Trying Meditation

Enjoy the completely unrelated photo.

A few weeks ago I started to include meditation with my workout routine to help mental health along with physical.

How to get started

Step 1 – find an app or videos

I tried several apps at the same time ( got to check out all the options ) to try to find one that I liked the best. It’s good to have one that has topics that are applicable to you and if they’re guided meditations, with someone who has a voice that you can listen to for a bit.  My favourite apps were Simple Habit Meditation – it costs money to subscribe but my friend gave me a free trial – and HeadSpace. HeadSpace is a good starting off point to learn the basics. After using the apps for a bit and once I felt like I knew what I was doing I went to YouTube videos for more options. My favourite has been Boho Beautiful ( it sounds cheesy but she has a very calming voice ), there is a daily meditation playlist which focuses on self-acceptance and love.

Step 2 – fit it into your daily routine

At first, I tried to work meditation in 3 places in my routine, to see if I could do it that often and to find when worked best. First thing in the morning, while stretching post-workout and right before bed. In the morning it’s a good way to start the day being calm and having a clear mind. I find it allows me to stretch better because of being relaxed and focused in the moment. Right before bed is a great way to sleep better and calm yourself down.

Step 3 – be consistent!

Best way to form a habit is to stick with it until it becomes part of your day. This can be hard on days when your mind is racing and it feels difficult to calm it, but that’s when you need it most.

Some benefits I’ve found

  • My mind feels calmer. The main reason to start meditation. It really helps with anxiety and sleep.
  • Less negative thoughts, more appreciative, more positive. I’ve been trying to consciously work on this, too, so the meditation didn’t magically solve this, but it has helped. Especially with being present and trying not to worry.
  • More focus, which also helps during workouts. If you try to incorporate meditation into something you need a lot of focus for or during your workouts it can improve your performance because you’re living in the moment and your mind is either clear on thinking about whatever it is you need focus for.
  • Feels like you have more control over your mind. If you start thinking negatively you can use meditation as a tool to stop it or at least redirect.

It seems so simple yet it feels like it’s made a substantial difference in how I think and I would highly recommend learning how to meditate. Have you tried meditation?

P.S. It’s Peri

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Mango Pineapple Tropical Smoothie

Mango has to be one of my favourite fruits and mango smoothies make me happy, plus it is yellow and the slices of mango reminded me of sunbeams so this is a tropical smoothie to make it feel like a getaway from winter for a bit.

 

 

Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup vanilla yoghurt. I used 0% fat to lighten it a bit.

1 cup pineapple chunks + some of the juice.

2 cups mashed banana.

2 cups frozen mango chunks.

1 cap full of vanilla, about 1 tsp.

1/2 cup water.

 

 

For the bananas, I have found it helpful to make almost banana ice cubes. When bananas start to get overripe or there’s just a lot in the house, I mash them all up, put them in a plastic bag and in the freezer so there will be ripe bananas for smoothies or spontaneous banana bread. It makes smoothie have an ice cream like texture since they’re frozen.

IMG_7350
The ugly ( but beautiful on the inside ) banana mash cube.

 

This recipe also makes quite a bit of smoothie, which I keep in the freezer until next time I would like it. But smoothies don’t last too long and tend to get freezer burnt around 3 days after making them.

 

 

 

 

 

Directions

Put all of the ingredients into a blender, blend until smooth. Top with extra mango for more fruit and some granola ( recipe here! ) for crunch, enjoy!

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Everything ready to blend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your favourite fruits and smoothie flavours?

 

P.S It’s Peri

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Simple Creamy Hummus Recipe

I hear it is SuperBowl this weekend which means good food and a healthier ( my recipe is kind of high in fat so just slightly healthier ) option is hummus. It can be eaten with veg plus it has protein and fibre to satisfy you. And making your own hummus means you get a lot more than in the package, so there’s more to eat.

 

Recipe

Ingredients

2 1/4 cup chickpeas

2 tbsp tahini

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 table salt

1/4 garlic powder

A splash of lemon juice to taste, I add quite a bit because I like it lemony.

You can use canned chickpeas, but a good thing I found is that it’s cheaper to buy a bag of dried chickpeas and cook them up before you’re going to use them. I put them in a slow cooker filled with water overnight then in the morning they are slightly overcooked but it makes the hummus more smooth.  Also, tahini is key to making the hummus taste right, I have tried using olive oil but it alone doesn’t cut it.

 

 

 

Directions

Add all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until very smooth, it should almost look like frosting. Then enjoy! IMG_7358

 

 

 

 

I eat this hummus with everything and pretty much all of the time, it has to be one of my favourite foods and it’s fast and easy to make!

