Time for Bed

 When we think about our health and fitness, many times we focus on the food we eat or on our exercise routine. Many of us focus on both of those but too little people think about rest.

 See the thing about our body is that it desires this balance in order to perform optimally and based on a crazy work life or school we often neglect the rest portion of things. Sleep offers us a plethora of benefits, from memory improvement, improved athletic performance and improved learning. However, the benefits I will be focusing on are improved athletic performance, reduced susceptibility to being ill and weight control.

Sleep and weight control 

It is noted that patients with obstructive sleep apnea are frequently obese and are predisposed to weight gain. Therefore have an unobstructed night of rest allows for weight control in individuals. As lack of sleep affects the leptin in our body which by extension impacts our body’s ability to regulate our appetite. The inability to control one’s appetite results in overeating and as such weight gain.

Sleep and athletic performance

If you want to be able to lift well or perform any exercise-related task then adequate sleep is necessary. Note that adequate sleep for everyone is different, however, it is recommended that we get anywhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Research has shown that a lack of sleep negatively impacts athletes performance.

Sleep and illness

Whether physical or mental sleep influences our well-being and it is noted that individuals who get more sleep take less sick days that those who do not. Additionally, sufficient rest can decrease depression as sleep affects our hormones and it is at this time that the body does it cleaning and repairing. As such, getting adequate rest gives the body enough downtime to get its job done.

So how about you stop neglecting your rest. Your body will truly thank you for it. Here are some tips to help you get a goodnight’s rest.

  1. Create a sleep routine, by doing this your brain will know once you start the process that it is time for bed and allows for your body to star whining down. 
  2. Have a set bedtime. 
  3. End the use of technology 30 to 45 minutes before your scheduled bedtime. 
  4. Try meditation, lay in bed and practise mindful breathing to allow your body to relax. 
  5. Play soothing music at a low volume to help lull you to sleep. 

I hope this information will allow you to think about your sleep habits and help you to rest easy. Remember that in a healthy lifestyle balance is key and one should ensure that rest is included in that balance. Until next time

Kisses from K

Chicken in Plum Sauce

You may not know this, but as much as I love cooking I do enjoy lazy meals and thanks to the invention of a slow cooker they have become easy.

So this past weekend your girl decided to try something a little different and just throw a bunch of stuff into my slow cooker and it turned out amazing.

Step 1.

Grab your slow cooker if you have one, but if not, believe me when I tell you it is a worthwhile investment.

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Next, you will need :

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1.5lbs of boneless chicken breast and thigh cut into the size of your choosing.

 

 

 

Measure out 2 tsp of Olive Oil, 1/3 cup of plum sauce, ¼ cup of ketchup and 1tbsp of soy sauce

 

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Slice ½ of a large yellow onion

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4 cloves of garlic, sliced

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Add the olive oil to the base of the slow cooker, along with half of the onions. Layer the chicken on top of the onions followed by your sauces and the remainder of the onions.

You should have something that looks like this:

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Next, add ¼of a cup of water and place the lid on the slow cooker. Place the time to 4 hours and allow to cook. Halfway through cooking, check the sauce and add any additional seasoning you may require and allow the cooking process to continue.

Once the time ends, pair the chicken with your favourite side and enjoy.

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I hope you try out this easy recipe and that you enjoy it. Thank you for stopping by and be sure to let me know what you think about it in the comments if you try it.

Until next time.

Kisses from K

Gained some and lost it 

Let me preface this by saying after spending two months in St. Vincent and eating my weight in fried chicken, chicken patties and caramel popcorn, I came back to Canada 174lbs, that is 14lbs heavier than I left. If you check my older post (I think I have a photo of me at 173lbs) 

 Start of vacation . 

 End of vacation 
At almost two months back I can happily say I lost 16lbs so I’m down to 158lbs, lower than before I left and I am so happy and healthy. I didn’t do anything crazy I simply kept my diet clean and ate what I needed and no more. I used intermittent fasting because it honestly works for my school schedule and I don’t have to rush to eat in the mornings before class(yes that’s another update I’m back in school) and last but not least I recently started back working out anywhere between 7 to 20 minute 3 to 4 times per week. That’s it. 

Prep with Me: Mini Blueberry “Cheesecake” Recipe

If you are similar to meaning that you LLLOOOVVVEEE cheesecake but you are intolerant to dairy, I think I have found the perfect solution for you. My mom and husband tried and loved it as well so I think its safe to say its pretty delicious.

