Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


50 Comments

Blogger Influence, Part 2.

So…remember that VLOG I posted a few weeks back?

If you didn’t catch it, I talked about how readers can be influenced by bloggers in terms of their exercise and eating habits. Not all healthy living bloggers really live up the the ‘healthy’ label, and some I would consider severely disordered. But I think that even with the bloggers that do have a healthy (or relatively healthy) relationship with food, we shouldn’t necessarily be trying to emulate what they do. Just because it works for them, doesn’t mean that you need to be doing the same thing.

(I thought about doing another VLOG – they’re quite fun! – but the boyfriend is passed out upstairs with the flu and I don’t want to wake him. So I’m writing it out, word-vomit style. Bear with me).

I was feeling inspired to discuss that topic because I had been feeling a little frustrated with myself. I’m sure we’ve all noticed the current blogger/healthy living trends going around:

  • heavy weights
  • paleo
  • ‘clean’ eating
  • low carb
  • cut abs/muscle tone
  • bodybuilding competitions – and emulating the physique that goes with that

And of course…I was feeling the influence. At the beginning of January, I mentioned a new nutrition plan I was going on. Why did I want to embark on it? Because my Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest feeds were being filled with shots of women with chiseled abs, toned muscles, and low body fat percentages.

 

Yup. First there was thinspo, which has now turned into ‘fitspo’.

While I never had the desire to look like a fitness model, I thought that maybe, my diet could use a little bit of tweaking so I could see some more muscle growth…and maybe some more ‘chiseling’ while I was at it.

So I bought a nutrition plan. Fairly typical of what you see in bodybuilding plans – high protein, high fat, low carb. Even from the beginning I had no intention of following it to a tee (I’m sorry, my body needs complex carbs more often than right before and right after workouts. And I need chocolate more than once a week), but I wanted to use it as a guide for altering my own habits a little bit.

 

So, that lasted all of two-three weeks. I realized that this plan was not working for my body at all – my digestion problems got worse (I looked like I was three months pregnant, I was bloating so much), my sugar cravings were all-encompassing, and even though I was eating enough calorically, my body felt like something was missing.

(source)

 

So I stopped the plan. And things have drastically improved. I went back to eating the way my body was guiding me to eat, and I feel better than I have in weeks.

So here’s my current plan: more carbs, less protein.

Yes – I kind of feel like I’m the only person saying this right now, but I’m adding more carbs to my diet and reducing my protein a bit. In January, I was eating something like 180 grams of protein daily – too much for my system. By focusing so much on protein and reducing my carb intake, I was definitely lacking fibre in my diet. Which, had some not-so-fun consequences.

So what am I doing now?

  • Cutting back on protein powders. I still find them versatile and delicious, but I’m trying to put more focus on whole foods and not relying on powders all the time. At one point, I was having upwards of 2.5-3 servings a day – too much.
  • Cutting back on stevia. Not because I think it’s contributing to my stomach issues, but because I’ve come too reliant on it. I add it to everything – even food I never bothered to sweeten before (oatmeal, plain Greek yogurt, etc.) Yes, it’s natural, but it doesn’t replace refined sugar, fruit, honey or maple syrup on my palate. Sometimes I need to reach for those too.
  • More carbs and fibre. I’m sorry, but our bodies NEED complex carbs, no matter who tries to tell you differently! So I’m going to be adding more grains, root veggies, high-fibre fruits, and beans.
  • And this has become a bit of a secret weapon:

DSCF3672

all I need is prune juice, and I will officially feel like an old lady.

DSCF3676

Yup. A fibre-y breakfast, several days a week.

DSCF3673

A serving with a sprinkle of granola, blueberries and almond milk with a side of eggs.

So how have I been feeling with these implemented changes?

SO.MUCH.BETTER.

My digestion feels regulated – which I don’t remember that ever happening in my life. My sugar cravings are back to manageable levels (as in, I’m no longer cravings sweets all day long), and I’m not crazy-bloated anymore. I’m no longer overthinking and planning each meal. Life is good. Smile

I’m not going to lie – I am really nervous to be posting this. I’m so aware and passionate about the influence of ‘healthy living’ bloggers and fitspo, that it’s difficult for me to admit that I got swept up in it myself.

