After popular demand, I’m back with ANOTHER Q+A!
This one’s a bit all over the place. No, I don’t mean it’s not structured & organized (I mean, have you met me? LAWL). What I mean is that the questions REALLY VARY, from all things food, recipes, health tips, beauty/skincare, personal stuff, YA KNOW.
Q: Is it hard to share my life & be so open on social media?
A: Yes & no. Let me explain.
NO, when it comes to the vlogging because, I’m literally just LIVING MY LIFE on a day-to-day basis & walking you guys through it with me. And I love the fact that I’ve gotten SO COMFORTABLE with you guys to the point where I am literally JUST MYSELF. Some people love me for it, others don’t. I get hate messages, but I also get beautiful supportive messages. I try to ignore the hate & let the love shine, BUT SOMETIMES IT’S HARD. I guess it comes with the package & with the choice to put myself out there on social media. Not everyone is going to like me or what I do & that’s something I have come to terms with & accepted as I’ve grown into this.
YES, when it comes to opening up about certain aspects of my life. Certain things were harder to open up about than others, such as grieving my mom’s passing, my eating disorder & all the disordered habits & behaviours I developed because of it. It’s a process. Opening up about my eating disorder was probably the HARDEST thing I ever had to do. BUT, a big part of my recovery was about just that. BREAKING DOWN WALLS. Those of you who know me & who are relatively close to me know that for the past few years of my life, I’ve literally been a brick wall & I’ve been VERY HARD TO CRACK.
Through therapy, I realized that a big part of why that wall existed was because I went through quite a few traumatic experiences in a very short amount of time. I felt I had reached a point where I couldn’t live through another, so I put the wall up to PROTECT myself.
Coming out about my experiences on social media & writing about them in blog posts, on Instagram & even talking about them with you guys (almost) face-to-face has probably been one of the most therapeutic things for me throughout recovery. It’s one thing to reflect on what you’ve been through & to acknowledge that it happened, but it’s a whole different ball game to sit in front of a computer screen & write about it until you have no more words or to sit in front of a phone screen & talk to the world about it.
I have to say that sharing my experiences with you guys has gotten EASIER with time & now, it’s become something I LIVE & BREATHE & WANT & NEED TO DO EVERYDAY. Part of this is because I’ve learned that being vulnerable doesn’t make me weak (despite the fact that that’s what ED would’ve wanted em to think). It makes me HUMAN. But, another part of it is because of YOU GUYS. YOUR LOVE. SUPPORT. LOYALTY. HONESTY. CARE. ENCOURAGEMENT. MOTIVATION. TRUST. All of those things helped BRING ME TO WHERE I AM TODAY & HELPED ME GROW INTO THE PERSON I GENUINELY BELIEVE I WAS ALWAYS MEANT TO BE. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. <3
Q: What brand of tahini do I use & do I use it like I would nut butter or is it more of a topping?
A: I use the organic fair-trade sesame tahini by Nuts To You Nut Butter Inc. I use it more in recipes than I do as a spread because I have more of a sweet tooth than a savoury tooth. So, if I’m going to use something as a spread, odds are it will be some sort of nut butter / healthier chocolate spread / homemade jam, topped with some fruit & cinnamon &/or hemp/flax/chia seeds! I’ll use tahini as a veggie dip sometimes, but otherwise, I rather incorporate it into recipes to add healthy fats & texture, such as dressings, pestos, spreads/dips, & baking recipes (if I want to cut some of the sweetness, if the other ingredients are very sweet).
Here are some ways I’ve used it in the past:
- Gluten-Free & Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Chickpea FALAFEL Muffin Cups
- Kelly’s Clean-Eating Vegan Kale & Tahini Spread
- Clean-Eating Yummy-AF Green Lentil, Spinach & Fresh Veggie Salad Tossed in a Beautiful Lemon, Tahini & Cumin Vinaigrette
- Kelly’s Clean-Eating Homemade Hummus That Changed Everything
- Gluten-Free, Vegan & Good-For-You (But You Can’t Tell) Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet
Q: How much carbs should you eat in a day?
A: First things first, carbs are your body’s MAIN SOURCE OF ENERGY & should actually make up the largest percentage of your daily calorie intake. To read all about why carbs are NOT THE ENEMY & to understand the distinction between “bad” carbs (refined grains, added sugars, etc.) & “good” carbs (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts & seeds), read my full blog post: Carbs Are Not The Enemy!
