April Update

Hello everyone!

I’ve missed you all so much this month! I haven’t been able to connect with you as much as I’d like. But if I were to have any reason, I hope a vacation in Mexico is good enough!

Vacations are funny. For me, they take a decent amount of preparation beforehand, and then require a lot of catching up once I’m back. I’ve learned to handle life accordingly and leave myself time before and after to take care of those things – it helps me keep my sanity!

But of course, a good trip is always worth it.

Surf Boards in Sayulita

Matthew and I spent a week staying in Puerto Vallarta. We took full advantage of our time there and visited all the towns that surround it – Bucerias, Sayulita, Mismaloya, and Yelapa.

Ever since Matthew and I met, I’ve been asking him to vacation down south with me. This, coupled with the fact that the Calgary winter was an especially long one, made this trip really special for me. We had adventures every single day – from deciding where to have lunch, to hopping on the bus and praying we get off in the right town!

What I love about spending quality time with my partner and seeing them in different environments is that you get the chance to see them in new ways. How do they handle getting completely and utterly lost? What are their vacation priorities? How are they at learning a new language?

It took all week for Matthew to learn the word for “bathroom” in Spanish, but it was entertaining watching him re-learn and forget it over the week. He didn’t mind when I flubbed over new words myself – hah! It’s funny, the moments that end up sticking with you.

I’m so thankful for this trip because it reminded me that once you take a break from social media, enjoy quiet, and actually sit back and look at your life, you can have some pretty amazing moments. You get the chance to really check in with yourself and reassess.

Aside from the trip which was phenomenal, I do have some other exciting things coming up!

I am hosting another Intuitive Eating Workshop in May at SURFSET YYC – it has been the most popular workshop yet – I think in large part because it affects us all on some level to varying degrees. We are over stressed and often over-fed…. and not with the good stuff!

Secondly, in just a couple days my newest ebook is set to be released đŸ‘đŸ»!

The Strong Babe Summer Guide is not your average diet book – in fact, it’s not a diet book at all. It’s a nutrition and lifestyle JUMPSTART to get you in the right mindset for summer and inspire your inner health nut!

Deprivation and yo-yo dieting are so last year. The Strong Babe Summer Guide is all about nutrients, delicious food, and eating until you are actually full. Plus there are going to be tons of tips on lifestyle, supplements, and self-love.

I’m looking forward to hearing what you guys think of it!

Believe it or not this is the third ebook I’ve written.

The first one, Anxiety Workbook, is for my fellow Anxiety Warriors looking for a holistic resource on how to help themselves. This ebook is so near and dear to my heart – if you have anxiety I highly recommend checking it out!

The second one, Easy-Peasy Meal Prep Guide, is a 100% free ebook to help you organize your food for the week! I would get so many comments and questions regarding meal prep, and I realized that this resource could be something that really helps people. Plus, it’s created in such a way that it can cater to you no matter what your diet is like!

 

Thank you so much for catching up with me today! As summer quickly approaches I wonder, do you have any exciting summer plans you are looking forward to? I would love to hear about it!

Chat soon!

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Breakfast Rice Pudding

I’m coming up on my second year of going dairy-free. It’s been one of the best changes I’ve made for myself and my health – and even though I was forced into it via adult onset allergies, I’m glad it happened.

Going without has pushed me to get creative in the kitchen, making and creating goodies that are actually, if I can say so, even better than their dairy-filled counterparts.

However, there are some foods of convenience that sometimes I miss – only because they are just that: convenient. When I wanted a quick dessert, I used to pop into the grocery store and grab something quick and satisfying. And rice pudding was often one of those things.

Look, I won’t lie to you. There are plenty of excellent rice pudding recipes out there. But mines the best if you’re looking for a simple, healthified, breakfast worthy version.

Here’s why:

  • The pudding itself is unsweetened (the caramel sauce I added is not sugar free but absolutely recommended as a topping)
  • The coconut milk allows it to be both dairy free AND high fat. The high fat content of coconut milk negates the high blood sugar spike associated with white rice.
  • CHIA SEEDS.

