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Hello Beauties!! Hope everyone is enjoying their summer and having lots of fun in the sun!!

It’s been a long while, but I always enjoy writing health and diet related posts, so this one was a no brainer!

ENTER: My Month As A Vegan!

Now as a quick disclaimer: I’d been an ovo-lacto vegetarian since 11th grade (meaning I eat eggs and dairy but no meat), Shannon since she was in her first year of university; fast track to 2013- that’s 6 years! It’s not for everyone, I totally understand that and believe you me, I did and still do heavy research about being vegetarian ALL the time. I have books on books and I’ve read countless articles. I am kind of a fact junkie on this specific topic. I’m not a dietician andย  I don’t recommend it for everyone, it’s not a trend it’s a lifestyle. ๐Ÿ™‚ Do your own research and make your own choices.

How it started:

Well it all started with one of the best/worst sources for vegetarian information ever… PETA. I do not like the PETA website, I think they’re overly pushy about what they stand for, in my opinion. I’m still a strong believer and share a lot of the same values against animal cruelty, however, it’s just too in your face for me. None the less, it’s how it all started. I don’t really want to go into details as it could be really boring for those of you who are reading this post, but just know that it was a strong enough influence to change my mind about eating meat.

What I did:

Remembering back, I think I was in 9th grade or so when I first was shown the PETA website. I immediately wanted to be vegetarian right away, but being that I was so young and still living in my parent’s house it just wasn’t an option at the time (or so my mom says). It wasn’t until Shannon was in her first year of university that my mom said it would be okay (I was in 11th grade). I did TONS of research and cooked a lot of my own proteins (My mom made the side dishes like veggies and carbs). It was crucial at that point in time to make sure that I was providing my body with all of the necessary nutrients it needed. I still to this day do lots of reading and research.

CUE: My Month As A Vegan!!!

Now I’ve always been very sensitive to dairy products. I wouldn’t say that I’m entirely classified as “lactose intolerant” but my body definitely doesn’t process it very well. I can still handle it, I just suffer through the bloating and gassy mess afterwards; therefore I always just bought soy or almond milk instead when I started living on my own! Cheese is definitely a danger zone for me, I get ADDICTED! So I just simply never brought it into the house unless it was for a special occasion. In regards to eggs: I’m not a huge egg eater and lately my ‘want’ for eggs has been even lower to the point where I stopped buying them entirely. That’s when I thought that I would start a one month, self tested body experiment where I cut out dairy and eggs entirely to see if I feel any different!

The Transition To Vegan-ism:

I started by asking my already vegan friend if I could borrow a couple of her books. My main inspiration came from The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone; something I’d always wanted to read, but never got around to. It’s a great read for any of you who are doing research, or like to read up on health related subjects! It was very informative, has a lot of tasty recipes and even has different levels of transitioning into not eating meat, dairy, or eggs! Super user friendly.

I have to say all in all, the transition was very easy! I didn’t find cooking for myself challenging at all! You just simply don’t use dairy or eggs when cooking. And for those times that you do, you simply substitute for a dairy, egg free option! Like Earth Balance is a vegan friendly butter, almond and soy milks are easily used in place of milk! They even have vegan cheese and meat alternatives now! The world is becoming more and more vegetarian and vegan friendly! More than I think we know!

How I’m Feeling Now?

I feel AMAHAAZING! Lighter, healthier, and just overall better. Mind you I’m sure I’m feeling lighter because I’m not consistently bombarding my body dairy products which it hates causing me to bloat and feel super uncomfortable. I feel like I have more energy and that I enjoy eating and cooking more. It’s simpler too and fun to try combinations I never thought of.

One thing that The Kind Diet puts emphasis on for those of you who are looking to go vegan is the idea of incorporating whole grains into your diet. I’m not talking copious amounts of whole wheat bread and pasta, I’m talking the pure, unrefined whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, oats and so much more! Beans also take the spotlight. Now, don’t fret! You can have beans and not be gassy by soaking them first! My advice is to buy dried beans, soak them on your own for an entire day (changing the water a couple times) and then boiling them until they’re tender. By soaking them, you let out all of the gassy properties. Fun fact hey?! As a rule of thumb, make sure you’re getting 1/4 plate whole grains, 1/4 plate protein and 1/2 plate veggies/fruits! By doing that you don’t have to worry about missing out on protein levels; one of the major concerns for those who are considering vegetarianism or veganism. To be honest, a lot of people right now get MORE protein than their body can handle processing at one time. There’s actually a lot of protein in food that you never thought, like vegetables, legumes, and leafy greens!! If you’re super concerned, try adding protein powder to your diet.