As you guys know, I don’t believe in charts or guidelines because I strongly believe that EVERYBODY is different & that every single one of our bodies’ needs vary based on our PERSONAL circumstances, situations & lifestyles (& even DAY-TO-DAY). Not only do your carbohydrate needs vary from day-to-day, but so does your intake overall. The reason I say this is because no two days will be identical. Some days you’ll be less active than others, while others you’ll be on-the-go constantly until the minute you hit your pillow at midnight. Some days you’ll be more stressed, others you’ll feel more relaxed. Some days, you’ll work out (& even get in two workouts), while other days you’ll take a rest day. All of these factors contribute to HOW MUCH FOOD & FUEL your body needs to sustain you through any & all those activities.
I also don’t believe in calorie counting for the same reasons & therefore, I cannot give you a precise number or percentage that I think works for me, or for anyone, for that matter. For me, it’s about listening to my body. But we’ll get to that shortly.
If we were to base ourselves on these guidelines or charts?
- Children & adults should consume 45-65% of their calorie intake as carbs (& at least 130g of carbs per day).
- Athletes / people who work out very often obviously need MORE carbs to replace muscle glycogen that is lost during intense physical activity. Some athletes need up to 70% of their calorie intake from carbs.
TBH, these guidelines don’t mean much to me (I’m not telling you to stop using them if they are something that you believe in, but I’m simply giving you my two cents). For starters, they don’t mean much to me because I don’t count my calories. Sure, they can serve as reference points to make sure that you aren’t eating BELOW the “recommended value” for carbohydrate intake, but I do not believe that they should serve as your standpoint, goal or mission when determining just how many carbs you need to eat in one day. I come from a place where I can tell you from first-hand experience that whether you suffer from a mental illness or eating disorder or not, focusing on numbers, measurements, amounts & quantities is unhealthy & detrimental to your overall mental stability.
I vouch for LISTENING TO YOUR BODY & feeding it carbs when it NEEDS THEM/ASKS YOU FOR THEM. How will you know? There are many signs & signals that your body can (& will) send you to let you know that you need to up your carb intake. LET ME EXPLAIN!
- When you don’t eat enough carbs, blood sugar levels can dip & cause headaches. Headaches from time to time is obviously normal, but having them EVERYDAY, especially if you know that you are consciously cutting your carbs, might be a sign that you’re lacking some some serious carb fuel.
- People who don’t get enough carbs often find themselves shivering. This is because when your body doesn’t get enough carbs, this can lead to low thyroid function, which in turn, makes it difficult to regulate internal body temperature.
- OKAY, this one’s kinda gross, but it’s true. When you don’t eat enough carbs, the body burns fat & protein for fuel by a process called ketosis. But… THE ISSUE is that using fat & protein for fuel can lead to bad-smelling breath.
- When you cut back on carbs, this often means that you’re cutting back on fibre too, and if you’re not substituting for that lack of fibre with fruits, veggies & other fibre-rich foods, odds are, your digestion won’t be on fleek. This can lead to GI issues, including bloating, constipation & indigestion.
- As I mentioned earlier, CARBS ARE THE BODY’S MAIN SOURCE OF FUEL & ENERGY. So, when your muscle stores of carbs are low, you might find yourself feeling lethargic, tired, weak & unable to sustain high-intensity workouts. This is why it is often recommended to eat carbs before (& after) a workout to fuel you during it but also to ensure the you replenish the energy lost to be in tip top shape to hit up your workout tomorrow
- Have you reached a plateau? A low-carb diet might be the issue because when you cut carbs, the liver will sometimes try to make up for it by producing sugar. The blood sugar rises, the pancreas secretes insulin, your fat-storing hormone, so you store fat instead of shedding it. ALSO, when you exercise really hard without giving your body enough carbs, your body basically has no choice but to turn to muscle to fuel the workouts. This means you’ll lose muscle & gain fat. Trust me, you want LEAN MUSCLE MASS to rev up your metabolism, not the opposite!
- ARE YOU ALWAYS HUNGRY? Most carbs are rich in fibre & as you know, fibre is FLLING AF. If you don’t compensate for the lack of carbs by eating other filling, nutritious healthy fats & foods, you might find you’re always looking for something to munch on.
- Just like the body, the brain also uses carbs for energy. If your brain isn’t getting the fuel it needs, you might be feeling sluggish, unable to focus/concentrate & moody.
- Are you constantly thinking about bread, pasta & other grainy stuff? Odds are, if you can’t get ’em off your mind, you ain’t getting enough of them!