Might I also add that this recipe is a lot less complicated than some of the other ones out there – and although I’m no stranger to going “all out” on the flavors and spices, a simple breakfast makes more sense… especially if you are usually running out the door like I am.

This recipe is gluten free and vegan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of rice (dry), cooked in 1.5 cups of water
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups of water (filtered preferred)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • a pinch of cardamom
  • a pinch of salt

Directions:

The first step here is cooking the rice – and instead of doing it in the typical 2:1 water to rice ratio, I do it in a 1.5:1 so that the rice is able to soak up a little more in the following step.

Once the rice is cooked, add it to a stovetop pot along with the coconut milk, water, cinnamon, chia seeds, cardamom, and salt. Allow it to simmer and thicken up on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Once the liquid is mostly absorbed, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

I served mine with molasses, hemp seeds, and caramel sauce (tahini based) –  you could also add raisins, nuts, maple syrup, etc.

 

If you’ve never made tahini caramel sauce before, let it be known its surprisingly easy. I simply mixed cashew milk, tahini, and coconut sugar on a stovetop pan on warm until the ingredients blended completely. I didn’t measure, but if you prefer sticking to a recipe I recommend this one by ExSloth which also adds molasses and salt.

 

You could swap out the white rice for brown or black rice, which I have tried in the past – but the texture never gets as ‘gooey’ as the white rice version. And the fact that this dish is pretty high in fat is great, because it will help to stabilize your blood sugar if you have that issue with simple carbohydrates.

I really hope you guys enjoy this treat! I love seeing you make my recipes, so don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @standingstrongwellness !

 

Bon appetit!

 

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Anxiety: How Long Does it take to Heal?

Confession: I read a lot of other people’s blog posts about anxiety.

To be honest, even though most are complete strangers, it makes me feel connected in a way I can’t find elsewhere. I feel like we all share in something – something awful, but special – something that only if you’ve lived through it could you ever understand.

Some people are just beginning their journey with anxiety, while others have been hammering away at it for years, trying to figure out how to help themselves.

This is my question: How long does it take to heal?

This is my answer: No one knows.

Some people find that one thing that really works for them. Some people search and even try what feels like hundreds of things, but nothing has quite clicked yet.

It makes me upset when I see people giving up on themselves, or being hard on themselves, all because they need more time than the next person.

Look, it took me the better part of 10 years to get the hang of this thing. Am I healed? I don’t know. I know that I’m helped, I know that I’m capable of helping myself. I know I’m more in control of that part of me than I’ve ever been. I know it feels good.

Maybe that’s the point. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be ‘better forever’, but that doesn’t exist. With anxiety there is going to be ups and downs, all we can do is learn to manage it – in however much time it takes.

How long have you been at it for?

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Looking for support?

My Anxiety Workbook is a great place to start – made specifically to help you help yourself. Click the link for additional info!

Copy of Anxiety Workbook

Purchase for only 7.99 CAD

Are you High in Estrogen? 

The role of our hormones are way underplayed when it comes to talking about health and wellness. And they shouldn’t be! Our hormones are so powerful. We have hunger hormones, sleep hormones, and sex hormones.

The best way of thinking about hormones plainly is thinking of them as instructions that tell our body what to do – they send messages to our organs and body systems to help us function optimally.

But what happens when those instructions get messed up? 

What happens when, for whatever reason, a really important hormone gets out of whack? Well, the consequences range from slightly annoying to totally serious, especially when it comes to Estrogen.

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High estrogen is becoming more common in our modern society due to high levels of stress, excess weight, and the xenoestrogens produced in the environment around us.

What are xenoestrogens? Xenoestrogens are a type of xenohormone that acts like estrogen in the body. Added to the body’s natural estrogen production, high estrogen can be the result. Xenoestrogens manipulate our own estrogen levels through pesticides, plastics, personal care products, and more.

