when I started to lose weight and found peace with my body. Stop beating yourself up over a couple pounds gained, that single crouton you had in your salad isn't going to sabotage your weight loss goals. What will ruin them is freaking out over that crouton and making yourself feel better by eating the entire loaf of bread with butter! Chill out, it's the holidays they are supposed to be fun after all!
2. Liquid breakfast: in effort to counter the cheese and cracker tray I try to stay super healthy during the week. This time of year I stick with a green drink or my favourite chocolate avocado drink every morning. This starts my day right and I don't have to feel bad about having a few extra crackers on the weekends.
3. Extra run: I try to add just one more run in a week during the winter. I'll go to the treadmills downstairs in my building and run for 30 minutes while watching Ellen or listening to music. It's easy and helps offset about 500 calories of extra food and beverage, which goes a long way. Join me! Next time you complete a run on your treadmill show me with #bodsquad on instagram!
4. Water + wine: I haven't been hung-over in years and I credit it all to water. Alternating between water and alcohol helps SO much. If you're drinking make sure you have at least one glass of water between every two drinks. You will drink less and feel way better the next morning. If I am feeling a little gross the next morning I force myself to go outside and run. I hate it for the first eight minutes but after I feel a million times better.
5. Pick your favourites: at parties it is important to remember that nobody is holding a gun to your head forcing you to eat that sixth pig in a blanket. Remember we are feeding ourselves so don't feel pressure to stuff your face at every opportunity. Save yourself for the great stuff – the truffle cheese is my achilles heel but I'll pass on the cheddar cubes. Make sure you're really splurging on the exceptional and passing on the plain.
I could eat cookies for breakfast lunch and dinner. Seriously if I wasn't a trainer I'd be a cookie chef. I've tried a few healthy cookie recipes and they all failed miserably. I swore off trying to make cookies healthy until I tasted these yesterday.
I was at my dentist's office and they were having a health day so Dr. Paris brought these in. As a reward for having no cavities (wooo hooo!!!!!) I was given one. They were absolutely delicious. Chewy, chocolatey goodness. On the drive home I couldn't stop thinking about them.
So naturally, like any true cookie monster I drove right to No Frills and bought all of the ingredients to make them. I used the book Deceptively Delicious as my guide and they turned out AMAZING. In fact, when Matt came home from work me he had an entire plate without even realizing that they had chickpeas in them! Then, once I told him they were healthy-ish naturally my fellow cookie monster went back for another nosh… I guess that's why we're getting married, a shared love for cookies!
Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 25 cookies
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed) – mashed or blended … I used my vitamix.
2 cups chocolate chips – I LOVE enjoy life dairy free chocolate chips
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup oats
1 tablespoon baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a small bowl mix sugar and butter together
3. Then beat in egg whites, vanilla and blended chickpeas.
4. In a medium bowl mix flour, oats, and baking soda.
5. Combine both bowls and add in chocolate chips.
6. Bake for 13 minutes
Note: These aren't THE healthiest things in the world but hey, let's live a little … they're not bad for cookies!!
If there is one secret I've learned about heathy living it's this: you have to prepare and plan everything.
I am 10000% more likely to grab a ready-to-go green juice in the morning or actually attend a workout class if it's booked in my calendar or right out on my counter. If I come home starving there is just no way I'm making green juice … my fingers are wayyy more likely to want to dial straight for pizza. Bad Christie. Bad! Bad! Bad! But it's the truth!
I have recently started making my greens in bulk. Since they are only good for about 2-3 days I freeze the juices as soon as they are mixed and then take them out the night before so they're ready to go. I got these Mason jars at Home Depot (12 for $4!) and they are the perfect way to store, drink and dash!
p.s. This recipe is a slight variation on my original Gwyneth Paltrow green juice and it's SO SO SO delicious. Like seriously more than drinkable for green juice, I actually look forward to this.
Bulk Greens Ingredients
Makes 10 portions (enough to cover mornings off for me and my future Mr. Beauty and the Bod!)
1 huge tub of spinach
1 big bunch of kale
1 bag frozen mangos
3 cups water
1. Cut up all your apples and blend them (ideally in a vitamix) with 2 cups water. Set aside in a bowl.
2. Mix in all spinach, kale, 1 cup water and juice of four limes. Blend that and set aside.
3. Combine half apple mix with half greens mix and blend – repeat 2x then jar.
4. Put drinks in freezer and enjoy throughout the week.
As I look back on this last year I am SO thankful for so much. I have narrowed it down to my top 8.