- ARE YOU HANGRY ALL THE DAMN TIME? When you cut carbs, you may find you’re getting crabby & irritable more often. This is because your blood sugar levels are low. Carbs are also CRUCIAL for the body to produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical that’s produced in the brain. Less carbs MEANS LESS FEEL GOOD.
Q: Why did I decide to go back to school to follow a course in holistic nutrition?
A: A year or two ago, tell me I’d be going back to school today & I’d probably laugh in your face. I lived, loved & breathed the law (& I am definitely still passionate about it). I’m happy to say that I’m slowly easing my way back into the legal profession & practice.
BUT, throughout my journey towards recovery and adopting a healthier lifestyle, I genuinely feel like I have found my true calling and passion in health, wellness & nutrition. I have truly become passionate about using my experience in the most positive way & helping others live their healthiest & best lives.
I LITERALLY turned my life around (& survived my eating disorder) because I learned, recognized & acknowledged the VALUE & POWER of the combination of healthy, real, whole foods & achieving an optimal state of mental, emotional, social & intellectuel well-being and stability. Contrary to popular belief, real health is not only about what you eat, how much you exercise, how many supplements you take in a day, whether or not you use natural skincare products or how stress-free (or stress-full) you live your life. REAL HEALTH is achieved when all of those things are COMBINED and become a LIFESTYLE. This is where the term “holistic” comes in.
A Health Coach / Holistic Nutritionist is not a dietitian, a doctor or a nutritionist, per se. A health coach is a MENTOR who works with clients to help them feel their best through FOOD & LIFESTYLE CHANGES. A Health Coach doesn’t just prescribe ONE DIET or ONE WAY OF EXERCISING, but rather gets to know his or her clients and tailors individualized wellness programs to meet their needs. The result is that no one plan is identical to another.
I genuinely believe that this role is PERFECT for me as I’ve experienced, first hand, how POSSIBLE it is to literally make a complete 360 & change your life with nutrition, mental health & work/school/life balance. I can safely say I’ve lived at both my ROCK BOTTOM & now, AT MY HIGHEST HIGH. And there’s nothing more that I want than to educate myself even more & to use my experience to help you reach that peak too.
All this to say, the reason I’m embarking on this journey to become a holistic nutritionist / health coach is to HELP YOU HELP YOURSELF, to HELP YOU BE YOUR BEST YOU, to HELP YOU TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND, to HELP YOU GET OUT OF THE DIET MENTALITY, to HELP YOU SEE THE VALUE IN SHIFTING MINDSET & CHANGING YOUR LIFESTYLE, to HELP YOU FIND YOUR CONFIDENCE, SELF-ESTEEM & REACH AN OPTIMAL LEVEL OF SELF-LOVE.
Q: How much sea salt do I add to my lemon water & do I only drink it in the morning or throughout the day too?
A: I add a few pinches of sea salt. I don’t really mesure it & just kind of go “by the eye”! I only drink it in the morning & I do so first thing when I wake up. It’s totally okay & even great to drink it throughout the day if you want. Personally, I just find that it does an amazing job at waking up my system, giving me a boost of energy first thing in the morning & I have so many other beverages as part of my daily routine (such as: kombucha, smoothies, probiotics drinks & sometimes, matcha) that I wouldn’t even know where to fit in more lemon water, TBH!
Q: Did I have to stop exercising throughout recovery? If so, when was I allowed to get back into it?
First things first, I just want to start out by saying that it breaks my heart to hear & see that women & men are putting themselves through strenuous workouts that are putting so much strain on their already damaged bodies. What’s crazy is that deep down, they know they can’t do it and that their organs & their bodies can’t sustain them, but the ED is so much stronger. The fixation is on compensation & getting rid of whatever they’ve consumed. No matter how much they know it’s bad for them, they still do it. The same logic applies to starvation & purging. The victims know it’s bad, harmful & dangerous but they can’t seem to control it. I guess it’s heartbreaking for me to see now, in retrospect, because I know how impossible it seems to get out of it & how hopeless / helpless one feels when the ED takes over to that extent.
Let’s talk about my personal situation: My ED was never about the exercise. Yes, I always felt like I had to be on the go. In retrospect, I now know that it was a subconscious way for me to get rid of what I was consuming, even though it was very little. But for me, my ED was really about starvation & restriction. I didn’t step into the gym once when I was sick. The starvation & restriction had become such a routine & so easy for me that I really didn’t feel like I needed to compensate for anything, sadly. Moreover, I would NEVER have had the energy to get through a workout & I was honestly subconsciously afraid to try it because I didn’t know what would happen. I would go up & down the stairs & feel heart palpitations, as though I was about to pass out… so TBH, I can’t even imagine what a workout would’ve done to me or how it would’ve made me feel.
