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health coach

July & August Favourites

Seriously, how is it September tomorrow? Can we just have 5 more minutes of summer, pleeeaaasseee? I know I am not alone when I say the summer flew by! So fast, in fact, that I totally forgot to publish my July faves post! I honestly feel like I blinked once and now it’s Labour Day weekend.

As much as I love summer, I am a huge sucker for fall. Colourful trees, chunky sweaters, pumpkin-spice everything. It almost makes living in our crazy Toronto climate worth it…almost. But seeing as it is still hot out and slightly light out (unless you’re me and wake up at 5 am), I am going to hang on to summer for a few more moments and give a list of the products that I absolutely loved using in July and August.

Favourite Beauty Hack:

5 Minute Face Kit by Haley Bogaert Face

The insanely talented Haley Bogaert has done my makeup so many times for different events, including my wedding, and every single time she does it, I’ve just never felt prettier. So when she came out with her own makeup line, I knew it was going to be genius. I had the pleasure of trying out her 5 Minute Face Kit this summer and now it is my go-to not just for every day, but for special events as well. Available in light, medium and dark shades, the complete kit comes with blush, lipstick, eyeliner, bb cream, highlighter, a flat brush and brow gel, which Haley is famous for. With a quick and easy application of these key products, you can achieve a fresh and glowy look in no time. This is perfect for the on-the-go person like myself and with the cutest packing, it makes for the perfect gift.

Favourite Pantry Staple:

Trader Joes Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

I know photos of this little bottle of seasoning have been flooding your Instagram lately, but it is for good reason. It actually tastes exactly like an everything bagel. I have been putting it on pretty much anything savoury these days; from eggs to avocado toast to salad. I’m a huge fan of spices as they are an easy and calorie-free way to add a ton of flavour to your meal without the use of heavy, sugary sauces. We don’t have Trader Joes in Canada so I picked up a bottle last time I was in New York. Now if there was only a way to make an actual calorie-free bagel for me to eat!

Favourite Face Mask:

Origins Flower Fusion Sheet Masks

Just like a bouquet of flowers, Origins has created a face mask for any occasion. If your skin is dry, go for the rose. If it’s oily, try the orange-radiance. Too much sun? Try the lavender. These no-mess masks are super easy to apply and work quickly. Best part is you actually see the results right away. Also, if you are a sucker for cute packaging, then these masks don’t stand a chance against you. I love masks in the summer as the warmer months are pretty harsh on my skin. Between the sweat and sun and I also love giving my face some extra TLC and a mask is one of the easiest ways to do it.

Favourite Purse Staple:

Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Organic Hand Sanitizer 

 

I have been looking for a good, clean hand sanitizer for a while. It sort of sounds like an oxymoron though. How can something that clean really kill bacteria off our hands? Well, the answer is, I’m not sure how clean it really is. I mean, the hand sanitizer only has three ingredients: ethyl alcohol, water and essential oils so I’d say it’s a pretty good option. I use it often as I am always in my car, using my phone, handling equipment at different gyms, touching clients’ sweaty bodies – you get the picture. So I keep one in my car and one in my purse. My favourite thing about this is the smell, though. Anything with laender immediately calms me down and, I’m not going to lie, sometimes I just spray it and breath it in (is that really bad?) if I’m having a stressful moment in the car and can’t reach my roll-on essential oils fast enough. 

Favourite Hair Product:

Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Dry Shampoo

You may know I just had the chance to try this product only about a week ago but I have used it almost every day and am kind of obsessed. Here’s the deal. Redken came out with a dry shampoo that has dark pigment in it. What does that mean? For all of us dark-haired ladies, it won’t leave a white residue at the tops of our head! Can I get an amen? I also learned something interesting about dry shampoo in general. Did you know that, like a deoderant, you are supposed to apply it before you go workout or do whatever it is that’s going to mess up your fresh hair? I had no clue. For me personally, since I wash my hair a lot due to the constant working out and sweating situation, I have been applying it to my just washed and dried hair, before I style it. Not only do I get a good amount of volume but I also find it helps prevent it from getting greasy faster. 

 

 

 

5 Healthy Gut Tips

By now you are probably very familiar with how important our guts are to our overall health. After all, it is said that the gut is our “second brain,” potentially having as much of an effect on our mental health as our physical health.

The scary thing is, for most of us, our gut health is seriously lacking. From the moment we are born our once sterile microbiome is polluted with bad bacteria from the air we breath, to the things we eat and the products we put on our bodies.

While we will never be able to repair our guts to full perfection, there are many steps we can take to help restore and promote healthy bacteria in our bodies. 

Here are five of my favourite tricks that I am trying to turn into a habit so I can treat my gut with the utmost respect it deserves:

Probiotics

Probiotics are an easy first step in healing your microbiome. They are flavourless, easy to store at either room temperature or in the fridge and for most people, have limited to no side effects. I personally look for a brand with over 50 billion good bacteria cultures. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

ACD has a ton of gut-healing properties. My favourite is that it aids in digestion. Try adding 1 tablespoon to a glass of water and drinking it first thing in the morning, before you eat anything. This will allow you to better absorb the nutrients from your food. 

