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Mental Health is just as important.

Do you struggle with achieving goals? read here.

Today I want to talk about mental health. It’s been a real struggle for me and to those I love and care about. I bring this up because it is the reason why I have been away for so long. It was too easy for me to feel alone in the world and I had felt like it was all collapsing down on me all at once. Yet, it wasn’t…

I won’t go into much detail about why and how I came about having mental disorders, lets just say I have a “disease” that causes me to really lose myself deep into my own mind. I felt like I couldn’t be heard no matter how hard I yelled and couldn’t be felt no matter how far I reached. It’s a real struggle to juggle all these emotions when your trying to become a better person. Being healthy is so important but if your mind is sick.. All I can say is GOOD LUCK with that….

Trying to have a healthy body when your mind is so out of order is like trying to make a dead horse run. It’s not gonna happen. You need to take a step back and find a new horse and get back into the race… When I say horse I really mean lifestyle and environment. They go hand in hand like good old PB&J. you can’t have one without the other being directly influenced.

If you aren’t achieving your goals, change your mindset! Become a winner and stop blaming others for your problems. Even if it is on them! Be the better person! Be awesome! Take what you’ve learned and use that knowledge! The only thing left after these steps is to accept help when you need it! Don’t be stubborn, it will only hurt you in the end. If you feel alone.. You are not! Accept the situation for what it is and get back on the horse or find a new one to ride!

Thank you for taking the time to read and I wish you all the best!

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Happiness is key, next to patience.

The past three days, I noticed something about myself. Something I probably wouldn’t of, had I not been alone. I was alone because Rachel flew out of town to be with her mother for a few days. During this time, I noticed a huge difference in how a behave and think when I’m with myself. It’s as if I’ve been relying on Rachel to be happy. I didn’t go out of my way to cook a decent meal, dropped my personal hygiene standards and went into a pretty dark thinking pattern. Just really put myself down. This change I noticed, is what I believe to be why I cheated my new lifestyle.

I just kept questioning if I was satisfied with the path I’m currently on and being pretty negative about it. Thought to myself that this page is a waste of time and that I’m just hanging onto false hope. Just a lot of negative thinking.

Really, that’s all it is though. Negative thinking.

It’s not like I was somebody on the verge of homelessness with nowhere to turn. I still have what’s important, a great girlfriend, next to free living and nothing to complain about.

I think my problem is that I expect good results too fast. Looking for that instant gratification. This is and I can’t stress it enough, my biggest hurdle to overcome. It’s what causes me to act impulsively and sometimes aggressively towards myself if I don’t get what I’m expecting.

My approach to dealing with this will be some intense self-talking and realistic weekly goals. I won’t be the healthy person I want to be in a week, but I can set goals. The first goal may be to replace all liquid intake with water for the first week, just giving myself small challenges to accomplish.

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Get back on the horse!

Today I cheated myself out of health. Here’s my outlook on it.

Today I found myself breaking the promise I made when I started this blog. I binged away and over ate very unhealthy foods. Why would I be telling you this? I think it’s important for anybody to understand that I’m only human and that it’s okay to mess up. As long as I recognise  a mistake and chose to get back in motion.

Just because I over ate today, doesn’t change my willingness to become a healthier person. A moment of weakness is just a blur in this journey to health. When I reach my goals, I hope people can look back at this and see that it’s normal to have a hard time quitting the bad foods.

Some people don’t realise that a lot of unhealthy foods are incredibly addictive. Sugar alone is proven to to have similar affects to cocaine on the brain. We could even go on and on about how addictive MSG, a common replacement for salt, is. So when I walked by the pop fridge and all the salty snacks we stock in our store, instead of self-talking myself out of eating junk, I gave into that lesser way of thinking and said screw it.

As shameful as it is, I’m happy to share this moment of weakness so that I can make something good out of it in the future. Those of you who are struggling to become healthy individuals, don’t forget that you are only human and will always have the option of sticking to your goal! Get back on the horse! Win the race!