My treatment team often checked in with me to make sure I wasn’t working out. And, at one point, I had hit a plateau. I wasn’t gaining fast enough & it got to a point where my team decided that I had to start to limit my outings, so much as to stop going to the grocery store. What I didn’t realize that while small outings & errands weren’t actually exercise, they were activities that required MOVING & energy. I was on-the-go & burning what I was consuming, while the goal in recovery is literally to keep all the calories in (especially at the beginning).
ALL THIS TO ANSWER THE QUESTION: Yes, had I been exercising, I would’ve most certainly had to stop to optimize the weight gain & make it happen at a healthy & steady pace.
It was only when I really started putting on weight and more importantly, keeping it on, and when it was continuous & I wasn’t hitting plateaus, that my treatment team finally decided to allow me to go for walks (which was also a great way to help clear my mind) & slowly, to start reincorporating yoga! I was still very thin at the time, and when I look back, my physical appearance probably led some to believe that it still wasn’t healthy or safe for me to start working out, BUT I tried not to care what people thought. I was excited to get back into all of those things because I loved them & I felt like my illness had taken them away from me. And at the end of the day, the reason I was allowed to start getting back into it was because my blood results were showing that my organs were starting to function normally & that my blood levels were falling within the realm of “normal”. I felt healthy, energized & was not pushing or abusing myself. To me, empirical data & the way you feel is more important than how you look on the outside. So, while I may have still “looked sick”, inside, things were really looking up & that’s what really mattered. It encouraged me & showed me that I was getting my life back & taking back all the things anorexia took away from me.
When it comes to strenuous workouts, such as spinning, weight training, boot camp classes, cardio, boxing etc., I was only given the green light to start on July 4th (about 4 months ago). At that point, I was already about 5-6 months into recovery. My weight had stabilized. In retrospect, I look back & I was still SUPER THIN. I see such a difference in my strength & in my appearance in just FOUR MONTHS. It passes in a split second, but it’s crazy how much better I feel overall.
All this to say, although exercise wasn’t the fixation on which my ED was based, it was still something I was not allowed to do and that I only had the permission to reincorporate six months into recovery.
If you love working out, I wont’t lie, it will be hard to deal with & accept the fact that you can’t do it for some time. BUT IT’S TEMPORARY. It’s worth it & it’s something you must do to keep the weight on & gain your life back. Work on your health, your mental & emotional stability & you will get it back! You can’t exercise for all the benefits it brings (adrenaline, energy, happiness, mental stability, release etc.) if you’re not at a point where you’re physically able to sustain the exercise.
I’m proud & happy to say that only four months later, I’m committed AF and I get excited for my workouts. I don’t dread them. I want them.
Q: What are some good nut-free alternatives to nut butters in baking/recipes?
A: First things first, I’m going to be making a conscious effort to make some nut-free recipes & start giving nut-free alternatives in my recipes! Nut butters act as a “healthy gum” (as opposed to xanthan, or other binders/fillers used in packaged baked goods) to help hold & bind ingredients together in baking. They also add a lot of nutty delicious flavour, as well as healthy fats!
Speaking of fats, obtaining them from whole plant (real) foods, as opposed to solid fats (such as butter or margarine) or refined oils is obviously MUCH MORE NUTRITIOUS! Oils will generally be a healthier choice than butter or margarine because the fat content is obviously healthier & richer in nutrients. BUT, a lot of the time, the extraction & refining process to produce certain oils eliminates a lot of the nutrients, such as fibre, protein & minerals.
Subbing oils for nut / seed butters in baking is a great way to make sure you’re getting in all those important minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium & vitamin A, without neglecting the healthy fat content!
Some nut-free options that I would recommend are:
- Sunflower butter: Protein, vitamin E, magnesium & healthy fats!
- Hemp nut butter: Complete protein, amino acids, healthy fats!
I don’t know that apple sauce will give an equivalent result because it’s a lot more watery (especially when it’s made from just apples, which it should be) & I don’t know if it would act in the same way the nut butter would to hold everything together.
Q: Can I recommend any pasta sauce recipes (preferably meatless)?
A: HELL YES.
