Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Blog?!

Hey guys!!

I haven't forgotten about you .. Though I did forget to share some news with you! 

Remember a couple of blog posts back, I mentioned wanting to shift the focus from "healthy foodies to lose booties" to "happy healthy living"? 

I did it! I made my new blog. 

There I share my real struggles with my healthy living journey and, of course, my successes and high points! 

Check out www.healthyhappylauras.blogspot.com for all my new posts! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

That Thing About Blogging ..!

Ever since the ripe old age of seven years old, I've loved to write. I would write mostly my own original stories (about my family or my hamsters - really enticing stuff - ha!) but I can also recall spending HoUrS designing my own Goosebumps cover art and putting together a scary story. I loved getting lost in the new little world I was creating with my pencil and paper. 

I had a diary, too, but I didn't really get into it much until I was a bit older, maybe around eleven or twelve. And I wrote in my journal every single day. I loved it. I felt like it was that one best friend I could pour my heart into without judgement. 

I fell away from journaling when I got hooked into the cyber world .. And it wasn't until my friend Christina introduced me to the world of blogging that I'd start up again. And this time, I was happy to share my story with everyone. 

The thing about journaling / blogging is that it can be quite addictive! I'd start blogs about different parts of my life - one for my fitness journey, one for my family's adventures, one about thankfulness .. It got to be a bit overwhelming, so I brought myself back to just focus on the one (this one!). 

This blog focuses on my healthy living journey. Weight loss. Recipes. Races. Struggles. I do want to change it up - Healthy Foodies, Losing Booties was the focus when I started it up. I'm not just about eating healthy to lose weight anymore. I'm about living healthy, being fit, and being happy. I'm learning about myself and setting goals and going through some scary but incredible changes. I want my main blog to reflect those things. I want my main blog to be my healthy and happy living journal. I've mentioned maybe beginning a new blog in the past .. I feel like the time is right to get moving on that. 

Today I was browsing through some of those other blogs of mine (side note: getting inspired again to keep writing!) and I came across this. 

My original "before" picture. The one I thought was lost with my phone that was stolen. The one that started it all. 292lbs.

I just wanted to share that with you.
I'm hope you have a great day .. And remember .. When you feel inspired to do something? Do it! Don't let little opportunities slip by!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sweat Pink Summer Fit Gear Exchange!

As you all know, I'm an ambassador for Sweat Pink (Fit Approach!), a community of amazing women who live and lead healthy lives and encourage others to do the same. This month, I had the pleasure of participating in the very first (Canadian!) Sweat Pink Summer Fit Gear Exchange. A bunch of fellow Canadian ambassadors got together to be paired up with one another and to send each other care packages of Fit Gear! For details about how this worked, check out http://runningmamajourney.com/2015/06/03/summer-fit-gear-exchange-gearswap/ 

I sent a package to Krista, a runner and yoga lover! I had so much fun shopping for her! She has a wonderful blog, check it out! https://behindthewhitefence.wordpress.com/

I received a package from Anna at Piper's Run (http://pipersrun.com/) and it was amazing. She put so much thought into it! 

I received a bunch of salt water taffy (she saw how much I love that stuff!), a yoga hand towel, hair elastics, a gift card from Starbucks (Americanos, here I come!), 3 Vega snack bars and 2 packs of Vega hydrate mix. My most favorite part of the package she sent me is this notebook:

She filled it with lots of motivational quotes and quips, like this one ..

And recipes!

I love what I got and I love the friendships I've made from this exchange! We plan to do another one later on .. If you'd be interested in participating, let me know! :)

A HUGE special thanks to Brittany at 
http://www.runningmamajourney.com/ for organizing our first exchange. It's an honor to call you my Sweat Pink Sister! And thank you to Krista and Anna for making this exchange so memorable! :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


I'm someone who is verrrry much a creature of habit. I like my comfort zones. Moving outside of my comfort zone is a terrifying concept. Change freaks me out.

However ..

Change can be a good thing. Doing things outside of my comfort zone has brought some truly amazing things into my life. Zumba! Yoga! Making new friends, with old friends!

