September Favourites

September is always one of my favourite months. Aside from getting nervous about the upcoming winter weather, I just love everything about fall. The changing leaves, the fashion and the idea of hitting restart with plans and goals.

This September was particularly meaningful for DC and I as we moved into our first house. I’m not going to lie, I had really mixed emotions about leaving the condo life. It’s just so easy. Underground parking, garbage chutes, no alarm. I was overwhelmed with the responsibility that comes with a house.

Now that we are in, however, I’ve never felt happier. Yes, the chores are already endless and don’t get me started about my anxieties of having to clean the snow off my car at 4:30 AM, but there is something about our new space that has me feeling so calm. Which brings me to my Monthly Favourites and as you scroll down, you’ll understand that transition! 

 Favourite Beauty Product:

The Original Beauty Blender

Okay okay I know I am so  late to this game but I am obsessed with my original Sephora Beauty Blender. I had seen girls using this so many times – in person and on Youtube etc, etc. So a few months ago I went to Sephora looking for something other than the Beauty Blender, can’t remember what it was, but walked out with that little hot pink teardrop sponge that has completely changed my makeup game. Not that my makeup game is anything to write home about but it does an amazing job blending my concealer and helping cover up those dark circles under my eyes that seem to get bigger and stronger every day. 

Favourite Workout Gear:

Ultracor High Lux Knockout Tights

If you’re into working out and don’t live under a rock, chances are you already own, or covet or are on the 1000-person waiting list for these star printed leggings. Why are they so popular? Well it’s not just that they are super trendy because Something Navy wore them. They actually feel amazing when you put them on and are so flattering on everyone. Up until last week you pretty much had shlep to the Flatiron district to snag a pair but now, my Toronto friends, all you have to do is make your way to Bloor for the Bandier pop-up store at Holt Renfrew. Try not to freak out when you get there – the selection is out of this world (pun intended). 

Favourite Supplement:

Natural Calm Magnesium 

As a full-time fitness instructor, I am pretty much on high adrenaline mode all day long. And when I say “all-day” it’s not a 9-5 thing. I start at 6 am and end around 9 pm at least three days a week. This means that I’ve had to learn how to shut-off and calm down as soon as I get home in order to get to sleep in a timely fashion and wake up again at 5 the next morning. The problem is, when you teach a spin class until 8:30 at night, it’s kind of hard to wind down after an hour of screaming your head off and blasting beats in a disco-ball lit room. I was complaining about this problem to a couple friends of mine when they suggested I take a magnesium supplement. Magnesium helps regulate the nervous system and balance stress hormones. It is also beneficial to muscle repair. Sounded like a win-win for me in terms of helping my muscles rest overnight and calming myself down so I could get to bed earlier and be ready for the next day. I started using Natural Calm Canada in the lemon raspberry flavour and have been loving it. I put a tablespoon in  large glass of water every night, which also ensures that I hydrate one last time before bed. As with any supplement, be sure to speak to your dr first so you know it is safe for you to take!

Favourite Snack:

Protein Popcorn from Square Organics 

Be warned. This stuff is like crack. I’m a huge popcorn fan to begin with and can literally eat a Costco-size bag of Skinnypop in one seating so when Square Organics came out with a popcorn that had protein I shed a small tear of happiness. You mean I can eat an entire bag of popcorn and get 10 grams of protein and consider it a healthy snack? Sold. The popcorn comes in three flavours: sea salt, lightly sweet and spicy (mild) which is my personal fave. The ingredients are on point too – organic coconut oil and a brown rice protein powder. Now I just need to find a way to make my own version because it’s such an easy and delicious snack. 

Favourite Podcast:

The Skinny Confidential Him & Her 

I spend a lot of time sitting in traffic and I the fact that I haven’t completely lost my mind already is in a large part due to Lauryn Evarts and Michael Bostick, the fabulously hilarious duo behind The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast. Between the best couple banter you have ever heard, this husband and wife talk about everything from girls who shave their face to building your online business. Lauryn, after all, is one of the OG bloggers and someone I have been following along with since before Instagram even existed. With each episode I get in quite a few laughs but also ideas and inspiration on how to build my own business plus amazing tips for entrepreneurs just starting out. They also often have amazing guests on the show. A must-listen is their episode interviewing The Fat Jewish. You need to give it a listen asap!

