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19

Sep

Some of the food I’ve been enjoying over the past few days. Left: chocolate zucchini muffins from oh she glows, top right: mushroom stroganoff from the TIU plan, bottom left: soul soothing African peanut stew from oh she glows. Everything was delicious! #tiumeals #toneitup #tiuteam #karenakatrina #friskyfall @karenakatrina

Some of the food I’ve been enjoying over the past few days. Left: chocolate zucchini muffins from oh she glows, top right: mushroom stroganoff from the TIU plan, bottom left: soul soothing African peanut stew from oh she glows. Everything was delicious! #tiumeals #toneitup #tiuteam #karenakatrina #friskyfall @karenakatrina

09

Sep

A good cardio session followed by the breakfast I wanted this morning but couldn’t have haha! One pear, a “fried” egg (just cooked on a nonstick pan, no oil or butter), toast and a unsweetened earl grey tea latte. It was my first time to the gym in a few months. Felt good!! #friskyfall 7 miles/ #100byhalloween #tiuteam #toneitup #karenakatrina @karenakatrina @toneitup

A good cardio session followed by the breakfast I wanted this morning but couldn’t have haha! One pear, a “fried” egg (just cooked on a nonstick pan, no oil or butter), toast and a unsweetened earl grey tea latte. It was my first time to the gym in a few months. Felt good!! #friskyfall 7 miles/ #100byhalloween #tiuteam #toneitup #karenakatrina @karenakatrina @toneitup

Grey winter wonderland… In the summer 😂❄️⛄️👙

Grey winter wonderland… In the summer 😂❄️⛄️👙

Here are my top five goals. I’m sure as I accomplish these I will add more! #friskyfall #tiuteam #toneitup #karenakatrina @karenakatrina @toneitup

Here are my top five goals. I’m sure as I accomplish these I will add more! #friskyfall #tiuteam #toneitup #karenakatrina @karenakatrina @toneitup

08

Sep

My post workout smoothie and our “Welcome Fall” weather, even though it’s still summer…. It’s been snowing all day. A nice day to stay inside. Kicked my own booty today for 3 miles/ #100byhalloween . Post workout smoothie: 1/4 avocado, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, one banana, two handfuls of spinach, coconut milk and some honey. It tastes like ambrosia (banana, vanilla and coconut dessert!) delicious!! #friskyfall #toneitup #tiuteam #karenakatrina @karenakatrina

My post workout smoothie and our “Welcome Fall” weather, even though it’s still summer…. It’s been snowing all day. A nice day to stay inside. Kicked my own booty today for 3 miles/ #100byhalloween . Post workout smoothie: 1/4 avocado, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, one banana, two handfuls of spinach, coconut milk and some honey. It tastes like ambrosia (banana, vanilla and coconut dessert!) delicious!! #friskyfall #toneitup #tiuteam #karenakatrina @karenakatrina

04

Sep

Summer is disappearing…

Summer is saying goodbye and I can’t help but feel excited. This year has held so many amazing events, but so many road blocks too. Especially this summer. I have been away, mainly because I haven’t had the time or the desire to post. There has been a lot for me to deal with. Lets go back to my last post in June…

I was finally starting to be healthy again after finishing school. Finally time to focus on myself for a change. Then came moving. We moved and I had my one week re-feed, which never ended. So needless to say I have seen my body change over the summer. I didn’t have that amazing summer in a bikini that I hoped for, but I did have a great summer none the less. Moving took a week or so and then I was faced with my BIG exam.

So its July now. I had a week to prepare for my exam so I dove in. I wrote the exam and started a 7 day stretch of work (12 hours shifts!) in just 7 days. I had to wait up to 4 weeks for my exam results, so that added a lot of anxiety. I went and bought a new car, because my old one won’t start in the winter and winter where I live is 3/4 of the year…  After all that business it was time for a little vacation. 