Am I happy in my life? Sure! I've got so much to be grateful for. Our family has come a long way from where we used to be. We moved out (escaped!) of the old apartment and now live in a truly fantastic neighborhood with a wonderful community. I left a job that I felt stuck in and was so miserable working. 

Change is good.

I'm happy, but not as happy as I know I could be. I've got a lot of stuff to work on. I want to work my dream job, something I will love and be proud of. I want to make a few more dollars every week to have those little extras with my family, instead of just getting by on a tight budget. I want more for myself and my family.

Well, nothing changes if I don't change, right? 

I've got a lot of hopes and dreams that I want to make a reality. I want to be a yoga instructor and a Zumba instructor. I want to work with kids to help them understand why leading a healthy, active life is so important. I want to write. I want to dance. I want to learn about nutrition. I want to work one on one with people and use my story to help them with their fitness journey. 

The idea of going to school / taking courses freaks me out. The financial strain it'll undoubtedly place on our household makes me physically ill to think about. The time commitment. The struggle to find balance between work / family / schoolwork. The CHANGE. 

But .. 

I'm not going to make my dreams come true by wishing them to reality. I need to overcome my fears in order to better myself and to accomplish my goals. 

I'm currently researching the best way to take my first step. Zumba verification? Yoga training? Head right into a 2-year college degree? 

It's scary. But necessary. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Hey friends!!

I was in shock when I opened my blogger app - has it really been that long since I last posted?! Eeeep! 

Things have been going super great over here. My focus has shifted off the numbers on the scale and it's been terrific - such a freeing experience, to just do activities I love and eating healthy foods that I love (while still tracking!) without the worry of the next day's weigh-in. I only weigh myself once a week now, and things are going great there. I'm sitting happy with about 117 lbs lost :)

I've focused more now on clean(er) eating. I eat few processed foods. I've really reduced sugar consumption (I take one teaspoon of sugar in my coffee, and other than that I only have sugar in the odd treat .. Like salt water taffy!) 

I try to focus my food intake to lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and healthy carbs like quinoa and sweet potatoes. I do love my protein pancake breakfasts, though .. Hehehe. Things are going well on the food front. I find myself wanting to eat bad things after my long shifts at work on the weekends, but that's just a matter of breaking old, bad habits I had developed over the years. It isn't easy, but it's worth it. I wake up the next day without guilt. 

Exercise is going fantastic!! I've really honed in on my schedule and I'm loving it. I'm only making room for activities I love. Zumba, yoga, long walks, the occasional weight-lifting and running are my go-to's. I've also recommitted myself to PiYO - I gave up on the program last year when I was still suuuuuuper struggling with my weight loss and fitness level, and now, I'm determined to prove to myself that I CAN and I WILL finish it. I've been doing PiYO five days per week for the past three weeks and already see a huge difference in my body as well as my physical fitness, which is amazing. Derek's been doing it with me too, and he already has abs!! 

We PR'd at our 5K run for Ottawa Race Weekend! I finished with 33:46 as my final time. I cried in the food court afterwards when I saw that. What an incredible feeling. My last PR had been around the 46-minute mark .. Two years and many pounds ago. 

So that's my super-quick, mashed together update. I'm really going to try to write more often! :)

Monday, March 30, 2015


Mannnnnnny people have asked me if I'm close to my goal weight and what happens after I hit it.

First: yeah, I'm close to my goal weight. But I'm really not focused on that anymore. Once I hit my 100lb weight loss goal, it hit me HARD that the chase isn't about a number on the scale. I'm working this for life. 

Every day, I will make healthy, properly portioned meal choices. I will eat as little sugar as possible. I will eat as clean as possible. I'll exercise every single day (active rest days!). 

This is for the rest of my life, not just until I see that "magical" goal number on the scale! I want to make those healthy choices every day because it makes me feel my best physically and mentally. I feel incredible when I'm taking proper care of myself! And THAT is what the chase is! Not a number - the feeling! 

(And I'm kind of addicted to setting PR's. And I can't set a lifting PR or a running one by stuffing my face with pizza and not training).

So that's my answer to those questions. Yup, I'm close to that number. But it's jut that - a number. And once I see it, I just keep going! I'm eating healthy foods that I love and that fuel my body, and exercising in ways that I enjoy!

And I'm waking up and going to bed with a smile! :)

That being said .. 

