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Post Partum Positivity

Carrying babies is seriously amazing right? It comes with a whirlwind of highs, lows and changes. Some changes are controllable and some, not so much. This means as women and as moms, we need to be able to acknowledge the changes in our lives and bodies and find the best way to be happy about it.

It means not comparing yourself to Sally. Sally has different priorities. A different body. Different kids. A different home. It means learning to love where YOU are at. It means loving the process and appreciating what your body has created.

For most of us, finding post partum happiness, means deciding what bring you the most joy and prioritizing that. What makes you feel like your best self and sacrificing A because B brings us more joy. You might be a superhero and have it figured out with no sacrifice and that is AMAZING. I am SO proud of you. With one baby, I felt like I had everything 100% how I needed it without sacrifice. With 2 kids, I had some bad days and decided I needed to let shit go. I needed to make some sacrifices. So I did and I’m happy. Not every day goes well…honestly most are still a sleepless shit show while we all adjust to the change. But I choose happy. I choose what serves us best in that moment, for that day.

For me….that’s letting go of a spotless house for me time and workouts. I don’t nap when my kids nap. I workout. I shower. I sit in silence with a glass of wine and yes, sometimes…I clean. It also meant letting go of being the ‘perfect’ mom. I’ve now been caught with a screaming toddler dangling from my hand and a newborn in my arms….in public. I’ve now said fuck it and left events after meltdowns because seriously….fuck it, it’s not serving anyone in that moment πŸ˜‚ We’ve stayed in PJs all day because it just wasn’t happening. I’ve cried on the floor in the middle of the day because everything went to shit that morning and it wasn’t even 1030am. It allowed me to laugh at my self that evening. I’ve opened a bottle of wine before noon. I’ve used YouTube to entertain my little monster because I couldn’t do another 5 minutes in the car being yelled at. At the end of the day….I ‘caved’ and did so many things I never planned because in that moment…it helped my day and prevented me from feeling depressed, angry, frustrated etc. In that moment I chose to go for happy, not even for myself but for all of us. It helps me be patient with my kids. It helps me laugh off the bullshit.

So…how do you choose happy?

Prioritize what’s important to you. Stick with those points. Let go of the rest.

For me… (really in no specific order but my personal priorities first, mom second)

  • Fitness/feeling strong and good in my skin/self care
  • Alone time
  • Caring for/loving on my hubby
  • Getting outside
  • Being organized

Mom priorities:

  • My kids are hugged/kissed/feeling loved the shit out of
  • Healthy meals
  • Routine
  • Socializing/activities/exercise
  • Fun fun fun and development

Wife priorities:

  • My husband feels loved and cared for
  • When he’s home/working his lunches are made, his dinner is hot when he gets home
  • His needs are met πŸ˜‰
  • We have fun together

I seriously think those are all my priorities. Nothing outside of that matters on a bad/hard day. Having this list allows me to focus on what I CAN do…even when I’m having a hard, shit day…this list is always attainable and is always met.

On good days, which happen pretty often, everything gets done. The house is clean, laundry is done, yard is cared for etc.. Having a plan for shit days makes all the difference to me. It helps make my shit days good, even though it felt like everything went wrong, I still cared for everyone, including myself and that is something to be proud of and happy for. Don’t neglect yourself. You deserve to feel good. Your family will feel it when your cup is empty. Fill that cup right up every day.

I get rid of things that don’t motivate me, encourage me or elevate me. It’s not worth it. It leaves you prone to wasting time and feeling bad because it didn’t happen today, or yesterday.

This also means you need to hold yourself accountable to your priorities. Hold yourself to what is important to you and make sure it happens when it is supposed to. You CAN do it and you’ll feel like shit if you don’t so set yourself up for success and JUST DOOO IT. Don’t blame your hormones or being ‘too busy’ because you can choose happy and you are in control of your to do list and priorities. You can override your hormones (I do it often right now) and you are in control of your body and mind. 🌹❀

Life is a marathon and you cannot win a marathon without putting some bandaids on your nipples. Bandaid up you beautiful babes πŸ‘ŠπŸΌβ€πŸ˜‚πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦

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Cellucation: cellulite education.

Ohhhhh Cellulite….according to studies 90% of women and 10% of men will get this at some point in their lives. Regardless of its frequency, we hate when it shows up. Cellulite appears when the layer of fat under the skin presses against the connective tissue and bulges. There are numerous causes of cellulite, some we can control and some we can’t. I get asked about the causes and ‘cures’ of cellulite all the time which is why I decided to write about it. It’s SO important to remember it’s normal, natural and nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by…it’s life 😊 That being said, a little education never hurts.

