Instagram Health Trends I Can’t Get Down With

When it comes to health and wellness, social media can be a double edged sword. On one hand, Instagram can be motivational and inspirational; encouraging people to get fit and make better choices. But on the flip side, there are some pretty extreme perspectives and fad diets that are pervasive in those little squares, and I think it can be dangerous for impressionable people who are grasping at whatever they can to lose weight. Today I wanted to share some of these trends with you, because as per usual, I have some pretty strong opinions on them.

  1. Intermittent fasting: I’m sorry, but why the eff are people starving themselves again? Isn’t that so 1983? Letting your stomach growl for 16 hours a day can’t possibly be a thing. I don’t care how much weight you lose; starvation isn’t cute. I eat every 3-4 hours because if my blood sugar dips, I get bitchy af. I can’t imagine not eating for 2/3rds of the day (are you proud of my math skillz guys? Is that even right? 16 out of 24 hours is 2/3rds, right?)…that’s just masochistic.
  2. Bulletproof coffee (and the keto diet in general): MORE BUTTER! Gimme allllll the butter. WTF? How is this a thing? Before I launch into my tirade, let me actually share what Bulletproof coffee is. Some guy invented it when he went traveling abroad to like the Himalayas or some shit and he put grassfed butter (or ghee) in his coffee and also something called MCT oil which is ideal for brain function and mental clarity. Allegedly it keeps you full for hours, but that’s because it has 17,000 calories or something like that. I tried one recently for the first time, and let’s just say that MCT oil gave me a case of the shits like I’ve never experienced in my life. Never. Again.
  3. No fruit: Bitches be putting cauliflower and zucchini in their smoothies now instead of bananas and blueberries. Apparently fruit has too much sugar. Mmmkay then. I’ll just be over here adding your unused banana to my smoothie. Enjoy drinking your blended cruciferous veggies. Get it girl!
  4. No bread for toast: Now we make toast with thinly cut sweet potatoes. I can’t with this. I will eat bread forever because carbs make MY brain function, and I really like bread. Don’t pull the bread from under my toast, thankyouverymuch.

 

So yeah, my rant is over, but just remember to always do you, boo. What works for me is balance and moderation, eating ALL the food groups, and eating ALL the livelong day. Maybe that isn’t the case for you, but I strongly caution you to avoid these Instagram “health and wellness” traps, because I honestly just don’t see how they’re smart choices.

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Body built by carbs, fruit, and very little butter.

XO, The Athleisure Teacher

Supplements We Love

One of the questions I’m most frequently asked is what supplements I take and what I give to the kids. So after doing a major haul yesterday at Ambrosia, my personal Mecca and the store I frequently take second mortgages out to feed my addiction to, I thought I’d share with you what we take to stay healthy.

*Note – I have zero expertise in regards to any of this. I just do what works for us. As always, consult your doctor or health professional before starting a new supplement.*

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Clockwise from top left:

  1. Genuine Health Advanced Gut Health Probiotic – I take this daily (before breakfast) to support the microbiome in my bowel. I’ve alluded to my bowel issues before on the blog, and without getting into too many details, I can certifiably say that a daily probiotic has helped me keep my gut health in check. Probiotics help with immune support, allow you absorb nutrients better and also alleviate a lot of IBS symptoms. There’s also a gut and brain connection, which suggests that a healthy gut helps to keep you mentally healthy as well. So taking a daily probiotic is really a no-brainer. I like this this particular brand because it’s vegan, and comes in a shelf-stable blister pack, so you don’t need to refrigerate, which makes it ideal on the go.
  2. Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Proteins – I put this in my smoothies because of the fermentation, which makes me less bloated. Both the chocolate and vanilla flavors are amazing, and it’s a Toronto-based company, which I love.
  3. Bulletproof Upgraded Collagen – As many of you know (particularly if you watch my stories about little baggies of it making me look like a cokehead in public), I take collagen daily. I put a scoop of it in my coffee, and this brand dissolves beautifully with zero taste. It’s pricey, but honestly, a life changer. I’ve been taking it for about 6 months or so, and lately people have been telling me I look like I’m aging backwards. I give full credit to this collagen for being my fountain of youth. Take it. Your skin, hair, nails and gut will thank you.
  4. Floradix Kindervital – Don’t let the weird German name turn you off. This multivitamin for the kids is amazing. I like it because it’s liquid, which means easier absorption, and also that it has calcium and vitamin D in it, because my children don’t really drink much milk, and it’s easier than taking an additional calcium supplement.
  5. Natural Factors Kids Multiprobiotic – This is the powder my kids get in their morning beverage. It dissolves nicely, and I like knowing they’re getting their gut and immune support too. During the school year, my daughter also gets HMF Fit for School, which is pricey, but a really solid probiotic to ensure she’s warding off the myriad of diseases her classmates carry.

