Month One of Self Lovin’ <3

So excited January is coming to an end! And even more excited I’m feeling 100% better than when this month started. I mean I blame Strep throat for feeling crappy in the beginning but regardless, I am thinking 2017 is going to be a very promising year.

January’s #yearofselflove was ensuring I fuel myself with nutrient dense, whole, real foods, while eliminating sugar, gluten containing grains, dairy, and alcohol. While I didn’t completely keep all these foods out of my diet, I did the majority of the time. And I may have sipped a small glass of Black Sage Hills Cabernet, but who knows?

The differences I feel are like night and day. I tried to pick my favourite change, but I can’t! They are all amazing. I have never noticed such clearer, or softer skin. Even during this dry winter in Kelowna! It just looks brighter. I presume this is from a) eating way more vegetables (like all day er-day kinda thing), b) drinking bone broth, adding collagen to my bulletproof drinks, and eating all the fats! c) staying hydrated, and d) not drinking alochol and eliminating most sources of caffeine, except my matchas.

I have also been sleeping incredibly, and feeling more energized throughout the day. I never realized how much I dragged my butt around like a slump, forcing myself to the gym hoping that would help energize me. I mean, I definitely feel tired some days (hello shift work), but overall I feel more vibrant, alive, and energiiiized.

No more cravings. Guys, this is like, revolutionary. I am Miss Cravings. Just kidding it’s Gillies but if you say it fast enough… But actually, since cutting out sugar (except berries, a lil splash of stevia in my bulletproofs or decaf coffees, and root vegetables that don’t really count), I have noticed I don’t crave the sweet taste as much. I also am not hangry all the time. I eat a meal, and cruise through the day feeling satiated and only eat when I’m hungry. I gotta thank all those nourishing fats for that one 🙂

I have also been working out a ton, which hasn’t sky rocketed my appetite like it has in the past. I just make sure I add some extra fats to my meals and I’m smooth sailing. It’s quite refreshing actually. I have also been researching the effects fasting has on the body (anti-aging properties, kills cancer forming cells, improves insulin resistance, weight loss etc) and it’s so interesting! I’m not one to do multiple day fasts, but really, going 5-8 hours between meals is actually normal. When you are a sugar burner, you’re blood sugars may dip, which may account for those early morning or mid-afternoon hunger feels. But when your body runs on fat, it is perfectly capable for going hours without needing constant fuel(glucose), as there is always fat to burn!

I also attribute all this healthy food, extra fats, and focusing on my gut health to me being in a much better mood lately. No, I wasn’t depressed or anything before, but I had more instances of irritability and anxiety than I would have cared for. Now that I’m properly nourished, have a different and more positive mindset, exercise daily, and sleep like a baby, I find that those usual stressful moments (hello personal life) are dealt with differently than I would have in the past. I have more patience and am able to look at situations from a different perspective and utilize healthier coping skills instead of immediately needing a glass of wine or sugary treat to deal with things. Yeah, that was me.. I was basically a real live meme of Betty White with the large wine glass…you know the one.

I mean, I MAY be a little happier knowing I’m hoping on a plane to Panama in a month, just maybe.

And lastly, all these superfoods and exercising has made a huge difference in my body shape. Yes, I’ve been weighing myself weekly, just to help gauge my process, but I have also been taking before and after photos. Not to mention I just feel so much better! I don’t feel bloated or experience any digestive difficulties. This month actually made me realize how used to I was feeling bloated. I just thought it was normal after eating? Nope, not normal Kells.

Now what did I eat all month? Well, I’m going to be honest. I was not as creative as I would have liked to have been. Perhaps one month I will dedicate it to trying new recipes and different foods. But January consisted of many 60-72 hour work weeks so, yeah. I had a daily smoothie (spinach, berries, avocado, maca, chlorella, spirulina, collagen, matcha, stevia, flax, and chia), lots of fresh vegetables, nuts and seeds, and usually some sort of a salad or stir-fry. I also had bulletproof matcha most mornings, which was typically taken in the morning during a 14-16 hour fasting period.