Snapseed (4)

 

 

 

 

P.S It’s Peri

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Spinach, Salsa And Feta Scramble

Breakfast can be hard to find healthy options since it’s probably the only meal where one can really justify having sweets for. I find that I’m so hungry when I wake up I just want food fast and I want something that makes me excited to get up. ( #HomeschoolProblems, when you need exciting food to motivate you to get going instead of needing to be at school?? ) This is a high protein, low-carb and gets some vegetables in right away! The scramble is on top of a Broghie, which is almost like bread or a cracker. They’re popped corn or wheat, making them very low in carbs and calories.

Recipe

A savoury, high-protein, low-carb and easy to make breakfast of spinach, feta, salsa and egg scramble on top of a crisp Broghie or could be substituted with bread or tortilla.

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoon chunky salsa

1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese

1/4 baby spinach

1 large egg

A little oil to cook the egg in a pan

1 Broghie, tortilla or base of choice

Directions

Heat a pan to medium-low heat with a little splash of oil to make sure the egg won’t stick later on. Once heated add salsa to one part of the pan to heat it up. Scramble egg before putting it in the pan to cook, let egg cook until it doesn’t appear to have any parts that look clear anymore then combine it with the salsa in the pan and add in spinach and feta until everything is combined. Place on your base of choice and enjoy!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

 

What are some of your favourite healthy breakfasts?

P.S It’s Peri

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2017 Goals

I really love goal setting, it’s probably the OCD in me that wants to take some control in life. Plus it’s so nice after accomplishing goals. And I think it helps me get closer to where I want to be in life? Or at least it makes me think I am, which is good enough.

 

Where I want to be in a year.

The first thing I do before setting the new goals is try to imagine where I want to be at this time next year. Where I am? What have I accomplished? Has there been major changes in my life? How do I feel? This often doesn’t actually help at all because I can barely imagine where I’m going to be tomorrow let alone a year. It also might set too high expectations, but I like to think I’m a pretty reasonable person.

For the next year I haven’t really pictured where I want to be in a year. This year I was thinking more like “If I could do this past year again, what would I do differently?” I have been craving change. I want to change lots of things this year but not go too crazy. My motto is “rebirth” and “live”.  Just improvement and change.

 

A few of the things I would like to accomplish over the coming year:

  1. To be less anxious. I’ve often struggled with anxiety so I would like to work on keeping it under control and managing stress.
  2. To be kinder to myself. Sometimes I just get a little too critical of myself.
  3. Enjoy being content more. It sounds kind of weird but I like being not happy sometimes or I take being content for granted.
  4. Take more risks. I’ve always been afraid of risks but there’s not a lot of fun in not taking any.
  5. Work harder on being social. It doesn’t just magically happen.
  6. Get school things organized, make a new schedule style, stay motivated, and make it more enjoyable.
  7. Get things together for university.
  8. Job shadow more and/or volunteer, get a job.
  9. Learn to drive!! I keep putting it off.
  10. Keep pushing myself in my workouts and maybe do a 5k or something like that.

 

Categories

I have a big binder that I write down all the goals in and can keep coming back to and see what I have accomplished and add in more. There are 12 categories I have made for myself.

  1. Health and fitness
  2. Self improvement
  3. School
  4. Career
  5. Finance
  6. Style and self care
  7. Interdependence
  8. Friends, social, relationships
  9. Creativity
  10. Fun
  11. Blog
  12. Dance

I kind of know what things I want to accomplish in each of these categories and just take a day to write out all of the goals then make a game plan to get these things done!

 

Game plan

This is the really hard part that I like to procrastinate! But if I’m feeling productive I’ll try to make a plan on how to complete these goals. I haven’t done this for this year yet, but it’s coming!

A couple months ago I read 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens ( Honestly really good but sometimes I couldn’t stand the cheesiness, I would definitely recommend reading it, though! ) and it was really helpful with tips on setting goals, prioritizing, and completing the goals.


I’ll be working on my goals for 2017 throughout the year, but this is how I’m going to start out. What are some of your new year’s goals?

 

P.S. It’s Peri

 

A Foot-ish Friday ( A Look In The Day )

Good morning.

On Friday morning I woke up and started the day by doing Pilates for legs then making myself breakfast and tea. After getting ready I went to one of the local sports medicine clinics to job shadow with a pedorthist. There were 5 patients for the half of a day that I was there. Two picking up new pairs of orthotics, one needing an adjustment to a current pair, and two getting assessments. The first 2 were picking up new pairs. They brought in their shoes that would have the orthotics in them and I went with the pedorthist into the workshop and watched as she carefully shaped each pair so they would easily fit into the shoes and not be uncomfortable. Then the patients would try on the new inserts and walk around to see how they feel, then that was the end of those appointments. The adjustment was adding in more support to the already existing orthotic. It was fairly fast, just gluing more under the arch. The assessments were longer. Sitting down with each patient the pedorthist got to know them and what their lives were like, how often they were on their feet, where the pain was, what was causing it, how to fix it, what kind of shoes they wear often and what the orthotic should be like to best fit their lifestyles. You get to meet so many people and get to listen about them, it’s like arts and crafts making the orthotics, and you get to help people solve  their pain. I’m quite excited about pursuing this career.