There are sooo many different ‘types’ and classifications of cellulite…I am going to explain two predominant ‘types’, hard and soft. Soft cellulite is soft, saggy and covers a larger area. It does not attach to the muscle making it move around more. It can be the result of lymphatic problems and can often be cold or clammy to touch. It is also usually with looser skin. On the plus side, it sits closer to the surface making it easier to treat. Hard cellulite is more concentrated and lives closer to the muscle. Hard cellulite is haaarder to see and treat as it sits deeper. Most of us have soft cellulite.

For me, hormonal changes during pregnancy gave me cellulite. Hormonal changes (especially a decline in estrogen) may contribute to changes in circulation and a reduction in collagen production. A thinner collagen layer, an increase in fat cells and change in blow flood can all create the appearance of cellulite.  This means that cellulite is also common around menopause as estrogen levels decrease Prolactin can also make cellulite more visible as it increases water retention in fat cells making them lumpier and larger. 

Prolonged sitting or inactivity can also cause cellulite. Decreased activity can change circulatory patterns in the body.

High levels of insulin increase the amount of fat your body produces in the form of triglycerides. Insulin sends the carbs to fat cells to be turned into these fatty acids and stored. So a high intake of carbs results in higher insulin levels and may create the appearance of cellulite.

Unfortunately ladies, some of it is in our make up. We have a higher risk of developing cellulite because our connective tissue and fat cells are arranged slightly different to men. I’ve attached a couple photos to demonstrate soft cellulite. It covers a large area around my hips. After pregnancy I noticed it in the front a little as well. I think this was largely due to water retention as it disappeared faster and easier than the rest. It’s mostly gone now but is still visible in the fatty area below my butt #2018goals. Right now I’m working on cleaning my diet after Christmas and bumping my total body water a little.

So we all want to know…how do I get rid of it?? Thankfully, there are tons of ways to reduce the appearance of cellulite. πŸ˜‰

Massage. A low, gentle pressure applied slowly over the area helps elongate the fascia and connective tissue. It can also improve circulation in the area. Get someone to massage the area, do it yourself or grab your foam roller. Dry brushing is another method to exfoliate and improve circulation.

Coffee scrub or wrap. I personally didn’t find this worked for me, but it definitely might for you! Caffeine stimulates blood and lymphatic flow to the area. It also exfoliates the skin. Coffee is rich in antioxidants which some think can penetrate the skin and boost collagen and elastin.

Balance your hormones. Paying attention to your diet, exercise, sleep and carbohydrates. These things may affect your hormone balance thus affecting the appearance of cellulite in your body. If you’re unsure of these things, see a health care professional.

Essential oils. The correct use of EOs can improve the activity of your lymph glands and improve circulation thus reducing the appearance of cellulite.

Change your diet. Monitor the amount of carbs you consume. By balancing your diet you can reduce the amount of fat that goes into storage. Drinking lots of water will also metabolize toxin buildup and hydrate connective tissue.

That’s the quick and dirty edition to cellulite education and helpful tools to reduce it’s appearance. πŸ’•πŸ’•

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Breaking through a plateau

If you’re regular with exercising there’s a good chance you’ve hit a plateau before. It can be anything from a stop in strength increase, weight loss, fat loss or CV measures. Plateaus can be SO FRUSTRATING! You’re doing everything right and seeing no change.  If that’s happening to you it may be time to change things up or spank the muscle πŸ˜‰πŸ‘‹

Studies suggest the body can adapt to a workout program anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks.

Why have I hit a plateau?

Theres a good chance you have been doing the right things, but its time to change it up. Your muscles/body has adapted to the current stresses you have been applying and it’s time for change and time to step things up a little. 

If you are training harder and exercising more than ever but have made no modifications to your diet, you may hit a plateau. In order for your muscles to properly recover and to grow, your body requires the right type and amount of calories to feed your body to promote changes.

Over training can also result in a plateau. Give different muscle groups a break now and then (between 48-72 hours depending on your goals) to encourage repair and growth. 

Don’t let a plateau get you down! There is a lot we can do to change the pattern.

How do I break through a plateau?

There are a few different ways to change your fitness routine. The most important part is change…something needs to change 😊

1. Add intensity. If your cardio is stale, add speed intervals or elevation (hiking is great). If your strength gains are slow/stopped, add supersets, pyramid sets or plyometric exercises to your routine.