- Creamy-AF Gluten-Free & Vegan Garlic Almond Milk Fettuccine Tossed With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Fresh Chopped Cilantro
- Gluten-Free Spaghetti Primavera with Sautéed Onion, Bell Pepper, Mushrooms, Cauliflower & Ground Turkey Tossed in a Creamy-AF Homemade Marinara
- Gluten-Free Spaghetti with Sautéed Garlic, Sweet White Onion, Kale & Portobello Mushrooms in a Lemon-y Goat Cheese Sauce
- Kelly’s Healthy-AF Oven-Roasted Chunky & Creamy Cherry Tomato Sauce
- Gluten-Free Spaghetti in a Creamy Greek Yogurt, Avocado & Mushroom Sauce
- Homemade-From-Scratch Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce with Sautéed Garlic Rapini & Pan-Seared Flakey Cod
- Gluten-Free Fettucine with Fresh Organic Sweet Corn, Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes & Red Bell Pepper in a Roasted Garlic & Chive Ricotta & Maple Sauce
- Vegan, Gluten-Free & Nut-Free Lusciously-Creamy Cilantro & Parsley Pesto Pasta With Sautéed Mushrooms & Braised Cherry Tomatoes
- Vegan & Gluten-Free Creamy AF Pumpkin “Mac ‘n Cheese”
- Roasted Butternut Squash Mac & “Cheeze” with Tuna & Sautéed Spinach
- Best Ground Turkey Bolognese Ever (OKAY, this one has meat – OOOPS!)
Q: How to deal with bloating / indigestion / constipation in recovery or in general etc.?
A: This is something I’ve experienced first-hand for months on end, so Lord knows I’ve done a lot of research about it & have tons of tips & tricks down-packed. LITERALLY. If you want to read all about the tips & tricks that have worked for me to help get my digestion back on track & to help heal my gut, check out my full post HERE: My Tips & Tricks To Fight The Bloat!
Q: If I had to recommend products for acne-prone skin that’s more oily than dry, what would I recommend?
A: I could go on FOR DAYS. But my top 4 for oily acne-prone skin would be:
TONER: Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner is actually formulated for oily & acne-prone skin concerns. It melts from a gel to a water toner as it is massaged into the skin. It contains clay, which mattifies & reduces pores, as well as marshmallow & green tea to soothe & cool the signs of redness & sensitive skin. It also contains cucumber & witch hazel extracts which help tighten & tone the skin, and Manuka, black cumin & magnolia bark extracts, which are all super ANTIBACTERIAL. This is the crux of this baby – the antibacterial properties will help balance oily & problematic skin conditions & promote clearer, smoother complexion that doesn’t look overly shiny or oil.
UFO OIL: This is a quick-absorbing DRY OIL (Yes, you read right, DRY!) designed to clear congested pores, treat / prevent acne & smooth the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles for clearer / smoother skin. It contains medicinal ingredients, such as salicylic acid, which is a quick-drying oil that is used to clear acne & blackhead-causing buildup & CRAP (literally) from congested pores. Like the toner (which is part of the same line!), it also contains black cumin, as well as tea tree oil, which both help clear the skin + liquorice, which helps naturally brighten acne discolourations & spots to help even out your skin tone!
Since salicylic acid can potentially dry the skin, this oil also contains milk thistle & cucumber seed oil, both of which nourish the skin & smooth the appearance of the signs of aging, without leaving your skin feeling greasy or oily. Lastly, it contains chamomile & neroli, two ingredients which help soothe blemish-prone skin & redness. This oil literally disappears into your skin – YOU DON’T EVEN FEEL THAT IT’S AN OIL!
You can use this in place of a serum, apply it before your serum, or simply add a few drops to your moisturizer!
EGYPTIAN MAGIC: That whole debate about how you shouldn’t used oil-based products on acne / oily skin needs to end STAT. YOU GOTTA FIGHT OIL WITH OIL, GUYS. I’m telling you. IT WORKS. Basically, the logic behind this is that your skin won’t feel the need to produce MORE OIL if it’s already OILED THE EFF UP. If you dry out your skin with harsh products & don’t moisturize it, your skin will feel the need to OVER-PRODUCE MORE OIL to compensate for the dryness. The real problem when it comes to acne isn’t the oiliness, but rather BACTERIA combined with oil. Keeping bacteria away should be the GOAL. It’s easier said than done, especially with all the toxins in our environment but if you use the right products that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins & minerals, you will definitely see a difference!
Egyptian Magic is literally JUST THAT… it’s MAGIC. The ingredients are as natural as it gets (& there’s only six: honey, beeswax, olive oil, bee propolis, royal jelly & bee pollen) & it can definitely help improve acne & even acne scarring.
