Saturday, June 25, 2016

Week 11: My Health and Weight Loss Journey to Get Fit and Lose Weight! #NatureWalks




At the end of last week, I began walking for just 10 minutes at the start of every day, which ended up being more like 25 minutes. I have been enjoying the walks a lot more than I expected to!

I go for my walks first thing when I get up before I start my day. I have some water with my thyroid med, throw on some shorts and go! This way I get the sun, but not at it's peak time. Plus, I get the walk out of the way, come home and shower and I'm ready for the rest of my day.

If my walk is going to be short, I don't bother with sunscreen on my body (I am not recommending that others do this, it's just what I choose to do). I want to absorb the natural vitamin D from the sun. I do wear sunscreen and/or a baseball cap to protect my face. I have skin that tans easily.  If my walks are going to be long, I will slather on sunscreen everywhere!

What I pack: I take an old style fanny pack and look like I'm straight from 1980! lol. Since it's a short walk, I pack light with some SPF, lip balm with SPF, cell phone, keys, and a pocket knife in case of emergencies. If my walks get longer I will take a bottle of water.

What I wear: I often wear a baseball cap to protect my face from too much sun. I usually end up wearing whatever tank top I slept in since it's going in the wash anyways and it's currently summer here so I wouldn't want anything heavier.

I didn't have any shorts to walk in (except one pair of denim shorts), so I decided to make a trip to my local thrift store and buy a few pairs. I couldn't find what I was looking for in my usual stores without having to spend at least $26 for one pair of knee length shorts. So, I ended up getting 4 pairs for $21 with no tax at the thrift store. They had just the styles I needed- old style, knee length capris. Since they're strictly for my walks, I really didn't care to spend a lot of money or care that they're not the latest in fashion. Plus, they're just going to get dirty anyways. Also, if/when I lose weight and they no longer fit, I'm not out a lot of money.

This week's workouts: I got so into my walks this week that I neglected my other workouts with weights, yoga, cardio etc. And, I'm kind of missing it! I really like how I feel when I lift weights especially. So, I'm on a mission to get back to that this coming week but still keep up with my walks. I just have to figure out how to manage my time better to fit it all in.

So for this post, I am going to share nature photos from my daily walks. There are a lot of Canadian Geese where I walk, so you have to watch where you step!

I'll also throw in some pictures of the shorts that I purchased for these walks. Who doesn't like a little fashion haul!?




The Geese are so used to people, they let you get pretty close and don't even try to get away. 


There are a lot of Coyotes in this area, so you have to be careful, especially if you have pets with you.


You wouldn't want to step foot in these waters, but at least there's a life preserver just in case.


Fashion aka. Walking Shorts Haul



I did purchase one pair of Old Navy's Original Bermuda shorts. They were on sale for 1/2 price and I had a gift card to use up.


Here are all the walking shorts/ capris that I scored at the thrift store. $21 for all 4! They were all in great condition and the brands ranged from Bongo to Old Navy, Reitmans and one with no tag.

I think that the thrift store is a great idea for finding items like these walking shorts where you don't care too much about the fashion and they're just going to get sweated in and dirty anyhow. Plus, if you change sizes, you didn't spend a fortune.

Yay for scoring deals and saving money!



Weekly weigh in:

Weight: Same
Fat %: Same

Once again, no change in weight or fat loss. This feels like an uphill battle in terms of making the scale budge, but at least I am being active and that's what is most important. I'm sure my body and mind are healthier for being active despite not yet losing weight and fat. And, it doesn't mean I'm giving up on that.

See you next week!

ps. Come and join me over at the Best of Blogosphere!

Amy
xoxo

June #iHerb Haul! Health, Wellness, Probiotics, IBS, Gluten Free, Vegan



I placed a small order with iHerb this month. I always purchase the largest size available for my Primal Defense probiotics, so that takes up a big chunk of my budget. It's well worth it, though.

As always you can find more information on each product by clicking on the heading for each item.


Garden of Life Primal Defense HSO Probiotic Formula

From iHerb: "Primal Defense is a natural blend of 12 species of probiotics and Homeostatic Soil Organisms (HSOs), utilizing the Poten-Zyme process and delivered within a whole food matrix. The HSO probiotic blend in Primal Defense helps support normal gastrointestinal balance of good and potentially harmful bacteria to help maintain a balanced, healthy internal environment, and maximizes the benefits of a healthy diet by supporting normal absorption and assimilation of nutrients in the gut."