2. Change your sets/reps. If you lift heavy with low reps and higher sets, try lower weight at higher reps for a couple worrkouts.

3. Cross train. If you’re used to only one style of training, throw some plyometric exercises into your run routine, or weight session etc. 

4. Change amount of rest during exercise. Incorporating a circuit or supersets into your routine can kick it up a notch.

5. Eat enough! If you’re unsure how many calories you should be eating for your activity level etc. ask me πŸ™‚ If you are working on losing your last 5-15 lbs (your vanity pounds), make sure your calorie deficit is no more than 500 calories. If your deficit is too high it triggers the body to release fat storing hormones and slows down your metabolism. Drink lots of water too 😊

6. Take days off. As a general rule, muscles need 48-72 hours to recover between workouts (depending on intensity/duration/type etc). Overtraining can lead to fatigue, reduced performance, disturbed sleep and more. 

7. Don’t lose your fire πŸ”₯ don’t let a plateau knock you down and effect your motivation. Let this plateau be a reminder of how far you’ve come and help you push further and harder. πŸ’ͺ

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Staying Fit While Pregnant

Pregnancy is an amazing experience. Your body goes through so many changes as you grow another human. That’s amazing guys. No matter where you look everyone has a different opinion on all things pregnancy and baby, including fitness.

I trained before I was pregnant, so why not during? Staying active has helped energize me, oxygenate my blood, and keep my weight gain within the guidelines which is around 30 lbs. A lot of women eat for two during pregnancy and shy away from exercise which won’t help the body bounce back postpartum.

It is important to maintain good fitness and diet now more than ever. Even if exercise is newer to you, don’t be afraid to find out how you can improve your fitness.

*please note, if you are starting a new exercise program that you check with your physician first.

Weight Training

img_2615If you were weight training before pregnancy, chances are it is safe for you to continue during pregnancy. In most cases, there are numerous benefits to weight training during pregnancy. Strengthening the core muscles will definitely help carry your extra baby weight, reducing the stress on the back. A strong core can also help during labour and postpartum. During any exercise remember to listen to your body, you’re training for maintenance now, not improvements. For the fit pregnancy, it is recommended you weight train 2-3 days a week, with a reduced intensity of 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

*note, if you are new to weight training (3 months or less) please reduce intensity further to 2 days a week and 1-2 sessions/week. Please also seek the advice of your physician.

Cardiovascular Training

This one I have been struggling with a little as my cardio is usually done outside, but there are lots of benefits to cardio during pregnancy also! For the fit pregnancy, it is recommended you engage in up to 30 minute sessions, 3-4 days a week. I like to stagger my walks/stairs/hikes with my weight training as my goal is to be active every day. Staggering these sessions gives the muscles a nice break too πŸ™‚ Remember, if you experience any discomfort, stop what you are doing and seek the advice of a physician. If you are new to exercise, reduce the intensity to 15 minute sessions, fewer times each week. Please reach out to me for more information on progressions.

Flexibility Training

If you’ve trained with me, you know how important I believe stretching is for everyone. During pregnancy stretching helps reduce muscle soreness after exercise and also helps reduce any muscular discomfort from pregnancy.Β img_2611

During exercise, it is important to care for your body, and LISTEN to your body. If something doesn’t feel good or right, don’t do it. If you’re unsure of modifications, ask first. It is also important to stay within intensity ranges, this includes target heart rate zones (Ill get more into this another day). If you’re unsure, please ask πŸ™‚ on average (fit 20-29 year old woman), the maximum heart rate is 160 bpm. This number decreases due to age and fitness level so be aware and honest of your abilities.

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Snow Day Home Workout

Hey everyone!

If you’re trapped inside during snowmageddon 2017, this workout is the perfect way to get moving inside. You don’t need any equipment, just a little bit of room πŸ™‚

You can do each exercise in a timed circuit, or perform each one for 3 sets, 12-15 reps πŸ™‚

please rememeber to warm up the body before beginnning this workout and check with your healthcare provider before begining new exeecises. Hillside Fitness is released of any liability.

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Motivation Monday…Where are you at?

Happy Monday friends!

I’ve decided to start partaking in motivation Monday as a place to get organized and jazzed for the week! With winter here daylight hours are short and we are slammed with holiday activities and festivities. It’s the easiest way to forget about our own wellness and fitness.

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So, the question is…what will motivate you each week?