So here’s what you are going to need.

Tools:

Food processor

Ingredients:

 

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Crust:

5 Medjool Dates (soak in warm water for 10 minutes if sticky to touch)

1 cup Pecans

In a food processor place the pecans and pulse until it becomes finely ground, following which you can add you dates and continue to pulse until the dates are chopped and mixed with the pecans into a paste.

Once done you can go ahead and add the mixture into your muffin tin and set aside, I placed mine into the refrigerator.

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I places strips of cupcake cups into my sheet to help me get them out once they had set.

Filling

1½ cups of Cashew (soak in warm water for an hour prior to starting)

1 lemon

1/3 cup Coconut Oil

½ cup Coconut Milk (from the can)

½ Maple Syrup (or sweetener of choice)

Combine your ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, once completed pour the mixture into your prepped crust and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 4-6 hours to set and then enjoy.

As  for the flavour, that decision is completely yours, I had blueberries at the time so I simply pulsed them and added them to the completed “cheesecake”

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I hope you give this recipe a try if you have the same dairy limitations I do and let me know if you enjoyed it.

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Bon Appetit and I will talk to you later

Kisses from K

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Prep with me: Cauliflower Quinoa and Shrimp Squash Curry

Prep with me is where I share with you meal prep ideas that I have personally tried and loved and this recipe is no different. Born out of the desire to use up items left over from last weeks meal prep of Roasted Vegetables and Broiled Chicken, I decided on a Shrimp and Squash Curry with a Cauliflower Quinoa side. I hope you find inspiration in this meal or even make it and that you enjoy it as much as I did. SO LETS GO!

 

Step one is to gather all your ingredients

Cauliflower Quinoa

  • 1 cup(s), Water Filter
  • 0.50 Cup, raw, Quinoa, Raw
  • 2 cup, Cauliflower – Raw

Shrimp Squash Curry

  • 1 tbsp, Spices, curry powder
  • 1 dash, Salt
  • 1 teaspoon, Cayenne Pepper, Ground
  • .5 cup  Onion (sliced)
  • 1 clove, Garlic, raw
  • 1 container (340.00 gram), Pacific White Shrimp – Cooked 31 – 40
  • 3.5 tbsp, Coconut Cream
  • 1 teaspoon  (15 g), Raw Honey
  • 1 tsp(s), Spices, turmeric, ground
  • 4 cup, cubes, Squash, winter, butternut, raw
  • 1 cup water

Step Two is to start cooking

 

Cauliflower Quinoa

1. Cook Quinoa in water on a medium to low heat until completed
2. Place cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until it reaches a rice like consistency
3. Combine cauliflower and quinoa and leave on low heat for 5-10 mins.
Pulsed Cauliflower /Cauliflower Rice

Shrimp Squash Curry

  1. On medium heat in a non stick pot add onions and cook until translucent File_002
  2. Add water to onion and allow to water to start boiling once warm add the coconut cream and stir
  3. Once milk is fully combined add, curry powder, turmeric, salt, ginger, cayenne and honey and stir
  4. Add squash and carrots and cover, allow to cook until the become soft
  5. Once your squash are soft and tender add your shrimp and allow shrimp to cook for another 5 minutes. File_000 (1)
  6. Now you are all done, simply plate with your cauliflower Quinoa and enjoy

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    Bon Appetit!

 

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I did.  Nutritional info listed below
Talk to you soon
Kisses from K
Nutrition

Get fit with me: My weight struggles

Everyone has a health and fitness goal, well lets not say everyone, almost everyone, whether it is to lose weight, gain weight, build muscles or become toned we all have one.

The journey of health and fitness is an individual one that we all struggle with and the hardest part for many is being consistent. We often create these unrealistic plans that do not match our lifestyle thus making it harder to succeed and I for one can attest to that. When I started out at the end of  2015 in preparation for my wedding I was going full speed ahead, because I had a goal to look great in less than an year and I was successful at dropping 13 lbs and I liked how I looked in my dress to some extent, however I was and have not been happy with my weight or my body since 2012.

After moving to Canada my body has not been the same, poor diet, coupled with increased responsibilities and slow metabolism has caused me to struggle constantly with losing weight, beyond those, the habit of emotional eating, which is quite common  doesn’t help.

