Do It for the ‘Gram

I certainly don’t do it for the gram (if you follow me, you’ll now I strictly post pictures of my feet #FromWhereIStand) but I love to follow people who do.

One thing that really helped me get into fitness was watching countless Instagram videos and following some pretty amazing women that could motivate me and show me the right way to workout. I was primarily interested – and still am – in lifting weights, toning up, and being strong and healthy and therefore, the accounts I follow are all like that.

The one thing these ladies all have in common is a positive body image. Strong is healthy and being stick thin isn’t their goal. I love it.

If you’re looking for some fitness inspiration or need help with workout ideas, check out some of these Instagram profiles!

  1. Alexia Clark – (or as J refers to her as “our badass woman”) – known for creative workouts where you’ll never get bored. She posts quick workout routines on her page and stories along with inspirational quotes and outfit details. She also has a fitness program you can subscribe to (which I used for 3 months when I was first getting started) that is like the videos on her profile, just much more involved (and totally worth the price)
  2. Cristina Capron – I’m currently using her workout program + app called CCFIT and it’s been my favourite ‘online’ workout that I’ve purchased so far. Unlike the other programs I’ve tried, hers is all on a handy app, which is key. This girl keeps it real and I love how quick and effective her workouts are.
  3. Katie Crewe – This girl is seriously #goals and it’s even better that she’s from Toronto. She can do some pretty serious pushup sets like it’s nobody’s business and is focused on being strong, healthy and confident. She is always showing progressive exercises (like how to go from a regular pushup to an explosive pushup or an assisted pistol squat to a full pistol squat), which is key for beginners. She also has a workout guide that comes with an accompanying nutrition guide (I’ve bought but haven’t tried yet – but the nutrition part is really helpful).
  4. Nikki @ JustGetFit – I love Nikki’s instagram for a whole other reason. I often talk about how bad I am at nutrition and meal prepping and that is this girls jam. She is truly amazing when it comes to eating right and working out and one day, hopefully, I can meal prep just like her. She posts workouts in her stories but writes a lot about good eating habits.

Do you have any favourite Instagram accounts? Let me know in the comments!

P is for Probiotics

A few months ago, I started noticing that I was having some pretty annoying stomach issues. I would eat regular sized meals (albeit sometimes not all that healthy), make a conscious effort not to overeat, try to make sure I was getting enough protein, cutting down on the amount of dairy I was having (which was always an issue for me) but was still feeling really bloated at the end of it. As a result, I was eating less food because I thought I was overeating. Then I was getting enough nutrients, feeling sluggish, but didn’t want to eat more because I felt sick when I did that, too. I was feeling really frustrated and was venting to my friend at work who said she had experienced the same thing. Her fix? Probiotics. 

I’d heard of ’em before but had never looked into their benefits. I went to the pharmacy, talked to their naturopath, and 15 minutes later was walking out with a bottle of probiotics. I took them for 2 months and almost immediately noticed a difference (typically 5 days of straight usage will result in a difference). I was able to eat regular sized meals and not feel bloated and sick and foods that used to bother me didn’t as much anymore. I ran out of probiotics and then never got more (which I didn’t think was a big problem). False. Back came my stomach issues and bloating. Moral of the story? This girl needs probiotics in her life (bless, fam).

So, what are they and how do they help you?

  • Probiotics are special types of bacteria and yeast that lives in a healthy body (aka good bacteria!)
  • Probiotics act as the peacekeeper and help restore order and keep your body ticking properly
  • Probiotics fix what needs to be fixed – they go in, figure out what’s needed and respond – smart little guys!
  • They help improve beneficial bacteria in your gut – eating good, healthy, real unprocessed food will also help with this
  • They improve your gut’s barrier – they help with the cells and stimulate mucus production, which makes a barrier and makes it harder for bugs to wreak havoc
  • Studies have also shown that a healthy gut can lead to a healthy mind – if your microbiome is unbalanced, it can negatively affect your mood, mental health, immune health, and brain function. Probiotics in your gut appear to make compounds that directly affect your brain in a good way

What should I look for?

  • Potency count: CFUs or colony forming units of 50 billion or higher – that’s how many bacteria you will receive per does
  • What’s the shelf life? Does it need to be refrigerated or can it stay out?
  • How many different strains of bacteria does it contain? Look for high diversity or multiple strains. Especially look for:
    • Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus plantarum that reside in the small intestine or the upper GI tract among your immune cells
    • Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, and Bifidobacterium bifidum that reside in the large intestine or the lower bowel, which are also critical areas for health

If you’re having stomach issues, I highly recommend checking out probiotics. As always, it’s important to talk to your doctor and do your own research before starting anything like this!

Note: information for this post has been found from here and here