10K Steps Daily Towards A Healthier Future

As you all know, for the longest time, I’ve been on a journey to lose weight. I’ve tried diets, I’ve tried adjusting my eating habits, I’ve even cut out many foods from my diet. But I haven’t lost any weight. The problem is, I love food. I enjoy eating. Not over-eating. But I enjoy a good meal. I like my steaks, I love all-day breakfasts, I like rice and I like cheese and when you’re a foodie, you eat and you don’t skimp out on your meals. But that also means, you don’t lose weight. So, everything I’ve tried to lose weight, clearly hasn’t been working. With my depression and constant emotional roller-coaster, I indulge and have many set-backs.

So, cutting out food is not an option for me. Let’s face it, I love to eat. But that doesn’t mean I still can’t lose weight. My iPhone health app allows me to track how many steps I take each day. So, I’ve watched my steps. According to the Canadian Health Guide, by taking at least 10,000 steps a day you promote a healthy future for yourself. I think, since I’ve started counting my steps, I’ve only hit 10K steps twice. But I’ve gotten close many times. Taking a little stroll during lunch-time may have gotten me closer to that 10K mark; had I not been lazy.

I’ve decided to work on losing weight through walking. Walking at a faster pace than I normally would and hitting at 10K steps per day, is sure to help me lose between 1/2-1 lbs. a week; which sounds like nothing but actually adds up to about 4 lbs. a month and 12 lbs. a year. I know, it’s still not much. But if I can limit my sugar in-take, avoid Coca-Cola then I am sure those 1/2-1 lbs. per week could potentially turn into 2-3 lbs. a week.

I don’t want to lose weight fast. I mean, I do but I want it to be healthy weight-loss and sustainable. So, I’m taking the long-route, the one that promotes a healthy lifestyle and “hopefully” permanent weight-loss.

The End Of An Amazing Weekend

I hate being back in the city, especially after the amazing weekend I had. Blue Mountain was absolutely stunning and I relaxed so much. I totally feel refreshed and although the weekend went by so quickly, it was just perfect and so needed.

D and I missed Ni a lot throughout the trip, but we needed that relaxation time. Unfortunately, we didn’t get much alone time on this trip with the large group we went with. Nevertheless, I think both of us feel rejuvenated and back on track to handle life. I just wish we had some time just to ourselves. D really wanted to do the activities; zip-lining and other stuff; where, I preferred to relax in the sun and sleep or go for a swim. I let him go with the group and enjoy himself and he let me relax. It all worked out.

Here’s a highlight of my trip:

Soaking In The Sun At Blue Mountain

I had one of the most amazing beginnings to the weekends and mini-vacation! Blue Mountain was everything I’ve heard about it and besides the cute village, this vacation proved to be relaxing, fun and exciting.  

 The drive to Blue Mountain was just stunning. We took airport road all the way up and it was such a beautiful road to drive on. We had brunch at a family-owned mom and pops diner in Creemore, Ontario that over delivered on food and service. The owner, Henry came over to tell us how pleased he was to cook for us and it was great seeing such a big family together. The food was outstanding, probably the best all-day breakfast I’ve ever had. 
  
Once checked-in and settled into our rooms, we went for a swim and relaxed in the hot tub before exploring the Village. That time by the pool really set the mood for the entire trip. Later, I had a few too many gin and tonics and danced on the balcony to the music of the concert happening in the Village square down below. 
  
Woke up late, went for breakfast and relaxed on the balcony for the remainder of the afternoon with a gin and ginger ale as the rest of the group went off to do zip-lining and other activities. They tried convincing me to come with them, but I insisted on relaxing in the sun with a drink and eventually taking a dip in the pool again. 
  
So, as I sit here by the pool, soaking in the hot sun, thought I’d write a quick post about how much I am enjoying myself. Hope your weekend is going great too.
From Blue Mountain,
~Tamana

Recipe-of-the-Week: Strawberry Margarita Jello Shots

As I prep for my trip, I though I’d share a recipe with all of you to enjoy during your long-weekend. I’ve made these in the past and they were a big hit, even amongs the friends that don’t like shots. It’s a quick recipe you can make a few hours before your get together and it doesn’t give you a terrible hangover afterwards.

Here’s what you need: 

  • 24-30 strawberries 
  • A box of strawberry Jello mix
  • 3/4 cups cointreau
  • 1 cup tequila
  • 2 lime
  • 2-3 tbsp. sugar
  • A small measuring spoon to scoop out the strawberries

Here’s what you do: 

  • Cut berries slightly from the pointy bottom. But don’t cut off too much as your Jello mix will seep through
  • Cut the berries from the wide top part and scoop out some of the inside, as if making a bowl, place on a cookie sheet aligned with parchment or wax paper
  • Prepare Jello as per instructions on box but only use 3/4 cups water instead of the recommended amount and bring to a boil
  • Remove from heat, let cool slightly and add Cointreau and tequila and mix well
  • With a funnel or jug with a spout, pour jello mixture into strawberry bowls
  • Carefully place in the fridge for 3-4 hours or until jello complete sets 
  • When jello has set, squeeze a bit of line over them, then dip strawberries in sugar, so to coat the outer edge of your strawberry bowls and enjoy!

These are delicious, light and are always a big hit. Enjoy your weekends, lovelies and check me out on Instagram for photos of my first vacation after becoming a mom!

Happy Victoria Day!

I’m Being Selfish and That’s Okay By Me

5 days off work. 4 days out of the city. 4 days child-free. First vacation in over 2 years! I don’t care how the weather is. I don’t care if I’ll be broke after this mini-vacation or not. I don’t care that I’ll miss my little Ni. I’m going away and that’s all that matters.

