Getting Past a Plateau

If you’ve been on your fitness journey for a while, then you know exactly what I’m talking about!

Eventually, you get to a point where you just stop noticing any progress. You put in the same effort, the same work, you abide by the same routine, but end up with different results – or lack thereof.

This, of course, is ultimately so frustrating. 

But not to worry, because in this post I’m going to share with you 4 tips on how to get past that plateau and back on track towards your goals!

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1. Switch it up. Whether that’s your fitness routine, your diet, or both. Our bodies are smart, and they come to know what to expect. It’s possible that the simplest tweak in your routine can get you going again! Used to weight lifting? Try a HIIT workout! On a high fat diet? Try switching back to a more carbohydrate-focused diet. Give it a shot!

2. Check for allergies. Adult onset allergies are so real! Allergies are closely related to Leaky Gut syndrome. Leaky gut and allergies disrupt digestion, promote inflammation, and affect all other body systems as a result. This can lead to issues with both losing fat and gaining muscle! If you are having gastrointestinal issues, allergy-like symptoms, or dealing with chronic inflammation, this might be worth looking into. You can pay to have an allergy test done, or go on a simple elimination diet to find the culprit.

3. Eat more! For those on a weight loss journey this may sound counter-intuitive, but trust me, it’s not. You might be skeptical… but stay with me here. Let’s say you’ve started this brutal, insane workout routine – but you’re eating the exact same. You expect to lose weight, but instead: nothing. It’s possible that your body is functioning as though food is scarce – and going into starvation mode. As a result, it’s holding onto every. single. calorie. Try upping the calories by about 100 per day at a time to find the right balance for you. Also – it’s important to fuel your body properly, so when you are active be weary of under eating! It can not only affect your weight, but also your performance!

4. Chill out. Just like adult onset allergies and sensitivities, chronic elevated cortisol levels can also wreak havoc on your body. In fact, high cortisol levels promote weight gain, especially in the midsection area. Our culture of “go-go-GO!” has made it really difficult for us to really focus on taking a breather – but trust me it’s worth it. If you’re always in go-mode and typically stressed, try taking out 30 minutes a day that is just for you. Whether that’s meditating, having a bath, or reading a book, use that time to slow down a bit each day.

 

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Most importantly, don’t get discouraged. Plateaus happen – instead of seeing it as a giant roadblock, understand that you are probably only one small tweak away from getting back on track!

If all else fails, don’t hesitate to ask a professional for help – your health and happiness is so worth it.

Readers – have you ever plateaued before? If so, I’d love to hear your story in the comments below!

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Boulder Shoulder Circuit 

Guys – it’s been who knows how long since I’ve posted a workout. Do I even still fitness? Of course I do. I will always enjoy getting a good workout in – but for about almost a year there I was so deep into nutrition that it’s usually where my brain was at. Now that I’ve had the chance to get back into my workout routine, I am really embracing it.

I love shoulder day because it’s a fun, short, and sweet workout that leaves me feeling powerful for the rest of the day. I decided to share what I would typically do for a shoulder circuit – so go on, build those boulders!

You can do this workout at home with a couple of dumbells, or at the gym – wherever you are comfortable. The goal is to burn those shoulders up – so you want to pick a weight you feel comfortable doing a circuit with, being able to do about 8 reps of each set.


Boulder Shoulder Circuit :

  • Front Raises x 8
  • Shoulder Press x 8
  • Lateral Raise x 8
  • Bent-Over Lateral Raise x 8
  • Front raise + pause at the top for 10 seconds x 8

That last move is guaranteed to burn! Repeat the circuit 4 times. Then go on with your bad self.

Do you guys love shoulder day? Do you like working out at home, or at the gym? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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2017 – January Update

Hey Strongbabes!

Here we are with the first update of the year. It’s actually kind of exciting. Moving forward, this will be a huge year for me.

This is the year I feel like my life truly gets started. I’ve been in and out of school for the past 9 years, and now I’m ready to truly pursue. I will always be a forever learner, but at the same time I am ready to part ways with my label as a student and ready to become a teacher.

This is the year I will enjoy life more than ever before. I used to feel like I lived to work, but now I work to live.

Speaking of which: last weekend Matthew and I went to Drumheller – it’s only 1.5 hours from home and they have a huge dinosaur museum. We also took our time exploring the Badlands, which is famous for all the dinosaur remains found there. A bit snowy, but just to get out of routine felt so good.