Vacation was great. Two whole weeks with my family, visiting the ones we don’t see as often as we’d like. I saw oceans and mountains, spent lots of money and I got my exam results a week early. Every year when I write finals I seem to receive the wonderful news in the same place. Starbucks at the Seattle Premium Outlets. This year was no different. While at starbucks I checked my email and there were my results. A PASS!!  This was a huge accomplishment. I had worked 3 years for this moment. I spent the last week of my vacation on cloud 9. And then we went home…

August was full of stress. Things were going wrong left right and centre. I had a few days off to unpack before going back to work. On one of those day my mom came home and told me we had to leave again. Grandma (dad’s mum) had a heart attack and it didn’t look good. We got in the car and went back to where we had been just a few short days ago. I had to arrange more time off at work. As someone in the medical field it is torture to hear the words “its bad” but not know anything else. The 8 hour car ride was filled with fear. When we finally got to the hospital to see her it was bad, but yet it was good. She recovered so quickly. Within days she went from life support to walking around on her own. She is such a strong woman! My mom’s family was so supportive. They gave us a place to stay (they always do!) and provided comic relief! 

Now we are home and things are still crazy. Mom slipped on the deck and hit her hear- another trip to the hospital. I’ve been working like crazy. But now its September and I can feel things changing. We are getting ready for another trip, a good one this time =). We have made a lot of health changes since grandma had her heart attack. Eating healthy has a different meaning to me now. I’m not eating things because its healthy and I will look good, I’m eating it to keep my body healthy and functioning properly. We are making changes, slowly, but it’s coming. Heart disease is in my genetics, which I didn’t know before. 

Now you can look forward to heart healthy food. My twists on traditional recipes to make it good for you and your heart. I’m looking forward to trying to have a healthy twist thanksgiving… can I make a pumpkin pie healthy? What about stuffing? Lets see!! Thanksgiving in Canada is in October. I hope to keep posting more often now that life has returned to normal. The craziness has subsided and now its time to focus on the good stuff. Sorry for the long post and the lack of posts recently. Enjoy your day!!

28

Aug

Early mornings are the best… You can feel fall in the air 🍂 I love it. Seeing a beautiful sunrise always makes me so grateful. It’s been a long hard summer. Moving, new job, graduating, vacation, grandma had a heart attack (a very bad one) and our new house had mould in the basement so we had to pack up half the house. With the challenges and set backs I’m ready to start a new season. Fall has always been good to me. 💕

Early mornings are the best… You can feel fall in the air 🍂 I love it. Seeing a beautiful sunrise always makes me so grateful. It’s been a long hard summer. Moving, new job, graduating, vacation, grandma had a heart attack (a very bad one) and our new house had mould in the basement so we had to pack up half the house. With the challenges and set backs I’m ready to start a new season. Fall has always been good to me. 💕

26

Jun

Carb Cycling: 3 week check in

So I have been carb cycling for three weeks now. It has been the best experience for me so far. I have learned so much in the past three weeks about health, diet and my body. 

Carb cycling has been the most structured meal plan I have ever stuck to, without being too strict. I still have a reward day every week and high carb days feel glorious. Low carb days are more challenging, but I’m getting into the swing of things. Meal planning is easier, I know my portion sizes and what foods are approved for each meals on LC/HC days. The most challenging part is meeting my protein intake for each day. I’m supposed to have a serving of protein with every meal, 5 meals per day. I like to limit the amount of processed protein (processed meats, and protein powders) so that leaves me with few options. I had been eating lots of chicken, but I’m actually starting to be repulsed by it. For protein I’m consuming brown rice protein, natural whey protein (1x per day at the most), chicken, fish, ground turkey, egg whites, cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. I have discovered I’m OBSESSED with almond butter. Other fats I’m including: peanut butter, olive oil, coconut oil, flax, chia, avocado (yummy!), and egg yolks (two hard boiled or pan fried eggs is one serving of fat and half a serving of protein!)

Overall I feel great, I’ve lost ~5 pounds in three weeks and I have more energy than I have had on other plans. It’s easy to maintain, prep and plan. I can still live, go out for dinner and eat what I love. I limit the amount of packaged foods I eat because none of it has a protein and carbs or protein and fat combo which means I can’t eat it except on reward days.

I haven’t been perfect though. I need to eat more vegetables with my meals and make sure I eat every 3 hours. It gets more difficult when I’m at work since I don’t know when I might get busy, but I try my hardest.

Next week I start my slingshot (Refeed) week which means it’s all high carb days for a week. I’m so excited. Will keep you updated on my progress with cab cycling.!