ROSEHIP OIL: OKAY, so I’ve done a whole blog post on this in the past, READ IT HERE: A Breakdown of All (Well, Most) of the Skincare Benefits of Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Oil a.k.a. A-Freaking-Miracle-&-a-Half-That-Will-Make-You-Glow-Sans-Making-a-Hole-in-Your-Wallet!
But, just in case you’re too lazy to read it…. reship oil delivers TONS of benefits for acne-prone skin that include essential fatty acids, which help boost healthy cell production & turnover, and may even help old acne scars & redness & hyper pigmentation disappear! The vitamin A that it contains is a natural antioxidant that helps reverse skin damage. It’s also all-natural & free of chemicals, sulphates, additives & fragrances. SO YOU KNOW IT’S THE GOOD STUFF. And the same logic mentioned above applies: FIGHT OIL WITH OIL.
Q: How do I have the time to fit everything from meal prep, exercise, work, vlogging, recipe & post writing, reading/research, self-care, chill the F out time etc. in JUST ONE DAY?
A: I agree, if you make a list of all the things I do in one day, it’s tough to think that anyone has enough to do all of that in one day, BUT IT’S POSSIBLE. I have the time. And so do you. I have the time, because I make it.
I’ve taken on a commitment to live a healthier lifestyle and yes, living that way is more demanding than taking the easy way out. It’s easier to get takeout & skip a workout and say I had long day. But, I chose not to do that. Again, there is no magic formula to having the time to do all these things. We all have the same amount of time. We are all human. It’s about what you decide to do with your time.
And yes, it’s also important to stop and relax. I don’t push myself beyond my limits. I have so much energy & I feel able to do everything I do. If I didn’t trust me when I say I wouldn’t do it. I’ve been in a really bad place where I didn’t not only not have the time to do things because I was a zombie in my bed but, I also didn’t have the desire or energy to do them.
For me, being able to fit everything I want to get done into my day is a product of good time management. I’m fortunate enough to have been able to develop this during law school & Bar school. One thing that I got into the habit of doing ever since then is making LISTS. I always divide my lists into two columns – things that must get done STAT, a.k.a. priorities & things that can wait until tomorrow. This has really allowed me to learn to prioritize, to manage my time & to be the most productive version of myself.
BTW, who agrees with me that checking things off a list is the best feeling in the world? LIKE HOW ACCOMPLISHED DO YOU FEEL? It keeps me accountable, makes me feel happy, successful & makes me realize that I do have the ability to get everything done as long as I find ways to balance my time, manage it properly & take breaks and chill when I have to.
And lastly, I’ll say that getting in proper nutrition & fuelling your body with the nutrients & energy it needs to sustain you to do everything you want to do in one day is KEY!
Q: How the hell do you get your butt to the gym in the first place?
A: This is one that comes back all the time. TBH, It’s not easy to get your butt to the gym. I’m always talking about how good a workout feels, how good it is for mental, emotional stability, to give you fuel to start your day & basically, all the pros that come with doing it. But, at the end of the day, you gotta get there first to let all of that good stuff happen. I strongly believe this is something we’ve all struggled with at some point in our lives. It’s not something that comes with ease or just happens overnight. It’s a process.
Like with all lifestyle choices & changes, there is NOT one magic answer or quick fix. It’s not about a formula. You have to take into account your OWN lifestyle & situation & see what works FOR YOU. Some of us have children, others don’t. Some of us are in relationships or married, others are not. Some of us have demanding jobs, some of us work two jobs & some of us don’t work at all. Some of us are in school, others are focusing on other aspects of their lives & don’t know how they could possibly fit in a workout.
BUT, take a sec to think about this: If you have to go do your nails, get a blow-dry or haircut, YOU FIND THE ITME, RIGHT? If you have to go grocery shopping, hit up an appointment, pay a visit to your doctor, therapist, dentist or dietitian, YOU FIND THE TIME, RIGHT? SO DO IT FOR YOUR WORKOUT. If you develop, recognize & realize the value in it & start to see all the good things working out can bring to your life, YOU WON’T EVER WANT TO STOP. Obviously, you can only start seeing the value in it & the goodness it brings to your life when you START DOING IT, so the beginning really is all about taking that leap of faith & that risk.
If there are two things you should keep in mind, especially when you’re just starting out, they are:
- Do not compare yourself to what others are doing, are capable of, what their schedules look like. Everyone is different. Everyone manages time differently. Everyone is living a different life. Everyone started somewhere. These are all things that you have to take into consideration when trying to fit gym into our routine. There are a million other things to fit into your life aside from your workouts & this is something you must be mindful of. Don’t use others as your standpoint or goal as to how much you have work out. Do what works for you and what works on your schedule.