Where To Now?

It’s been almost a month since I started eating vegan and I honestly don’t see myself stopping any time soon. Therefore, I think it would be great to start a blog series of yummy, easy to make recipes! Within the last month I started making my own hummus (I’ll never buy store bought again), I’ve perfected the most amazing avocado Alfredo, and have a delicious corn and edamame bean salad under my belt!! Make sure to keep an eye out for that ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading everyone!

See you soon

xoxo

Caitlin

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Hello All!,

The other day when Shannon and I started our 28 Days of Eating-Clean, we found ourselves talking about how expensive this diet experience was going to be! Which raised quite the point, will it cost more to eat-clean? And my verdict is?ย  No. Sure it costs money to buy the lunch box if you don’t have one, but they are super cheap now-a-days, so I think realistically everyone should be able to afford one. When it comes to the cost of groceries I don’t think it will and here is why:

When you think about buying groceries, you take into account all of the “anti” food that you are buying. (“Anti” food is food that is not “Clean”. Such as cookies, white bread, junk food, that sort of thing) Eating-Clean is all about buying the proper foods, and supplying yourself with “clean” food. If you are not buying the “anti” food that you are not supposed to be eating I think that it is very possible to stay within your budget. Because its always that extra bag of chips, or loaf of bread that sets you back. In reality, during the 28 days these are the items you shouldn’t be eating! Here is a sample food list that I came up with today:

-Egg Whites, Hummus, Cashews, Eggs, Avocado, Broccoli, Spinach, Strawberries, Lemon, Blueberries, Banana, Flaxseed, Bell Peppers, Green Beans, Salmon, Mushrooms, plain yogurt, non-fat cottage cheese, skim milk, oatmeal, Celery, Carrots, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Sweet Potato, etc . (Fresh fruit and veggies in general!)

Now some of you may be thinking that, that’s a huge shopping list! Well, for me, you’re right it is, but I also do not shop every week. At this point during the 28 days, I will probably only be buying fresh produce aside from Salmon, oatmeal and dairy products that sort of thing. I hope to keep everything fresh, and only buy items when I need them. Fresh food items in British Columbia are non-taxable so sometimes if I am lucky I can make my way out of the grocery store without being taxed at all!

I know this is a quick post, but I just wanted to share with everyone that I think that it is very possible to stay within your budget if you are eating-clean. Eating-Clean is also gratifying! Learning to eat-clean isn’t just a diet, its a way of life! If you learn to make healthy decisions when you are the grocery store then there is no need to think of eating-clean as a 28 day trend. I think that you should strive to make it your way of life! It’s really a life changing experience that is very simple to implement into every day life. Packing a lunch the night before takes no time at all! Making time for yourself to complete your workout? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy time to themselves! Its all about making sure that you are prioritizing your activities throughout the day. Who knows, it could be the best life routine change you make!

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Hello Everyone, Caitlin here.

This morning while I was taking a shower, I decided that when I got out I was going to do a bit of a different post than usual. A health related post. Almost 9 hours later, I find myself in the bath tub, with my computer resting on the side (not very safe, please do not attempt at home) wanting to actually sit down and write one. What is it about the bathroom that makes me want to talk about fitness?