I’m not giving up simply because I made a mistake. I know my goals are still realistic and that I just need to stick with it. Eventually, it will get easier and I won’t have the cravings that struck me today. Those of you who are struggling with me, take a step back and read about a small change you can make today to get back on the horse.

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Diets. Diets. Diets.

Read about how to chose the right diet for you.

Since starting this page, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the subject of what is a healthy lifestyle. If you are doing the same as me, you’ve seen the massive over-load of very contradicting expert sources. One weight-loss guru will say avoid following any rule based diets, then the next guru tells you about his amazing new dieting plan that you should follow to lose 30 pounds in just a short period of time. What these guys don’t want you to know is that they are making bank when they provide you with this information, true or false. So instead of reading all the “proof” they have backing their diets, it’s best to just try it out. You can spend hours researching what diet is best and in the end, all you find is an endless hole of constant arguments between the promoters of these diets.

So here’s my plan. I’m simply going to pick a random diet, take it seriously, and tell you about the results. I will take measurements of my body and posts weekly updates. This way, if you are stuck on what diet to chose from, you can see what works and what doesn’t!

A quick search brings thousands of different options to the table. You could go with Atkins, 80/10/10, the 4 day diet and so many others that you can’t know whats going to work unless you actually try them out. As far as I’m concerned, diets are like shoes. They will fulfil their intended purpose, you just need to pick the one best suited for your style.

Most of the time, these diets are successfully promoted because they actually helped people lose weight. Atkins would not have the name recognition it has today unless it actually helped people. So I’m not going to break my back trying to find a diet to follow, I’m simply going to put one to the test. I found quite a long list here. Sifting through it quickly I found this diet to be the one I am most confident in being able to follow.

I chose the caveman diet because of it’s simplicity. Look it up real quick and you’ll find tons of information supporting it’s claims. Though, common sense says it’s really impossible to have the diet they had in Palaeolithic times, but we have enough good food around to get as close as possible to a true caveman diet.

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A deliciously healthy supper!

If you read this post here, you know that we actually run a fast-food restaurant. This means that we need some real willpower to keep up this new project of ours. It’s hard to not eat fattening food if it’s in your face most of the day! Everyday I constantly remind myself of my goals. It can be difficult, but luckily there are ways to cope! The method that has proven to be efficient for me is to plan meals. Give yourself something to look forward to. Take yourself over to Google and find a delicious and healthy looking recipe!

The first night me and Rachel decided to  take up a healthier lifestyle, we agreed on a set of rules. We are to stop over eating, eating food from our restaurant, we must exercise everyday and also cook homemade healthy meals. Thus far, we have been sticking to the plan! Our first meal was a rice based simple to make recipe. You can read it here!

My outlook so far on this journey.

One thing I’ve really enjoyed about eating healthier is that you feel a change right away! It only takes a few days before you start feeling different. Going from always heavy and bloated to light and full of energy. I used to rather stay inside and play my PS4 for hours, but these past few days I barely looked at the game. I’ve actually done something with myself instead of feeling over stuffed and out of breath.

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Small changes, big results!

What can I tell you in one post, that would guarantee you start losing weight within just a few weeks?

What can you do right now to lose weight? What can I tell you in one post, that would guarantee you start losing weight within just a few weeks? It’s a very powerful tip I read in the past but I find not many people touch on in fitness/work out videos too often. Even though it’s important if you want a healthy body.

Have you ever switched up your diet to something that seemed healthier, but in the end, did nothing for you? You went from eating Big Macs and  KD to a Palaeolithic diet, or from eating canned/boxed food to healthy leafy greens, yet still managed to feel unfit and sluggish? I can give you a good guess on what you may have missed. This is something I’ve changed in my life before and it is a change I need to make again. Cutting out dairy and all syrup based juices! 