 

Holiday Dinner Hacks

Holiday dinners can be a huge source of anxiety for a lot of us. Whether you are trying to lose, gain or maintain your weight we tend to face the same struggles at large celebratory dinners. From the endless amount of menu options on the buffet to the pressure faced when eating with family and friends, it can be a struggle to not overeat, or in some cases, undereat at a holiday meal.

Since I celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, I want to share my five strategies to navigating a holiday meal so you can eat and enjoy in the best possible way.

1. Go green

When it’s time to fill up your plate, start with greens (salad, veggies) and try and take up half the plate with them. This will still leave a little room for all the meat, pasta and potatoes but keep your portions in check.

2. Drink up to fill up

Before the meal, have a large glass of water. This will not only help with digestion later on but will keep your hunger cues in check and help prevent overeating.

3. Plan your treat

I’m all for indulging and truthfully would rather have dessert than anything else in the world. If you go to the same house for the holidays every year and know you love your aunt’s honey cake, plan to have your specific treat to avoid getting overwhelmed with all the other choices. 

4. Get moving

Try scheduling a workout in either the day of your big meal or the following morning. Even a light walk around the block will help with digestion and allow you to keep up your healthy moving habits. 

5. Lose the guilt

Whether it’s the New Year or Thanksgiving, the holidays are the time to connect with family and friends. They are also holidays – they happen a few times a year. Let yourself live, enjoy and then get back to routine when they are done. One piece of cake or one giant meal will not set you back. Lose the guilt and enjoy yourself. 

 

Photos from Pinterest.

 

Fall Intentions

Despite being out of school for quite some time, September always feels like a brand new year for me. As the days begin to shorten and the leaves start to change I gain a resurgence of energy and excitement that has me craving routine. I look forward to trading in my cottage weekends for time in the city where I can meal prep, clean and set myself up for a productive week. 

It also feels like the best time to reevaluate and realign my goals and intentions both personally and professionally. What do I want to accomplish this year? What does my body need?  

For me, this is a polarizing question because I want to grow my business in fitness but I know my body is craving more rest. How do I balance the two? It is a fine line and while, as an entrepreneur, I do not believe in balance, I know there are certain steps I can take towards working hard in my job but also taking measures in self-care.

Yoga is something I have decided to rededicate myself to this fall, even if I only get to class once a week. The physical aspect of stretching and breathing is the perfect compliment to my high intensity workouts and the mindful element is exactly what I need to channel to keep myself calm both on and off the mat. 

Wearing: Hyba Mesh Medium-Impact Sports BraHyba Namaste Legging, Hyba Cold-Shoulder Top

In addition to yoga, I do also want to get stronger physically to be able to sustain my job in fitness and prevent injury. This will mean scheduling time in my crazy full days to incorporate functional exercises like squats and planks plus stretching and foam rolling. These are definitely not my favourite, high energy workouts that I like to do, but work that I know I have to put in to obtain my goals. 

Although my intentions of getting more rest while simultaneously getting stronger may seem contradictory and like a difficult feat, goals are goals no matter how lofty. I always find it helps to write my goals and intentions down. Whether you do this weekly, monthly or annually, putting your intentions on paper (or screen) helps to stay committed as it forces you to be clear with exactly what you want. It also gives you something to come back to, a point of reference, to see how far you’ve come and/or how much more you need to put in to get to where you want to be. 

I encourage you to take some time this week to think about what your intentions are for the next month, for fall or maybe for the year. Try writing them down and come back to them from time to time. Now that mine have been put out to the world, I look forward to coming back to this post to see if I’m on track.

       Wearing: Hyba Mesh Medium-Impact Sports BraHyba Space Dye Mesh Legging, Hyba Mesh Crop Top

 

Photos by: Arthur Mola Photography