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Holly

REVIEW: Body Love by Kelly Leveque

 

Good morning!

I am sharing with you my review of Body Love by Kelly Leveque today. I mentioned it in this blog post, and have been glued to it ever since. I knew as soon as I opened the book and read the first few pages that I NEEDED to share this with you guys, so let’s jump in!

Body Love – Live in balance, weigh what you want, and free yourself from food drama forever

You guys know that I love anything related to wellness. However, one of my favourite takeaways from Kelly’s book is that it’s not just a TREND, or a fad diet, it truly is a lifestyle plan that has light structure. Light structure is something Kelly refers to often in the book, meaning that when we follow the light structure of the Fab Four plan, we are fueling our body with nutritious food that will leave our blood sugar and hormones happy. The chapters on blood sugar and hormones proved to be super interesting to me, because it puts together pieces of the puzzle. How sugars affect us from the inside out, how our hunger hormones work, and which hormones regulate what. Now, let me just say that I am not the most scientific person out there. Sure, I like to research what is in my food, what kind of vitamins are in the veggies I’m eating, etc, but nutrition is truly a science and Kelly breaks it down into digestible facts for us in her book.

 

There are three parts to the book: The science behind the Fab Four Formula, The Fab Four Solution, and Your Fab Life.

If you have never heard of the “Fab Four,” you are probably wondering what the heck is it? The Fab Four is simple: protein, fat, fiber, and greens.

Easy, peasy!

The Fab Four lifestyle is based around ensuring we have these Fab Four components in every meal. Kelly dives into why each one of these is important, what each one DOES in your body (for example, fat increases satiety and helps curb cravings), and ideas on how you can combine your own meals that involve the Fab Four. Plus, she has TONS of recipes that not only look and sound great, but that include ingredients that are easily accessible in most grocery stores and health food stores. No, you don’t need the hair of a unicorn to put in your smoothie.

 

I was super impressed by how many smoothie recipes alone are in this book. I shared with you all my go-to smoothie recently, and it definitely fits the Fab Four mentality. However, there’s no reason to stay inside the same ol’ smoothie box. Kelly has delicious flavours like mint chip, chocolate coconut, green apple, and blueberry muffin (to name a few), so you can have a new smoothie flavour every day of the week if you really wanted to switch it up!

As well as recipes, Kelly also includes tips for feeling your best. It is a holistic approach that not only includes nutrition (which is a GIANT part of our being well!), but also includes exercise, meditation, proper sleep, meal prep hacks, and so much more. One of my favourite parts of the book was a section she included that outlines a week in her life. She talks about breakfast, workouts, snacks, and her day to day routine that centres around living a Fab Four lifestyle.

 

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to gain more insight to the science behind food and who is looking to add more healthy habits to their routine. Whether you are curious about hormones, sugar, new smoothie recipes, clean beauty tips – you name it – there’s bound to be something in this book for you!

My Thoughts on: SUGAR

 

So, sugar is everywhere.

There is no hiding that. I think (most of) the general population is aware that sugar is hiding in everything nowadays. Buns, bread, sauces, ketchup (especially!), even things like our supplements and protein powders.

Today I wanted to chat about my thoughts on sugar. If you read my final post of the Fit Tip Friday series I was doing this spring on the blog, you might remember the info graphic I’m going to share again about how sugar can effect your body.

We are going to start with a bit o’ science here:

If you’ve read any nutrition label, you may be familiar that sugar ends in “ose.” There are other sugar substitutes, such as stevia, maltitol, Splenda, etc, but today we are going to focuse on the “ose.” Scientifically, our blood sugar is called glucose. This is what is left over after carbohydrates are broken down. Glucose gives our cells energy and is vital for our survival. However, there’s two different types of carbohydrates that our body breaks down: simple carbs and complex carbs (which would be something like brown rice, sweet potatoes, vegetables, etc). So what are simple carbohydrates then? You guessed it. Cookies, cake, candy, corn syrup (which is in EVERYTHING), jam, etc.

If you are familiar with the way our digestive system, you may know already that insulin is our storage hormone that helps glucose move to our cells. Insulin’s job is to keep a good amount of glucose in our bloodstream and deliver the correct amounts to energize our cells. So, what happens when our insulin levels are too high? This is a good indicator that our diet is made up of a high number of starchy and simple carbohydates. AKA, we are eating too much crap and our body doesn’t know what to do with it. Why is this a problem? When our insulin levels are too high, our muscle cells start to become resistant to the signal that insulin sends them – “hello, please accept this glucose!” When our cells start resisting the signal to accept glucose, the glucose does not move from our blood stream. It hangs out there and creates high blood sugar levels. The bad part? When our body cannot use the excess glucose, like for brain and muscle functions, it’s converted into free fatty acids… And guess how it is stored after that? You guessed it. Fat.