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I don’t know if you can tell by this photo of me gazing off into the clouds, but I truly am just feeling content. Not because I am where I want to be, but because I feel myself getting there.

Newsflash: This will also be the year I write a book. Yes, I already know the theme. Yes, I already have the title! But no, I haven’t written a word yet. But I am feeling incredibly driven and inspired. I will keep you all posted on that further in the year.

Now: Are y’all wondering where my fitness is at? I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve talked about it!

 

These are the most recent physique pictures I have, showcasing the blue hair! It’s all gone now! So yes these are a couple weeks old. But, nothing has majorly changed yet.

I’m eating consciously, I’m eating smart. I’m having carbs for breakfast, and to replenish glycogen after a workout. I’m making drinking water a priority, and I’m doing more cardio. I’m on my way to shredding down and guess what? I’m not hungry. I touched on this on instagram earlier this week but I’ll say it again: health is about abundance, not restriction. I eat good, healthy food and LOTS OF IT.

Obviously like most of us I treated myself over the holidays. I have zero guilt, but I will admit that it took me a while to get my gut and skin back on track!

I have been hitting the gym more since I’ve been able to settle into my school routine. And at this point in time I’m as in love with the gym as ever. I think the biggest gains I made in 2016 were definitely in my legs. I guess hard work does pay off!

It’s been great touching base with you guys, and I’m so happy you stopped by into my corner of the internet! If you haven’t already, press the follow button if you want to be notified every time I post. I keep it pretty interesting here!

 

Until next time!

Beat the Holiday Bloat! 3 TOTALLY FREE ways to improve your digestion.  

Beating the bloat this time of year isn’t easy – with the holidays fast approaching we begin eating stuff that isn’t normally in our day-to-day diet.

Cakes, cookies, and other Christmas treats. I would never tell you to skip out on those! But I do want to pass on to you 3 totally free ways to improve your digestion, so you can maintain better gut health no matter what time of year it is. 

Before I get going I just want to say that these three strategies have made such a difference for me personally, and I practice what I preach. I’ve been working on my gut health for at least the last year so you guys know I wouldn’t lead you astray!

What is surprising about these three tips is their simplicity. If I can do it, you can do it. Best of all they cost: nothing 😊

  1. Chew your food – thoroughly! Did you guys know that carbohydrates begin their breakdown process in your mouth? There is an enzyme in your saliva that works to break them down. So the more you get that food mixed around in your mouth, the better! Plus, the more you mechanically break down your food with your teeth, the less work your stomach has to do.
  2.  Chill while you fill.So many of us are used to eating “on the go” in a hurried state. When you eat under stress, all of the blood in your body is sent to your extremities (arms and legs). So of course, the blood isn’t circulating at that time where it should be, which is to your gut! So stop the working, or the running, or the 9 thousand other things you are trying to accomplish during your meal and take the time to simply eat. Relaxing while eating can also help you be mindful about what you are putting in your body, and how much.
  3. Drink more water. I know I know, you’ve heard this a thousand times before! But have you ever actually done anything about it? So many of us are walking around chronically dehydrated with either no idea, or no will to try. But as a heavy duty coffee consumer I have to say that this change has been paramount for me.Your body needs water to properly eliminate AKA poop. If you aren’t going number two, then food isn’t moving through your intestines and eventually your stomach efficiently. I have been chronically dehydrated for years (YES YEARS) and drinking more water has completely changed the game for me.

*Side note: don’t be drinking water with your meals! I know it is a common thing in this society, but this actually dilutes the hydrochloric acid produced by your stomach, and this acid works so much better concentrated.

 

 

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Ciao!

November Fitness Update 

The older I get, the less I feel like I give a shit what anybody thinks about me. And it doesn’t come from a place of bitterness, it’s just that I know in order to be happy I can’t worry too much about constantly making others happy.

Because that takes a lot of energy.

And it’s impossible.

I make decisions based on my values and what is going to be best for me. And anybody who doesn’t like it, is long gone by now.

It occurred to me that I am finally at a place in life where I don’t have people in my life who aren’t good for me. A weight has been lifted. It’s a burden I wish no one would carry.

I can’t stress this enough: put yourself first (in most cases, of course there are always exceptions). You can’t help others fill their tank if yours is empty!

So: November Fitness Update! Here we go!