Can I tell you a secret? One of my biggest dreams (since I was a little girl!!) is to be a dancer (hugest dream: a back up dancer for Katy Perry .. But I digress). I grew up watching Full House and always admired Stephanie Tanner. I wanted to BE her - she looked so friggin cool dancing!!

My parents weren't able to put me in dancing classes and I was overweight as a child and very out of shape and had zero confidence so that dream kind of got buried deep down in my heart.

Well I'm all about doing what makes me smile. And dancing makes me smile. So it's time to work on that dream!

I found a place near my home that offers beginners hip hop classes for adults over 30!!! I'm going to be registered to start in September with a great friend of mine and I cannot wait!! The classes run for 14 weeks and then .. I'll get my Stephanie Tanner moment: I'll get to perform in a show!! 

I'm so excited. Making that lifelong dream come true is going to feel a million times better than any number on a scale would!! :) 

Have a great day everyone .. And remember that it's never too late to follow your dreams! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hot Yoga

I've been putting it off for months. 
And last night, it happened.

Hot yoga.

Instead of dreading it like I had been the entire time, I went in with an open mind. My body was still quite sore from an amazing kettlebell class I'd taken Saturday and felt like it could use the stretch and heat that hot yoga would give. I was also battling a mild (yet annoying!!) head cold so I felt sweating it out would be helpful. So I went into the class with a positive attitude ..

And I walked into the room. Oh my word, it was HOT. I was instantly sweating and verrrrrry apprehensive ..

And then the class started.

I fell completely in love.

The heat allowed my body to stretch deeper and relax more. I was able to close my eyes and just flow. The instructor was incredible. The class was amazing.

I left feeling completely new. My mind and body were at peace. I was completely happy and so relaxed.

It was just what I needed! It was exactly the yoga that my heart, body and soul were craving for the longest time. 

I'm SO happy I finally took this class. It's definitely going to be incorporated into my weekly workout schedule! 

It served as a great reminder: stop letting FEAR get the best of you. If you don't get out there and try new things, you could be robbing yourself of something you could truly love! 

So get out there and face your fears!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Weight Loss Is Not Physical

Hey guys!

I wanted to talk a bit about something HUGE I've had to learn along my journey. And it was something that wasn't easy to learn and accept. Maybe it's something that comes to many people easily, but not me. There's a reason why I've been on this healthy living journey for almost three years.

Ready for it?

Weight loss is NOT a physical thing. Yeah sure, we eat in a caloric deficit and exercise lots and those are physical acts .. But the reality is this: it's all a mental game. 

Emotional eating, binge eating, under eating, over exercising, false hunger .. All mental. All detrimental to weight loss. And to be successful in a long-term healthy lifestyle (and healthy weight!) you need to come to terms with those issues, or else you'll always be struggling.

(This girl struggled. She struggled to breathe. To play with her son. To bend over and tie her shoes. To walk and talk.)

I look at myself through the years and reflect on my habits. My pattern was to diet and exercise all Spring and Summer, then come the Fall and Winter ... Well, it wasn't pretty. The diet ended, I fell into old habits, got depressed because of my weight gain and inactivity, and ate more to make myself feel better. And the excuses! "Oh, once winter is over, I'll be able to eat better because fruits will be cheaper!" And "when dad is out of hospital, I'll stop eating so much chocolate and Pringles and pizza". 

(Photo taken after one of my first runs, almost three years ago, and I was about 30lbs down.)

The reality was this. I need to exercise to feel good and happy. It's a physical endorphin thing that helps the mental happy. I can't run (which was my exercise of choice!) outdoors in the winter because of my asthma (suffocating sucks) and so I'd do nothing all winter. And then the blues would kick in. And the binge emotional eating would get out of control .. And the pounds would come on .. And the tears would pour .. 

After this happening for two years in a row, I finally learned from it. I was never going to get better and feel better if I didn't get myself out of that pattern. The reality was, I was heading down a dangerous road .. I can even show you journal entries that I wrote in tears, saying how scared I was to go to sleep for fear of not waking up because of that night's binge. Your stomach can suffocate. It's a real thing. 

