DIY Iced Coffee

I recently shared this video on instagram and why no one can figure out the recipes is beyond me hahahaha!


So since time lapse is so fast I thought I would share a quick post with the recipe.

Homemade Iced Coffee

1 cup Cold Brewed Coffee of choice (I used Hatch) = 17.5 calories

1/2 cup Almond Milk = 14 calories

1/2 tsp Agave Syrup = 8 calories, 2g sugar

Ice

Total= 39.5 calories (if I did the math correct hahaha)

This is 354ml as opposed to Tim’s 380ml which has 120 calories but is still a healthier option overall as the fast food place ones usually have saturated fats and such in them.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Essentially A Cook

Let me start by saying, I am in no way employed, paid to endorse or asked to promote the following product (I wish I was!).  All my posts are purely out of the goodness of my heart (aren’t you lucky?!).  I share things because they have been life changing (seriously this thing has been) or enhanced my life (it really has!) in some way and I think others could benefit form hearing my experience(s).

You may know that I am an awful cook (if you didn’t know, now you do).  I have good intentions and ideas but rarely do they turn out to be anything resembling what they should be (I can burn oatmeal).  I can however bake, oh can I bake, but that means someone has to eat said baked goods.

I have always been on a mission to learn to cook.  However, have never remotely come close to achieving this mission.  Until… the Instant Pot!  If you aren’t familiar with what the instant pot is, let me enlightening you.

The Instant Pot is a multi function small appliance.  It is first and for most, a pressure cooker.  But has the ability to be a slow cooker, yogurt maker and other things depending on your model of choice.  This post is all about the pressure cooker feature.

I, at first did not get all the hype of this little gadget and thought it was a waste of money, especially since I am missing a cooking gene.  But friends of mine convinced me to give this little pot a chance.

Enter the Instant Pot into my life.

I get this pot thing (seriously had no clue what I was getting myself into), open the box and am instantly intimidated.  So, I read online posts, join the Facebook group, scour Pinterest, do the “water test” (this is suggested to be done before starting to use it) and then I stood there.  I stared at this thing as if it would magically tell me how to use it or make me dinner.  I had no idea where to start!

 SIDE NOTE:

You should know another thing about me, I can go from “yay this is great” to “this is the worst thing ever” in about, oh, 2.2 seconds.

I instantly went into regret mode! Why did I waste my money on this thing?  I still can’t cook and this thing isn’t going to change that!  Now I’m stuck with this stupid thing, that I paid for and still have nothing for dinner!  The emotions were real.

But after a few deep breaths, help from a friend, let me tell you, once I got over the first hurdle of how the heck do I use this thing, wonderful things happened!  Things I never imagined could happen!  I CAN COOK!  Every meal I have made is edible (imagine that!).

Not only has this little pot that could, allowed me to make meals that I never dreamed I could make, it has saved me so much time!  Meals can be prepared in record time.  Would you believe it if I told you it cooks chicken breasts in 12 minutes?  Cause, it does! The Instant Pot is no joke and can help turn you into a cook, a time saver and meal prep-er (yeah I made that word up).  Honestly, if it can work for me, it can work for anybody.

Let me delight you with a list of some of the things that have been made all in my Instant Pot:

  • Chicken Fried Rice (which is basically a super good chicken, rice and veggie dish). Made this several times! SO GOOD!
  • Chicken Wings
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Let’s just say every part of the chicken I have cooked in the pot
  • Roast (pork and beef) with potatoes, veggies and gravy (yes all in the one pot) x 2 times
  • Sweet and Regular potatoes
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Cheesecake
  • Banana Bread
  • THE BEST meatballs and gravy x 3 times
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Potato Chilli x 5 times (yeah we like this one)
  • And More!

All these things were made fully in the Instant Pot (very little dishes to wash), with the help of the abundance of recipes I found online.  However, now I am at the point that I am starting to “wing” it and create my own recipes (Gasp!).  Something I never imagined in a million years possible (remember I’m missing the cooking gene).

The time and energy this thing has saved me is incredible.  So much so that I bought a second one (don’t judge)!  Yep, I am essentially a Pot Head (that’s what us obsessed with the Instant Pot are called).

Meet….

Not Essentially The Same

If you were like me, you probably thought that every bottle of essential oil was the same. I believed I could go into any store and buy an essential oil and reap the benefits.  How could an essential oil be bad for me?  How different can each company be?  Isn’t lavender, lavender?

Venturing into a healthy lifestyle can often times be daunting, frustrating, even upsetting to have to tell the good from the bad.  Many times people just give up completely.  So I am here to help!

First, let me start by telling you this… not all essential oils are the same!  In fact you might be buying and using ones that hold no benefits (maybe worse) and are really just a waste of money, but smell nice (that’s at least something).  There are many factors to consider when purchasing and using essential oils. Considerations such as how the oils are grown, cultivated, distilled and packaged.