Anyway, I wanted to share something with you all that is very close to home for me. Last summer, (2010) I was living in Vancouver, working at a dental office and eating takeout everyday. I had coffee twice a day (lattes) and a rice crispy or cookie every afternoon. Not the best eating habits in the world is what I am trying to get at. In my defense, I have to say that I was living at my boyfriends house, and was not buying my own groceries. Yes, I could have. But I didn’t, leaving me with not many lunch choices. So my sister and I (who worked in the same office, not Shannon but my oldest sister) ate out a lot. Eventually, I found myself 15 pounds heavier than normal. My summer clothes just weren’t fitting properly, and I was all pasty white because I was inside from 7:30am-6:00pm. Everyone knows that a little fake tanner, or a bit of a natural tan makes us look and feel better, or at least for me it does. So here I was, unhappy with myself, thinking that a walk every second day on the sea wall was going to make a difference, or the step class I was doing twice a week was going to help.. I needed more than that and I couldn’t believe how far I let myself go, how poorly I was treating my body.

In September I moved back up north with my boyfriend, and in October I decided that enough was enough. I needed to do a serious lifestyle change. So then I started to look up local gym rates. Maybe do a step class, or starting running on the treadmill or something. That’s when I realized that life is expensive! I’d been eating so poorly in Vancouver because I could. Because I didn’t have to pay rent, I wasn’t buying groceries.. life was so easy down there. Here was different. That’s when I found BodyRock.tv. Zuzana and Freddy (The couple that runs the site) are rapidly evolving how people work out. Its a free website that offers diet help, daily work out routines that include minimal exercise equipment, sometimes just your own body weight and inspiring stories about other Body Rockers who want to share their success stories. In November I was a full blown Body Rocker. I had converted. Never again would I step into a gym to work out. I was going to get into the best shape of my life, and do it all from my living room for free! Now, up north November-March/ April is winter. So I didn’t have the courage to step outside and run or anything because it was always so cold, and there was constantly three feet of snow on the ground. So having Zuzana and Freddy guide me along was great. You watch her do the workouts, and its amazing. I feel totally inspired when I see her workin’ it. The best thing about their workouts? They are never more than half an hour long! So its perfect for those of you who have a very busy life and can’t seem to fit in a workout. You don’t have to leave your house, and working out takes less than half an hour.

Zuzana and Freddy’s work outs are based mostly on interval training. The best form of exercise for blasting fat and toning up in a short amount of time. If you visit their site Bodyrock.tv you can read all about it.

Its now the end of May and I find myself 13 pounds lighter, and I feel great! I have moved to doing running outside now that the snow is all gone, but I alternate my workouts. I’ll run one day, then either do a Bodyrock workout or some pilates/yoga the next. I’ve completely changed the way I eat, and I have to say that I feel great. One of my favorite things about the website is the diet section. Zuzuana is always posting diet challenges that I find so interesting to read about . I try to make an effort to incorporate her diet challenges into my every day eating routine.

I’ve mentioned about my exercise routine, as for my diet? I’m a Pescetarian meaning that I am a vegetarian that eats fish on occasion. I started to eat fish when I was in Vancouver at my boyfriends house and learned that the only way I was going to survive was if I partook in the fish that the rest of the family was eating. Otherwise I was going to be eating sweet potatoes and grilled veggies for the rest of my life! I couldn’t bring myself to ask them to eat differently for me, so I adapted.I love my carbs, as most people do, but moderation is key. I eat 5 small meals a day, all of which include fresh fruits and veggies, and complete protein. For those of you who would like to learn more about eating 5 times a day check out Zuzana’s post :http://www.bodyrock.tv/2011/02/21/diet-challenge-2-eat-4-5-times-per-day/

There is also a post about including complete protein in our diets that you should check out if you’re interested.

I am in no way certified to be giving out personal training advice,and my workout routine and eating habits may not be suitable for all body types, but I just had to share the life changing experience that is Bodyrock.tv with the world! I have never felt better about myself, even though I think that I still have a long ways to go. I have also learned to accept my body a little bit more, rather than being so unhappy with it I’ve learned to accept the fact that in order for there to be change you have to make it happen. No one can change your life for you, you have to be the one to do it. I think that the most important thing to remember is to listen to your body, and know how it functions. I can tell you right now that Shannon is a total Yoga girl, shes into the stretching and toning through holding poses and that works for her! Keeps her the skinny minnie she is! I do enjoy it, but I need cardio, and the running also helps me clear my mind.

Let me know in the comments below if you visit their site. What your thoughts are and if you feel as inspired as I do when I visit the site!

Xoxo

Caitlin

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