There have been many links to the gut and immunity, overall health and even mental health. Here I've linked an article on the link between gut health and mental health by the CBC.

I have written a whole post (linked here) on how Primal Defense probiotics have alleviated ALL of my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) symptoms. It's worth its weight in gold. And, I have tried more budget friendly probiotics but none of them helped me like Primal Defense! It was invaluable to me when I had H-Pylori and that is when I discovered this wonderful product.

These come in various sizes and even a powder formula for those who don't like swallowing tablets as well as a formula for kids. I just choose the big daddy size because it's the most economical in the long run.

I think that most people would benefit from a good probitic since our soils are so depleted these days.


Auromere Ayurvedic Herbal Toothpaste

I found this all natural toothpaste under iHerb's "Try and Save" link at the top of their page. I always check there when placing an order for great deals! I got this toothpaste for only $1. Now Foods Xyliwhite is my favourite toothpaste of all times, but I thought why not give this one a try for only $1.

From iHerb: "Neem & Peelu - with 23 Herbal Extracts - Including the "Toothbrush Tress"
Auromere's Ayurvedic Formula combines the naturally cleansing and potently invigorating properties of NEEM, PEELU and 21 other barks, roots, plants and flowers that have been esteemed for centuries by Ayurvedic Specialists for their separate and combined efficacy in maintaining superior dental hygiene."

This concentrated toothpaste is supposed to last 3 times longer than other brands of toothpaste. It's all natural and free of fluoride, gluten, parabens, and more. It's also cruelty-free and vegan!


California Gold Nutrition LactoBif Probiotics

These probiotics were on special (again under the Try & Save link at the top of iHerb's page).

From iHerb:
  • 5 Billion CFU per Veggie Capsule
  • 8 Active & Clinically Researched Probiotic Strains²
  • 5 Lactobacilli
  • 3 Bifidobacteria
  • No Refrigeration Necessary¹
  • No Dairy, Gluten, GMO's or Soy...
  • Suitable for Vegetarians

There is also a sticky note pad in the picture. iHerb often throws in fun little freebies.

iHerb is my favourite place to shop for health and beauty products and everything in between. You can find such great deals and International shipping is as low as a flat rate of $4 which I just can't find elsewhere.

It's a great place to find specific products like cruelty-free, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian etc. You can type any of those phrases (or others) into the search bar on their website and it will only show you products that fit into that category!

You can get $5 off your order by entering discount code AGU725 during checkout or use this link to have it applied automatically. 

If you do shop on iHerb, make sure to check out the links at the top of their website for super specials. Some are daily deals that are fabulous and only last 24 hours.

If you decide to try any new supplements, remember to check with your Doctor before doing so.

Happy shopping!

Amy
xoxo


*Not sponsored. All products were purchased by me. Some links are referral links.



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Happy International Yoga Day! #internationalyogaday



In honour of International Yoga Day, I'm going to share a few of my favourite yoga items today.

I've been practicing yoga on and off for over 17 years! 
(You can see some of the other yoga workouts I do in my Get Fit & Lose Weight posts.)

Yoga is great for so many things and can benefit anyone of any age.

Yoga can help with:

  • Mobility
  • Flexibility
  • Strength
  • Back issues
  • Sore muscles
  • Insomnia
  • Stress reduction
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving balance and more...



I've done many forms of yoga, from Hatha to hot yoga as well as Kundalini. Hatha is the more common form of yoga with traditional poses and sequencing. Hot yoga, as the name implies, is done in a heated room. Kundalini yoga is very different from traditional style yoga like Hatha yoga. It may seem odd at first to someone who is new to it, but it does a lot of work of the glandular and hormonal systems. I like to mix it up and practice all kinds of yoga styles!

There are many other forms of yoga and I have linked an article to some of the various styles of yoga here.

My Favourite Yoga Gear


My favourite place to buy workout and yoga clothing is at Old Navy. I wait for promos and check the clearance rack for great deals. Their workout clothing is great fitting and great quality! I think it's very underrated.

Here are a few of my favourite picks that I found on Old Navy's website today. The tank is on sale for only $5 today!


Old Navy Go-Dry Performance Muscle Tank

Old Navy Go-Dry Mid-Rise Mesh Yoga Crop for Women





Some of my Favourite Yoga DVD's. 