When I lived at my mother’s a few years back, she had read about dairy and why we should drink it. Her short lived study had proven that we should not drink cows milk, or any other of the sort! It really has no value to you once you’ve grown out of your toddler years and that’s talking about your mothers breast-milk. Cow’s milk never did anything for you. It is something to stay away from if you are going to reach those health goals! I remember the first month she decided to cut out all dairy based drinks in our home. I lost 10 pounds! Just by quitting the cow!

What about calcium?

Do you think cows milk is the only place to get calcium? It has been a long running myth that drinking milk is a good way to get your daily value. Just look at this list of 18 alternatives to help feed your healthy mind. I’ve already decided to cut milk from my diet, since I’ve experienced the health benefits of this choice before. Soy milk is actually on that list and it really isn’t a bad flavour. I personally don’t drink it, but it’s a good alternative to using real milk in recipes!

What should I drink then?

Anything you want, keeping in mind a few rules! I love drinking those syrup based juices you mix in from the can, but obviously they are loaded with sugar! So rule one is pretty point blank obvious. Nothing with loads of added sugar and nothing dairy based! That’s it. Just don’t think you can switch sugar for sweeteners. If you are online frequently, you should already know how terrible these are for you. Tons of articles and studies done to prove that statement.

So what are some good drinks that are still going to satisfy a sweet tooth? Well lucky for you Rachel has become a bit of a tea addict over time and has tweaked on a few recipes in the past to bring you a great template to follow! Click here for a great Iced Tea recipe that uses just a touch of honey for sweetening, and lets healthy ingredients do the rest. Use this recipe as a guide. Change it up and play around with the ingredients! If you make something new and exiting, share it on our Facebook page!

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Healthy morning = Healthy day

Best way to build momentum is to push as hard as you can, the soonest you can. First thing in the morning!

Everyday, since the first post, I have started making small positive changes towards a healthy lifestyle using baby steps! I decided to use this mentality to tackle my poor habit of having an unhealthy breakfast or even none at all! This way I will promote a healthier morning, which to me, means a healthier day! If I build that momentum first thing when I wake up, it should be easy to stick with it from AM to PM. So this is the first step. Building a healthy foundation everyday so that I can live in a healthy temple.

So what does all this mean for you, the reader?

Well, I hope that you can take what I’m writing here and apply it to yourself! Do you wake up to late and never eat a decent morning meal? That’s a problem if you want to be healthy! Being healthy is simple. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it is simple!

It’s simple to wake up and it is simple to make yourself some good breakfast. You just need to do it! Fight the urge to put your head back into the pillow because that extra hour or twenty minutes won’t do anything for you except make you groggy. If you open your eyes and chose to keep them open, you are agreeing with your brain that now is the time to wake up. If you fight against it, it will get confused and make you more tired so that you can get it your way and fall back asleep! Just listen to your body! If it wakes up, that means you are ready to wake up! Listen!

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I’m willing to bet that if you take my advice and actually listen to your body. Then your body will listen in return to help you achieve your goals. You need good health? Your body will listen and guide you to it. Just stop going against it! I noticed that when I simply listened to my brain to wake up, I had an easier day. I was less grumpy and tired. I didn’t need to take a nap. I was just all around better! It’s a real eye opener. So stop going against the very thing that wants exactly what you want!

So where do you start? How do you work towards a healthier morning?

You start exactly when you literally have no choice but to. First thing in the morning when your eyes open up! Don’t lay your head back! Sit up and get ready! Make yourself something decent to eat and get going! Trust me, you will be a happier person through out the day. You will handle daily stress 10x better. Just wake up instead of taking extra time to sleep. You can find countless studies that say, 20 extra minutes does nothing for you. They even tell you that if you go back to bed instead waking up, you are going to be groggy and tired during the day! So do yourself a favour and pull up your socks!

