Spinning Negativity Around

 

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I struggle with many things, we all do and that’s normal. I think it’s important to talk about our struggles in an open and safe environment so we can work together to figure out how to work through each day. Nothing is worse than feeling trapped and not knowing where to turn or what to do. A struggle that I find myself constantly dealing with is dealing with negativity in a healthy way. Our worlds are crazier than ever, and unfortunately they are often filled with negativity. My gut response to negativity is usually one of three things – get angry, shove positivity down the culprit’s throat, or ignore it. There are issues with all three of these reactions, but often I use all three, along with a call to my mom, to help me get over negative experiences.

It’s ok to be mad about things, but don’t let your anger hurt others. Anger is an emotion that is natural, and we all experience it. When things don’t go our way or when something so terrible happens that we can’t even process it, it’s ok to be angry for a little while. Just be careful with this one – while I believe it’s healthy to fully embrace your emotions, anger can tend to impact others in a great way as well, and it will benefit nobody if your anger brings someone else down. Use anger as a short-term release until you are ready to process what to do next.

“Shoving positivity down the culprit’s throat” is a little harsh. What I should call this reaction, or step, is “looking on the bright side”. This may or may not involve the person or event that brought negativity into your life. It may be a conversation with someone about how what they did had a negative affect on your life and what the two of you can do to make it better for everyone. It may be an hour solo yoga session where you discover something that brings that positive light back into your soul. My personal favourite is a phone call to my mom or a friend and we can talk about all the great things in life – whether it’s related to the negative experience or not. I find this “exercise” helps me realize a very important life lesson – positivity always outweighs negativity.

Once again, the last step “ignore it” is rather harsh on it’s own. Ignoring something can cause the bottling up and explosion of emotions in the long run. I actually don’tknow what I want to call this “step” of my process. “Get over it” also doesn’t work, and “moving on” feels like I’m leaving it behind. I guess “live and learn” is the most appropriate. This is the stage of acceptance. The negative experience has happened, and I have used different tools to help me move through the experience to find my light at the end of the tunnel. Whatever process you use, this is the most important thing – don’t let the negative experience dull your positive light. Find your light and let it shine B R I G H T, because when each of us shines a little brighter, the world is a better place.

*picture taken from google*

Balancing Act

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Eating healthy is always a balancing act. Whether you count calories or macros, follow a specific eating routine, or just try to “eat clean”, you need to find a balance so you don’t go bananas! I find that special occasions are always the hardest time to stay balanced. I see people too often using holidays as an excuse to go nuts with our food and end up feeling guilty, bloated, and even sick. Now, I am NOT saying don’t eat those chocolate easter eggs that the Easter Bunny is going to bring you this weekend, but I am going to give you a few great tips to help you feel satiated, healthy, and happy over the holidays!

  1. Enjoy your meals! Most “food regret” comes from uncontrolled snacking throughout piled on top of (usually large) delicious meals. Traditional holiday meals usually include lots of vegetables, protein sources, and other nutrient-filled foods! Try to be aware of the snacks that you consume throughout the day & try to snack on fresh fruit and veggies if you are feeling snackish! I know for me, the mindless snacking is the hardest thing to avoid during – but it can be done! And you’ll enjoy your holiday meal even more if you aren’t as stuffed as the turkey before the dinner begins!
  2. Stay hydrated! Holidays usually means socializing, and that often means bringing out the vino and brews! Try to stick to water to stay hydrated throughout the day, but make sure you enjoy a pint or glass at some point if you want to! Deprivation is as fun as food guilt – NOT FUN AT ALL!
  3. Bring healthy snacks! I was taught to never arrive empty handed. If you are headed off to someone else’s house for the holiday weekend, make a delicious snack that is healthy too for everyone to share!
  4. Enjoy in moderation. I am a huge chocoholic and I’d be lying if I said I’d make it through the weekend without indulging in some chocolate. Instead of setting up next to the giant bowl of mini eggs, I try to grab a piece of dark chocolate every now and then to keep my sweet tooth at bay!

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL weekend filled with laughter, love, and friends & family. I also hope the Easter Bunny treats you well, and you can use these tips to get through the weekend feeling great!

 

*Photo taken from Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/444308319475988456/)

Groceries on a Dime

 

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There is a huge myth out there that eating healthy is expensive. Eating healthy CAN be expensive if you choose to buy that new organic name brand superfood that is going to sit on your counter and go bad before you get the chance to eat it, but if you plan ahead and use some of these simple tips you can actually SAVE money on your monthly grocery bill!