But, we live and we learn, right? I do really enjoy weightlifting, so I am going to continue to do that. I love seeing watching my muscles grow and the feeling I get every time I hit a new PR. It gives me something to work for in the gym, which I find inspiring and motivating.

But do I have to look like these images that keep popping up? Absolutely not – and I’m making peace with that. I don’t have to look like them, I don’t have to eat like them, I don’t have to change my priorities or my habits to make myself look like them. I am wonderful without the six-pack and 12% body fat, thank you very much.

Every time I try to do something like this, it always leads me back to the same conclusion: my body knows what’s best for me. All I have to do is listen to it.

(source)

<— Confession time: Who’s been feeling  influenced by the ‘fitspo’ movement?

<— What are your feelings on stevia? I feel like it’s fine in moderation, but I’ve been stretching that definition lately.

<— Really, how wonderful are carbs? I’m definitely enjoying the upped amount right now. 😀


57 Comments

Rebellious.

So…I think I looked quite the part of a rebel when I was younger.

(and…time for the awkward high school pic).

200286_4710285893_5795_n

Yup…black hair (when this picture was taken, it was also purple, dark blue, and black/red throughout my high school years), really pale skin, lots of eyeliner, and way too much jewellery. I didn’t so much act the part (except the time in Grade 12 when I got suspended, but that’s neither here nor there), but I had the look down.

While I don’t really dress the part anymore (clearly, that’s a good thing…I’m better as a blonde) I’d like to think that I still haven’t lost that rebellious attitude.

We all read ‘healthy living’ and ‘diet’ tips…I read them religiously for years whenever I’d stumble across one. I don’t really do that anymore – they’re all the same, aren’t they?

They can have some good points and some habits that I try to stick too – eat mainly whole foods, whole wheat over white most of the time, eat as many colourful foods as possible…but some of their advice, I just can’t take seriously/have no interest in following.

So, I’m rebelling.  I remember most of the tips that I’ve come across in various points of my life…and I choose to ignore them.

1. Don’t keep treats in the house.

DSCF3500

(the current stash)

 

2. Never eat fast food.

DSCF1709

(Wendy’s burger last fall!)

 

3. Always plate your food. Never eat directly out of the container.

PicMonkey Collage

Peanut butter is best when eaten off a spoon.

4. Don’t eat complex carbs after lunch.

DSCF3512

(Last night’s dinner: chicken, rice and beans).

 

5. Go to bed a bit hungry. Don’t eat after 6 pm, 7 pm…or whatever random o’clock some people come up with.

DSCF3516

Last night’s yogurt, casein and cinnamon swirl peanut butter snack. For the record, I go to bed around eleven.

 

6. Wheat is the devil. Some people are intolerant, but everyone else should stop eating it too.

DSCF3507

Hello, bread and pasta.

 

7. Avoid refined sugar at all costs.

DSCF3503

Except I keep a big bag of it on the fridge. You never know when you need to bake some cookies.

 

8. Don’t eat processed food.

DSCF3486

Among the cereals and granola bars, I have sprinkles, vanilla wafers and a giant-ass box of Frosted Flakes. Win.

 

What I’m saying here is – don’t overthink it. And don’t think that you have to follow a set of someone else’s guidelines or ‘rules’ on how to eat. Eating chocolate when you want chocolate is really not the end of the world. Neither is eating fast food once in a while. Obviously, we should try to stick to mainly wholesome meals and snacks, but it doesn’t have to happen all the time.

Ate too much Superbowl weekend? Or had a bowl of ice cream just because it sounded good? It’s fine. You don’t have to ‘make up’ or punish yourself for anything.

You let your body make the decisions about what’s best for you and your eating habits, mmk?

<—What did you look/act/dress like in high school?

<—What’s your favourite diet rule to break? I’ve been a happier person since I started keeping a chocolate stash at all times.


35 Comments

Sunday Wine + Goal Talk-February.

Good morning! Who watched the Superbowl last night?

I…did not. The boyfriend and I don’t have cable and neither of us cared enough to venture somewhere to watch it. My parents have a get together every year, but considering that I’ll be making the trip to London Wednesday, it wasn’t worth it to me to make two back-and-forth trips in one week.