12

Jun

Carb Cycling: Low carb days

I already posted about my high carb days. Now that I’ve been carb cycling for over a week (day 9 tomorrow) I have had 5 low carb days. These are 10x harder to get through. That being said I still feel like this is the easiest “diet” I’ve ever done. I finally feel like I’ve found a balance. Once I’ve achieved my fitness goals I will change my routine and do an easier cycle. Right now I’m doing LC, LC, HC, LC, LC, HC, re-feed day. It’s difficult to get through two LC days, but I’m seeing and feelings results already.

My biggest challenge with carb cycling is my job. With this plan I’m supposed to eat every 3 hours and drink 2L of water. I work in a hospital so eating every 3 hours is not always possible. I often only get half my recommended water intake (if that!).

Those are my goals for this week: increase water intake and eat properly every 3 hours!!!!

07

Jun

Carb Cycling Day 1: High Carb

June 5th was my first day carb cycling. My first day was a high carb day. The diet plan lays out how many meals to eat in a day, how often to eat, caloric intake and gives you an exercise plan. On high carb days each meal has a serving of protein, carbs and as many vegetables as my heart desires (turns out thats not much!). 

I found it really easy to create meals on my high carb day. I usually eat a diet that consists of mostly carbs, which is typical for many people. A usual meal for my family consists of a protein (chicken, fish, steak), a starchy side such as pasta or rice, and a salad. That is what my meals were like every day, with the exception of snacks. This makes high carb days really easy, keeping in mind that I want to be consuming healthy carbs with each meal, including snacks, protein for every meal (which I am not used to, I had protein for 2/5 meals and after a workout). Here is what I ate:

M1: Green smoothie- 2 cups spinach, 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/2 banana, water, sun warrior vanilla protein

M2: Grilled Chicken Burger on a whole wheat bun with BBQ sauce, onion, banana peppers, pickles, lettuce

M3: greek yogurt with 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch, carrot sticks

M4: Cottage Cheese with 1 cup raspberries and liquid stevia to sweeten

M5: Greek lemon chicken with whole wheat pita bread and a salad

Overall I felt great on my high carb day, I had energy to push myself during my workout and did not feel that I was restricting my diet at all. The only hard part was avoiding fats. I always put peanut butter in smoothies and on bread. You can’t have fats on a high carb day =(. I will have to save that for my reward day. 

06

Jun

LiveFit Phase 1 and Couch to 5K Week 2 Complete: Review

When I decided I needed to recommit to my health and fitness routine, I challenged myself to complete both LiveFit and the C25K program. Now that I have successfully completed phase one of LiveFit and the second week of the C25K program I thought I would review them. If you’re interested keep reading!

LiveFit Pahse 1: Phase one is supposed to be about building a foundation or “bulking”. You are supposed to eliminate cardio completely and stick to weight lifting 4 days a week, with 3 days to rest. Each lifting day focuses on two muscle groups (with the exception of leg day): Chest and triceps, back and biceps, legs, shoulders and abs. Personally I found it difficult to eliminate cardio, since I had just finally started to do it again. So I ran, and I did HIIT workouts (ZWOW/ZSHRED). 

This program also gives you a food plan to stick to for each phase. My diet has come a long way since the end of April, but I can’t justify eating chicken for every meal and all the artificial protein (powders) I found myself taking was insane. I tried to focus on eating protein with every meal, cutting back on fats and eating healthy carbs (no white breads, chips or crackers!). I have been egging eggs and egg whites for breakfast, lots or fruit and vegetables, and brown rice, quinoa or whole wheat bread for carbs. 

Results: I’ve seen the most change in my legs, biceps and triceps. My baby biceps are growing! I haven’t weighted myself in a while, but I don’t think I have lost any weight. I’m excited to take on phase 2!

C25K Week 1 & 2: I am not a fan of running… not at all. I do love intervals though!! I was hoping this program would change the way I feel for running and help me run longer distances (5K maybe? haha). I completed the first and second week, which are only 3 days each, but I was also running and doing sprints on the “off” days. I feel that this led to my shin splints. I went from running a few times a month to running almost every day. The miles were adding up too quickly. My shins were feeling terrible. I could get 10 minutes away from my house then the pain would start. Walking was uncomfortable. I took a good week off of running, doing other forms of cardio (biking, cross fit, stair master) and feel like I found a balance. 