 

  1. Buy dried beans – Beans are a great source of protein and we often grab the convenient canned guys because they seem like they are a cheap and healthy choice! Dried beans are not only a more cost-efficient option, but they also contain less sodium and MORE nutrients than canned! If you have never used dried beans before it is worth noting that planning is essential when it comes to cooking with them – dried beans must be soaked in water overnight prior to cooking and they take approximately 45-60 minutes to cook. Most beans double to triple both their weight and size once cooked!

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  1. Buy in bulk, but be wary of where you buy – Bulk Barn is a great resource for buying products in bulk, but sometimes not always the cheapest! Do your research ahead of time and figure out where the best places are to buy what you need. Certain things that should ALWAYS be purchased in the bulk section include: SPICES, anything used for a specific recipe that isn’t a staple in your house, and dried fruits and nuts.

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  1. Speaking of doing your research – DO YOUR RESEARCH! Make a grocery list ahead of time and figure out where the best place to shop will be. Keep an eye out for local coupons, discounts, and no name brands. When you’re at the store check for any sales that might be going on – but only purchase sale items if you need them for your meal prep that week. You aren’t saving money on sale foods if you weren’t going to buy that food in the first place.

 

  1. Meatless Mondays – Going vegetarian isn’t necessarily an option for many people, I know it probably would never happen in my house! But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat vegetarian meals 1-3 days a week! Not only are vegetarian protein sources healthy and a cheaper alternative to meat, but also it is also a much better alternative for the environment!

 

Check out the blog https://www.budgetbytes.com/ for some awesome budget friendly recipes!

 

 

Do you have a favourite budget friendly meal?! Share it in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Date Night

Your heart loves harder when it’s beating twice as hard – M

When you think of “date night,” things like going out for dinner, catching a movie or a play, getting ice cream on a hot summers day, and the list goes on. Most of these things have two things in common – they usually cost money and generally, they aren’t beneficial for your health. I challenge you to find something new to try with your partner that is free and healthy! This past week, my boyfriend and I went on two dates. Our first date was a 40 km (24.8 mile) bike ride and our second was running 160 flights of stairs. At the end of our first bike ride we both looked at each other and we felt more in love than ever. There is something about doing something that is physically challenging together that brings a whole new level to date night. Not only do you get to spend quality time together, but at the end of your date you will be so proud of each other, so high on endorphins, and believe me – you will feel so grateful that you finished that challenge with someone special next to you.

Here are some fun ideas for you and your lovebug!

  • Roller skating! Remember the last time you went roller blading? Me neither! It will be a fun flashback and a great way to get some extra cardio in!
  • Skating – it may be too warm where you live now, but there might be a chance to go out for one last skate of the season! What’s more romantic than skating hand-in-hand with some hot cocoa?
  • Walking. Get outside and enjoy the view. Walking is such an easy form of exercise and it’s a low enough intensity that you will be able to get to know each other better without the distractions of a busy restaurant! Perfect for a new couple!
  • Swimming – the weather is warming up & soon enough we will be able to go for a dip in a lake! Definitely a fun way to spend the day in the sun, just remember your sunscreen!
  • Bike rides – one of my personal favourites! Try to find bike paths in your area and plan a 10km route together. If it’s a quiet day you’ll likely be able to bike side-by-side and chit chat along the way!
  • Take a hike! Whether it’s a stroll near the river or summiting a mountain, hiking has always been a favourite date night for me. You will need each other’s encouragement to reach your goal – you will need patience for when your partner is challenged – you will NEED each other to get to the top. It might be a little crazy, but multi-day hikes with my partner have been some of the best times we have spent together – we built trust, got to know each other even better in the silence of nature, and our relationship became stronger than ever before!
  • HIIT. Although you won’t likely be talking during High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT is a great workout to do together (google partner HIIT workouts!) and really get your heart rate up – more endorphins, more love!

Please comment and share what you do for a fun & healthy date night! I can’t wait to hear what you have planned!

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Half way done our bike ride!

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Our view from where we ran stairs!

