Wellness (almost) Wednesday: Walking the Trails in Fall :)


Hi All,

Last weekend one of my best friends Kaitlyn invited me out to go hiking. I got up at the ‘Sunday crack of dawn’ (8 am) and headed over to meet her at the trail for 9:15.

It couldn’t have possibly been a more beautiful, sunny, crisp and just overall glorious fall morning.

After a week at my sewing machine it felt like a total breath of fresh air.

 The trail was absolutely stunning, and the fall colours are just starting to turn 🙂

If only my ceiling looked like this all the time 🙂

 I’ve felt cooped up in the sewing room all week- so I really needed the exercise.

The trail we went to is called Beamer Memorial Trail, just outside of Hamilton in Grimsby, Ontario.  

It has part of the Bruce Trail, which is an 885 km trail along the Niagara Escarpment. Needless to say we did not walk that far lol, we just did a small part of it 🙂

But quite a beautiful part, with views of lake Ontario 🙂

We also wandered our way down to the little waterfall at the end of one of the side trails

SO PRETTY!

Kaitlyn taking pictures

She even took this one of me 🙂

Then we hiked back to the center of the trail and took these stairs down the escarpment into the valley belowf.

Then spent some time wandering the little creek running through the valley.

Doesn’t this look gorgeous- yes yes it does- but I will tell you my friends, be cautious walking along rocks, in a creek, that look like this. Why you ask? let me tell you:

Just imagine me, somewhat clumsily walking along, rock to rock, when all of the sudden I put all my faith, all  my weight, into my step onto a slightly angled rock, only to find out that the surface is coated in a very thin layer of algae that has about 0 friction. You can imagine what happens next: foot goes straight out from under me, and I’m on my bum before I can blink. Now the worst part of this whole experience was trying to get up off the slipperiest rock in the whole world, while trying not to pee your pants from laughter, while going into harder fits of giggles as your friend is almost peeing themselves watching you try to get up. Not to mention the very startled look I got from a birdwatcher who didn’t understand my laughter and was worried that I justf couldn’t get up, whom I had to reassure that I was indeed okay.

That my friends is why you must be cautious with these rocks.

But after the whole rock ordeal we made it all the way back up the stairs and back along the trail, where we ran into this little guy

What a cutie 🙂 I love woolly bear caterpillars 🙂 and what a nice end to the walk 🙂

I feel like this is something that I should do more often, I felt about 10 lbs lighter walking out of those woods, like it cleared my mind and refreshed me so much- I would highly recommend it, especially now while the weather is so beautiful!

Do you like to walk the trails in the fall? Do you have a favourite hiking trail in your area?

I just love it! and this trail is such a gem!

I am off to drink some tea, cuddle up in a sweater, and do all the very seasonable things- I might even buy a pumpkin to carve 🙂

xo erin

WW: My Diet


So… completely Wellness, but not so Wednesday… Thinking Healthy Thursday? What is it with me and alliterations. ANYWAYS- yes I missed Wellness Wednesday this week- but only by a day, everything in moderation right? even Wellness being posted on Wednesdays.

So this post of Wellness is all about my diet, how I am changing & reducing it, and my general philosophy on diets and eating. I am posting this because I think a lot of people can relate to wanting to change their diet and feel healthier, maybe lose a bit of weight and get some more energy!

 
(Just because I felt like I need to have SOME pictures)

After finishing university and a host of other family/life things going on, I’ve found myself in a bit of a rut of self-neglect when it comes to my diet, and now I am left with a lack of energy and few extra unwanted pounds that prevent me from taking full advantage of my wardrobe. And don’t get me wrong with any of this- I believe in loving yourself at any weight and being comfortable in your skin- but I do really want to fit into my whole wardrobe again and the weight/body composition that I have now is not my happiest or healthiest self.

Now my philosophy on dieting is very much about a lifestyle change and not about a quick ‘lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks’- because I have done fast weight loss before, and it doesn’t work out in the long run. Which is also why I did not start this as a New Year’s resolution- simply because I have to really want this and be motivated to fully commit, and I simply wasn’t ready in January, but I am feeling a little more confident and motivated now- so onwards and upwards!