Thankfully though, there is Twitter. So I kept up on all the happenings (Alicia Keys was subpar! Beyonce was amazing! The lights went out! See? I know what went down).

And really, the Superbowl is kind of hilarious on Twitter. #justsayin

But back to yesterday.

Breakfast was one that I hadn’t had in a while…

DSCF3471

Yogurt bowl! (I promise, yogurt was in there somewhere).

2% Greek yogurt with cinnamon, a sliced banana, blueberries, Nature’s Path Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch Cereal, and peanut butter. Delicious.

It was a fairly typical Sunday for me – a little bit of work, catching up on TV from the week, and hitting up the gym for a little while.

Dinner

Remember those steaks I bought?

DSCF3476

Yea…those were amazing. With a simple side salad – delicious. And of course:

DSCF3479

Dessert = wine (well, dessert part 1. The ice cream came out later). I’m not a huge drinker, but a glass of wine on a Sunday night is amazing.

Especially when you’re drinking said wine while watching Downton Abbey and receiving a foot rub. That is pure perfection right there.

But let’s see how I did for my January goals, shall we?

January Goals

1. Blog Redesign.

All I really wanted to do right now was to change the header – done and done! I seriously will still click over to my blog sometimes just so I can look at the header…it’s so pretty. Seriously, Jenny is amazing. The next stage is to switch to self-hosting and do a complete redesign, which I’m hoping to do in the summer.

sam

so pretty!

2. Learn more about photography and my camera.

While I did (finally) pick up my camera manual and glance through it, I haven’t really put a lot of time and effort into really working on my camera skills. However, my pictures do turn out a lot better in natural light, so thankfully the days are starting to get a little bit longer. And my photography-loving dad just took a photography course a few weeks ago, so I’m going to bug him to tell me about what he’s picked up.

3. Follow my nutrition plan…in a way that works for me.

So, I haven’t mentioned this nutrition plan in a while. I purchased it when I bought my current workout program…and I haven’t talked about it since. Because I’m not really following it anymore. I’ve had a couple of realizations, one being that I realized I was feeling a little too influenced by some peoples eating styles/the photos popping up on my Instagram. To be addressed in a later post!

(source)

4. Remember to take my vitamins.

I actually have gotten way better with this one…because I started taking them all at once instead of taking half of them in the morning, and half at night. It didn’t seem to make a difference in how I digested them, so it seems to be working better for me.

Not bad at all!

February Goals

1. Work on my hip mobility.

I have pretty much the worst hips ever. As in, I can’t do an overhead squat – even without added weight. My hips are just so ridiculously tight! So I want to spend some time several times a week doing some hip stretches…half pigeon and I will become very close.

(source)

2. Try to keep an eye on my grocery budget.

Lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve been going over-budget on my groceries more than I need too. I’ve gotten bad with “hey, that’s on sale – into the cart it goes!” Not cool. So I want to reign it in a bit, and try not to go over budget at all this month.

 

3. Figure out a solution to my digestive issues.

While I don’t talk about it too much on the blog (I’m all about sharing, but really, it’s a little TMI for the internet), my digestive system does not work the way that it should. It never really has, but it’s gotten worse over the past few months. So I’m going to make some (minor) diet tweaks to see if I can find a way to solve it. If not, I’m going to start looking into fibre supplements to see if I can get everything working properly.

 

4. Not letting myself stress out too much.

School-wise, I have a lot on my plate right now. The way my semester is set up, I have a lot of weekly assignments that are eating up a lot of my time (as I’m sure I’ve complained about…often), while at the same time, I’m beginning work on my MA Thesis. While I recognize that I am in grad school and am therefore supposed to be busy, it’s overwhelming at times. I’m going to do my best not to let it get me down…or make me forget that there is life outside of school and blogging!

(source)

Hopefully this won’t happen too often..but I have nothing against the occasional stress-relieving bowl of ice cream. Smile with tongue out

 Here’s hoping for a good month. And I’m hoping that you have a wonderful Monday!

 

<— What are your goals for February?

<— Ever followed a meal plan? What did you think?

<— Do you think you spend too much on groceries? The plight of a foodie…