Cardio Queen

I am pretty sure I am the only person on earth who actually likes cardio. I don’t find it boring at all – it is a time I take to clear my mind, reflect on my life, and reconnect with myself. I knew I needed to reach out and find something to fill the void of running. Luckily, I have an extremely supportive partner who is passionate about biking. He has helped me find a hybrid bike that I love, mapped my new route, and restarted the fire that was put out when I had to quit running. I am so excited to share that starting this Friday, I will be an official bike commuter. It will consist of 40 kms a day, feeling good about “going green”, and even saving me approximately $50 a month in gas! It has been a really long time since I felt this determination & excitement, and I am so grateful to have stumbled upon this opportunity. I can’t wait to share how this new adventure pans out! Wish me luck!!IMG_3244

Meghan’s March

Each month I write out my goals. Usually, they look something like “drink more water, work out, eat healthy”. This month I wanted to really focus on what would make me happier. As I started writing each goal down I started to feel overwhelmed – my list was growing longer and longer – how in God’s name was I supposed to reach ALL OF THOSE GOALS?! Then I crossed them all out. Each one of those goals had one common theme, and I decided to make that theme my goal. I am “Marching” into this month with one goal: more self care. Sounds great, but what does that exactly mean? Many would argue that because I work out regularly I can already check this goal off, but I disagree. To me, self care is taking the steps to better your overall wellness. Going to the gym and sweating for an hour may be a part of that, but I want to focus on the little things I can do throughout my day that will result in a happier me.

IMG_3400Here are a few things I have already decided to do, but who knows what else will pop up throughout the month!

  • More “me” time – this can be either spent reading, reflecting, or relaxing
  • Trying new whole foods – like incorporating more turmeric into recipes!
  • Spending more time outside and less time in front of a computer
  • Find things that make me happy and do them more often

I plan on sharing more self care tips throughout the month on my Instagram, @tanlines.and.training and I would love you for you to follow along!

 

Life After Running

Some humans are made for running, but if I’m completely honest – I believe that most of us are not. Talk to any doctor and they will tell you that long distance running is one of the most addicting form of exercise that is the hardest on your joints. I am 22 years old and should be in the best shape of my life, but here I am unable to run.

Running gives you a high. When you reach a new distance, beat a new time, or just have an amazing run, you come home and feel INCREDIBLE. My training got to a point where I was actually proud when I came home from a long run with bloody socks, yeah you read that right. My high had gotten in my head and actually made the pain of my bleeding feet numb. So, it was no surprise when I was diagnosed with an injury caused from overtraining.

Flash forward a year and I have finally come to the conclusion that running is not for me. I spent hundreds of dollars on physiotherapy, active release therapy, dry needling, chiropractors, naturopaths, and the list goes on. I tried everything to get back to the long distance runner that I was. My final decision actually came after a discussion with my family doctor. We talked about how my joint are fine now, and I can continue to live a healthy lifestyle if I stop running now, but if I keep pushing and putting this strain on my body I will definitely pay for it later in life. That is not something I want for my future.

I look into my future and hope that I will be able to do the things I love with the people I love. Hiking, skiing, going for long walks along the beach (hint, hint, boyfriend… it’s time we go on another vacation), and knowing that I will be able to do that painfree makes me so HAPPY. Sure, I won’t be running marathons like I had hoped, but I would much rather live an active lifestyle with the people that I love than run 42 kms alone.

ŪNICO Nutrition (with discount!)

I feel like I need to start by saying that I am a ŪNICO Athlete, which may make me a little biased. But believe me when I say I love, love, love this stuff! Instead of writing a blog post about each individual product, I thought it would save everyone some time if I combined it all into one!

ATHENA (pre-workout): Prior to ŪNICO, I thought all pre-workout either tasted like a chemically sweetened gritty powder OR ended up making me feel like I was on drugs with the shakes they gave me (can I say that? :p). ATHENA is that perfectly balanced pre-workout. It tastes great, gives you that extra boost without the creepy crawly jittery feeling. If you have a sweet tooth I would definitely recommend the Watermelon Wave, although my personal favourite is the Cherry Limeade!

 

APOLLO (protein): I can honestly say I’ve struggled in finding a protein that fits my needs. I have been searching for something that tastes great, is low cal (I don’t use my protein as a meal replacement), high in protein, and low in carbs and sugar. I have tried all the flavours of APOLLO and wasn’t disappointed by any, my favourite would either be the vanilla milkshake, gooey frosted cinnamon roll, or molten chocolate lava shake. The main breakdown (per serving) is as follows:

kcals: 120

Protein: 25 g

Fat: 1 g

Carb: 5 g

Sugar: 1 g

 

Fun Fact: If you love making protein pancakes as much as the next fitchick but hate ruining the “healthy alternative” with syrup, you can mix a little protein powder with milk/water to make an icing to top those flapjacks! Yum!