Traditional Style Yoga
Sara Ivanhoe's Yoga Body Makeover


Yoga Body Makeover by Sara Ivanhoe is your more traditional style of yoga. It has 6 different routines, each 20 minutes long. I really love this one. For some reason, it has helped me lose weight when cardio-kickboxing was making me gain weight, and it wasn't muscle I was gaining. I guess this is just what my body wanted. I did a new routine each day from this DVD and within a week I started to lose weight! It's a great DVD for anyone, beginner, advanced and everyone in between. Since the workouts are short, it's easy to fit it into your day. And, since it has 6 routines, it's hard to get bored.


Kundalini Style Yoga
Fat Free Yoga (Kundalini Yoga)

Fat Free Yoga Lose Weight & Feel Great  is a Kundalini style yoga DVD. This is one of  the most popular ones by Ana Brett & Ravi Singh. My other favourite by them is "Yoga Beauty Body." It's less popular but I love it!

Most of my Kundalini DVD's are by Ana Brett and Ravi Singh and I own quite a few of them and like to rotate them along with other styles of yoga.


Tools to enhance your practice


Besides a yoga matt, there are a few props that can enhance your yoga workout (Note: these wont help with Kundalini style yoga, but the more common/traditional styles like Hatha).

I'm sure there are other tools, but these are the two that I use when I'm practicing traditional style yoga. They help me deepen into stretches and keep good form. While they aren't necessary, I do find they are very helpful. Keeping good form is essential to prevent injuries, so I do think they are important.

Yoga Strap

A yoga strap can help you enhance your practice by deepening into poses and helping with form if you're less flexible. If you don't have a yoga strap on hand, try a belt.

Yoga Block


The other tool I use to enhance my practice is a yoga block.  Similar to the yoga strap, a yoga block can help you deepen into your poses and also help those who are less flexible.


Badger Yoga & Meditation Balm

I also like to use a meditation balm. These scented balms help you with relaxation and can help deepen your experience whether during yoga or meditation. 

These are some of my yoga favourites. I'd love to hear what yours are!

Amy
xoxo

*Not sponsored. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

How I Keep My Highlighted And Colour Treated Hair Healthy And Vibrant



If you're like me and spend a good amount of time and money on highlighting and/or colouring your hair to get the colour you want and love (even if you do it at home on a budget), you'll want to take care of it to keep it healthy and vibrant. If you're not using the right hair products, you can strip the colour and literally watch your time and money go down the drain.

When I'm not experimenting with new products, these are my tried-and-true, go-to products that I always repurchase to help keep my colour fresh and vibrant.


Live Clean Pink Fire Colour Protect Shampoo & Conditioner


The first step is the right shampoo and conditioner, otherwise, you risk stripping your hair colour. I'm sure you've used certain products and watched your hair colour change, whether it became dull, faded or even changed its tone.

As the name implies, Live Clean's Pink Fire Colour Protect shampoo and conditioner are designed to protect your hair colour- whether you're blonde, dark or a ginger. They are my go-to shampoo and conditioner for keeping my colour and highlights vibrant and healthy. They are gentle on my hair, keep it hydrated, and protect my colour from fading. I have raved about them before in an empties post linked here.  They are 98% plant derived, made with organic botanicals, cruelty-free, eco-friendly, and free of all the nasty chemicals. They are also SLS-free (an ingredient that is well known for stripping hair colour).


Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo


About once a week I also use a purple shampoo to tone my hair and help keep its vibrancy. I have been using Clairol's Shimmer Lights for years. It helps to remove any brassy tones in blonde or silver hair. The longer you leave it in, the more it tones your hair. But, I don't recommend using it too often or leaving it on too long as it can be drying. I am hoping that my favourite cruelty-free drugstore line- Live Clean, will come out with a purple shampoo as I would prefer an affordable, cruelty-free, and natural product.


Live Clean Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo


This is the only product that is new to my routine. I hauled this product a while back and posted it on my Instagram page. I purchased Live Clean's Apple Cider Clarifying shampoo after hearing a stylist say how important it is to use a clarifying shampoo every once in a while if you colour treat or bleach your hair. This removes the gunk and buildup out of the open hair cuticle that can dull down your hair colour.

This shampoo uses Bragg apple cider vinegar and is Sulphate free. It helps remove the dulling residue to bring back the vibrancy to your colour treated hair. True to the Live Clean line, it's also 98% plant derived, eco-friendly, cruelty-free, free of the nasty chemicals, and affordable.