But why is this important?  Because if you want the benefits an essential oil has to offer you don’t want it diluted in solvents or distilled to the point there is no volatile components left.  For instance, an essential oil bottle can be labeled as 100% Pure and only contain 5% essential oil! And if that 5% was distilled incorrectly (for the type of plant), there could be very little beneficial constituents left in that mere 5%.  So why bother huh?

But I don’t want to sit here and type out all the things you should want to look for in an essential oil, because lets face it, you wouldn’t sit at your screen and read it all.  So I am going to keep this short, peak your interest, encourage you to learn more and beseech (I have never used that word in my life, why not start now) you to contact me for more information.

Let me share with you personally, my continued knowledge to start you in the right direction.  I want to help you choose a brand of essential oils that will bring you all the great benefits they have to offer and to guide you through all their countless uses.  I will take the confusion away and get you started.

I am beginning this conversation and I hope you will continue it with me.

 

 

Essentially Gone

Essential oils first came into my life for one reason, to help alleviate/heal an old injury that resurfaced with vengeance.   After trying many alternative therapies (which I feel, have also contributed to my pain relief), it was suggested to me that I try essential oils.

Enter essential oils into my life…..

After feeling the relief that the essential oils were bringing me, I decided to read up on them.  Boy was I surprised at all I would learn.  The benefits of essential oils were mind blowing!  From pain relief, emotional support, calming benefits, house cleaning help, air purifying to skin rejuvenation, cold and flu prevention, the benefits are ENDLESS.

Through my reading, one thing really stuck in my mind, if you are really drawn to a scent you probably need it.

The body is an amazing thing and it uses so many avenues to tell you exactly what it needs.  For instance, if you are craving something to eat it is probably due to the fact that your body needs something from that nutrient.  Just like with essential oils, if you are drawn to a scent, your body may need what that oil can offer.

Today’s blog is to share my little story.

There once was an essential oil called, Wintergreen and this oil was one that the girl (me) used everyday.  But unlike the others, this one brought the girl an overwhelming sense of relief and joy.  Everyday, the girl would put on the oils, one by one, blend them into the area of issue and feel her pain dissipate.  Each and every time the girl opened this little bottle of wintergreen, she would want to pour it over her entire body.  The scent was just amazing to the girl!  The girl would literally wanted to eat it.  The End. (Should I publish this story?)

Up until I started to learn more about essential oils, I had no idea why I would have this reaction.  As I learned, Wintergreen is known for therapeutic actions of soothing, clearing, relieving and can support bones, muscles, joints and tendons.  NO WAY!  Reading this, learning that your body is attracted to scents it may need and relating it back to my main areas of concern, I was blown away. These oils are exactly what I needed.

Now onto my experiment.

Back story…

I am a severe headache/migraine sufferer.  Ever since I can remember (6 years old), I have been battling headaches.  I have used every drug I can imagine to try and alleviate them. In my search for healthier options I started to think about the essential oils that I am drawn too, such as, Wintergreen, Peppermint, Spearmint.  Go figure!  All the ones that are touted as helping with headaches, tension, circulation, soothing (just to name a few things).

Results…

For the past 3 weeks (or so) I have been avoiding all drugs (legal, come on folks!) and have been dousing myself in oils.  I am happy to report that only once has this not worked.  So far using essential oils, in conjunction with ice, has been helping my headaches ease and go away.  Hooray!  My headaches are, essentially gone.

So… are you sold yet?  If not, don’t worry, I have more stories to share, in due time.

 

 

New Title!

Well hello again!  It’s been a while (I seem to say that every time I post).  There has been some changes.  Let me bring you up to speed…

Sometime ago, I set out on a journey to remodel my life.  To one that surrounded me with positivity, strength and happiness and the void of too much negativity.  While this process will be never ending, ultimately I feel I’ve reached a point where I am able to maintain a life with a positive mind, happy heart and deal with the bumps in the road as they come.  Needless to say, I haven’t had much to write and share on this topic.

So instead of permanently deleting this blog, I’ve decided to change the title and start to share some of the amazing things I am learning to bring health and wellness into my life. Why hide these things from the world‽ (note: I am not discovering new things just things I, personally may not have know about before and you may not either so why not share)

Welcome to, Essentially Healthy and Fit a reboot of Remodeling My Life.  Here I will be sharing with you some of my passions and how they are bringing health and wellness into my life and maybe they can to yours too!

Life is about balance.  I try to eat healthy and clean but sometimes I eat a cone filled with cookie dough.  I try to use a reusable shopping bag but sometimes I forget and have to use the plastic ones.  I am here to share the things I do to bring a healthy option into my life to balance out the inevitable bad we are faced with daily.  Little changes here and there to a healthier option will only enhance your life in ways you never knew.