 

Afternoon.

Once I was done hanging out at the clinic I went to go get new running shoes because I have done over 1,000km in the current pair and they hadn’t been that comfortable. Usually I really don’t like shoe shopping. I often struggle with decision making and there’s so many types of shoes out there, it ends up taking what feels like forever to actually pick a pair to come home with and often I’ve changed my mind and returned those. But this time it was shockingly good?! I showed the woman who worked there my running shoes and she said I had worn them down just where they’re meant to be so that style was good for me. I tried on maybe 10 pairs and found one that was really bright blue ( What’s the point of nice running shoes if they aren’t super colourful? ) and really comfy. Went home and had tea, and coffee, and more tea. I was tired, and cold, plus tea is where most of my happiness comes from. Wrote up the blog post for the day, then rowed on the rowing machine in the basement, ran and set a new personal speed record, and stretched.

 

Evening.

The whole family had dinner together and after that I did exercises for my feet, then wrote more and after running and not sleeping too well went to bed.

 

P.S. It’s Peri

Fitness Love (#backstoryweek) 

2013 was a very boring yet very exciting year. My family had just moved back to the city we lived in before we moved to the US, but when we got back everything was pretty much the same so it wasn’t as exciting as other moves.

Taking the first steps.

I was quite bored one day and decided to just take a little walk on the treadmill in the basement. Earlier in the winter before my family tried to do a couch to 5k programme by running intervals around the neighbourhood, and I hated it. It was always so cold and my legs would ache during the run and after it. But we kept it up all around Christmas and into the new year a little. Really it was just so I could pig out on cookies and not feel too guilty because I was a “runner”. Once we actually hit the part where we were running for more than 5 minutes at a time we stopped. But this day I was so bored and wanted to feel like “a runner” again so I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes.

Progressing.

I had used Runkeeper before for the first time running and logged this new treadmill walk in. You can set goals there and it tells you once they’ve been completed so I set my goal to walk for 30 minutes 3 times per week. I would walk so slowly. So slowly that now I can barely walk that slow without it feeling super awkward. But you have to start from somewhere! To keep entertained I would get my reading done for the day. Soon 3 times a week progressed to every day besides a break, 30 minutes to an hour and soon it was a part of my daily routine.

 

Dance.

Shortly after returning to Canada my mom signed me up for dance lessons at the local community centre. My parents signed me up for ballet almost as soon as I could walk. I can remember Saturday mornings at the studio and performing from really early on. I stopped dance when I was 7 and this would be the first time fully returning to it since then. Dance motivated me in my fitness to stretch and care for myself, to work other muscles besides just walking, and to try and improve. Everyday I would walk then spend half an hour practicing what I had learnt in dance and stretching to become more flexible.

Discovering Pilates.

After walking on the treadmill for a few months it had gotten kind of boring. My mom had done Pilates before and recommend I check it out to start to strengthen other muscles. I looked up videos on YouTube and discovered Blogilates! Starting with a beginner calendar, I did that for January 2014 and fell in love with Pilates. It’s similar to dance with lots of strength building and flexibility, it was fun and easy to keep organized as to what workouts to do because there’s always a Blogilates monthly calendar. I felt much stronger and could tell it improved my dance and running.

Making my own plan.

After switching between a month of Pilates then a month of walking I started to make my own plans. Using Google Doc I made my own plan basing it off of the Blogilates calendars and using her videos then adding in walks and runs to change things up and not get bored.

Running.

Since this spring I decided to start running by adding in some higher speed intervals and I’m currently trying to push myself to keep running faster and for longer periods of time.

Food.

With working out more came the want to eat better. I read about how to best fuel my body, about Canada’s food guide, and looked up new healthier recipes to try.

 

Weight.

The original motivation to be healthier was not for weight loss but it did come along with everything. I had always been a chubbier kid and didn’t usually mind it terribly much, but I was very self conscious. After exercise I would always feel very accomplished and good about myself which helped with the consciousness, and once I started to see significant changes in myself it became an addiction and I constantly wanted to improve and get stronger. After one year of Pilates and walking I lost 60lbs and grew several inches since I was still in the process of growing.

 

Becoming a part of me.

Now this is one of my favourite things. To workout is the best part of my day, and I love finding new things to cook that are delicious and healthy!
I count making the workout calendars and doing all the workouts as physical education for high school and can count other things as health and hospitality.
That is the backstory of my ever continuing fitness journey!

 

P.S. It’s Peri

The apps and YouTube channel I’ve mentioned in this post I truly love and I’m mentioning because they’re very useful to me. This is not sponsored.