What does this have to do with the other “OSE” ingredients out there? Well, fructose for one is metabolized a lot quicker and turns into fat more quickly. The more fructose we eat, the more fat we build up. Too much sugar (fructose especially) can also lead to high blood pressure and other medical issues.

“But I LOVE SUGAR!” Yes, that’s because sugar is addicting. I mean, I get it. I love sugar too, but after researching more about what it is doing to my body, the more I don’t want to have it regularly in my diet. Now, I feel like I am in a place in my life where I am more aware about these things, mostly because it is a huge interest of mine to know what is in my food and how it impacts my body. Sure, a donut is great and all, but it leaves me feeling lethargic, bloated, and foggy-brained. Then, when I wake up it’s almost like a hangover from the sugar I’ve consumed.

 

Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t eat sugar at all. I think sugar (using it as a broad term) is essential for our survival, because we need to keep our blood sugar levels stable. The last thing you want is to be caught in the vicious cycle where you spike your blood sugar at breakfast, come crashing down at lunch, so then you are searching for something to get that blood sugar up again. And UP it goes in another spike after a sugary-latte drink, then crashing down again in the afternoon. Do you see the pattern here? It’s important to keep our meals balanced to keep our blood sugar levels balanced too.

How do I eat sugar now? In the form of fruit, but before you go and whip up a giant smoothie bowl with seven different types of food mixed in, I like to keep my fruit to a minimum. I used to be all about that banana life every single day, then have berries, and an apple, etc. Yes, fruit is healthy for you as it also includes things like fibre, vitamins, and minerals, but I find that having my fruit in the morning works best for my body. For example, I will make a smoothie with blueberries or pineapple, and then my body has all day to use that energy and burn it through my daily activities. Yes, I am a sucker for a nice glass of wine and celebratory birthday cake (if the mood strikes where I am at a party and yes, I really want that!!), but I know that it’s important to balance that out with healthy options. If I’m going to have a couple glasses of wine, that’s enough sugar for me, and that coupled with a slice of cake is a recipe for a sugar-hangover-disaster in the morning. That being said, listen to your body. It is smart, and you can often start to recognize your hunger signals and other signals your hormones are sending to you if you listen closely!

Let me know in the comments: What are your feelings on sugar?

Chit Chat: Monday Victories

 

Good morning!

This post is coming at you a bit later as we had a busy Sunday where I didn’t have a ton of time to sit down and write my usual blog post. So, this is coming atcha in real time on a Monday morning as I’m typing away with wet hair, a smoothie, and coffee going beside me. I wanted to start a new thing on the blog called Chit Chat – where I catch you guys up on what’s been going on, giving my opinion on things, and just sharing things with you guys in a more unstructured kind of way. It may not be a weekly thing, but what’s the harm in starting today, right?

Let’s rewind a bit though. So, yesterday Ryan and I went on a little date night together, which was a great way to do something different on a Sunday night, as opposed to just plunking down on the couch watching Netflix. Don’t get me wrong. I love doing that, but it’s fun to switch it up, you know? We did the ol’ dinner and a movie, and by the time we got home I was super FULL, tired, and ready for bed.

And now we are at today. Okay, so. I ran today, guys. If you read my posts last week, you’ll know that I was super bummed out because I came down with a groin strain injury. The doctor quickly said NO when I asked about doing my long run on Saturday (which I obviously knew the answer, but I mean, doesn’t hurt to ask), and I haven’t ran since last Tuesday. Well, up until today, anyway. I woke up and thought to myself, today is week five of this marathon training plan. I am feeling good. Why don’t I try to run? The training plan called for six miles and I did eight.

 

 

 

Just KIDDING! That would be downright stupid. No, the training plan called for six, but I cut that in half and did three. On the treadmill, too, so it was softer, flatter, and easier on my body to start with. I figured that easing myself into the training again will be much better on my body (from an injury standpoint) in the long run. Why go too hard, too much, too soon, and risk making things worse? The last thing I want to do is aggravate my body and be out for another week. So, I am happy to report that I am feeling GOOD post run! After my run was finished I did a resistance band work out, focusing on my upper body, some core work (planks!), and then stretched and foam rolled. Taking injury prevention seriously is definitely a priority of mine, as I want to be sure I cross that finish line in October as strong and healthy as can be.