I am no expert and I am far from perfect but I am trying and having a ton of fun along the way!

I am essentially healthy and fit.

Grass Isn’t Always Greener On The Other Side

Hello, it’s me.  I was wondering if after all…. this time you would like to read my blog. Ok, who get’s that?  Anyways, it’s been a while since I last wrote a blog post.  Life has been busy!  Life has been great!  Life has been challenging!  I hope to be able to write more in the coming weeks, as my journey in remodeling my life is forever ongoing.  So for now, here is a new post for you to enjoy.

I saw sometime online today.  Well, I see a lot online, but this one thing got me thinking.  It was of a man standing in a yard.  The grass he was standing on was grey and bleak.  On the other side of the fence, was a yard that was green and bright!  The kind that so many people wish for.  So, the man climbs the fence to get to this greener grass, only to have that green grass turn grey and the grass he was standing on turned green.  The man then climbs back to where he originally came from and, guess what?!  The grass, yet again, turns dull.

These days, people will often say to me, “you are so positive”, “I wish I had your strength” or “you inspire me” and I often wish I could convey to people that they too can have the ‘greener grass’.  They can take their lives by the reins, become positive, strong and inspire themselves and others to be happy and healthy.

It took me a while to get to this place and it wasn’t easy.  I didn’t wake up one day and all was right in my life (it still isn’t ALL right).  Just as you can’t just ‘climb a fence’ and expect things to be different, especially if you continue doing things the same way.  I wake up everyday and work hard to always find a positive attitude and to move past the bad times.  For each of us, getting to a place where you are happy, feel positive and have strength to always push forward, is going to take time.  You’ll want to try different techniques and have a lot of patience to allow the changes to happen in your life.

I’m not saying that I don’t have bad days.  I still get many (many!) days that frustrate me, upset me and bring me down.  Let’s get that straight, because I’m sure many people who meet me think everything is all butterflies and rainbows in my life.  FAR from that!  I still have a lot of things happening in my life that require daily courage and strength to not break down and I still have bad days at work, at the gym and in my personal life.  But I choose to take these days as lessons.  Sure sometimes I go home and “give up”!  I just go to bed to put the day behind me.  But all these things are still pieces of my life that make it whole.  These are part of my process and make me stronger, happier and positive.

For me, my journey started at a time in my life when there was a lot of negativity and negative experiences happening.  It was dragging me down a path that I didn’t care to be on for long.  I decided to take some time and do something for myself, which led me to crossfit.  Little did I know that crossfit would be the thing that gave me the push, strength and courage to start a change.  Not only did crossfit make me feel better and healthier, but it made me happy.  That is when I knew I wanted more happiness in my life!

Knowing I didn’t want to always be under a cloud of negativity, I decided to work to make MY grass greener (I am loving this metaphor).  Along with continuing to work out, I read books and blogs on how to bring more positive change into my life, started journaling and writing blogs, talking (and listening) to people, signed up to receive newsletters and joined groups with life coaches and happiness gurus.  I slowly changed my path into one with more positivity, happiness and growth.  I was able to get off the path of sadness, anger and negativity.  In doing so, I have also learned how to better handle the roadblocks that still arise, every now and then.

Along my journey, I have learned more about myself and things that I enjoy and want in my life.  I want to help people, to realize they too can have this.  The grass isn’t greener on the other side.  I want people to know that if they care and maintain theirs, they can have the greenest lawn on the block!  Wishing your grass was greener or climbing the fence to try to get to better things isn’t going to work because your behaviors, habits and negativity will just follow you over.  We need to make a change our ‘our side of the fence’.

Maybe, one day I can become a life coach and help people as much as I have been helped along in my journey.  Until then, I will lead by example (through my actions and continued work on myself), since there are still of a lot of changes I can make and want to make.  Who knows, maybe along the way I will inspire a few people to find their strength to make a change to a more positive and happy life.

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Eating Right, Feeling Great!

Just over twenty-one days ago (and still going strong) I embarked on what has been one of the best journeys (after joining Crossfit) thus far, in remodeling my life. I started a new nutritional plan. Nutrition has always been a passion of mine but also has been the thing that gets put on the backburner. I would constantly say “ok, next week, I’ll start”, and then next week came and went. This cycle continued until now! Thanks to my Mother for making us jump right in! The day we decided to make this change, was the day we planned and started (we tend to go all in or nothing).

I’m going to call this a nutritional plan or dietary change, not a diet. The reasons for this is, first, when people look at me they immediately say “WHAT!? Why are YOU on a diet??” They just jump to the conclusion that I want to lose weight (I’m actually trying to gain weight in the form of muscle). Second, I want everyone to feel that they too can try this plan and succeed. Diets scare people into thinking it will be hard, bland, boring and that they will be hungry. But this nutritional plan is far from that! And I’m excited to share some information and results with you.

