5 Self Care Practices You Should Be Doing

There comes a time in everyone’s life that they forget to take care of themselves.  With life moving at a frenetic pace and our ever increasing responsibilities, there are only so many hours in a day and it is easy to put your own needs on the back burner.  The problem with not making self care a priority is that you can only continue this way for a limited amount of time before your body forces you to start caring for yourself.  For many, this is normally a temporary wake up call as they eventually go back to living life at full throttle not taking the time to care for themselves.

Contrary to popular belief, self care is not a selfish act.  By not taking the time to nourish and rejuvenate yourself, you will eventually deplete yourself of the ability to do things for others.  The old adage “you can’t pour from an empty cup”  rings true in this situation.  Over the past few years I have tried to make self care a priority.  While I am not always successful, there are a few self care rituals that I frequently practice to centre and  rejuvenate myself.  They also help to remind me that I need to be on my priority list, and to schedule a larger chunk of time for myself in the (very) near future.    My top five favourite (relatively quick) self care practices are:

IMG_00401). Get outside

We spend way to much time indoors.  Being outside and enjoying the fresh air is good for the mind, body and spirit.  Take a few minutes to just sit and enjoy the view or go for a quick walk around the block to get your blood pumping.

IMG_00472) Meditate (or just breathe) or stretch

I used to think that meditation was not for me.  My mind is always racing and I am frequently multi-tasking, how on earth could I be expected to just sit and breathe???  It turns out that those reasons are exactly why I needed to develop a meditation practice into my life.  Ever since I started to meditate I feel more grounded and not nearly as scattered as I used to be.  Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to spend a lot of time meditating to reaps it’s benefits.  I normally meditate between 5 – 15 minutes first thing in the morning (before my to-do list kicks into high gear).  Some mornings when I am running late I take a moment to take five deep belly breathes then I head out to start my day.  I have met many people that are interested in beginning a meditation practice but they are overwhelmed with the amount of information given to them about how to practice successfully.  Don’t overthink it!  Find a quiet place, sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breath.  In and out, in and out.  If you find your mind starting to wander don’t worry about it, just calmly bring your awareness back to your breath.  Some people find it helpful to have a mantra.  If you feel that you would benefit from one  then just be sure to pick one that you can say/think with the flow of your breath.  Voila!  You are now a meditating superstar!

There are countless benefits to stretching or doing yoga.  It is good for the mind, body and the soul.  If you are to busy to take a class then roll out your mat and move through a few moves at home.  There are some great apps out there (my favourite is Yoga Studio) that will help you to achieve a successful yoga practice wherever you are.  Aside from the greater range of flexibility and the calming effect that yoga has on my mind, I love the rosy glow that I get from my yoga practice.

IMG_20393) Put your electronics down!  (Yes that includes your phone)

Chances are that this self care practice may take some well…….practice.  Most of us are overly reliant on our phones (yes that includes me most of the time), but taking some time away from our electronic lifelines is healthy.  While the idea of being away from our phones for even a second is frightening take baby steps.  Try leaving your phone in another room while you eat and don’t pick up your phone as soon as you wake up.  This will allow you to stay (and enjoy) the moment rather then mindlessly going through your day.

IMG_00504) Take a mini spa moment

In an ideal world we would all have the time (and the resources) to visit a spa for rest and relaxation.  This is obviously a far cry from reality but with a little effort you can have a mini spa moment in the comfort of your own home.  Apply a sheet mask while you relax. Light some candles, enjoy a glass of spa water or wine and read a leisurely magazine to achieve the full spa effect.  When was the last time you took a luxurious bubble bath?  Treat yourself to your favourite bubble bath and body oil and be sure to add in some epsom salts to help relax those tired muscles. It doesn’t matter how you choose to bliss out as long as you do it.  Even just 15 minute of spa time will rejuvenate your body and nourish your busy mind.

IMG_00375) Treat yourself to something that will make you smile

I don’t mean to go and splurge on a high price item and consider it self care.  It can be as simple as treating yourself to a bouquet of flowers or a picture that gives you a positive pause for thought.  Something as simple as flowers can brighten a room, bring the outdoors inside and encourage you (and those around you) to smile.  Small treats that you enjoy will help to remind you that YOU are worth making yourself a priority.

There are endless ways to practice self care but it is important that you take the time to do so.  What are your favourite ways to care prioritize yourself and nourish your mind, body and soul?  Let me know in the comments below

I hope that you have a fabulous day!  ❤️XXS

My Top 4 Beauty Foods For Spring

Hi Everyone!

Now that the warmer weather has slowly but finally arrived it is time to step up your beauty routine.  So as you reacquaint yourself with your razor and erase any residual signs of winter paleness,  you may also want to consider adding in a few beauty boosters into your diet to help you glow all season long.  My favourite dietary beauty boosters for spring are:

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Blueberries

Blueberries are one of my favourite fruits of all time.  These gorgeous little berries are a fantastic source of  antioxidants, that fight free radicals and help to maintain youthful skin.  Rich in vitamin C, blueberries also help to boost the collagen in the skin which is great for keeping your skin looking taut and smooth.  Blueberries are also a good source of fibre which helps to keep your digestive system healthy.  Remember: a healthy digestive system is integral to getting and maintaining healthy glowing skin.

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Asparagus

Asparagus is one of the easiest vegetables to cook making them a breeze to add to many dishes.  Filled with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as selenium, silica, zinc and iron this delicious vegetable helps to keep your skin clear and your hair and nails strong.  Asparagus is also a great natural diuretic which is helpful in removing toxins from the body along with supporting any weight loss goals.