- ALSO: If you shock your mind after being out of the game for six months or a year, or however long & suddenly you try to push yourself to hit the gym 5x a week, it won’t work. YOU NEED TO EASE INTO IT & INTO THE IDEA THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WILL BECOME PART OF YOUR LIFE. It just can’t happen overnight. It won’t happen mentally or physically… it’s just unhealthy for you to put that mental & physical strain on yourself. Let yourself ease into it. Be easy on yourself, your body, & mind. See it as something new that you are trying to incorporate into your life & take it with baby steps.
Not gonna lie… Getting there the first few times will be hard. If you can’t seem to find the motivation alone, find a gym buddy. This is something that helps motivate a lot of people. But, for some, they prefer to hit up the gym alone because it gives them me-time and is a way for them to disconnect.
All this to say, the first few times are legitimately a SUCK IT UP STICH, where you ave tgo say I am freaking going & THAT’S THAT. Eventually, it becomes commonplace, a habit, routinely & a way of life. Be patient & don’t try to do everything all at once. You will overwhelm yourself. And the truth is: as humans, when we overwhelm ourselves, we get turned off and that’s simply counterproductive.
Q: How do I sweeten my Greek yogurt (with the least amount of sugar possible) to counteract the bitterness?
A: I feel you, Greek yogurt can in fact be quite bitter (especially if you’re buying the original kind… & I hope you are, because the flavoured ones are often laden with added sugars (OFTEN HIDDEN… under the name of evaporated cane juice). A lot of the time, the “flavoured” part of it is ARTIFICIAL. So, the ingredients list will most often contain some artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners, that aren’t even really food TBH.
WORRY NOT… depending on your taste-buds, there are ways to sweeten your yogurt (NATURALLY) & with way less sugar, NO REFINED SUGARS and no bizarre or weird ingredients! How so?
- Healthy sugar substitutes, such as coconut sugar, pure organic maple syrup, stevia or raw organic (preferably local) unpasteurized honey! Read all about healthy sugar alternatives HERE: The Nitty-Gritty on Healthy Sugar Alternatives & Substitutes a.k.a. Nobody-Said-You-Couldn’t-Curb-Them-Sugar-Cravings-Just-Curb-‘Em-Wisely!
- Cacao powder!
- Homemade (or CLEAN store-bought) jam!
- Search “homemade jam” on the homepage for some recipe inspo!
- Homemade (or CLEAN store-bought) nut butters / chocolate spreads!
- Search “homemade almond butter”, “spread”, “cacao spread”, “healthy nutella” on the homepage for some recipe inspo!
- Pure organic vanilla extract!
- If you’re adding some sort of HEALTHY (please, stay away from the refined ones) granola, cereal or muesli, odds are it will contain some sort of natural sweetener/sugar alternative, which will help sweeten the overall BOWL OF DELICIOUSNESS!
- MASH UP some banana & mix it in with the yogurt (this will also add some creaminess!) or simply chop up some some banana & add it to the bowl! Any other fruit will also help NATURALLY sweeten as well!
Q: What’s the difference between Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides & their Marine Collagen?
A: The difference is the source. Collagen Peptides come from pasture-raised bovine hides (cattle or beef), whereas Marine Collagen Peptides come from fish (red snapper). The benefits are mainly the same. If you read my post all about collagen (HERE: Collagen Here, Collagen There, Collagen Everywhere: The Basics & Why You Should Add It To Your Daily Routine!), you’ll see the difference between sources of collagen (fish/chicken/beef). I go into a brief description of each. Some are better for hair, skin & nails, while others are better for joint pain & strength!
Q:Why do I use cinnamon so much?
A: Well, for starters, BECAUSE I AM FREAKING OBSESSED WITH IT.
But ALSO, lucky me… There are tons of health benefits! I go into them in a lot of my recipe posts that use it (simply search “cinnamon” & “benefits” on the homepage of my blog & tons of posts should come up!). Some of the benefits include (there are tons, but these are the most relevant to moi!):
- Good for brain health!
- Contains tons of antioxidants!
- Helps control blood sugar levels!
- Purifies the blood!
- Amazing source of iron, calcium & fibre!
Q: What’s the best time of the day to take your vitamins? Is it okay to take them all at once in a day?