As you probably have read in my previous blog, I am following the Bad Ass Body Diet, by Christmas Abbott. I encourage anyone interested in really learning about this dietary change to read her book, but for now, I am going to tell you about my experience and what has made this change in my nutritional habits easy.

I’m writing this post twenty-six days after we started. The first stage of this program is to do a “21-day detox”. What that entails is that you follow the program for 21-days with no “cheats”. The reason for this is you are working to reprogram your body, habits and lifestyle and that doesn’t just happen overnight. Committing to the 21-day detox program is a HUGE step into changing your dietary habits, for good.

Now, you hear detox and are probably are worried. A lot of detoxes have some pretty bad side effects such as headaches, flu like symptoms and skin breakouts. But this “detox” program isn’t like doing an intense one (such as a juice fast). However, everyone will be different but what I found in this program is when you eliminate something, you also have a healthy substitute to help you out. For me, I thought eliminating sugars (because I have an unhealthy obsession with it) from my diet would cause my body to rebel but I was able to use healthy fruits as my “sugar” for those times when I felt I needed it. This prevented a lot of those nasty detox side effects.

Some of my results include: INCREASED ENERGY! A BIG result! The energy boost I get from this program is unbelievable. I have been working with my naturopath for years to try improve my energy. I used to say, “If sleeping was an Olympic sport, I’d be a Gold medalist”. I would yawn constantly all day, even when I had a good nights sleep. Since being on this nutritional plan, I wake up and feel rested and I go through my busy day feeling energized.

The next thing I’ve noticed is my DIGESTION is better. I know I’m not the only one who constantly suffered from gas, bloating and gas-ie bubbles after eating (cue any yogurt commercial here). Well those days are gone! I have also noticed an IMPROVED APPEARANCE to my skin And what I’m sure you are all waiting to hear, I’ve gained weight! My goals in the weight department are to gain muscle weight and that I have, I PR’d my back squat by 10lbs to hit a whopping 120lbs (I currently weigh 105lbs and was 95lbs when I first started Crossfit). For those that are interested in losing weight, I can tell you, my Mother and few friends that are also doing this program have lost upwards of 10lbs (in the first and second week).

Now, how have I achieved this? Well first of all I read the book and was lucky to be able to attend Christmas’ seminar. Then I attacked this with my Mom! I am SO extremely lucky to have been able to do this with her. Not only because my Mom is pretty damn awesome, but because doing this with someone really did help. Being able to talk, plan and be accountable to someone, other then just yourself, helps more than you can imagine (and my Mom is really competitive and I couldn’t bear to tell her I had a candy, so I stayed strong).

Next, make a cheat sheet. Have a sheet in your kitchen, on your phone, in you car, everywhere! Have it list your proteins, carbs and fats and the amounts. You then basically pick a protein, carb and fat to make a “brick” and you have a meal! This is not meant to be complicated. If you are having a large meal you chose, lets says, three proteins, three carbs and three fats, to make three “bricks” and you have a decent sized meal (you do not go hungry on this plan). If you have a sheet with many of your options it makes it easy to put together a healthy meal and avoid grabbing something that isn’t healthy.

PLANNING! I cannot stress enough how this step is the most important part in the success of this nutritional plan. You have to plan and be prepared for your week. Many people will plan and prep all their food for the week on Sunday. Here is how we did it. Sunday we planned and purchased our food for the coming week’s snacks and lunches. We cooked up our meats and pre-portioned it, along with some of our fruits and veggies. Each night I will prep my breakfast and put together and pack my snacks and lunch for the following day. We decided to cook our dinners the night of, so that we got fresh, hot dinners instead of warmed up leftovers. Again, I cannot stress enough how planning and prepping is how you will succeed in this. I have also gained an extra 20 minutes each morning! Since everything is already packed and ready to go, I get to sit and enjoy my breakfast with the extra 20 minutes I’ve gained (and to think I hardly EVER even ate breakfast before this).

The weekends, for me, were the toughest. Sticking to the plan when you want to kick back with a bag of chips (or glass wine, in my Mother’s case) and watch a movie has proven to be the most difficult part for me. But when you are feeling great and seeing results, you continue forward. And after the 21 day detox you can add in a few “treats” to help get through the weekends.

I know this sounds like a lot, but I can honestly say that it has been so much easier then I could ever have imagined. Getting into the swing of things took only a few days and the way I feel now, is so worth it. Eating clean and right will make anyone feel like a million bucks. So grab a family member, a friend, or ME and plan your first week! You will not be disappointed!

This was our very first Sunday of planning and prepping 

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