 

YUMINO: It says it right in the name, YUM! ŪNICO BCAA’s can be taken during your workout to enhance your workout, or after to help with muscle recovery. I like to switch it up when I take mine, but I have definitely noticed a difference since I introduced them into my supplement regime! If I decide to take it post-workout, I usually hold off until right before bedtime so the glutamine can work to aid in my muscle recovery over night! I’ve only tried the Blue Frost flavour as of now, but it is  d e l i c i o u s!

 

VULCAN: Now I don’t want anyone to see this as a “fat burning pill that can solve all my problems”. ŪNICO is very straightforward with their motto: “Our supplements don’t work, you do”. A mix of amino acids and caffeine, this supplement can HELP with fat burning, but please remember…you have to put the work in!

 

DISCOUNT: If you want to see for yourself how great these products are, head over to http://uniconutrition.com/shop/ and use the discount code TANLINES for 20% off your entire order! Let me know what you think!

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*sponsored post*

Feeling Small and Wonderful

Usually people say they feel small when they are upset or feeling down about themselves. When I say I feel small, it is almost always because I am in an environment where I am surrounded by beautiful scenery and in that moment I feel insignificant. It’s strange, but I love that feeling. Like when I’m on top of a mountain and can’t see anyone else, or in the middle of a forest and could yell and nobody would hear me. I feel so incredibly peaceful in those moments, like nothing in the world matters except for the trees around me, the wind blowing in my hair, and the quiet.

 

I was lucky enough to experience nine days of this peacefulness when my dad and I went on a backcountry camping/canoeing trip in Northern British Columbia, Canada. We travelled – mostly paddled – over 150 km, and for a good chunk of the trip we both were silent and were able to fully experience the moment and the beauty that our country has to offer. We started in a rain forest and moved through a circuit and got to see so many different landscapes, wildlife, and of course, bugs. Lucky for us the bugs weren’t mosquitoes!

 

Nine days of paddling was an amazing shoulder workout, and I’d be lying if I said it was easy. We pushed hard most days but definitely had days where we were more relaxed so we could find balance. There was never a moment on the trip where I felt stressed, unprepared, or worried. I trusted my dad as my canoe partner (I think he trusted me! He must’ve by the end of it!!) and we were able to maneuver the lakes and rivers with no “bumps in the road”.  This trip was beyond incredible and I can’t even begin to put it into words, I would probably end up writing a novel if I tried. Instead, I’d like to share three important things that I took away from this experience.

  1. I can always count on my Dad: My dad wasn’t my initial partner for this trip. My boyfriend was supposed to come but due to a mountain biking injury he was unable to come and my dad stepped in. My dad had four days to get ready but with some help from my mom, he was packed and ready to go! Throughout the trip there were a couple moments where I realized I am so lucky to have my dad in my life. There are not many people I would go backcountry camping with, but I would definitely go again with my dad. I trust him 100% as a canoeist, experienced camper, and as a levelheaded human. I can also get along with him for nine days which says a lot!
  2. I love my Country: Canadians are not really known for being patriotic. Sure, it’s great to live in Canada but we don’t often reflect on WHY it’s great to live here. That list can go on and on but this trip definitely reminded me of some of the less political reasons why Canada is so damn great. Canada is big, like really big. With all that space we are so privileged to be able to safely (if you are prepared) explore our country and see how beautiful it really is. My dad and I were also reminded how lucky we are to live in a country that has an abundance of clean water. We took water purification tablets, but we had fresh water every single place we went, something that can so easily be taken for granted.
  3. Lastly, a huge takeaway from this trip was how important fitness is. My dad (and mom!) got a personal trainer almost a year ago. If this was last summer my dad said that he probably wouldn’t have been able to go on this trip. Honestly, if I had wanted to do this trip before I started on my fitness journey I wouldn’t have been able to do it and enjoy it as much as I did because of how much I would have struggled. This is one of the main reasons fitness is so important to me – I don’t want to miss out on things because I can’t physically do it. I was so proud of my dad and I for going on this trip and crushing the portages, paddling, and hiking.

 

Sorry for the longest post ever, if you didn’t read it I totally understand! Please try not to judge my poor GoPro skills and my even worse video editing skills and enjoy a few clips from the best canoe trip a girl could ask for!