:: The view from our secret picnic spot, if we bring you here we will probably propose to you ::
1. Happiest time of week: Date nights with Matt on Fridays (and really just any moment with Matt!). I love date night! In the winter time we usually do homemade pizza night, sometimes we go out for food but we both love to just relax, have some wine and chill at home. Last week we had a picnic in the Brickworks. It was wonderful and super special because it will probably be our last one this year due to weather. This is our go-to picnic spot and it is absolutely perfect, seriously you can't get better views at a restaurant! And it's FREE!
:: The Bod Squad, aka loves of my life! ::
2. Bod Squad: I truly LOVE my job and love the people that make my job lovable. I think Bod Squaders are just the best people around and they make my week amazing. They inspire me and push me to be a better trainer, listener and coach. Mad love and burpees team!!
:: Beginnings of maple roasted butternut squash ::
3. Food: I love food. And I am grateful that I get to enjoy it and lots of it! This weekend we made my favourite butternut squash and maple bacon recipe omg delicious!
4. Foam Rollers: I know, you think I'm joking but I'm for real. Foam rollers have saved and changed how I recover from exercise. They are the most brutally painful thing I do all week but they help me so so so much. I couldn't do what I do without one and shucks gosh darn it I'm thankful for them.
5. Interval running: my first and foremost passion in fitness. I love that in 20 minutes I can get done what takes some people 2 hours. It's all about focused, intense, controlled exercise. I love that my body still loves and responds to running … and is getting faster!
6. Pilates Reformer: I am SO SO SO luckly to have my own and to be able to train on it everyday. I love working out on my machine and sweating buckets while stretching up a storm. It's a perfect counter to my Bod Squad style workouts and my running. Love it.
7. Friends: that will actually come on a run with me at 11 pm … or at the very least bring over some red wine. I have made some pretty incredible friends this year and I love them all. They inspire me to be better, kinder and have more time management integrity. And they bring me tea too.
8. Grand Bend and my family: I love our beach home and I am SO excited to be married there next year. I just came home from a weekend away and I feel so lucky to have a place there with my family. They are amazing and I love them. I could honestly sleep for 20 hours up there (and I have!). It's a little piece of heaven with amazing trails and beautiful beaches, I can't wait to be back.
Finally I am SO thankful to YOU!! Thanks for reading this blog and helping support my small business that could! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
When I was growing up my dad (aka mom of the year) would wake me and my sister up by bringing us a cup of tea. Ahhhh so nice! No wonder I love tea!
And up until recently I've really been a strict orange pekoe (one milk, hold the sugar) kind of girl. When we gave up dairy earlier this year I had a really tough time with tea. I missed having it with milk a lot, but I felt a lot better on the days I skipped the dairy completely. It took me awhile to like almond milk in tea. In the meantime I searched for other tea options to mix it up. I fell in love with DAVID'S TEA's "Read My Lips". This tea is out of control. It's a party in my mouth every morning, noon and sometimes night. I LOVE it. I like to add a little almond milk and then it's just perfect.
I now love almond milk in my tea more than regular. I'm glad I gave up milk on the regular because I found this delicious drink. Can't wait to have some later!! Yum!
How to Make the Perfect Cup of Tea
From my Scottish roots I've learned that not only is there a right way to make a cup of tea but if you don't follow these directions my grandparents can absolutely tell that you made bad tea! And they will pour it out, it's hilarious. I'm glad that I know these seven simple steps because if we ever have true tea lovers over I know how to make the perfect pot!
1. Heat the pot – pour boiling (it has to be boiling, hot won't work … I tried that) water into the pot and let it sit for 2 minutes (no less, no more).
2. Pour the water out of the pot.
3. Make sure you've brought the original water back up to a boil again.
4. Place two bags of tea into the pot and pour water over the bags. Absolutely do not put the bags in on top of the water, your tea will be ruined! Kidding!! But they are pretty strict about that! This is probably the most important step!
5. Wait the proper 3 minutes for your tea to steep and then pour.
6. If you want milk and sugar add that to your cup before you add the tea. Pour the tea on top of your milk and sugar then stir.