 

Water

I can go on and on about the benefits of drinking water. But in prioritizing your gut, water is crucial to getting things moving and promoting healthy bowel movements. In this case, it’s not just about the quantity of water but the quality too. Make sure to drink clean, filtered water without the use of chlorine, as chlorine can actually be counterproductive and kill the good bacteria in our guts.

Anti-inflammatory foods

It’s a no brainer that anti-inflammatory foods such a dark leafy greens and healthy fats are vital to a healthy lifestyle and it is no different when it comes to your gut. Swapping out our inflammatory foods like refined sugar, fried food and dairy for healthier choices isn’t just about looking better on the outside but your gut with also thank you for it.

Sleep

You know that anxious pit in your stomach when you are stressed? Well this is the perfect example to show you how stress literally affects our gut. There are many ways we can try and manage our stress but sleep is one of the most important. Getting enough rest each night will help relax your nervous system during the day, ultimately leading to a more peaceful state of mind (in your head and gut!).

* All photos from Google Images*

 

 

 

NYC Insta-Fit Recap

Prior to 2017, I had really only been to New York a handful of times. Despite it’s close proximity to Toronto and the fact that almost all of my best friends had lived there for an extended period of time at some point, it never seemed to be my go-to destination. In fact, after a quick weekend trip with my girlfriends this past October, I boldly decided that I officially don’t like New York! That’s right. I came home hating the rudeness of the people, the snobby attitudes and the fact that when the weather sucks, it really sucks. My mind was made up.

Yet, a mere 2 months after I vowed I would not be returning to the Big Apple anytime soon, I got the call from Old Navy that they wanted to take me down there to help launch the new active-wear line. And after a literal 24-hour trip, I did a complete 180 and decided I love NYC.

Maybe it was the exciting opportunity of traveling for the blog, or going with complete strangers who turned into friends, or doing something other than just shopping and eating while I was there. Whatever the reason, I finally understood what everyone meant when they spoke about the exciting energy of this crazy city and I was hooked.

Since that trip in January, I’ve been back 3 times, including another exciting opportunity for the blog with Samsung Canada. And I know a lot of this back and forth also has to do with my new bestie, Bianca. Bianca and I met “virtually” while we were both at the same nutrition school program online and became fast friends. She lives in New York and we make time to see each other every time I’m in town, even if it’s just for a quick Pressed Freeze date. So after a successful Insta-Fit retreat in Miami, and Jordana‘s summer move to New York, it only made sense that our next Wellness Week would be in NYC. 

I planned to come down and visit the girls for 3 nights and I was pumped to be able to spend more than 48 hours in the city. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been down for longer. But alas, I caught the flu right before I was scheduled to leave and once again it turned into a quick trip, in and out. 

Despite our limited time and my severe post-flu nausea we still managed to get in a couple workouts and hit up some of the hottest healthy food spots.

Our first workout was at Physique 57 which is one of my favourite barre classes. The talented Julie Cobble lead us through an intense butt and ab workout that left me sore for multiple days. As you probably already know, no workout for us is complete without a little photo-shoot and we had a ball (pun intended) taking pics in our matching Terez pants. 

It was then time to eat and we chose The Butcher’s Daughter to refuel our hungry bodies. I ordered the squash and quinoa bowl with an egg on top, which was filling and delicious. The rest of the day was spent “modelling” our new Beyond Yoga looks around the city. And just so you know, modelling for us means trying to be serious but laughing hysterically at how awkward we are and how we are just so not models. But we have fun pretending.

I was feeling a little better on day 2 with more of an appetite so we celebrated this by heading to Bluestone Lane for brunch thanks to lots of recommendations from Instagram. We ordered the cashew butter toast, avocado toast and banana bread. All I have to say is HOLY $H*t!!!! Their toasts are insanely delicious! Highly highly highly recommend to anyone going to New York anytime soon. Even if you have to wait 2 hours in line. 

With big smiles and full bellies, we walked (read waddled) our way to Bandier, the mecca of activewear stores to check out some of their latest gear and then take a class at their upstairs gym, Studio B. We tried out the Bootcamp class which is pretty much what it sounds like. Think hundreds of burpees, a little getting yelled at and a lot of sweat. I was slightly miserable at the time but of course, felt amazing after. 

It was almost time for me to head home but we had to make a quick pit stop at Dr. Smood, a new coffee shop/juice bar dedicated to gut-healing foods and an incredible selection of healthy take-out and cold pressed juices. I picked up some raw cinnamon buns and a rose-infused beauty water for the plane. 

Of course, no trip to NYC for me is complete without grabbing a giant salad at Sweet Green before the airport.  I always go for: half kale, half quinoa, carrots, sweet potato, beets, cucumber, feta, chicken and mix the yogurt tahini sauce with the balsamic vinaigrette. It’s pretty much the only thing that keeps me sane in Laguardia as I watch my flight get and more and more delayed, every. single. time.

So with my salad and a suitcase full of yoga pants, I said bye to my girls and, as with the last several trips of 2017, got on the plane with that NYC buzz, craving my next trip.