We went to the gym with couple friends of ours last week and I got a chance to work out with my friend Kori for the first time. Kori being somewhat more of a newbie than me, I hoped to impress her with more than just my great sense of humour.

Guys, she kicked ass. This woman was born to lift. She is so amazingly beautiful and powerful, and I couldn’t believe my eyes the weight she could lift! She is my inspiration this month.

That being said I am focusing on strength this season and am becoming less and less preoccupied with aesthetics. I’ll revisit the aesthetic part come February.

Typical “fit girl” talk I know, but the building phase is so necessary and there for a reason. It’s improvement season! It’s a chance for me to build some serious muscle – which is exactly what I look forward to revealing in the spring!


If you are curious about what I have been up to lately, this will give you a pretty good idea what that is. Matthew took me to this really cool little path out in the country with the dogs the other day – I have been outside a lot in an effort to get all the sunshine I can before snow is on the ground!

Which just so happens is today… I’m soooo not ready! (emotionally)

PS aren’t my doggies adorable?

And of course, here’s what I’ve been eating lately:

Homemade “mostly nuts” granola with banana and almond milk. This granola is actually flavored “ginger snap” according to the recipe – which makes sense as it’s made with molasses as a sweetener and tastes a lot like a ginger snap cookie!

This was actually breakfast today – oats with blackberries, hemp seeds, and cashew milk. Okay okay, that’s a scoop of coconut sugar. I try not to add sugar to too many things, but when I do I use coconut sugar because it doesn’t spike your blood sugar as much as regular sugar does.

Noodles and giant chunks of red pepper in a quick thai peanut sauce. I made this for lunch for my sister and I and she loved it. It just goes to show that you don’t need to make elaborate meals to impress anyone – sometimes simple and easy is best!

Okay, the truth is, I’ve been on a bit of a noodle-eating binge lately. Being in nutrition school has encouraged me to go way out of my comfort zone. I am trying to eat carbs “responsibly” – in a way that won’t aggravate my gut or anxiety. And I’m making amazing strides with it that I will share with you all soon!

Please don’t forget to follow my blog if you enjoyed this post and want to read more!

I also have a YouTube channel for those of you who are looking for more content!

 

Thanks for reading, stay strong out there babes!

What is Preworkout? + Recommendations

When I first got into the #fitlife , I found navigating my way around the gym to be difficult enough.

Then I started hearing about different products and supplements meant to enhance the workout and I was like : what the heck is preworkout? 

If you want to gain a better understanding of what preworkout is, or you are simply interested in some recommendations, then this is the post for you so keep reading!

Those of you who have been following me for a while know that I work in a supplement store. So as a preface to this I want to say that my recommendations are going to be based on the stock carried there specifically. That being said, there are so many great products to choose from and I stand behind the selection here 100%.

So, moving on.

What is preworkout? Preworkout is compromised of two basic components.

  1. Energy – which is actually code for “caffeine” . Most (not all) preworkouts have caffeine to varying degrees, from 50 mgs per scoop and upwards. Preworkout selection should be determined based on your caffeine tolerance – I find for most people who can handle a little bit of caffeine that staying between the 150-200 range works well, which is just about the equivalent of 1.5-2 coffees.
  2. Pump – All preworkouts contain components meant to increase circulation and bring oxygen to the muslce , thereby creating a better pump during the workout. Examples of this are things like arginine and citrulline. This is what gives your muscles that bursting full feeling… of course if you’ve had it before, you already know.

 

Aside from these two basic components you might also find some b vitamins, which help your body metabolize and convert other substances into energy, and amino acids, which can help with muscle building.

I find many people are in one camp or another; they either want a stimulant based preworkout that hits them so hard their eyes bulge out, or they want a preworkout that will mainly enhance their pump during the workout.

I want the best of both worlds and typically aim to find one that is more well balanced. This is important because I do like a bit of caffeine (especially after those long hard days) but too much of it can constrict the blood vessels, thereby actually making it more difficult to get a pump going.

Recommendations: 

Most Popular


Cellucor C4

In my personal experience C4 has been the most popular preworkout 1.5 years running. I don’t say that specifically because so many people come into buy it (which they do), but also because so many who come in have typically tried it. I would consider this a well balanced preworkout with about 150 mgs of caffiene and other ingredients in there for pump as well. It also contains vitamins B6, B9, and B12. I do not reccomend taking this in place of a B vitamin but having those extras in there is a nice touch. So many people “graduate” from taking C4 because they have developed a tolerance for the amount of caffeine in it and need something stronger. Another option might be cycling off for a few weeks to build up that tolerance again.