Back to my review on the program- after my week off I was able to start the third week and my shin splints feel so much better!! The running duration increases each week, the first run is always a bit challenging but by the third one of the week its a breeze! I’m excited about the possibility of running 5k without stopping to catch my breath!! 

Results: Regardless of the shin splints (which were not caused by this program alone!) I have noticed that my stamina has improved and I can run further distances now. I still don’t love running, but the more I do it the more I find myself enjoying it and even craving it. 

I would highly recommend these programs to anyone, for different reasons. If you’re looking to build muscle with a free program that is very easy to commit to (you get 3 days off per week in the first phase!) I would recommend LiveFit. The C25K is a great program for beginner runners, or someone who ‘fell off the bandwagon’ and needs to build their endurance back up. Who knows, maybe I will be running my first 5k this summer. Stay tuned for my next update!

Carb Cycling

I was recently watching Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition with Chris and Heidi Powell. In the episode I was watching Heidi Powell was pregnant in one clip (you couldn’t tell until she turned sideways!) and in the next clip she was slim and fit again post baby! I was intrigued so I decided to google the Powell couple. Finding their websites also led me to finding the books Chris Powell wrote. I bought one and then the other…. which led me into carb cycling. 

I have always felt like my diet had no structure. One day I was eating super healthy and being super strict and the next day I was suffering because I felt so deprived from the day before. I would load up on whatever I could find (cookies, crackers, bread, chips). This cycle would repeat itself over and over and over. 

After reading these books I feel like I finally have a structured plan that leaves me feeling satisfied. I can have reward days or meals, I can have fruit, whole wheat bread and pasta. I just have to follow the cycle. I don’t feel deprived because I know I can have the foods I want on my reward day/meal. I’ve decided to keep a journal on here describing each day (high carb/low carb/reward day), how I feel, changes in my body, etc. I’m only on my second day. 

Stay tuned for my updates!

*I am not looking to lose weight, I am simply looking for a more balanced approach to healthy eating with my goals in mind. My goal is to lose fat and gain muscle, but ultimately I want to be healthy and ENJOY my life!! 

05

Jun

I see some progress. I haven’t been so hard on myself this time when it come to working out. I’m finding a really nice balance. I have to work on my diet (as always) but it has gotten so much better! #tiuteam #tiutransformation #toneitup #bikiniseries

I see some progress. I haven’t been so hard on myself this time when it come to working out. I’m finding a really nice balance. I have to work on my diet (as always) but it has gotten so much better! #tiuteam #tiutransformation #toneitup #bikiniseries

03

Jun

Afternoon snack: pineapple and strawberry lemonade (recipe from toneitup.com , I used strawberries instead of watermelon)! #toneitup #tiuteam #bikiniseries @karenakatrina @toneitup

Afternoon snack: pineapple and strawberry lemonade (recipe from toneitup.com , I used strawberries instead of watermelon)! #toneitup #tiuteam #bikiniseries @karenakatrina @toneitup

29

May

Accomplishing my Goals: Anemia

I mentioned in a previous post that I started taking vitamin supplements with iron to treat my anemia. I’ve also started making small changes in my diet. Its amazing to me because a few weeks ago I had no idea I was anemic, but I knew I wasn’t healthy. I felt terrible. I am always dizzy, EXHAUSTED, my eyes are dry, I always have purple bags under my eyes (which I always get when I’m sick!), and my lips were blue even when I was warm. I looked terrible!

I’ve been taking my supplements for about two weeks now. I’ve been having smoothies with 2 cups of spinach, I try to eat more green vegetables and I’ve incorporated red meat into my diet a few times a week. I’m not the biggest fan of red meat, except a good steak! Friday night BBQ anyone?! Its the perfect excuse!

I’m happy to say I have seen and felt a difference. I didn’t realize how terrible I felt until I started to feel better. I have more energy, I’m not dizzy most days, and my lips aren’t blue!!!!

My point: I didn’t realize feeding your body makes such a huge difference. I was so used to feeding my brain the things it likes that I didn’t have room for the good stuff. Now I feel like I know what my body needs.