How to "Bump the Base"


I professionally highlight and colour my hair about every 4 months. Another thing that allows me to go so long between professional colourings is that I learned how to "bump the base" (aka. slightly lighten my roots) in between professional colourings. I have a whole blog post on how to "bump the base" linked here. (It's actually quite easy and fast).


Paul Mitchell Super Charged Moisturizer


I also believe in doing weekly deep conditioning treatments. Colour treated and/or bleached hair is more fragile than virgin hair so it needs extra TLC. Although I am guilty of not always finding the time to do this, it' really important to hair health, especially for those of us with colour treated hair. One of my favourites which I am currently out of is Paul Mitchell's Super-Charged. I am currently trying out several other deep conditioning treatments trying to find more affordable favourites.


100% Silk Pillowcase


As I mentioned, colour treated and/or bleached hair is much more fragile than virgin hair and therefore more prone to breakage. I like to sleep with silk pillow cases which are very gentle on the hair and can help prevent breakage. Bonus- it will help keep your style longer!




I also like and recommend the Tangle Teezer for helping to prevent breakage on fragile, coloured hair- it really works! *Warning- keep it away from your cat(s) or they will steal it!

These are the things that are currently working for me to maintain and protect my highlighted and colour treated hair. If I find anything else that works or I change my routine, I'll do an updated post.

I hope you found my tips and tricks for maintaining healthy, coloured hair helpful.

What do you do to help maintain your hair colour?

ps. come and join the fun over at Monday Makeup Madness and The Best of Blogosphere!

Amy
xoxo

*This post is not sponsored. No affiliate links. Some products have been purchased by me and some were graciously gifted as PR with no obligation to mention them. All opinions are honest and my own.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Week 10: My Health and Weight Loss Journey to Get Fit and Lose Weight!



Hi everyone, It's the end of week 10 on my Health and Weight Loss Journey. Here is a link to week 9 if
you'd like to check it out.

I think my blog had some kind of glitch and reposted week 1 of this journey somehow, sorry for that.

I am slowly getting better from my injuries and I'm doing what I can while trying to be careful not to
aggravate the injuries.

I've made a few changes this week...

-I have been alternating days with yoga and cardio/weight exercises.

I would like to do yoga everyday even if I do another workout,
but I just can't seem to find the time to do it all. So, for now,
I'll keep this schedule up and see how it goes.

-I have also added a 10-minute walk to the start of each day- before I do anything else.

It's quick, easy and starts the day off right. It's not hard to find 10 minutes, right!?

I do the walk outdoors to get some natural vitamin D and I don't wear sunscreen on my body.
I do this for maximum Vitamin D absorption. You may not agree with this. But, it's something I am 
trying out. It's only 10 minutes and it's not at the time where the sun's rays are at their peak.


Here are some pictures from my walk. I used to do this walk all the time years ago. It's good for the body, mind, and soul to get out in nature. As much as I know this, I don't do it enough.



This is one of the yoga DVDs I used this week. Kundalini yoga is completely different from Hatha style yoga.
If you've never tried it, you should. It has a lot of exercises that are good for hormones etc.





Here is a workout chart that I created for myself. I do these exercises when I'm not doing a workout DVD and I'm just working out on my own. I'll do about 20 minutes of cardio and then use 8lb weights and follow the chart below.



My workouts for the week:

Mon- 20 min Stepper + 8lb weight routine using above chart
Wed- Kundalini yoga - 40 min
Fri- 25 min morning walk (1st day)  + Hatha yoga 20 min

Weight - No change
Fat %- No change

I was hoping to see some changes on the scale this week. But, I know that most weight loss, at least for myself, comes from diet alone. Working out is healthy, but I don't usually lose weight from it. Eating a bit of ice cream everyday doesn't help either. lol  But, realistically, I do my best to eat healthy most of the time, but I'm not going to deprive myself.

It will be interesting to see if the 10-minute morning walk will make any difference as I just started the morning walk at the end of this week.

What are you doing to stay in shape?

See you next week.

Amy
xoxo

Thursday, June 16, 2016

June 2016 Topbox #Review

Today I received my first Topbox. 

If you're not familiar, Topbox is a Canadian monthly beauty subscription service, where you get 4 hand-picked deluxe samples delivered to your door for $12 per month plus taxes.

I always see people posting about their beauty boxes and I have to admit I envy the excitement of receiving a bag full of beauty products every month. And, the contents are a surprise, so it's kind of like getting a present in the mail every month.



It came packaged nicely in a reusable bag which is nice.




Let's see what came in my Topbox.





  • Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo in Seabuckthorn Berry- Sample size 21.3 grams
  • O.R.G Skincare Mineral Peel Face- Sample size 5ml
  • OFRA Lipliner in Wine- Full size
  • Doctor Babor Derma Cellular Collagen Booster Cream- Sample size 15ml

So, everything was sample size except for the lip liner. 

I am most excited about the Babor skin cream. I have heard about Babor skincare and believed it was a spa grade skincare line and the chart below confirms that.  I was disappointed that it's the size of an eye cream, but I'll probably get to use it for about a week and I'm still excited to use it. 

The O.R.G Mineral Peel comes in a little spray vial and looks like it will be a one use product (see pic below).

The lip liner is too dark for me so that was a bit of a bummer. I will be giving this item away.

The only item of any value to me is the 15ml Babor skin cream.

So, I would base the value of the box on what I got that I will use. Would I pay $13.56 for these items if it was offered to me in a store as a package? No

For more information on each product see the chart below. There are also some coupons at the bottom of this post. 

O.R.G Mineral Peel Face

I opened the O.R.G package to show you the product inside.

Although it was fun receiving this surprise bag of goodies in the mail and I'm fairly happy with this box, I have decided to cancel my subscription for a few reasons. For one, I have been collecting beauty products for decades now, so I don't want to add things to my collection that I don't really like or need and end up with a pile of items that just sit there. Plus, we can't specify colours that we don't like to wear, for example, if I were to get a red lipstick I would never wear it.

As much as a surprise in the mail every month is fun, I don't want to spend my money on things I wont use or don't need. I have been doing really well at consciously not purchasing things I don't really love or need. So, as much as I want to try new things, I need to be selective about what I purchase as I have been trying to declutter my life a bit.

Another way I determine whether this is a good value to me, is to ask myself - if this was sold in store for this price would I purchase it?

I think this is a great service for someone who is new to makeup, has a small collection, or has another makeup lover nearby to share their unwanted products with. 

If you'd like to subscribe to Topbox just click here.




www.Babor.com

Coupons


What did you get in your Topbox?

Amy
xoxo

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Week 1: My Health and Weight Loss Journery to Get Fit and Lose Weight!



I started my fitness journey to get fit and lose weight last Friday, so today it's one week since I started, and I promised to post workouts for the week and any results.

If you missed the first post starting this journey, you can find it linked here.

Week 1 workouts:

Day 1- Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 (level- week 1)
Day 2- Same
Day 3- Same
Day 4- Same
Day 5- Monthly visitor- workout ruined!
Day 6- 30 minutes on stepper 
Day 7- Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 (level - week 1)

The Jillian Michael's workout that I did this week is HIIT (high intensity interval training) style. She does 3 minutes of strength (I used 5 lb weights), 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs. Total workout is 30 minutes. 

I found the Jillian Michael's workout challenging but doable. I had a hard time completing abs and push ups. I haven't worked out in so long so I'm pretty out of shape.

It will be interesting to see how much harder week/level 2 is compared to week/level 1.

I have always been the kind of person to workout at the end of the day. This time I have started working out first thing when I get up. One reason is because I figured if I got it out of the way, I couldn't find excuses later. The second reason I did this is because I thought that I may burn more fat if I workout after fasting. Since my body wont have food to burn as fuel it will use my fat instead. WRONG! After doing some research on this, it's not the way to go. From what I've read, you risk losing muscle and slowing your metabolism if you don't fuel your body before a workout, you also wont have as much energy for your workout. Also, eating before a workout can speed up your muscle recovery after your workout.  From now on I will try to have a small snack before a workout. It's okay to workout after a fast occasionally but not a good idea to do it all the time.

Here is some great info and suggestions on what to eat before and after your workouts from fitnessmagazine.com

I weighed myself first thing in the morning on an empty stomach last week and I did the same this week. 

Pounds lost- 1 lb  
fat lost- 1%

I do feel stronger, like I'm building muscle. I've heard that muscle has memory and as I mentioned in my last post, for most of my life I have done some form of exercise.  

I have a long way to go to tone up the way that I want to but I feel like I am slowly starting to and that's pretty motivating. 

It's all up to me whether I want to be fit and firm or out of shape. I choose fit and firm and I will do my best to get there and stay there.

If you want to start a journey to get fit or lose weight or both, it's never too late! Join me if you like. Let me know what you are doing to get into shape. You can also find me on Instagram (link at top of page).

Amy
xoxo