Symptoms include:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Breast swelling
  • Increased risk for breast cancer

and especially for women…

  • PMS
  • Irregular periods

 

If you suspect you might be high estrogen, it is important to consult with your MD or Naturopath. But on your own, there are things you can do to take back control of your estrogen!

Here are 3 easy tips to reduce the effect between xenoestrogens and you:

  1. Detoxify your environment. This means getting rid of personal care products high in xenoestrogens. Look for items containing benzophene, 4-MCB, an parabens. Personal care items containing xenoestrogens have been implicated in increased risk for breast cancer. You can also detoxify your environment by swapping out your old, plastic tupperware for glass or stainless steel containers. Microwaving food in plastic containers promotes the release of harmful substances that act as xenoestrogens – into your food! Gross.
  2. Invest in a water filter. Chlorine is one of the main modern xenoestrogen contributors – and it’s found in tap water in almost every industrialized country. A water filter can remove chlorine from your water and reduce the harmful effects of chlorine.
  3. Favour organic food options. I know not everyone can afford to buy everything organic, so check out the Environmental Working Group’s ‘Dirty Dozen’, listing the worst offenders in pesticides – a great guide to deciding which produce to buy organic.

2017-Dirty-Dozen

 

After reading this post, it may feel like xenoestrogens are ‘everywhere’, and although they are prevalent in today’s society, it is possible to minimize them.

Stay Healthy everyone!

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Continue reading “Are you High in Estrogen? “

Make it Happen Monday

Monday! My favourite day of the week. Why? Because I love getting super-charged for the week on a Monday.

Hence why I post a Make it Happen Monday every Monday here on Standing Strong Wellness!

I don’t think being motivated is something that always happens naturally – sometimes we have to work at it. I think success is kind of like that too – sometimes it seems to happen so naturally it comes at you, and other times you’ve gotta push.

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You have to get out of your comfort zone.

It’s not easy – it’s hella uncomfortable!

But you know what? I’m ready to get uncomfortable! Are you?

Have a super uncomfortable week every one!

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Raw Raspberry Mousse Truffles

I know it’s fall, aka the season of pumpkin spiced everything, and I love it as much as the next basic beauty – but today I’m taking a break.

The other day I was perusing the produce at the grocery store, and I noticed a huge container of raspberries on sale.

You know, I love it when I am able to just let ingredients call to me. With no particular plans of what will come from a trip to the store, I am able to let my imagination fly.

I guess on this particular day it was flying towards sweets, and they turned out even better than I hoped. Matthew gobbled them down, and my sister said that her salivary glands were exploding so, well, I guess I’ll take all that as a compliment.

This recipe is refined sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, and raw vegan. 

Ingredients

Raspberry Mousse

  • 1 cup pitted dates* (about 12)
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour

Chocolate coating

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

*the dates should be softened, if not let them sit in warm water for 5-10 minutes

Directions

In a food processor, add all ingredients for the raspberry mousse and mix well. The mixture may be a bit sticky at first, but don’t be too alarmed. Once combined, allow the mixture to sit in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up. (If it’s not firm enough, add more coconut flour – only about a 1/4 tbsp at a time, until a more desired texture is achieved).

While the mixture is in the freezer, line a small baking tray or plate with parchment paper. Then get the chocolate coating ready by mixing the melted coconut oil, cacao powder, and maple syrup in a small bowl. It should stay warm and liquefied long enough to coat the mousse balls – if it reaches room temperature, simply warm in the microwave or stove top to melt again.

Once the mousse mixture is firm, using your hands roll out approximately 9 uniformly sized balls. Using a spoon, coat them in the chocolate sauce one at a time and place on back onto the parchment paper. Once all truffles are coated, put the tray in the freezer for 2-5 minutes to allow the shell to harden.

I repeat this process (drop, coat, put back on tray, put in freezer) about 3 times to achieve a thicker shell around the raspberry mousse. You can repeat up to 5 times if you want an extra thick chocolate layer.

Keep these refrigerated in an air tight container and they should keep well for about a week. I’m looking forward to making more of these, and perhaps even experimenting with this base, as I think these will make a great dessert item to bring to a holiday party this season!