So there you have it; some of our essentials. I hope you found this post informative! XO

Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number

One of my favourite shows is Younger. The premise is a 40-something divorced mother lies about her age so she can get a job in the publishing industry in New York. She tells people she’s 26 and a millenial, because otherwise she’d be outcast from her career. In the most recent episode, her real age comes out, and when fact checkers inquire as to her real age, she tells them she’s “age queer” (much like the current “gender queer” trend), and refuses to associate with a particular age. She says she’s saying she’s 41 in a protest to ageism.

Yes this is hilarious, but it also rings true in my current life. I readily admit I’m 36, a mother of two, and very much established in my career (in which I’m fortunate to have security in because the perception is that English teachers are old cat ladies anyway). But lately I haven’t felt my physical and emotional self matches my age. For a good year or so now, I’ve been hearing comments like “Are you aging backwards?” And, “You look younger now after kids!” While this is all very flattering, and I can chalk much of it up to genetics, I’m here to share with you the key to feeling and looking youthful.

A big part of it is lifestyle. Sleep. Meditation/mindfulness. Clean eats. Working out. My regimented lifestyle is definitely a key attribute. BUT, an even bigger part of it is just confidence, the way you perceive yourself, and recognizing you don’t have to let getting older dull your sparkle.

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Last night I had dinner with these two beautiful former students. They’re 22, and have the most insightful perspectives on life. They were saying that I look and act younger now than when I taught them in 2011 (and again in 2014). I don’t think they’re wrong. One of them was also saying that feeling sexy is something to be embraced, regardless of age, and that societal perceptions shouldn’t dictate who can or cannot feel sexy.

There *is* this stigma that mothers should be stressed out basket cases, and that their physical self should look accordingly. But I want to challenge this notion. My inner and outer self feel sexier to me now than they did in my 20s. Am I having a midlife crisis? Maybe (Definitely). But the point I’m trying to convey is this: embrace your youth regardless of age. It feels so good to laugh like a giddy school girl. Or to have a superficial conversation. Smile more. Be playful. Wear something “age inappropriate.” Turn the jams up a little louder. Go dancing. Whether you’re in your 30s, 40s, 50s, you can still feel young, dress young, and act young. Being a mother, a wife, or just generally adulting doesn’t have to feel like a death sentence.

Thanks for reading. Namaste.

Some Recent Happenings

Hello loyal followers (looking at you, mom)! It’s been tumbleweeds up in here for a few days now, so I thought I’d check in and fill you in on my extraordinarily exciting life.

Let’s talk about having a public Instagram account for a moment, shall we? It’s beyond weird. Other accounts follow you in the hopes you’ll follow back and then unfollow you almost immediately. And weirdos contact you. So. Many. Weirdos. I recently posted a story of me eating a doughnut and I got doughnut shamed! Some guy who allegedly runs marathons according to his account got all up in my DMs and responded to my story with a face palm emoji! Shame on you marathon running guy for being a doughnut shamer! Leave me to eat my white sugar and refined carbohydrates in peace! Can we also talk about the creepers? In the course of a month, I’ve received countless “hellos” from men who legitimately look like serial killers. Thank Gd for the “decline” button.

Annnnnyway, this past weekend I went to Tacofest. It was a personal life highlight for me because my life is sad. And tacos speak to me on a metaphysical level. Here are some pictures. For the record, I’m the shittiest photographer on the planet. Especially when it comes to food. I don’t know how I’m going to hack this blogging thing if I can’t take adequate photos. Thankfully today I met with a former student who does photography, and she helped me with some very basic editing and filters, but I still think I’m hopeless.