This year, I said NO to my pattern. So I can't run outside. But there is other stuff I can do. And I DID. I bought exercise workouts to do at home (PiYO, P90, 21-Day Fix) and did something every.single.day. I started taking zumba classes once a week. Exercise made me feel good, and I kept at it. And those days where I REALLY didn't feel like? Those were the days I MADE myself do it.

Exercise wasn't all I did. I ate well. I didn't give in to the "hot winter carbs" thing. And that took a lot of work. A lot of determination. SO much discipline. 

And I learned about myself. Why I had certain destructive behaviors and compulsions. What my triggers were. I read books and I plan to never stop because it is an AMAZING thing to be able to dig deep and learn about yourself and better yourself!! It is the greatest gift you can give to yourself!!

And the hardest thing was battling those emotions. When something went wrong, instead of eating away my feelings, I actually had to DEAL with them. I had to allow myself to feel the sadness / anger or whatever it was and I had to deal with it. I had to resolve my problems instead of putting a pizza-shaped bandaid over them. That was SO hard and the thing I am most proud of. I know my emotional eating is something I will be working on for a very long time as it's a hard habit to break .. But I WILL DO IT. Because my goals, my health, my family .. All worth it. The people that mean the most to me won't get the best of me if I don't give them my best. 

You want to lose weight? Live healthy? Work on the mental stuff first. The physical part, the weight loss, will follow. I promise. 

So that's a lesson I've learned. I'm learning! :)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Scale Struggles

Rambling thoughts on the scale ..

I'll admit, the scale struggle is a real thing. 

I hate weighing myself. I allow the scale to dictate how I'm doing in my life. If I eat perfectly all week, exercise daily, drink all my water, have an A+ healthy week, and then weigh myself to see I've "only" maintained .. I'd get down. And frustrated. And start over-analyzing EVERYTHING. Maybe I had too much sodium one day. Maybe I accidentally underate against my activity so my body held on. Maybe my muscles are inflamed. 

That's not a fun or realistic way to go about a healthy lifestyle. 

And yet .. I can't resist. I need to weigh in weekly to see where I'm at. I love seeing those numbers drop to places they haven't been in years. Seeing that "goal" weight in those magical scale numbers was a big deal. And y'know, it is a big deal. It's a great reason to celebrate.


At the end of the day .. My muscles COULD be inflamed from a strength workout. And maybe my lady friend Red is stopping in so I'm a bit bloaty one weigh-in. But the scale won't tell me those things. It's doesn't validate all my hard work that week. And it certainly doesn't measure how AmAzInG I'm feeling with my healthy, active lifestyle.

So why do I do it?! To see a stupid number?! 

I am lifting weights. I plan to lift heavier and heavier. I never plan to stop eating right. Not gonna happen. So in reality, I could possibly never see my goal number on the scale. Who knows? Maybe my in-progress quads and triceps won't allow that. 

My focus is on fat loss and muscle gain. Cardio endurance. Stamina. HEALTH. Again, a scale won't tell me those things. Yet I'll allow it to define my mood. Huh?! I must be nutty! (Ooo peanut butter .. Haha)

I'd like to say I'm done with the scale. Part of me is. Yet part of me needs to finally achieve my goal that I initially set out to achieve when I was a teenager: to lose 100 lbs. I'm almost there .. So maybe I'll stop the nuttiness at that. Once I hit that 100 lbs lost mark, I think I'm going to hang up the scale.

I'll still weigh-in at the end of my 21-Day Fix (Monday! This will be my first weigh-in in two weeks!) .. And every Saturday, as always, until I got that goal. And then .. It's time. Because in the grand scheme of things, that number means nothing. But how I feel means EVERYTHING. How much fun I'm having now. How much energy I have. How happy I am. How in love with this life I am! That's what matters!

Health wins. Scale loses! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

21-Day Fix, Week 2!

Tidbits from the week ..

1. I truly get now why abs are made in the kitchen. I agree with that statement 90% .. The other 10% is core workouts!

2. I'm a bit addicted to zucchini. And warm salads. And eggs. And zucchini.

3. I'm completely and totally head-over-heels in love with weighted workouts. I learned this in P90 but am also learning different techniques with the Fix. I flipping LOVE muscle definition - it's such a thrill!

4. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is essential. I have incredible friends who are also in love with exercise and activities and that bond is just awesome. It also makes working out so much more fun!

5. I'm learning a LOT about proper eating for my activity level. Food is fuel. Delicious fuel ;) Protein is essential. 

6. Stepping away from the scale allows me to truly value and appreciate my body. The scale doesn't dictate if I'm doing well - but my body sure as heck will show me. And a leaner body with muscle definition filled with tons of energy speaks volumes next to some silly number!! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Rough Week = Stronger Me

Hey guys! 

So I've had a harrrrd week. Allow me to explain without tremendous detail. 

The winter blues grabbed me with their thorny claws and just wasn't able to shake them off .. I was down, cranky, grumpy, and COLD. Nothing I was doing helped me. 

Then I injured myself at work (no cool story here, I fell down concrete stairs and landed straight on my knees). So. Much. Swelling. So much pain. I had to put off my workouts to give my knees a chance to heal .. And as we all know, when Laura can't workout, she gets more grumpy. 

Sadly enough, these bruises are actually a HUGE improvement compared to the first two days! And the swelling has come down significantly! 

And then this happened.

I was registered to start school here in June. To get my dream career going. To make a better life for myself and my family. To stop working retail! I was completely devastated. 

I wallowed. Between the blues, my injury and the school closure, I couldn't just keep going with a smile on my face. Old Laura's comforting solution here would have been to stuff my face with ice creams and pizza to put a bandaid over my broken heart. Today's Laura didn't have that to fall back on. I knew better. Eating comfort foods would take me fourteen steps backwards and create the snowball effect that is weight gain and depression. And I refuse to go back there. 

So I had no choice but to FEEL my sadness and DEAL with it. It was hard. But it was the best thing I could have done for myself. I cried big ugly cries, talked things out with my husband (I'm so incredibly lucky to have his unconditional support), let myself feel the sadness and frustration .. And then I let it go.

You had to know I'd go there. 
But it's the best thing .. To face something head on, deal with the emotions it brings up, and then let it go. It's so freeing. And I don't have to deal with the physical and mental repercussions of a binge cycle coming out of it.

And so ..

My knees are healing and I'm going to start working out again today (modified as needed so as not to injure myself!). I have a stomach bug today so I'll ease in with yoga. 

I'm shifting my mindset from winter negativity to gratitude (yes it snowed but it's not -30 today, yes it took me twice as long to get to work yesterday but at least I got there safely). Seriously, do that. Focus on what you have to be grateful for. It absolutely helps to pull you out of the blues. Well, at least it's working for me. I'm also reflecting on happy memories and that helps to lift my spirits. And knowing that Spring is coming helps!

And l called a college to make an appointment to discuss my options there. The program I want to take is there too .. It will take me a lot longer to finish the program and get working in my dream career. The commute is a LOT longer .. But I'll get there. My dreams are worth it! And at least I still have options! My first school of choice may have closed their doors, but when one door closes, another one opens, right? I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. 

So this week wasn't stellar for me. But I'm stronger now because of it. And I am so beyond proud that I didn't fall back on my old, bad habits. I AM strong. And I will get my dream career. And Spring is coming!! 


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hemp Hearts Review and Giveaway!

I was lucky enough to get a bag of Manitoba Harvest's hemp hearts to review (thank you, Sweat Pink team!). I've been having fun adding them to different meals and snacks, like my workout recovery shakes and more:

I loved sprinkling them on top of my peanut-buttery pancakes!

But my most favorite thing to add them to was my addiction: warm salads ..

They have a delicious, nutty-like flavor and a really nice, soft texture. 

Here are some nutrition facts about hemp hearts vs super foods chia and flax:


I was also REALLY happy to see how much iron there is in them!! I fight to get enough iron in my diet so having these babies on hand made that super easy. They've quickly become a staple in my pantry that I can't go without.

Want to try some?! 

I'll be giving away one bag to a lucky winner .. To enter, all you have to do is comment below and tell me one food / meal / snack you'd love to have them with! I'll be picking a name old school style - out of a hat, on March 10, 9pm est. Don't miss out on a chance to try these nutritious goodies! 