 

Please tag me on Instagram if you give this or any of my other recipes a try – I love seeing your creations!

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#betterskin Challenge – Final Update 

Hi guys!

Last we left off on the #betterskin Challenge – week 4 – I really didn’t feel like I was where I wanted to be. You know why?

Because good skin isn’t made overnight or errrr, even in 4 weeks! It takes time, diligence – perseverance! But the patience pays off, I promise you!


So here we are, week 6. But woah woah woah… let’s rewind it for a minute and talk about the changes I’ve implemented over the past few weeks in an effort to help my skin…

  1. Drinking more water
  2. Supplementing with Stress Care
  3. Adding dandelion root tea (daily)
  4. Adding a homemade face scrub to my beauty routine (2 x a week)
  5. Upping my dietary fats (daily)
  6. And keeping it all up for 6 weeks!

 

I know it can be hard to tell, but I can feel the difference in my skin. It is much, much less dry. My skin tone is brighter and I have a more even skin tone. I am proud of the changes that I’ve made to my routine, especially drinking more water and just practicing some extra acts of self care, like drinking tea and doing my homemade face scrub!

What I learned from doing this challenge is that there really is no secret to good skin. And like most of the rewards in this world, it is earned – not given! That means I can’t give up the great changes I’ve made and expect great results – I need to keep up with my routine.

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So what am I gonna keep – and what’s getting kicked? Well – I wouldn’t say I’m kicking anything – but I am going to make a couple of adjustments. I love a good homemade face scrub, but if I can find a great natural one at the health food store, I’ll make the swap. It saves me time, which is precious to me, and I’ll also get to feel like I’m pampering myself more.

I’m also going to switch up my nightly tea – I love dandelion root, but I think Holy Basil and Chamomile are also great options that help to regulate cortisol levels as opposed to focusing on the liver detoxification route.

I believe the same thing I did when I started this challenge – that great skin is made mostly from the inside out! If you want better skin, start with your nutrition – and make the tweaks necessary along the way for you to reach your goal.

Thanks for following along!

Find me on Instagram here

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Pumpkin Pie Pancakes (gluten & dairy free) 

I am your typical late-20’s-year-old who *looooves* fall – and proud of it! Sweaters are comfy and awesome, fuzzy socks make my day, warm beverages are my jam, and bring on the pumpkin cause yep – I love that too.

Pumpkin is awesome you guys. And before you roll your eyes – let me explain! Even the canned stuff provides a good hit of fiber, lots of vitamin A, and some vitamin C. Both vitamin A and C are important for immunity – and who isn’t trying to ward off illness this time of the year?

For the past few months I have been going buckwild on pancakes Gluten Free Banana Pancakes by The Roasted Root. They are seriously good – almost cakey- more of a dessert than breakfast feel but who wouldn’t want that for breakfast?! So of course I enjoy them in the morning – often.

This recipe was adapted from that one – adding banana to a pancake recipe is a slam dunk, so that’s still in there – but I decided to take the recipe to a different level and spice it up (see what I did there?). But seriously, check out The Roasted Root because her recipes are positively drool worthy!


This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, and can be made vegan if you sub the egg. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin purĂ©e
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (+ 1 tsp for cooking)
  • 1/3 cup nut milk
  • 2 large pitted dates
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 cups gluten free quick oats

Directions 

Whipping the batter up in a food processor makes this process super easy – mix all wet ingredients, and then add the dry (spices, baking soda, gf oats).

If you don’t have a food processor, start by mashing the banana, pumpkin purĂ©e, eggs and vanilla together. Then add vanilla and coconut oil, followed by the dry ingredients (spices, baking soda, gf oats).

Heat frying pan to medium – once it’s hot melt remaining 1 tsp coconut oil. Spoon out pancake batter to desired size and cook until bubbles form on the top of the pancake, and it lifts and flips easily.