A: I take my vitamins in the morning with my breakfast because some of them are better absorbed when taken with fats. They’re called fat-slouble vitamins, which means they dissolve in fats & oils. When absorbed with fats in the diet, they are stored in the body’s fatty tissue & then used. Some of them include: vitamin D & E.
Keep in mind that this is what works best for me! Try it out & see how you feel. Some people prefer to space it out. ALSO, if I do have an early morning workout scheduled very close to the time I have breaky, sometimes I’ll take my vitamins when I get home with my post-workout snack/protein shake to avoid any nausea during my workout (especially if it’s cardio / spinning / boxing!).
Q: How long does it really take for skincare products to work?
A: This definitely depends on the product & how your skin reacts to it. We are all different so there really isn’t a clear-cut answer.
Sometimes, there will be an adjustment period, when switching to a new product. Your skin might react by “purging” all the bad toxins & might get worse before it gets better.
Honestly, it takes time. You might feel like your skin is softer/brighter instantly if you try a new serum/moisturizer, but it will take at least a month (full cycle of skin-cell turnover) to really see if a product is WORKING & sometimes, even up to 2-3 months (especially for serums & eye creams).
You should always have reasonable expectations. Be patient & don’t expect results overnight.
IF YOU SEE THAT A PRODUCT IS CAUSING SEVERE BURNING / ITCHING / BREAKOUTS that seem like more than just an “adjustment”, I would stop using it.
Q: Any good soup recipes for the cold winter months?
- Kelly’s Silky Smooth Vegan & Gluten-Free Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Vegan Coconut Lemongrass Thai Soup
- Kelly’s Vegan Tomato Red Cabbage Soup\
- Vegan Warm & Hearty Best Ever Sprouted Green Lentil Soup
- Kelly’s Clean-Eating Vegan & Gluten-Free Spiced-AF Carrot Soup
- Kelly’s Clean-Eating Detoxifying-AF Cabbage, Broccoli & Mint Soup-ish Purée
- Clean-Eating & Spiced Up Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Curry Carrot Soup
- Creamy-AF Coconut Milk Curried Cauliflower Soup
- Healthy-AF Smooth & Creamy Curried Cauliflower & Apple Soup
Q: How did I cope with weight gain?
Q: How do I oil cleanse?
A: I oil cleanse at night! I find it really soothing & calming for my skin. Basically, what I do is take some of the product into the palms of my hand (2-3 pumps) & rub it together to warm it up. I then gently rub it into my face for about 30 seconds so that the oil can really seep into my pores & the excess oil, dirt & toxins can be released. I then take a warm washcloth & rub it on my face (BUT NOT TOO ROUGH) until all my makeup is removed! I then follow-up with my toner.
Q: Do I have celiac or am I gluten-free/low-gluten for other reasons?
A: I am not celiac! I just make a conscious effort to eat less gluten whenever I can, for different reasons, such as skin health & to reduce inflammation overall. I still eat tons of food that contains gluten & I am by no means gluten-free. I also find that gluten-free products are sometimes healthier, tastier & more fun to use & experiment with in the kitchen!
Q: Do I use a moisturizer with Egyptian Magic or do I use it as a moisturizer?
A: Lately, I have been using Egyptian Magic as my moisturizer at night & I have been absolutely IN LOVE. It can definitely act as a moisturizer and does not need to be complimented with another one. BUT, you can also just use a regular moisturizer as usual, but then use the Egyptian Magic as the last step in your skincare routine & go to bed with it all over your face (so that it acts like an overnight mask!). Trust me, IT WILL WORK MAGIC OVERNIGHT!
Q: Is it normal for the skin to burn after applying rosehip oil?
A: I didn’t experience this when I first started using it, but we are all different! If it’s a slight burn that’s bearable & you just started incorporating it, maybe try it a few more times & see if it persists. Sometimes, it’s normal to have a tingling or burning (I used to get it at first when I started using the Good Genes by Sunday Riley & Drunk Elephant Night Serum), but eventually, it went away.
If you see it isn’t going away and you are getting rashes, hives or itchiness, I would stop using it and try other essential oil because it could mean you’re allergic to it. Also, ask yourself if rosehip is the one thing you’ve recently changed or added to your skincare regiment. If it is & you’re reacting badly, odds are, it’s the culprit!
If you have sensitive skin, you might be reacting to the oil so you can try out a different essential oil, such as jojoba, sweet almond, sea buckthorn, chia etc. & see if you get the same or similar reaction & gage from there!
Q: Do I have any tips for redness / hyper pigmentation?
That’s all for now, lovies!!!
Keep ’em coming & stay tuned for PART THREE!