And you see those hunger and satiety clues, I don’t get those anymore. I have been able to maintain my weight around 160 lbs, which is by far better than 173 lbs but I am still overweight for my frame.

That’s why I have this blog, its my area of accountability and I will be using it to track this journey into weight loss as I attempt to lose 15 lbs and lean out my body in a manner that is maintainable.

Here is a look at my fluctuations over the years:

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At my healthiest (front)
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At my healthiest (side)

This is me at a healthy weight of 145 lbs, I use to eat healthy and exercise by swimming, carrying out body weight exercises as well as workout at the gym. At the time I would fluctuate between 145-149 lbs and that was a great place to be for me in terms of what constitutes a healthy weight.

 

 

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At my heaviest weight of 173 lbs
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pre wedding body 2016

If you have a health and fitness goal and you would like to join me on this journey, I welcome you, this is a healthy, friendly space for me to share not only my progress but the measures I have taken to obtain and maintain the results I receive along the way. Note this is also where the highs and the lows will be shared and where we can have conversation.

I also have a Facebook page where private messages can be sent so feel free to use that as well if the comments are too public.

See you soon

Kisses from K

Baby bend over

If you are looking for someone in amazing yoga poses and doing crazy handstands that is definitely not me. I am the furthest thing from that my yoga practice came out of laziness. See I had tried H.I.I.T (high intensity interval training) and though effective, it was really hard on my joints especially my knees and so I was looking for something low impact I could do from home.

Note that I love variety in exercise but I despise cardio with the exception of swimming, as necessary as it maybe (see I am just like you) but I have no swimming pools close by so I had to find something to do, to get me moving.

Plus, I live in an apartment building so it also needed to be as quiet as possible. I really don’t want anyone banging at my door.

As I said earlier I am not the best but I know how to  follow along with YouTube videos, and that’s  exactly what I did, I pulled up a  Yoga with Adriene video and  started. I still suck at it but since I started doing yoga:

  • I have reduced my stress levels
  • I sleep better
  • I get a great stretch after strength training
  • I just feel relaxed when I am done

If you are curious about some of the benefits you can gain from yoga here’s a link to an article from the Huffington Post.

So if a low impact, stress relieving and meditative workouts is what you are looking for definitely attempt yoga.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to be able to contort yourself into crazy shapes, just take your time and enjoy the process, and see if it is for you and if not at least you can say you tried something new.

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Talk to you soon.

Kisses from K

Meal What?

Google fitness or peruse the many fitness feeds on Instagram and  I’m sure you will come across  a multitude of post about meal plans and meal prepping all that awesome stuff (and no im not being sarcastic).
Preconceived Meal plans of others don’t work for me, the feeling of being confined to set of food items that I may or may not like is a bit of a turn off. So instead I do what works for me and that is exactly what I am going to share.
Yes I plan my meals and yes I meal prep.

Why you may ask?

1. It’s saves time
2. It saves money.
See based on how I meal prep I am able to compose a list for the grocery store and be in and out in no time. Additionally I use one afternoon to cook all my meals and I am good for the week.
Step one for me is to take some time and really think about what my body desires in terms of food. Once I have figured that out I look at how nutrient dense the meal would then be. If the meal turn out to not be as nutritious as I would search for a healthier more nutritious alternative to it.


Step two is the grocery list. I take a look in my refrigerator and check my shelves to ensure that I know exactly what I have and then only purchase the additional items I need. This way I am not buying several of the same item and also I use up all my food.



My next step is to go to the grocery store, I have now mastered the art of sticking to my list. I purchase only what’s on my list and if the item is not available I think about whether or not I have an alternative at home or if I should grab one. (I don’t add,  I replace).
Now I have my food items and menu in my head or on hand. I use this to then create my meals for the week. I also capitalize on the use of my oven so often multiple items are being prepped at the same time. My last step is to package and refrigerate.  Then each day I have my breakfast lunch and dinner or just lunch and dinner prepped and ready to go.


I am able to choose what I want to eat, ensuring that it’s nutritious, I know the standard at which it was prepared and all the ingredients and it’s a meal I know I am going to enjoy because it’s what I desire to eat.

  • I hope this will help you to try out meal prepping and Remember it doesn’t need to be identical to what I do, do it so it works for you.

Kisses from K