I’ll leave this one at that so that you can go do your own research on waking up and really understand its importance. The benefits of fighting morning bed-gravity are well proven and if this isn’t a change you are going to make, you are going to be let down when you haven’t reached those health goals. Listen to your body, and it will guide you to health.

No ideas for a healthy breakfast? We got you covered.

Rachel is completely obsessed with this recipe. It’s really simple to make and I personally really enjoy this as well. Try it out!

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How I plan to start my health effort. (and how you could to)

How do you take the first steps? Where do you start?

If you read the last post, you are familiar with a list of bad habits keeping me from becoming the healthy person I want to be. Which I believe anybody can relate to. We all have bad habits getting in the way of some sort of goal or desire. We all have obstacles to overcome and I hope that from seeing me shed these poor routines, you can feel confident in your ability to do the same! Like I said in my last post, I’m just a regular guy and if I, of all people, can find the motivation to make a change…ANYBODY CAN!

So where do I start? What habit do I tackle first? What do I do in order to start being healthier?

These are question I found myself asking. A lot of the time, asking these questions lead to me giving up because I had no clue! I wasn’t an expert or some personal trainer(obviously). I over-thought my issues and made such a big deal out of them, instead of just using some common sense… Luckily I have gone through some events that now allow me to see the bigger picture and to tap into the magical world of common sense.

Being healthy is simple, BUT that doesn’t mean it’s easy. So let me tell you my game plan. First thing’s first, where do I start? Some people get caught up on this one and fall into something called analysis-paralysis(cartoon on the bottom is a great example). They spend so much time doing research on how to solve the issue, that they never actually solve the problem or get anything done. They get this overload of info and can’t get a clear view on what to actually do. So let’s skip this step entirely and just use COMMON SENSE.

analysis-paralysis

NOW… what is common sense telling me?

Well, I have a list of bad habit. Which means, if I want to be healthy, they need to be exchanged for better ones. This is where it may be tricky for some people… Which bad habit should I change first? What is the priority? Well… I don’t know. I personally don’t think it matters where you start. Commons sense tells me that if I continue to ask questions instead of simply making a change, I’ll just continue asking questions. It’s time to get out of my head, and onto my feet! So that is what I’m going to do! My game plan is simple. All it is, is to start making changes!

Since I have a long list of habits to chose from, why not start with one habit most people can relate to? Waking up and eating breakfast! I don’t know why this is so hard, but I really suck at waking up in the morning. If I say I’m going to wake up at 7 am, you can bet your ass I’m waking up at nine. Never fails, and even if I do wake up early, it doesn’t mean I am going to eat breakfast. I can’t even remember the last time I woke up and actually prepared a decent morning meal. So these are two habits I plan on tackling first.

I don’t want to overload you with more words, so take in what you just read about picking your fights and don’t over think the issue. Just do it instead of thinking about it. It really is that simple.

Check in tomorrow evening! I will be dissecting the first steps I took to a better me.

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Before and After: The Beginning of our Health Effort

Get to know what our goals are. Why we are doing this.

This is the first post of a very informative case study into my, and my wonderful partner’s health journey. We say “Health” instead of “weight loss” for a specific reason and we’ll get into that later. Let me and my partner introduce ourselves first.

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My name is Gavin, Canadian born and Canadian I’ve lived for the past 21 years… nothing really extraordinary. Just your average guy with common goals, many of which I’m hoping you share! You’ll get to be more familiar with me as the blog grows and I continue to post new content… Now, to my earlier mentioned partner….

Hello! My name is Rachel and like Gavin, I’m also Canadian born and raised. I’m very easy going and just trying to make the absolute best of things. I’m so exited to see the turnout of this page and really hope that we can help you solve mutual problems that we face in our everyday lives.

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Like I said, this is going to be a “Health” journey. I don’t like the term weight-loss because it doesn’t exactly mean getting healthy. It only means becoming thinner and that’s not the goal. Getting skinny can be done in so many ways, healthy and unhealthy, that it really isn’t a good “concrete” sign of success when it comes to your health and well being.