Once browned on both sides top with your fav – I added a little syrup, some warm baked pears, coconut cream, and some unsweetened coconut flakes. You could go all in with the fall theme and add molasses, or perhaps keep it simple with a smidgen of butter. Just do you.


Getting into the habit of making pancakes from scratch reminds me that there is so much versatility and adventure beyond pre-packaged pancake ingredients. I know they are easy to make, but aside from assembling the ingredients these are pretty quick too – and so worth it.

It also allows you to keep out refined sugar (hello medjool dates!), and create something that suits your preferences perfectly. Gluten free is easy to find – so is dairy free – finding them together in certain store-bought items can be a challenge!

That all being said, these were a hit in my house – I hope you guys enjoy these pancakes as much as we did!

 

 

#betterskin Challenge – Week 3

Hey Strong Babes!

Thanks for joining me for another #betterskin Challenge update!

Who ever thought that making small changes could be so tough? These past couple of weeks have helped me realize that new habits are hard to make – I feel like I underestimated what an undertaking this would be.

To recap, I’ve worked towards making four small changes so far to my routine:

  • Getting my 8 glasses of water a day
  • Taking Himalaya’s Stresscare Daily
  • Doing a homemade face scrub 2x times per week (coffee, coconut sugar, coconut oil)
  • Drinking Dandelion Root Tea every night

 

The first three on the list are going well. I have picked up steam in terms of meeting my water intake goals, which I found difficulty with during the last update! On the flip side, drinking dandelion root tea every night is something I kinda flopped on. Determined not to quit, I will give it another go this week!

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Since I’m still working on perfecting components of my skin routine, I am just going ahead and making one change this week. Now you guys know I am all about healing my skin working from the inside out, and this week is not going to be any different.

This week, I’m going to start adding some extra FATS to my diet! Fats actually have a really important role in supporting really glowy, supple skin. The reason for this is simple – fat is an important building block for every cell in the body, and your skin cells are no exception! If you want to have healthy skin, build healthy skin cells!

To qualify this goal a little better, my plan is to have a handful of high fat nuts or 1/2 an avocado every morning for breakfast. This morning the avocado went right in my smoothie – I love the creamy, rich consistency it adds to a smoothie!

I know that healthy skin is made from the inside out, but that being said it is still important for me to use good quality skincare products. I have tried what feels like thousands of products and brands looking for the perfect lotion, body wash, etc. Finally I am happy with what I’m using!

 

 

I love Live Clean. Their products are amazing quality, paraben and pthalate free, eco friendly, and cruelty free. They also smell great, work amazing, and are completely affordable! And just FYI, this is not a sponsored post. I actually just love this product and want to share it with all of you.

When I buy their products I pretty much always go for the coconut milk scented ones – the other scents are lovely but this one makes me feel like I’m on a beach somewhere. I’m so glad I finally found something that meets my needs – and my budget.

Do you guys have any “musts” in your skin routine? I’d love to hear about it!

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ï»żWhat to do when Opportunity Knocks 

I had an opportunity come my way recently that was practically begging to be taken. But even knowing this, I found my reaction to it somewhat intriguing.

You see, instead of being excited, or even motivated, I was quite the opposite. I was terrified. Terrified that I wouldn’t be good enough for it. Even more terrified that actually I would be, and maybe I would have to follow through.

Long story short, and thanks to encouragement from my partner, I jumped at it. It was like jumping off an emotional cliff, and hoping there was water on the other side, instead of a pile of rocks.

What I find so interesting is that we long to see ourselves become successful, but shy away from the challenges that lead us there. When we tread into unfamiliar territory, we back away.

I wanted to back away.

When opportunity knocked, I almost locked the deadbolt and hid under my bed.

What I should have done is remembered that all great things are difficultly made. And the things that scare us are sometimes the things we need to do the most.

When opportunity knocks, what are you going to do? Are you going to open that door?

I say you grab those double doors and swing them open. If it’s a battle on the other side, so be it. It’s worth taking the risk. It’s worth going for it. All that might be left there, right on your doorstep, is a beautiful gift.

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