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See, horrendous photography. No one needs to see a picture of a churro ejaculating dulche de leche. Hopeless.

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But, on the bright side, this stranger took a lovely photo for us.

So yes, this weekend was hella indulgent (as they usually are in my world), but today I bought something that’s going to keep me youthful and healthy af, which I’m very excited about.

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I’ve been into matcha for a while, but have been spending big bucks buying iced lattes out. Today I commit to an at home set (whisk, bowl and spoon), as well as some high quality matcha from David’s Tea, and I can’t wait to start making my own iced lattes!

How I Keep my Anxiety at Bay

It’s been a hard week.

With the loss of two iconic legends in their respective fields, suicide prevention and mental health awareness have been at the forefront of people’s minds and mouths more than ever. So today I thought I’d do a post to shed some light on my own struggles with mental health and offer a few suggestions for what has worked for me to keep my anxiety at bay. I’ve always been a pretty high anxiety person, and while I like to joke my preferred coping mechanisms are wine and Ativan, this past year I’ve actually taken some concrete steps to alleviate my anxiety in a healthy way, and here’s what I’ve found helpful.

1. Visualization

After struggling to quiet my mind enough to meditate or even practice mindfulness, I’ve found a strategy that helps to stop my racing heart in times of distress or when I get anxious. Visualization is great because it feels very concrete to me, as opposed to more abstract methods of calming. When you visualize, you picture all the things that are causing you stress and worry (mostly in the form of the toxic sludge you’re holding in your body), and then you dump all of that into some storage type container. You picture yourself shutting the container up in a very official way (I picture a treasure chest for some reason and I like to lock it up real tight, but you can use any container ranging from tupperware to a backpack even), and then dump it somewhere it can’t surface. For me, I dump it into the ocean and watch it sink. You then go on to picture yourself in your favourite place post-purging and spend a few minutes basking yourself in that location. Personally, I go to the beach in Mexico where we vacation, and feel the warmth on me, the sand between my toes, and I let all the worries melt away. I know it all sounds a little corny, but I swear, it works. When I open my eyes again, I feel calm and at peace.

2. Adaptogens

Adaptogens are herbs that help to reduce stress and anxiety (more info here). Ashwagandha is my preferred adaptogen, as it’s been proven to help with stress and anxiety reduction.ashwagandha

I drink mine in kombucha, but you can also take supplements (purchase here). I also like magic mushrooms. Not the fun kind, but ones like reishi and cordyceps. I really think adaptogens can make a difference in your mood.

3. Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is 100% the difference for me between being able to cope and not feeling emotionally stable. It’s a known fact I have a granny-esque bedtime, and if you text me after 9 pm, you won’t hear from me until 6 am. In fact, I power down long before my 9 pm bedtime. I’ve always been a light sleeper who wakes frequently in the night, but I recently found my secret weapon. drbach

It’s called Bach’s Rescue Remedy Night spray, and it works. It’s made from flowers and tastes like poison, and I love it. I get it from Ambrosia, where I get all my supplements, and it’s relatively inexpensive. Take a spray or two (or seven if you’re me) when you go to bed, and if you wake through the night, and it instantly calms you and helps you fall back asleep.

4. Exercise

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Obviously this one is on my list. We all know by now that exercise produces endorphins and makes you feel more centered, relaxed, and happy. It seems counter-intuitive, but pushing my body to the limit is always the most relaxing part of my day. Straight up, I exercise for my mental health, not my physical. The physical is truly just an added bonus.

5. Cuddle, get outside, enjoy quality time

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It’s amazing what fresh air does for the mind. When I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I go outside, even if it’s just for a minute (disclaimer: I only do this when it’s above 15 degrees because I hate the cold), and I take a deep breath. I instantly feel better. So days where I spend a few hours outdoors, especially with my kids, I feel particularly stable and happy. And days where we’re trapped inside? I make sure to get lots of cuddles, because a hug is sure to instantly calm my nerves and improve my mood.

So once again, a doozy of a post, but thanks for reading yet another novel of mine. I hope you find just one strategy you like or think might work. But most importantly, if you’re really struggling with anxiety and depression, or thoughts of suicide, please talk to someone and get help. XO