Healthy Eating · Inspiration · Wellness

VEGETABLE S O U P

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Cooking healthy meals is definitely something that we thrive for in our household – but, with both of us working full-time sometimes taking the time to put together a well-rounded healthy meal is not in the cards. We have learned a few tricks over the past years on how to meal prep and cook in a way that is both healthy, and that works for our busy schedules.

One of our favourite quick and healthy dinner options is soup – we have now managed to find a few easy go-to soup recipes for any season, which we often use on those busy evenings when neither of us feels like standing in the kitchen and cooking a full meal.

Vegetable soups are really one of the easiest and fastest way to get our daily vegetable and nutrient intake because there are so many great ingredients that can be added to the pot. For me, vegetable soups are a great way to actually eat all of my vegetables, especially when they are blended.

Although I would like to take the time to make my own chicken or vegetable broth, we have found a great alternative product; Organic Chicken Broth, which you can purchase at Costco has become the second best thing to the home-made broth. Since the broth is very delicate in flavor (as to keep it healthier there aren’t too many ingredients), we like to add a variety of spices such as turmeric and black pepper.

In terms of the vegetables we add, it really depends on the season and what is available fresh in stores and markets. Our soups always include carrots, peas, broccoli, and corn, but we also like to add zucchini, red pepper, green beans, cauliflower, etc. Sometimes, when we are doing a lighter version (less of a variety of veggies) we like to add in a pasta such as Ditali.

During the winter months, we tend to lean towards more blended soups; we add all or some of the above ingredients as well as sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, etc. When everything is cooked, I blend it all together, and serve it with either soda crackers or toaster  baguette.

All in all, soups are a great and healthy choice for dinner, it’s a meal that you don’t have to stand next to for the whole time it’s cooking – put it on simmer and you’re free to do other things while it takes its time to cook. Also, all of the vegetables in the soup can cover a good portion of your daily nutrient intake, which is such an important factor to keep our bodies healthy.

Finally, doesn’t a bowl of soup just make you feel better – it’s great on our stomach and digestive system as it’s a warm meal, which we should have at least once during the  day! So, if you’re not on the soup-train yet, I highly recommend it for a quick, easy, and healthy warm meal!

Motivation · Wellness

HAPPY M O N D A Y

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Monday’s can often feel like one of the most difficult days of the week, but they  don’t have to. They are what we make them out to be; just like any other day of the week.  To be honest, I have always looked at Mondays with a bit of a dread, just like any other human being out there who works that “9-5 workweek”. When that 8pm rolls around on a Sunday evening, we automatically start dreading that Monday morning alarm clock. But really, why do we? It is because social media tells us to? Maybe if it wasn’t for all of those “Monday-Morning” jokes the Monday alarm clock wouldn’t be that painful?

Truthfully, Monday’s can and most likely will always be difficult for those on a regular work week schedule, but that’s really only because we “let ourselves go” on weekends! It’s normal, our weekend routines are much different from our workweek routines; sleeping in, hanging out in pj’s till noon, staying up late, etc. The weekend is our time to relax and change-up the daily routine, so by no means am I saying that that should change – heck, that’s what the weekends are for!

So how do you have your cake and eat it too? How do you take advantage of your weekend and not dread the Monday morning alarm clock (without quitting your job…)? Well, the answer is both an easy one as it is difficult one. It’s most likely not something you can change overnight, but here are some of the things that help me cycle through the days with a constant positive outlook.

  • Instead of waking up at noon, take a nap a noon 

I realize that sleeping in on weekends may be one of your favourite things to do, but this is a matter of training your body to a routine and sticking to it. For example, I wake up between 6:00am-6:30am every morning during the week; sometimes on my own and sometimes to an alarm clock, as I have now trained my body to wake up around this time every day. I must admit though, some weekends I do tend to sleep in a little bit longer, only because I don’t set the alarm, but only until 7:00-7:30am the latest. As any normal human being, I do like to catch up on my sleep after a busy week ahead, so without compromising my workweek wake up routine, I like to catch up on this sleep with a nap on weekends, whenever possible, of course. I find that this method works best for me and my body keeps with the routine; which is ideal for that “dreaded Monday morning”.

  • Don’t completely stop moving, a.k.a don’t be a couch potato ALL weekend

Yes, I too love lounging around the house, slouching on the couch, and doing absolutely nothing once in a while. The way I tackle this urge is to always give myself one day on the weekend without any plans. This way, I can wake up knowing that the day is fully mine to do as I please.

  • Think Positively; Monday is just another day of the week

Don’t over think it. Monday is just another day of the week; the beginning of a new week in fact, which can mean a fresh start after regenerating your batteries over the weekend.   Don’t overwhelm yourself with all those crazy Monday theories, and just go with the flow.

Of course there are many ways to look at the “Monday-Blues”, but overall, like I mentioned before, it is what we make it; so make it good! Stick to a routine, and don’t over think the fact that you have five full days of the workweek ahead… I know, easier said then done, and I LOVE my weekends as well, but hey, there are some things we just can’t control, so try to control the ones you can, and it’ll make your life easier.

Happy  M O N D A Y !

 

 

Fitspo · Healthy Eating · Inspiration · Motivation · Wellness

FRESHLY SQUEEZED: FRUITS & VEGGIES

While on our vacation in Mexico recently, I realized how easy it can be to get into my body the necessary fruits and veggies each day. Every morning at the breakfast buffet there was an assortment of fruit and vegetable freshly squeezed juices.