There are no set ‘unbreakable rules’ or extremes to my diet just some key elements to follow:

– As little refined sugar as possible (my ultimate addiction)

– As little processed food as possible

-No food after dinner (or like 4 hours before bed)

– Snacks between meals (eating consistently 3 meals 2 snacks everyday)

-Good protein sources and fat sources at each meal

-Lots of fruits and vegetables (high fiber)

-Lots of water and liquids 

To sum this up it would be a: low carb – high fiber – high protein – high healthy fats- diet designed to keep your blood sugar regulated. Because I believe that your biggest diet enemy is simple carbs (like sugar and starches) that spike your blood sugar really high, then drop it down just as fast leaving you tired and hungrier than before- think 30 minutes after you ate that chocolate bar on an empty stomach…

On top of those general guidelines for a healthy everyday diet, to reduce more in the weight-loss phase of this diet I’m trying to avoid all grain products (except my oatmeal in the morning), trying to limit my fat intake slightly, reduce my alcohol intake, and I am trying to go a little lighter on the fruit and a little heavier on the vegetables. But really the main goal is to cut out the chocolate, and the sugars which are my ultimate and terrible addiction (chocolate and red wine- why must you taste so good!). 

Another important key to note about this diet is that you can actually eat a lot of food, I mean you can have a heaped plate of food full of bright veggies and good sources of protein- I’m all about eating large quantities because I think I would starve on a single portion of a pre-packaged microwave meal, which is why a lot of other diets don’t work very well for me because I do really like to eat a lot of food!

So I hope this wasn’t a boring post for you all- I know that I am a super nosey person who loves to know about other people’s diets and things they eat. Also because I am making a real effort to change my diet and lose weight you can expect more Wellness Wednesdays about the things that I have been eating, my diet progress, ways that I stay motivated and things like that- if there are any questions or diet-related post requests than feel free to comment! 

Also- in a past Wellness Wednesday I posted about these health/fitness gurus I love on Youtube- The Lean Machines who also share in the same philosophy I have about food and diets and are much better at explaining it and are also super sexy (which can never hurt) so I would encourage you to check them out for more good diet info!

Hope you are having a very healthy Thursday! 

xo erin

WW: Sneaking Veggies into Breakfast 2: Green Smoothie


For this Wellness Wednesday- I’m doing a second round of sneaking veggies into breakfast- with my version of the Green Smoothie.

I feel like the Green Smoothie is a fairly common and established thing- but since it is always good to see everyones different versions and recipes- I figured I would share mine. I like to make my green smoothie for breakfast and add lots of greek yogurt for added protein in the morning!

Green Smoothie

1/2  cup milk (I use almond milk but you can use any milk)- vary the amount of milk depending on how thick you want your smoothie
3/4 cup Greek Yogurt
2 packets of Stevia (optional) – I like using stevia because it is healthier than sugar and dissolves better
1 tsp coconut oil
2 LARGE handfuls of baby spinach
1 1/2 cups of frozen fruit (I used cherries and mango) – vary the amount to make a thinner or thicker shake

Put it all in the blender like this:

Blend away until it looks more like this:
Now you can pretty much substitute anything into this shake- different milk, different flavour yogurt, different fruit (if you use just mango or a light colour fruit like banana then it turns a beautiful bright green colour!) add things, take away things- whatever you want.
I really like using greek yogurt because of all the protein content in the morning, also I like to use less milk and more fruit to make my shake really thick ( thick enough to eat with a spoon like soft ice cream!) which is why I also like to use baby spinach instead of the harder greens like kale- because the spinach breaks down more easily and doesn’t require quite as much blending to disappear into a shake! But if you like a thinner smoothie then kale is a great option!

This is one of my all-time favourite breakfasts! So creamy and delicious- also this will make a fairly large smoothie- but I don’t mind eating a large portion if everything in the smoothie is super healthy and I usually have this on its own for a meal!

Hope you are all having a wonderfully well Wednesday! and that you are all keeping healthy this far into the New Year!!

xo erin

Wellness Wednesday: The Lean Machines


Hi All!