Bulletproof Matcha Tea

I think I had some version of bulletproof tea or coffee (decaf) everyday! It wasn’t just regular bulletproof either, I started adding Collagen, which has SO many health benefits! I used Organika, found at Nature’s Fare in Kelowna. And of course I add 1-2 T of either MCT oil or regular coconut oil, gelatinized Maca powder (from Organika as well), cinnamon, sea salt, and a few drops of french vanilla stevia. This fat fueled warm cup of joe is actually the best part of my mornings, and easily keeps me satiated until lunch time. I usually have my bulletproof around 9 am, and will eat lunch anytime between 11-pm, so I am usually “fasting” 14-16 hours. Intermittent Fasting is NOT for everyone, and will definitely be challenging when starting out, especially if you are used to eating frequently and are a “sugar burner.” But if it’s something you want to try, do your research! Read all about the benefits HERE.

I also enjoyed my morning bulletproof matcha while watching Dr. Kelly Brogan’s 30 Day Vital Reset Webinar! This woman is seriously my idol. She is a holistic psychiatrist (when can I call myself a holistic psychiatric nurse?!) She is so passionate about what she does, and helps women everywhere battling depression, anxiety, and bipolar by teaching them about nutrition and hormonal balance, lifestyle changes such as exercising and meditation, and also assists in tapering off medications that these women have been on for years. She says that since she has stopped prescribing psychotropics, she has actually began to heal women, whereas previously, she was just managing symptoms.  Here site is definitely worth a browse.

I have been off the salad train for awhile. I have been so busy my work meals have mostly been frozen stirfrys that I have pre-made! But of the few wonderful days off I had in January, I made this delicious salad. It was also super simple! I roasted yams and red pepper on the same tray with salmon (garlic, avocado oil, lemon), and then made a spinach salad topped with avocado, sprouts, and walnuts. The dressing was made up of tahini, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. 🙂

Another delicious meal I recently cooked up! I had this little filet steak just sitting in my freezer. I actually brought it over from my freezer in my last house so… yeah. I figured I should cook it up! I sauteed up a buuunch of vegetables (cabbage, zucchini, onion, and broccoli), fried up the steak and topped with goat cheese, and in the same pan afterwards threw in a handful of spinach. Easy peasy.

Lastly, my daily smoothie! Oh my I just love my smoothies lately. Thank you roomies Vitamix. Seriously a much needed blender in life. It’s a gamechanger. I usually make my smoothies at work in my magic blender (not all that magic), but when I’m at home, and the beautiful Vitamix is perched so nicely like it’s a throne, I get super excited to use it! My smoothies consist of frozen berries, avocados, tripow greens, cinnamon, matcha, maca, mct oil, 1/2 scoop protein powder, ice, and almond milk! I top it with whatever goodies I got goin’ on. And then it’s cuddle time with Marlow while we watch The Office. Does anyone else HATE the seasons without Michael Scott?

So there you have it! Better skin, more energy, decreased cravings, enhanced mood, weight loss, and many more. There is literally nothing to lose by switching to a nutrient rich diet void of, well mostly crap. Do you have to eat low carb, keto, paleo, etc? Absolutely not. Removing processed foods alone will definitely make a difference. I am officially taking on clients one on one, and would love to assist you on your quest to reach your goals! You can contact me HERE, or you can check out my “You’re Sweet Enough” Sugar Cleanse HERE for a quick guide on switching  to a whole foods diet, and tips for removing sugars and getting rid of those cravings!

So what’s in store for February? I have been so back and forth between what I should choose for my #yearofselflove. However, the nursing unit I work on has all joined together (and even created a fun facebook group) called Fit February! We all motivate each other by posting workouts and fitness tracking tips, and inspiring each other with our victories! It’s not even February yet and I’m taking the stairs at work! So February, my #yearofselflove practice will be getting as involved as I can in Fit February, which means at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week, and making sure I walk 10,000 steps a day! Not going to lie, I am already exercising 5 times per week, but this is just more motivation to keep it up!

If you would like to join my #yearofselflove, don’t forget to use the hashtag! There really aren’t any rules. Just pick a focus for the month, and zero in on it, with the idea being that you will make it a habit eventually. Eg, eating nourishing foods while cutting out the crap, exercising, meditation etc.

Hope January was as wonderful to you as it was to me.

Have a looovely day <3

THB

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