Am I being selfish? Definitely. But I am only human and I deserve me time (even if it involves being with 9 other people). I cook dinner every night after finishing an 8 hour shift at work. Count the 45 minutes drive in and out and that’s 9.5 hours. Count the waking up at 5 am and that’s another 3 hours. Come home, pick up Ni, tidy up before she gets home, pick up groceries and run errands on my way home. When she’s finally home, change her clothes, feed her, entertain her and then put her to sleep. Wash the dishes, tidy up again and then heat dinner up for the hubby. By the time my day is done, it’s almost midnight. Survive on less than 5 hours sleep but never complain.

Yes, I’m being selfish and I don’t care who wants to judge me. Being a mom is a blessing. But it’s also exhausting. And if I want to be the best mom I can possibly be to Ni, I have to be selfish at times and this weekend I will be exactly that.

We’ve booked 2 cottage condos in Blue Mountain for 2 nights and there will be heavy drinking involved. It’s the first vacation D and I will have since Ni was born and it’s a well-deserved one. 

So, my lovelies, I will be MIA for a few days. But watch me on Instagram because I promise to be posting on there. I’ll add photos and a notes when I return on here, so wait for me!

Have an amazing long-weekend and Victoria Day! Xoxo

Self-Help Rememdies To Calm Your Anxiety

A friend recently reached out to me to get my advice on anti-depressant medication and how she can manage her anxiety. This friend is a strong woman, who strives on only using natural remedies and I doubt she ever takes real medicine unless it’s necessary. I was a little taken-back when she told me she was suffering from anxiety. I haven’t seen her in a long-time, but from what I remember of her, she was always such a calm, cool, easy-going person. I used to look up to her as an older sister because she was so confident and successful.

So, when she told me she was seeking help for anxiety, I was a bit shocked. I know she’s stopped working and is a stay-at-home mom for 3 beautiful children, but anxiety? I guess, it’s understandable. Having just Ni to take care of sometimes does its toll on me and makes me feel like escaping. But she’s got three little ones. Plus, the house chores, groceries, laundry, running errands….yes, I guess, anxiety is very understandable in her case. Matter-of-fact, in any mother’s case.

I strongly recommended she not take anti-depressants unless she absolutely needed them. I’ve taken anti-depressant for many years, off and on and if you can do without them, I would suggest, staying away. Anti-depressant medications are great, they calm you down, relax your crazy thoughts and even help you go to sleep. But they’re only great until they are not. There are an array of side-effects and they are very addictive (even if you don’t have an addictive personality).

I’m not shaming anti-depressants. They work for some people very well. But for me, I try to avoid them. So, I suggested to her to begin writing down her thoughts. When my depression nearly killed me, I wrote, it helped more than I can explain. You don’t write for someone to read your thoughts. You write to let out whatever it is you’re battling within yourself. Sometimes, I wrote ten pages, sometimes only a single word. But it helped. I’ve asked her to buy a journal from the Dollar Store and begin taking a couple of minutes everyday to write what she’s thinking, how she’s feeling, what she did that day; was it good or bad, did she enjoy it or want to change it?

Aside from writing, here are a couple of other things that help me ease my depression and anxiety:

Chamomile Tea:
They say drinking chamomile tea helps calm you down and relaxes your anxiety. I’m not a fan of chamomile tea because I just cannot tolerate the taste. But if you can look beyond the taste, it has similar compounds that bind to the brain receptors such as drugs like Valium to help calm anxiety symptoms.

Green Tea:
Green tea has an amino acid called L-theanine; which helps regulate a fast heart-rate and blood pressure and may also help reduce anxiety. Add some honey to the mix and you may as well have one of the best soothing drinks to relax yourself before bedtime.

Lavender:
Lavender is known for its relaxation, healing powers. I burn lavender candles, burn incense and even spray lavender and vanilla air-freshener in my apartment before bed to help me fall asleep. Glade makes an amazing air-freshener that really freshens up the place and has a long-lasting scent; which isn’t too strong.

Eat a piece of chocolate or chocolate cake:
This remedy is probably a cause of me being over-weight. But it helps. There is something in chocolate that really satisfies the mind and relaxes the body. So, have some chocolate (not too late at night though) and calm your senses.

Practice breathing:
I’ve read on many websites that in the middle of an anxiety attack, it’s hard to focus on your breathing and breathing exercises just do not work. But I’ve tried it, before and during an attack and I can honestly say, if practiced regularly, it will help. Sometimes taking in a deep breath and releasing it slowly does relax your body, calm your heart-rate and feel like you’re releasing your tensions.

I regularly practice breathing by counting while I’m doing it. 5 seconds to inhale, hold for 5 seconds and release for 8 seconds. I do 5 sets of these and it truly calms me right down.

Take a hot shower or warm bath:
There is something about hot showers that help me release my tensions and I always come out of the bathroom after a hot shower relaxed and at ease with myself. Sometimes, I cry my heart out in the shower, sometimes I just stand there letting the hot water hit my skin and zone out. Sometimes, I listen to music and even talk to myself (yes, I sound a little crazy, but it helps! Don’t judge.)

And if all else fails me, I hide in the bathroom for ten minutes, yell at the top of my lungs if no one is home and then come out slightly calmer. I hope some of these remedies and ideas help my friend out and you out.

Do you have anxiety or depression? If so, share your tips and secrets with dealing with it and staying sane!

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day, lovelies! To all the mothers, daughters, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and aunts, I hope you have a kid-free, relaxing and loving day to yourselves. You deserve it!

I’m spending my day with Ni, D and my mom. But I got to enjoy my day yesterday with Ni and she even made me a card at daycare and daddy helped her get me a “mom” charm from Pandora; which I absolutely love. 

Have a fantastic day! 

~Tamana

a stubborn desire…

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