Also, be sure to check out their website: www.manitobaharvest.com 

Monday, February 9, 2015

21-Day Fix, Week One

So my first week of the 21-Day Fix is in the books! I've been enjoying the program so far. It's a big change compared to what I was doing before - kind of? I'm still eating the same healthy foods (with a few changes for the better) but the meals are smaller and there are more of them!

I've opted to follow the "fat blaster" program for nutrition, which is six small meals per day. And even though the containers are quite tiny, it comes out to be a LOT of food! Like, wow!! 

As I mentioned before, I'm still eating the same kinds of healthy foods - lots of vegetables and lean meats, but more of them, and healthy carbohydrates, just a bit less. And I definitely needed help there - winter is tough for me because I tend to lean heavily on carbs so I'm grateful for this program to keep me in check! I actually had to increase my fruit intake too. I normally would have one or two fruits a day, and now I need three. 

A huge discovery I made was with my coffee. I'm a big-time coffee lover .. But I found I have formed a bit of an addiction to my Coffeemate flavored non-dairy creamers (read: sugar and chemical shit storm!). So that part has been a bit of a struggle - was I ready to kick it out of my diet like I did diet coke? No. But I am committed to getting myself off of that stuff. So I'm down to 2 teaspoons in my coffee (plus milk!) and that's HUGE for me because I used to take 1.5 tablespoons!! Progress! 

The workouts? I've been absolutely loving them. All the workouts are only 30 minutes per day, and there is a different one every day to keep your body guessing and to maximize weight loss and toning. I love it. I haven't felt bored (which is where I was going with P90 - and I'm still going to finish it after the fix!). Every workout WORKS me. I can follow the leader perfectly and modify when necessary. They're tough but doable and I just know I'm going to see great results with them! And I SO love working with weights!!!

Some days are harder than others ;)

So that has been my fix so far! I'm a happy camper. The first couple of days were a bit hard - learning to plan out all the meals a day ahead to ensure I get all my containers in was an adjustment, but I'm good now. I can't wait to see my results come day 22! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Beat The Winter Blues!

I'm not a fan of winter. I think it goes without saying that many people share my feelings (and those that like winter: I wish I did! Honest!)

December is nice because the first few snowfalls are beautiful and not dark and yucky slush, and we have the beautiful twinkling Christmas light displays and the excitement of the approaching holidays to pull us through. 

January isn't as magical but hey, we started a new year and we've got goals and resolutions that we are excitedly working on! January, we GOT this!! 

Then February kicks in. And the snow keeps piling up and the windchill keeps dropping and our faces hurt when we are outside for ten seconds. Then the stores stock up on Valentine's chocolates (read: comfort food!) and we are all too tempted to eat ALL THE FOOD and sleep February away .. 

And before you know it, March and spring come along and holy wow, did we ever waste an entire month feeling bad about ourselves. And then the "bathing suit fear" sets in and we get to work again. 

That was my pattern for the past three years. Although My fear wasn't of the bathing suit, it was the shorts. Don't ask.

This year, while the winter blues have tried their best, the haven't managed to win me over. And they won't. I will NOT go on for a fourth year, gaining back a LOT of the weight I'd worked so hard to lose and having to start all over again come the summer time. 

I've learned from my mistakes. And I'm in a totally different place now. I don't want to pig out on those comfort foods because I understand that it'll make my body feel gross. I understand that if I drop off my workouts, I'll feel sluggish and lethargic. I get how my body functions and I love how I feel when I'm eating well and exercising. And I love it! I want to live healthy! It's not about the weight loss - it's about how incredible living healthy makes me feel! (Even though yeah, I do celebrate my weight loss too!)

So I've got some tips on how to beat the winter blues. I want to help you come out of winter still on track. I want you to be able to face summer without worrying about winter weight! 

1. STOP wishing for winter to be over. Guys, I get it .. I want to go outside without 6 layers of fleece on, too. But  dwelling on the "winter go away" will make it seem like it's lasting forever. Try to think of other things and not on your hatred of shoveling the driveway. 

2. Try something new. Take a new workout class, or an art or pottery class. Visit one of those places where you can make your own wine. Go to a museum! But whatever you do, make sure it's something that'll get you up off the couch. Having a marathon session on Netflix is not going to help you beat the blues. 

3. Finding it hard to get your workouts in? Buy yourself a new workout shirt. Or headband. Or pants. It'll help motivate you to do it! 

4. Wanting to indulge on carbohydrates? Especially hot ones? Keep a big pot of soup in your fridge. Grab a bowl, heat it up, and watch your cravings disappear. Have a cup of coffee in the afternoon instead of freshly baked goods. 

5. Keep a written list of your goals in an area that you will see it constantly. Refer back to them any time you are struggling. Seeing your goals in your own writing will REALLY make a difference when you're tempted to veg on the couch. 

So those tips I just listed? They are my personal list. As in, I do them personally and they are what's helping me with my blues. I also refer back to my "before" pictures .. Remembering how bad I felt both physically and emotionally at that size really helps me when I'm tempted to skip a workout or eat bad things. 

Are there things that help you beat the winter blues? Feel free to share them .. You never know who you'll be helping! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Blog Will Be Changing Soon!

My journey has taken me to many incredible places within myself. What I've learned over these (almost) three years astounds me to even this day. I'll be sharing a lot of that in the future. 

One big thing I've learned is that we never stop learning, growing and changing. I love that! It's so exciting to know that a year from now, I'll be a better version of me. 

Within my growth, I've struggled with my blog a bit. It started off as Mama Lego's Happy Place and changed into Healthy Foodies and now I just kinda don't feel that? Because I've become more than just a weight loss story. I'm so much more than that. 

My Facebook page is Mommy's Going Healthy! (Never heard of it? Head over there and give it a like!) I kind of love it because "healthy" is an open term - it's not just about eating and exercising, but it's about having a happy mind and soul. To be healthy is to have a happy mind, body, diet and soul. And Mommy's Going Healthy is reflecting my journey in that. 

I want my blog to head in that direction. I need to change the name. Maybe Mommy's Going Healthy will be it, or maybe I'll choose something else. I'll be thinking it over on the weekend and hopefully start to implement the changes over the next week. 

I absolutely will still share my weight loss progress and recipes, but I'll also be sharing with you what I've been learning about myself along the way! I also want to show other moms that they too can take great care of themselves (inside and out!) and their families too :)

So .. Any suggestions for a blog re-name?! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Red Seven-Pounders

 I usually use 3 lbs weights to do my P90 strength routine (paired with resistance bands) and lately, I'd been feeling like yeah, they were working, but not enough. I knew my muscles were ready for more.

Armed with my Canadian Tire gift card, I went shopping! Derek and I had a lot of fun browsing through the sports and workout section .. I saw SO much that I wanted to bring home with me! And, side note, why the heck are bosu balls so expensive?! 

Derek and I loved the look and feel of the irons but yeah, the price tag wasn't quite so friendly, so we settled for the colorful ones. I grabbed some red 7-pounders and did a few of the P90 moves .. Yup. My first few workouts with them were going to suck. And that's exactly what I wanted! 

So this morning it was time to break them in. And wow, was it ever awesome. You know that addictive feeling you get when you FEEL your muscles straining and bulging under those weights?! Wow!! I'm so happy I increased my weights and can't wait to see my arms at the end of P90. And I can't wait to increase again :)

Some people might say, well seven pounds isn't much. My answer: we all start somewhere, and I'm rocking these!! To me, seven pounds is heavy and hard and right where I need to be. I'm so happy I've started working with weights, I love it! 

Do you incorporate weight training into your workout routine?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

That Zumba thing

This past Sunday, I promised my sister that I'd join her for her Zumba class on Monday. She loves Zumba and takes three classes a week, plus a boot camp class. She raves about how much she loves Zumba and has invited me countless times throughout the year. 

Between my husband and I, we don't have a lot of free time in the week to head out and join a fitness class or go for runs (this is why I love my schedule-friendly Beachbody programs!) .. We alternate our work schedules so someone is always home with the kids and we value spending time together as well. We get two nights a week together. I always felt guilty at the idea of going out to do something for myself. 

Hubby encouraged me to go - he knows how much I want (and need!) to get myself out there, taking different classes and seeing what programs are available. I want to work in the fitness industry and need to learn as much as I can about it. 

So this week, I agreed I'd go. Finally.