I also wanted to share this quote because it is quite fitting for me right now. I know my body can run a marathon. I know my body can go further and faster. However, I have to be patient with myself now and give myself grace every day as I make this “comeback.” I mean, maybe you can’t call it a comeback right now, but I am feeling so much happier knowing that I am on the mend!

With that, I hope you all have a HAPPY MONDAY!

 

Summer Shrimp Dinner + Doctor’s Orders

 

Good morning, party people!

I am kicking off this post by sharing the summery dinner we had last night. Does anyone else think of seafood as a summer food? Maybe it’s because there’s lots of fresh seafood around and people are out fishing and boating in the summer. I mean, we didn’t catch the shrimp ourselves or anything (#lazy) but I did catch it from the freezer if that counts?

This dinner came together pretty quickly thanks to a rice and quinoa blend I already had in the fridge. I have been pre-cooking things like rice and roasted veggies, that way when I head home on my lunch breaks all I need to do is add protein and VOILA! Easy lunch. So, I used the rest of the grains for our dinner last night, then added shredded green cabbage, mushrooms, and kale. I topped it with shrimp that I cooked in garlic and coconut oil, then sprinkled on some avocado and green onions. For a bit of saucey sauce, I put a bit of sweet chili sauce in with the shrimp, because I know Ryan likes to have a bit more flavour. I still wanted to taste all of the flavours in the dish, though, so a touch of sauce is all it needed!


Okay, so in yesterday’s post I was all panicked about hurting myself during my track workout on Tuesday. At least, I’m pretty sure when this all started. Anyway, I went to my doctor yesterday and he confirmed that I have a strained groin muscle. It is one of the three muscles in my inner thigh that controls adduction (bringing your legs closer together). He had me lay down and moved my legs in different ways that would either trigger the quad contracting/extending, as well as the hamstring and muscles surrounding the hip. Well, it turns out that as soon as he started “testing” the adductor muscles, that’s when I really felt it. That was a clear indication that it wasn’t quad or hamstring related (I am normally pretty flexible in these areas in that I stretch and foam roll them consistently), and so he said no running this weekend (he suggested a full week off – WOE IS ME!!!! <– Okay stop the drama Holly), lots of resting, icing, and taking anti-inflammatory medicine like Advil or Aleve if needed. So, I’m sitting here icing my crotch as I type. Seriously, guys. I just have to make a bit of a joke about this because how else will I survive not running?? This is day three and I’m already wishing I could do my long run tomorrow. Both Ryan AND the doctor rolled their eyes and laughed when I said, “So, no long run on Saturday?” No, no, and no.

So, what am I supposed to do? Well, I ordered a new book (via Amazon prime, which I must say is KIND OF amazing because I ordered it on Monday and it arrived Wednesday morning) and have been nerding out. It is nutrition and wellness related (are you surprised?) and it is based on real science. None of this trendy wellness stuff that you see so often. Kelly’s Fab Four plan is based on factual evidence about the way food impacts our body, including how it can enhance or prevent inflammation, disease, and other factors that we generally ignore and turn towards drugs for. I am only on chapter two, and I am already learning more about how our body metabolizes sugar and how things like carbohydrates effects our insulin levels. It really is cool stuff (if you are interested in nutrition, that is), and I will be sure to share a thorough review on here once I am finished!

 

 

One thing that I have been doing from Kelly’s book is drinking a smoothie every morning. I also shared this smoothie on the blog, and you can find the recipe here if you are interested! It keeps me full until lunch time, and I don’t find myself wanting to mindlessly snack throughout the day after I’ve had this smoothie. It’s amazing how fast our body can respond when you fuel it with the right foods that make you feel GOOD! Again, I will update you on how I am feeling as I continue on this smoothie kick. I am just not in the mood for oatmeal lately, which is usually my go to breakfast, but the thought of making a hot bowl of oats in the summer does not sound appealing. So, I will go with what my body wants!


Since I will not be running long tomorrow (I had a 10 miler on my plan butttt nope, not happening), I will be taking the time to map out some blog content for you guys! Let me know what you want to see more of. VIDEOS? How-to’s? Demos? I want to hear what YOU want!! Leave me a comment : )