Best Kept Secret


Dr. Jekyll

Dr. Jekyll is one of those preworkouts that just gets written off too quickly. It has a lower amount of caffeine than many of it’s counterparts sitting at 100 mg per scoop. Keep in mind that is still as much as the average cup of coffee. I can’t say that the flavour is anything to go crazy about – as comparatively it is just not as tasty as some others out there. However it is tolerable and since most people down their preworkout pretty fast I personally see this in large part as a non-issue. No b-vitamins in this baby but it does contain choline, which is thought to enhance brain function (among the various other processes it is responsible for). Why would I reccomend this preworkout? Hands down, best pump of my life. And I don’t say that lightly. As a smaller person, I think it has been much harder for me to get a good pump. So thank you Dr. Jekyll for helping me out.

 

Personal Favourite 


The Curse

I did not, based on first appearances, receive this product well – … I mean, isn’t  the labeling a bit silly? Despite that impression, I decided to give it a try. And I’m glad I did. The 155 mg of caffeine packs a decent punch, and I had great pumps using it. Best of all, they keep their ingredients simple and clearly label what each ingredient is intended for. No nonsense. I also want to add that some of their flavours use beet juice for colouring, and since I am trying to avoid artificial colouring dyes as much as possible it is nice to have that option with The Curse. I’ve turned skeptics into believers with this one so don’t be afraid to try it!

Whatever preworkout you decide to use, do yourself a favor and cycle off of it every now and then. Just like that morning cup of coffee, you can develop a dependency on it. You don’t want to have to need it. Take it for enjoyment, not because you can’t workout without it.

All this being said you don’t need a preworkout to have a great workout. All you need is a spirit of hard work and determination – and your inner drive to guide you. But I will say that with it, the workout sure is a bit more fun!

I did a video related to this – check it out here : The 3 Supplements I Can’t Live Without

Thanks for reading!

I tried SPIN for the first time and here’s what I thought of it.

Walking towards the studio, I feel pangs of excitement and nervousness. I guess that’s normal when you’re trying something new. Especially if you’re not sure you’ll make it out alive.

I was invited to try spin for the first time with a friend. I know it’s healthy to get out there and try new things, so I agreed.

Now I know what you’re thinking : What’s so scary Jen? Don’t you lift weights? This class should be a breeze!

Spin is so different though. Spin is endurance. Coordination. And a whole lot of legs. All of which are not my strong suit.

But in the spirit of challenging myself, I found myself in the studio and ready to make an attempt. My friend walked me through the basics, and the instructor came over before the class started to give me a few tips.

Because we are all in control of our own bike and resistance settings, the class is simply as hard or as easy as you want it to be.

I was in the back of three rows, which calmed my nerves because I knew I wouldn’t be seen. Then they dimmed the lights and I really knew I wouldn’t be seen. I thought to myself this class is an anxious person’s dream! I’m practically invisible back here! 

Then the pumped up dance music came on – and I was like yeah! This is my jam!

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You know what it felt like?

It’s reminiscent of the moment you are walking into the club, when the music is pumping and the lighting is just right. Only instead of alcohol, everyone’s drinking aminos. And instead of dancing, everyone is working their butts off (my kind of Saturday night!).

Pedaling to the beat of the music, we went up and down and imaginary trail that albeit had some pretty steep hills. But I smiled the whole time. The instructor was invested and encouraging. The other spinners cheered when they felt challenged.

The environment was so different than from that of any gym I’ve been to. It was energetic, electric, and best of all…. contagious.

Not only did I survive, but I will also be back again.

I would recommend spin to anyone who:

  • enjoys being encouraged during a workout
  • is looking for a high energy fitness atmosphere
  • want to get high on endorphins and doesn’t mind a sore butt

Thanks for reading!

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October Fitness Update 

Hiya #strongbabes ! ❤️

How has the month been so far for you all?

Are those of you in my hemisphere overdosed on pumpkin, squash, and nutmeg yet?

Jokes aside, I’m ‘basic’, and fall is my favourite season. I love the crunchy leaves and how warm and inviting a hot cup of tea becomes. I don’t need a big excuse to “stay in” because finally, once again this year, everybody is on the same level. Oh, and putting cinnamon on and in everything is acceptable.