Our goal, and likely also your goal, is to become a healthy and active person. To feel and be attractive instead of groggy and insecure. We have so many bad habits right now that I’m sure there will be some sort of common ground between us and anybody reading this blog. To be more specific, here is a list of everything in our lives that needs to change in order for us to lead Healthy lives:

Sleep…..We have an issues with going to bed at a reasonable hour.

Waking Up…..We want to wake up earlier, so that we can be more aware and productive during the mornings. (over sleeping actually causes grogginess)

Being Active…..We don’t really do a whole lot of active stuff. Definitely something we need to change if we want to be healthy.

Dirty House…..We aren’t hoarders, but we definitely need a system to keep our house clean. It’s easier to be upset and unwell when your house is in complete disorder.

Junk Food…..We actually run a confectionery/fast food store, so you can imaging the will power needed for us to keep away from junk. The worse part is that the store is attached to our home! We literally have 24/7 access to crap.

Over Eating…..I don’t think this one needs explaining… I have an issue with eating until I hate myself, and it really needs to just stop if I want to attempt getting healthy.

These are the main issues we need to confront, and I’m certain that if you found this page, you share one of these solvable problems. You could even comment which of these habits you need to change and help us find easy to implement solutions. You could even tell us about how you used to have these poor habits and what you did to overcome them!

So here it is… Before and After: the Beginning

Gavin's beforeRachel's before

As you can see, I’m a little deeper in the overweight pool than Rachel(she isn’t even close to being thick). Some would even say she’s crazy if she thinks she’s chubby, but no matter how hard I try and tell her she’s gorgeous, she still feels insecure about her body. So understand that even people who have an ideal body, may still be unhappy with themselves.

This is the beginning of our big health effort. Becoming comfortable in our own skin! We will post bi-weekly updates to keep track of ourselves so you can see how well we are doing based on the well documented changes we make in our daily routines.

The Paleo diet

Read about how I’m going to become a healthier me with the Paleo diet.

Of all diets out there, this ones seems like one I can see myself doing without too much effort. All it really aims for is cutting out all processed food or unnecessary additives like basic sugar or salt. Which is expected of anyone who wants to be healthy.

I plan on starting the caveman diet as of next Monday. We will clear out the fridge by Sunday, and then it’s off to a fresh start! This diet claims that it will make me much leaner than many other diets would, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see! I will post back about this subject on Monday the 28th. My starting measurements and what I have bought at the grocery store will be included in Monday’s update.

I think it’s important to set a goal. As of today, since I don’t have a scale, my goal will be measured by how well I feel, and measurements of my entire body in inches. I don’t like to use the scale, it doesn’t feel necessary. Health isn’t determined by weight, it’s determined by how well you feel and the energy you have to back it up. My goal starting Monday, will be to have more energy in the mornings and to stop feeling bloated. So far I have been feeling good, thanks to the healthier foods we’ve chosen since starting the blog. Though, I don’t feel as good as I want to yet. There’s still some snow to shovel under my skin. So hopefully this dietary choice gives me that extra kick I need during the days.

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Avocado & Egg Toast

Very good for mornings! Very light breakfast. Precook the eggs and this could be made very quickly in the mornings.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Avocado
  • Mayonnaise or Humus (Hummus being the healthier choice)
  • Any bread of your choice
  • pepper (optional)

How to put it all together:

  1. Make your hard boiled eggs (a quick search will teach you how to do this)
  2. While your eggs are boiling, toasts two slices of bread
  3. Spread your mayo, humus or butter on both slices
  4. Slice your avocado and place evenly all over your toast
  5. once you eggs are cooked, slice them and place them evenly on the toast as well
  6. You can add pepper for taste, completely optional

Make it your own by changing it up! Make a sandwich out of it! Anything you seem fit!