I'd started back on PiYO and P90 that weekend and I.was.so.sore. Especially my right hamstring. No amount of Epsom salts and massaging was helping. It was cold as hell the Monday night. I didn't know quite where I was going and was trusting that the OC Transpo travel planner was sending me to the right place. 

I had many reasons why I shouldn't have gone, or why I should have waited for another week. The biggest one? I was scared. 

I'd never taken a group fitness class before. I was scared that I wasn't "in shape" enough to last the entire hour. What if I fell?! My coordination is awful, what if I were to mess up the entire time?! 

But I was determined not to let my fears and excuses get the best of me. Plus, a friend on my facebook page reminded me that everyone would be too busy watching their own selves to care about what I was doing! And I could modify the moves if my hamstring bothered me. 

I bundled up to brave the cold and headed out. 

To Zumba or bust!

Well my travel planner was wrong, wrong wrong and I arrived to my transfer stop, only to discover that my bus was only going to show up AFTER class had already started. I called my sister (in tears - I was frustrated and SO so cold) and told her I probably wasn't going to make it. And she arranged for her friend Louise to come meet me. Amazing, right? They came to get me even though it meant that they'd be a bit late too. Fitness friends are incredible. 

So we made it just in time to change and go!! The music was loud and incredible. I had SO MUCH FUN!! The class was packed (apparently the instructor, Paula, is very popular!). I wasn't as bad as I thought I'd be. Sure, I went left when I should have gone right and got dizzy with this one song with a ton of spinning in it, but I did my best, laughed and had a blast. And as a true testament to the endurance I've built up from running and P90 - I made it through the hour, with energy to spare. It was great.

The glow of a great class!

I'd love to join in on her class weekly! It was such fun. And I loved being surrounded by people who are interested in bettering themselves and helping each other! Everyone was so friendly! 

So, the moral of my story is: don't let your fears stop you from trying new things .. You could miss out on an experience you'd really love. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Turkey Dinner Leftover Ideas!

I know I should really have posted this about two weeks ago when everyone had leftover Christmas dinners in their fridge .. But we had two turkey dinners last week (on top of the two from the week prior!) and didn't just want to have turkey sandwiches all week (though we do LOVE them!). 

Derek and I wanted to get creative with our turkey leftovers .. So we did! Ready for some awesome ideas?

1. Strip all the meat off the turkey and boil the bones to make a turkey stock. Throw in some carrots, onions and seasoning to flavor it up!

2. Make soups! We made two batches of soup with our 2 stocks, one of them (the top photo) is a sweet potato + carrot + onion soup flavored with ginger and curry. The second photo is the prep for our turkey and veggie soup. 

3. Christmas dinner fried rice. This was amazing!! We made whole grain rice following the boxed instructions, and threw in thyme, sage and turkey stock into the water to help give it a "stuffing" taste. When that was done, we fried it over the stovetop on low heat with a drizzle of roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil (so it didn't stick to the pan!), and threw in our leftovers: turkey, broccoli, mushrooms, and stuffing (go easy on the stuffing! It's best as a "flavor pocket" kind of thing, not a main taste!). We were all fighting for the leftovers the next day for lunch!

4. Turkey taco-less taco bowls. Remember that recipe I posted for homemade taco seasoning? Well, we used that and mixed it with water and cooked it down into turkey, black beans, corn and shredded carrots. We took that mixture and topped it over whole grain rice that was also seasoned with onions and taco seasoning. We then ate it with salsa (I'm going to start making mine homemade!) and sour cream .. Yummm!!

5. Take that leftover turkey taco-less taco mix (without the rice) and stuff it into an omelette for another meal. We ate this for supper, served with homemade home "fries" .. Derek par-boiled potatoes (skin on for that extra fiber!), then tossed them with extra virgin olive oil and sautéed onions, then baked them until crispy .. So delicious. 

So those are some "outside the box" turkey leftover ideas for you!! Remember to watch your portion sizes as it's easy to overdo turkey dinners (I know I've got a pig out type of mindset when it comes to turkey dinners - it's deep-rooted from childhood!). Drink water between bites to help fill you up. Measure out everything and track it! You know I love My Fitness Pal! And make plans to exercise, even a light walk will help burn off dinner. 

I hope you enjoy! I know we did :)