By now I am sure you have noticed my slight obsession with british YouTubers. And part of that obsession includes my favourite fitness channel: The Lean Machines.

I actually found this channel through the Pixiwoo sisters (BEST MAKE-UP ARTISTS EVER), and it is their younger brother & friend who are The Lean Machines. John & Leon – And let me tell you, they definitely live up to their name.

They make great, short, home and gym based work out videos some of my favs include: How to slim down your waist and strengthen your core!How to tone, shape and lift your bum and I loved their Christmas advent!

But more importantly than the fact that they are incredibly fit themselves and obviously know a thing or two about fitness (being personal trainers)- they are the most cheerful and encouraging guys ever!

They have such a great sense of humour and despite being incredibly fit- they don’t make you feel overwhelmed or intimidated- just really positive about the fact that you have goals and that you are doing something, rather than doing nothing. Which to me is the most important because I feel easily intimidated and insecure about my fitness level – and to have the message that ‘everything counts and doing something is always great and better than nothing’ is really good and motivational!!

Beyond their fitness videos they also have great videos about food and nutrition, and I think that their ideas and philosophy of food is spot on! They are also really good at explaining things in a way that is very informative while being informal and relatable. Some of my favourite nutrition based videos are: What should I be eating?, and Stay fit & healthy with our breakfast ideas!

They also do some fun bonus videos- just for entertainment and kicks- which are always nice to watch since they are funny and cheerful guys- and they are pretty interactive with their audience in the comments! Not to mention they are great at regularly uploading! What more could you want!

So that has been this Wellness Wednesday- I would highly recommend that you check these guys out!

Hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday!

xo erin

Wellness Wednesday:Sneaking veggies into breakfast- Pumpkin Oatmeal


I love oatmeal- apparently I always have (mom says she couldn’t heap the spoon high enough for me when I was a baby). I suppose some things never change- but lately I’ve been ramping up my morning oats by sneakily adding some extra healthy ingredients. 

I am one of those people who absolutely adores fruit- I can eat fruit constantly, I love every fruit, and I can literally eat baskets of it. But veggies- are… well.. for the most part a little bland and boring, as well as more time consuming to prepare, which means I generally only eat them with my dinner meal- which I do realize is not enough.

So to solve this vegetable problem I’ve been having- I devised a way to sneak an extra veggie serving into my day- and an orange vegetable at that (which you are supposed to have one serving of everyday apparently)

PUMPKIN OATMEAL

and it is so good I should call it pumpkin pie oatmeal. 

I generally make it with these ingredients:

I know this looks like a lot but most of it is spices/toppings. Also in this pic I have the two types of oatmeal I prefer – steel cut oats or quick oats (depending on my level of laziness in the morning)

Usually I opt for the steel cut though and I will make a full batch which means that I am left with ready-made breakfasts for the next couple mornings. 

I cook my oats the usual way – 1 cup of steel cut oats and 4 cups of water- simmering away until you have that wonderful porridge consistency and the oats are all cooked and creamy.

Then to the batch I add:

1 1/2 Tbsp of coconut oil (I find eating this helps my dry skin in the winter) Also if you want to watch an amazing video on the benefits of coconut oil click here!

1 1/3 cup of puree pumpkin (I use the canned stuff because it is easy and a good consistency)

– this will generally make about 3-4 servings – meaning that you get at least a full (1/3 cup) serving of pumpkin in each bowl!! giving you all your vitamin A for the day along with other healthy things 🙂

Then I generally top my oatmeal off with this:

A little cinnamon, ginger, pinch of sea salt, generous drizzle of honey and evaporated milk (because it is like cream but a little better for you- but let’s be real, if I have cream in the house, I will use it). Here it is again along with some for tomorrow and the next day (YAY for planning ahead!)

it is so creamy and delicious- not to mention the topping choices are endless some of my other favs include toasted coconut, nuts & apples!

This is what I am doing while I write this blog post! 

Hope you have a Wonderfully Well Wednesday! And if you have any tips on how to sneak more veggies into your diet — let me know in a comment!!

xo erin

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