Here’s me and Bella holding hands on our last hike

Oh right, this is also a fitness update:

Here we go.

This past month was a bit different for me.

I walked into class one morning utterly distraught. Everything that I have going on is a lot for one person to accomplish (I thank the Universe for providing me with the support I have!). But it just all got to be too much. I was stressing out about making it to my workout that day although I had so many other things on the go.

I realized that it’s just not something worth being distraught over. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth my time, but it isn’t worth stressing about. And truth be told every workout leading up to that felt like work, not enjoyment. Imagine taking something you love and twisting it into something that pains you to do. It’s not right.

So I took a much needed break. It was my intention to take two weeks off. I wish I could say I had sooo much extra time, but it didn’t really feel that way, although I’m sure it helped my cortisol levels having one less thing to fit into my agenda. I also noticed something really important which is this:

Nothing changed.

Believe it or not: 2 weeks will not make or break you. I look virtually the same. However after that much needed break I feel so much stronger, both mentally and physically. You know, your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and we should never feel bad about putting that first.

That being said, I was actually back in the gym after a week and a half. You know, I won’t worry anymore about missing a workout, or six workouts, or ten workouts because the gym will always be there, and fitness is who I am.

 


See? There’s a current picture of me. Still killin it #strongaf .


This was me back in the gym after my break. I feel blessed to have a partner who respects my choices and the intuition I have for my own body. He pushes me to be my best without being pushy. He is my number one fan.

As far as food goes, I have been just as drawn to earthy foods as I have always been. Here’s what I’ve been eating lately:

This salad was basically made from leftovers – that being said isn’t it gorgeous? Talk about eating the rainbow! I topped it with a simple homemade honey mustard dressing.

I know you’re wondering “what is this real?” ; and my answer is: this is what HEAVEN LOOKS LIKE. But it is also real. I made this chocolate terrine with my mum last weekend. I’m not so great when it comes to baking as I have a propensity to not follow directions. So it was great to have some guidance and create this masterpeice together. It is the most simple, dense, chocolately, smooth dessert I have ever made.

This meal looks a bit like Thanksgiving leftovers, which it was not but the flavours are all there. Mmmm this one was good. Chicken, yam fries, and homemade cranberry sauce!

Here is breakfast from the other morning: gluten free oats, coconut sugar, hemp seeds, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries.

If you want to keep up-to-date on my eats, add me on instagram !

Good food is good.

This week I am feeling 100% motivated and ready to put in work! I am going to a spin class tonight for the very first time… wish me luck!

Thanks for stopping by!

Keep your eyes on your ‘WHY’

Humans are fascinating, which is probably why I have invested so much time in trying to figure them out. 

You see, I believe that we are all born with unlimited potential. We can be anything we want to be. The sky is the limit; no, there is no limit. 

A simple question follows – then why aren’t we all ‘making it’? Shouldn’t every single one of us be living to our fullest? Pursuing our goals with relentless ambition? Making our dreams come true? 

But we’re not. Why? 

I’ve been looking to the answer for this question for a long time. 

I’m sure you’ve noticed this: That many people start with very little, and somehow they create a lot. Others start with a lot, and yet do very little with their lives. Some people were born and bred to get shit done, others writhe around in misery full of regret and uncertainty. 

I’ve unlocked one small part of this debacle and I want to share it with you today:

Your ‘why’ is everything. 

The idea of waking up early every morning for my dream career, or for money, or even out of habit does not work for me. That’s not why I get out of bed every day. I get out of bed because I’m determined to change the world. 

My ‘why’ is that I’m tired of watching people suffer, and I want to see people happier mind, body, and soul. It’s my purpose. It’s my why. 

See, people with a purpose have passion. People with a reason for why they are doing what they are doing get shit done. Because when it’s a rough day and nothing is going right, and they start to lose faith in themselves, they always have that to fall back on. 

There is always a driving force in getting back up. 

So I never much liked the saying “keep your eyes on the prize” ; I don’t think prizes work for people. And no material possession or end goal would mean anything if I didn’t know for what reason I was putting work in for. 

So my advice? Keep your eyes on your why. Keep it in your heart. Never forget it. And if you don’t know it yet, it’s one hell of a place to start. 

Thanks for joining me on this beautiful journey we call life! Take care of yourselves today.