The variety was great, and we could choose from single fruit/veggie juices such as papaya, orange, watermelon, melon, pineapple, beet, and many more; OR we could choose a blend of a few different fruits and veggies. We often opted for the mixed juices and regularly had two glasses of various juices each morning. The blended juices we enjoyed most were the carrot/ orange mix, and the pineapple/cactus/orange mix.

On this trip I realized how easy it can be to have juices like this at home each morning – realistically, all I’d have to do is prep the veggies either ahead of time, or even that morning to ensure they were extremely fresh. Either way, it’s all achievable.

So here’s my motivation to you; if you’re like me, and sometimes find it hard to get your vitamins in, in a natural way, get yourself a juicer and start mixing. See what suits your taste buds best, and go with it.

Personally, I am not a big fan of pineapple,  but I found that with the cactus and orange flavours mixed in, I was able to enjoy it. It’s so important to get these vitamins into our bodies naturally, and this, I think, is one of the easiest ways.

Also, there are plenty of different fresh fruit and vegetable juice ideas online that you can look up if you need some inspiration to get you going. Try searching places such as Pinterest, or simply going right to Google.

CW

Inspiration · Travel · Wellness

V A L E N T I N IMPERIAL MAYA

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Everyone needs a vacation once in a while – big or small, a break from your daily routine is healthy for both physically and mentally.

Mentally, it’s so important to give your mind a break from your daily thoughts, and simply allow your mind to “STOP” thinking and just let go, relax, and go with the flow.

Physically, our bodies snap into an automatic rythum with ourdaily routines, so its very important to removeour bodies from that constant trance and loosen up a little.

We recently decided we needed a break from our daily routines, and it was time for a vacation where our body, mind, and soul could relax and just forget about reality for some time.

Naturally, the first place that comes to mind when I think of a place to relax is: M E X I C O! Within two weeks, we were on a plane heading south for paradise. We chose an adult-only, all-inclusive, five star resort, because literally all we wanted was to relax in the sun, swim in the ocean and pool, indulge in culinary creations, and sip on delicious drinks. We found all this wonderulness (and more) at the VALENTIN IMPREIAL MAYA in the Rivera Maya.

It was our first time at this specific resort, and we were absolutely amazed at how great it was – the service, the food, the atmosphere, it was all beyond our expectations. We definitely would recommend this resort to anyone looking for a Mexican getaway.

With time, I’ll post photos from the trip and a few of my outfit choices for the evenings and outings, as I basically lived in my bikini the entire week.

I could write all day about the details of the resort, but I’ll just leave this post open to questions – so if there is anything you want to know more about it, feel free to email me or post a comment below.

Healthy Eating · Motivation · Wellness

SUPERFOOD: A V O C A D O

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The older I get the more I pay attention to the food I put into my mouth; and it’s not that I have to try, it just happens. For the past few years I have actually started to enjoy food and have become interested in the ingredients list on products.

I still find it hard to include more fruits and veggies into my diet though, so imagine how happy I was to find out that one of my favourite foods was actually a S U P E R F O O D.

Hello A V O C A D O and welcome to my diet.

The amount of proven health benefits that come with one of these little pear-shaped fruits is stunning – from various vitamins, to healthy fats, it’s loaded with great nutrients.

Not only is the avocado fun to peel; cut in half and twist out the seed, it can be eaten in so many different forms. My favourite form is freshly peeled and sliced on toast with salt, or diced into a salad with salted sunflower seeds.

Without even realizing all of the great benefits to avocado, my husband and I have also been using Avocado Oil for all of our cooking. I know the hype was all about the coconut oil, but I am here to say that I prefer Avocado Oil 100%. I think I love it more because there is no flavour to it really, and I am not entirely a huge fan of coconut.

So, do yourself a favor and google the health benefits to an avocado – and then add it to your grocery list for your next shopping trip!

CW

Inspiration · Motivation · Weekly Reflection · Wellness

WEEKLY REFLECTION: WEEK SIX #52HAPPYLISTS

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List of the Week: List the things from your past and present that feel like blockades in the way of happiness.

Following from last weeks list, from listing the best choices you have made in your life so far, now it’s time to think about things that block you from achieving your happiness.

This week’s list may be harder or easier, dependng on how you want to define your happiness. I do believe that there can be two sides to this list, because we all want our happiness to depend on feelings and emotions, but sometimes, the materialistic items get in the way.

I can’t argue that a nice purchase doesn’t boost your mood a little bit, but in the long run, we need to find other “things” that can bring this happiness to us.

Happy Reflecting

XX

Inspiration · Motivation · Weekly Reflection · Wellness

WEEKLY REFLECTION: WEEK FIVE #52HAPPYLISTS

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List of the week: List the best choices you have made in your life so far.

Well this is definitely one of the more positive lists throughout this journal.  Reflecting and analyzing on the better choices throughout your life is definitely more fun.

Daily we make choices; both simple and harder ones. We definitely don’t have it in us to remember all of these choices, but we do remember the ones that meant something great than a lunch choice.

These are the choices you want to write down in this journal for your week five list! Reflect back on the choices that made you happy, that made others happy, pull from memories you’ve made.

Enjoy reflecting!

XX