A lot of the time, remembering why I care for my body is my best motivation. Sometimes this changes, but being clear on WHY keeps me accountable. Right now my why is to be healthy and balanced. This has changed after getting pregnant. My goal is to be the healthiest home for baby G as possible.

But what does it mean for you? Maybe you’re in the same boat as me, or maybe you have kids and you want to enjoy playing with them more. Or maybe it’s for the jeans hidden in the back of the closet you’d like to wear again. Whatever it may be….make sure you know what’s driving you to care for your body.

so now you know why, what’s going to get you there every workout?

  • Post your why somewhere visible to remind you
  • Plan your weeks workouts and post them in your house, or online for accountability
  • Set out your workout clothes the night before
  • Connect with others in the same boat
  • Do activities you love! If you don’t like going to the gym, go running or take on at home program etc.

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today”

-Jackson Brown

Lastly, the most importantly part, just get moving. Whether it’s 10 minutes or 60 minutes, you have to start somewhere and you have to start at some point. Instead of putting it off another day, just start NOW! You can do it 😊 Don’t cut yourself short.

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Winter Wellness Group

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I’ve started a new program and I want you to join me!

Core de Force is an MMA inspired fitness program you can do in your living room!

Don’t waste your time holding off for the new year to get started on better health and fitness.

WHAT DO YOU GET?

so much…

β€’10+ workouts you can do from anywhere, no equipment needed!

β€’simple to follow meal plan with yummy recipes like chicken pesto quesedillas, greek turkey burger and so much more!

β€’30 day supply of my favourite plant based SUPERFOOD shakes with a vegan option οΏ½

β€’30 day access to Beachbody on Demand where you can stream hundreds of workouts from yoga, to HIIT classes.

β€’the start to your healthiest year EVER! I’m loving my results so far and I know you will too!!

If you’re interested in joining me please shoot me a message or contact me here!!

Join me HERE

Im only a week in, but here is my 6 day progress!! Amazing right?!

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Self-love PracticesΒ 

Hey guys! SO you’ve probably seen/heard me mention my “Self-Love Practices” a few times lately. 

I think that these three practices are necessary on a daily basis. So, I’ll get right into it.

1. Gratitude. I have started a Gratitude Journal. Every morning when I wake up, I start the day with a grateful heart and write at least one thing (in point form) in my journal. Sometimes it’s something simple like the sunshine or the rain, other days its a little deeper than this. Either way, connecting with positive energy first thing in the morning, starts every day right. πŸ™‚

2. Personal Development. Read read read. I am not naturally a reader, however I have gotten in the habit of reading every morning and I’ve really grown to enjoy it! Every time I sit down with a book I learn something knew and my eyes are opened to a new concept or idea. Not only does this empower me, it improves my self-esteem. Pick a book that speaks to you and you’ll have no problem πŸ™‚

3. Physical Wellness. This doesn’t mean you have to crush a HIIT session or pump some weights…I mean you can, but that’s not what this is about. This is about listening to your body and treating it well πŸ™‚ Some days, I treat it to a yoga session, sometimes it is cardio, sometimes tabata, sometimes just a core workout and a walk…other times, I say fuck it and dance instead. The goal is to get moving every day, in whatever way your body wants and needs. 

Committing time each day  for these things, (ideally first thing in the morning) not only sets the day up for success, it starts each day with a happy, grateful Heart. I challenge you to try it, and share with me what you experience.  

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Online BootcampΒ 

It’s not too late to join us for our fall online Bootcamp and accountability group. If you’re looking for a little extra motivation and accountability let’s chat about how we can make that happen for you !! 

Bootcamp includes 30 minute workouts in the comfort of your own home,

Grocery list, meal plan and colour coded portion control containers,

Support from a kickass accountability group filled with like minded individuals

One on one support from yours truly 😊

Personal fitness program

Superfood shakes and a shaker

If you’re committed as I am to your own fitness goals, we can make them a reality πŸ‘ŒπŸ½πŸ’ͺ🏽

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Chocolate Protein PuddingΒ 

Ingredients
1 regular or box sugar-free, fat-free instant pudding chocolate

2 scoops protein powder (I used my Shakeology vegan chocolate) 

3 cups skim milk
(Sometimes I’ll use 1.5 c regular and .5 c chocolate milkπŸ™ˆπŸ˜‰)


Cooking directions

Place first three ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until starting to thicken

Pour into 6 dessert cups, or mini mason jars) 

Refrigerate until set

Garnish with fresh fruit or nuts