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Eggs

Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse.  Many people only eat egg whites to achieve their weight loss goals but you should be eating the entire egg.  The yolks are packed with important vitamins (such as vitamins A and D) which helps to keep the skin clear and youthful while the egg whites work to brighten and repair the skin.  Buy organic or free range in order to get more beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet.  Eggs are a complete protein and are a good source of selenium, B vitamins and vitamin D.

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Coriander

I know that coriander (aka cilantro) is a polarizing herb – either you love it or you hate it.  For those that enjoy coriander here are a few more reasons to add it into your diet:  they are rich in antioxidants which helps to destroy any free radicals in the body.  It helps to fight signs of aging and brightens the skin.  Coriander is helpful in preventing spikes in blood sugar which is a potential skin ager.  It also supports detoxification in the liver which further supports skin health.

What are your favourite beauty boosters for spring? Let me know in the comments section below!

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  ❤️XXS

Hot Chia Oats

I often motivate myself to get out of bed in the mornings with plans about what I am going to eat for breakfast.  While I don’t often have a lot of time in the AM, I have developed an arsenal of quick breakfast recipes that are quick, delicious and easy.

Oatmeal has been one of my favourite breakfast foods for a number of years.  It is delicious, healthy and filling – a total winner in my book.  Recently though I decided to up my oatmeal game.  Combined with one of my favourite superfoods chia seeds, lightly sweetened  with some raw honey and topped with fruit (blueberries are my favourite) and a drizzle of almond butter,  it may be super simple but hot chia oats is my new breakfast obsession.

You can make this recipe two ways – you can combine the ingredients in a jar or bowl the night before and store it in the refrigerator as a ready to eat cold breakfast the next morning, but my favourite way is to make it hot.  There is something comforting and nourishing about a hot breakfast (especially oatmeal) in the morning and this hot chia oats dish tastes indulgent but is filled with nourishing and nutritious ingredients.  Love!  Love!  Love!

Hot Chia Oats (serves 1)

1/4 cup of oats

1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of chia seeds

1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or whichever type of milk you prefer)

1 teaspoon of raw honey or maple syrup (you can adjust the sweetness to your own taste)

pinch of cinnamon

Directions

Combine everything but the honey in a small pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally

Once the chia oat mixture starts to boil, remove from heat and stir in the raw honey (if using maple syrup, you can add it in while the oatmeal is still on the heat)

Top with fruit and your favourite nut butter

Enjoy!!!!!

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

 

4 Reasons Why Chia Seeds Should Be A Staple In Your Diet

Hi Everyone!

There are a handful of foods and spices that I consider staples in my diet.  They support my  health and nutritional goals and keep me looking and feeling great.  One food that I have loved from the first time that I tried it was chia seeds.  These little tiny seeds deliver many health and beauty benefits, so I am often surprised how few people actually eat them on a regular basis.

Native to Mexico, chia seeds was commonly eaten by the Aztecs and the Mayans to help support them through long journeys and during battles.  This tiny little seed is a food powerhouse that provides many vitamins and minerals along with energy, which is much needed to power through long and challenging days.  Here are my top four favourite reasons why you should regularly include chia seeds in your diet:

  1. It’s no secret that I love foods that help me to look good and chia seeds is one of my beautifying favourites.  Chia seeds are incredibly high in antioxidants which helps to repair free radical damage from the inside out along with helping to prevent premature aging of the skin.
  2. Bowel movements are not the pleasant topics to discuss but let’s face it – it is important and completely necessary to good health.  Chia seeds are high in dietary fibre (2 tbsp = 11g of fibre), which helps to promote regularity and a healthy stool.
  3. Chia seeds help to support dietary and weight loss goals as they are filling without a lot of calories.  This will keep you from overindulging later on and avoid any post binge guilt that you may feel.
  4. Chia seeds are a good source of Omega-3 which helps to tame any inflammation that you may have in your body.  The western diet is filled with many pro-inflammatory so any food that can help to combat this is something that you want to include in your diet.

Please note that chia seeds should not be consumed dry as it can be hazardous and potentially cause choking.  When mixed with a liquid it expands and becomes a gel similar to tapioca.  It makes a great binder as a replacement for eggs in baking and it is a wonderful addition to smoothies.  For a refreshing energy boost I like to stir a tablespoon of chia seeds into a glass of coconut water and drink it (once the seeds have gelled).

What is your favourite way to include chia seeds in your diet?

I hope that you have a fabulous day!  XXS

Cashew Butter Blondies

This recipe for cashew butter blondies came to me as an epiphany of sorts.  I love blondies and my favourite recipe in the past was curtesy of the Barefoot Contessa.  Rich, buttery and completely indulgent, those blondies were fun to eat but not so great for my health goals.  So with this year’s baking challenge I decided to include a lightened up blondie recipe.

I thought that cashew butter would be a great addition to blondies and I spent a lot time Googling recipes trying to figure out how to achieve my blondie dreams.  I tried a few recipes that I found, and while they were good they didn’t feel like the decadent treat that I was searching for.  Then I came across a recipe for grain free brownies that was simple and sounded delicious.  I decided to use that recipe as a base and adapt it into the blondie recipe I had been dreaming of.

This recipe is simple but delicious.  These blondies are flourless and can be refined sugar free if you omit the chocolate chips.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 500g jar cashew butter

1 cup (250ml) golden maple syrup

2 organic eggs

4 Madjool dates, pitted and mashed

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Pinch of Himalayan pink salt (or sea salt)

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp Baking soda

What to do:

Preheat oven to 320 degrees

Blend the dates and maple syrup until creamy

Mix in the cashew butter until completely integrated

Slowly stir in the eggs (one at a time)

Stir in the salt, cinnamon and baking soda

Gently fold in chocolate chips until just combined

Pour batter into a 8 X 8 pan lined with parchment paper

Bake for 45 – 50 minutes until golden brown

Let cool before cutting into squares

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I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS