As I sit in this coffee shop typing, a customer walks in and notices me working as he waits for his brew. “Dancing and typing. Typing and dancing,” he says. “I didn’t even realize I was dancing,” I say back, flashing a smile. And that’s what my life has become. I’m dancing and typing and typing and dancing along. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
I’ve been out of my retail management job for over a year now and lately I have been missing working on a team, plus the culture at lululemon was epic. I missed teamwork enough that I took actions towards going back to working at a mall, while balancing my other businesses on the side, but I just couldn’t bring myself to give up the freedoms of my new lifestyle.
Don’t get me wrong. Managing a business is A LOT. I work A LOT. I work harder than I ever have in my life. No matter how much I persevere, there will probably always be more work to be done and more ideas than I can possibly execute. That’s the nature of the beast. And you know what? It’s completely worth it.
It’s worth it for the couple who gets pregnant, for the woman who doesn’t get her thyroid radiated, the bride who rocks her gown on her big day, for the guy who out skills the heck out of me at kombucha making, or the kid who gets clear skin and his confidence back, or when someone’s doctor takes them off their meds, or quits smoking, or loses weight after following a my meal plan, or is able to sleep after many restless years, or conquers their eating disorder…the list goes on!
I don’t mean to brag (I’m going to anyway), but my work is extremely fulfilling …It’s just that I was missing that good old teamwork! Enter…doTERRA Essential Oils and “Network marketing”…oooooooooo that’s a buzz word I hate so much because it makes me sound like a SELL-OUT.
It’s true that SOME people in the network marketing biz are”Just trying to sell you something and make money off you.” I am NOT one of them. I’ll tell you what my exact intention with my career is: Through Ambition Nutrition I teach people how to eat for their goals. Through Pilates Bodies, I teach people how to move mindfully. Through E-oils, I teach people how to bridge the gap between diet and lifestyle.
*Side Note: Network Marketing is largely misunderstood and I would never attach Ambition Nutrition or my reputation for that matter to something unethical. If you don’t know a lot about it, here’s a great article that can help you, “Network Marketing: Answers to your Top 5 Questions.” Rod Nichols gets real and explains the biz having spent 27 years in Network Marketing. READ HERE
Since joining, I have become so OBSESSED that I sat down and spent 2+ weeks just immersing myself in the brand, culture, product and driving the super knowledgable Live Chat team nuts. I stumped them once and I’m proud of that (more bragging). At this point, I can’t say enough good things about this company, so I decided to blog. Here’s why I decided to jump into the E-oil and Network Marketing world and why I’m heart-eye emoji-ing all over the place about it:
I GET TO KEEP MY LIFESTYLE
I ALEADY USE E-OILS!
FEELS LIKE I’M A PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER
I TRUST THE BRAND
BE A RESOURCE FOR OTHERS
Want quality wholesale E-Oils? Or do the biz with AMBITION NUTRITION:
Choose the WHOLESALE CUSTOMER OPTION
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Thanks for reading!
Sarah Midghall CNP RNCP
We are only starting to crack the surface on the gut microbiome and its role in our total health. We do know that long-term dietary and environmental lifestyle changes have the greatest impact on our future health and the expression of our genes, even if we inherit a genetic code that could present as a disease. Recalling grade 9 science class, that’s genotypes vs. phenotypes. Genotype is the gene, phenotype is the expression a.k.a. gene + environment = phenotype.
In honour of love day, let’s take a moment to appreciate the most important muscle you have in your body, your heart. I don’t think it’s news to anyone that this muscle is vitally important to life. If this muscle stops working, you flatline and it’s over.
Yet, heart disease remains the second leading cause of death in Canadians. Why?
We are overfed, undernourished and under-exercised. The combination of poor diet mixed with a sedentary lifestyle takes a toll on the heart. We are eating a lot. We’re just eating a lot of the wrong things. Our diets are CALORIE dense, instead of NUTRIENT dense.
I’m big on goals. I’m even bigger on BIG goals. I always have been. It just feels good to work towards something epic. Call it the thrill of the hustle. There is nothing more satisfying than accomplishing something you have been putting your blood, sweat and tears into for weeks, months, years, a lifetime like Tom Brady.
From an early age I have been coached to play to my strengths, having been blessed with a bunch of unconventional, often hard ass mentors. This is an important lesson I that is easily missed now a days as we navigate this weird technological era completely digitally distracted.
Why is playing to your strengths important? It gives you FOCUS. And we all lack that. How often do you automatically check Facebook when you hop on your computer just to see what’s up? Or hear someone else’s phone ding and check yours incase the noise was in fact coming from your device.
FOCUS is what made Tom Brady the best quarterback in history. The guy knew what he was good at and he stayed the course until he scored big, even though he barely played in college, even when he was drafted last. Apart from his obvious talent and genetics, he had a tunnel vision type of perseverance that couldn’t be shaken, and it took him all the way.
Imagine who he is for the people in his life because of this. He gets to tell his kids to pursue what makes them feel alive because dreams really do come true. That’s intrinsic motivation and that’s the stuff that can’t be beat.
There’s an awesome Ted Talks that uses this parental example by Larry Smith called, “Why You will Fail to have a Great Career.” It’s one of my favs and it’s why when I goal coach clients, I always ask them:
Who will you be for the people in your life as a result of accomplishing your goal?
Living a linear life is predictable and it bores me. I don’t just want to be the Mama who tells my kids, anything is possible. I want to be the one who says, anything is possible, AND I DID IT.
We spend more time planning our next life event than we do challenging ourselves to become the human we deep done to our bones know we are capable of becoming.
SO! I will leave you with this thought to contemplate over a bowl of my scrumptious chilli, “Who do you ACTUALLY want to be?”, “What are you doing about that?” and “Who would you be for the people that matter as a result of becoming that YOU?”
CHIPOTLE CHICKEN CHILI
1-3 T ghee or coconut oil
3 lb ground chicken
6 C diced tomatoes
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
1 sweet onion
2 T tomato paste
½ Head cauliflower
2 C Chicken Broth
Dollop Keffir or coconut yogurt
1 T ground Chipotle chilli pepper
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 T ground coriander
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp Himalayan salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1.Melt ghee and brown chicken in 3 batches.
2.Deglaze the pot with chicken stock.
3.Add additional ghee if needed and cook onions and half of peppers.
4.Add tomatoes, tomato paste and spices and warm.
5.Add meat back in, remaining chicken stock and remaining vegetables.
6.Bring to a boil & allow to simmer at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.
7.Top with Keffir or coconut yogurt and sprinkle with cilantro
MUCH GRATITUDE FOR READING!
I’m a special kind of motivated right now. We just booked a trip to Mexico and nothing gets me to the gym faster than knowing I’m going to be rocking a bikini for a week straight in just a few short weeks.
To me, working out without a goal doesn’t do it for me. I need a target to zero in on so I can keep accountability high. And there is a HUGE difference between accountability and motivation. Imagine if you only went to work when you “felt like it?”
While it’s important to have a vision for your life, find your purpose and live a fulfilling life you adore, the thought of stepping into that exact future can seem more like a distant dream than an actual goal. We must acknowledge that life takes time. Goals take time.
The first book I ever bought about nutrition was “The Thrive Diet” by Brandon Brazier. I had a friend turn me onto Vega Protein and there was an advertisement on the bottle about the creator’s new book. Within a few pages I was a vegan. A month into this vegan thing and I felt the best I had ever felt in my life. The amount of energy I had truly astounded me and no way in hell was I ever going back to the way I was eating before.
I’m writing more and if no one is reading, cool. If you are, I hope you learn something. My goal with this is to share my knowledge, experience and the occasional trick. It makes me a better nutritionist to do this. Makes my research focused and keeps me up on trends. Though I seek to empower others and lead by example, I can’t make anyone care or follow along. So, this is for me. It’s my take on my life as a Nutritionist and I’m bursting with things to share!
I just wrote about how NOT to get sick, so I thought it only appropriate I also share what to do if you’ve already come down with something…You know, so you can get back to work as soon as humanly possible…Yay work!
Let’s run with that…someone at work didn’t use the “sleeve sneeze” and has shared more than their weekend plans with you. They have also shared their GERMS. Gross Germs! Get them away! (Fun fact: you have more bacteria than cells in your body. You’re basically a giant germ.)
Now, you’re infested with whatever vindictive flu virus is going around….
They say flu season is upon us and I haven’t had it in years. It’s not because I have abs and a booty. It’s because I work on my total health. It’s just as, if not, more important to build immunity than it is to build muscle.
While the fitness industry is swarming with lean, beautiful muscular people, unfortunately, a six-pack doesn’t always correlate with optimal wellness. This is simply the image of “health” that is currently being sold to us.
I’m what you call: a neat freak. And truthfully, I always have been. I used to clean my sister’s room for her when we were kids before friends came over. It was always a supreme disaster and it drove me nuts. I would organize my books on the book shelf by height. Messes stress me out. Even KNOWING that a cupboard is in disarray behind that closed door makes my heart beat faster. Don’t even get me started on how hurt I am when someone messes up a cupboard I just cleaned…cuts me deep.
I can’t go to sleep in a messy room. Or start cooking in the kitchen before it is clean if someone left a mess behind. I’m a good time, right?
Every year I take the first week of January off the gym. It’s extremely crowded and having been going at it for a third of my life, so if someone doesn’t know the water-bottle-machine-marker-protocol and hi-jacks my set without asking to “work in”, that just might ruin my day.
‘Tis the season for everyone to throw their diet out the window… until January 1st when post Holiday remorse sets in. Yes, it’s the season of overindulgence that will send even the cleanest eater over the edge, and straight to SUGAR street.
You’re going to tell yourself all kinds of lies, excuses etc. that aren’t true, sabotage yourself for the night, wake up in the morning with a headache a decent amount of regret, only to head out to your next social get-together two days later for a repeat offence. You sure are hungry for holiday spirit.
If it was survival of the fittest, this time of year, it’d be a hell of a lot easier to win…
It’s crickets for me as a nutritionist the next couple of weeks. No one wants to come talk about how they were seduced by some sexy charcuterie board, or went back for a second, okay third slice of cake at the company party.
I get it. And I don’t. Why cut me out when temptation is it’s highest and will power is seemingly non-existent? LET ME HELP YOU STAY ON TRACK!
Okay…truth is…we ALL get a little jollier around this time of year and I will be there on the flip side to help you get back in the game…you know…the Hunger Games…Cause we are basically going to have to take food out of your diet after this season.
I JOKE! I JOKE! Until I see you in 2017, here’s my latest and perhaps even greatest, newest and all time favourite…est holiday treat. I took out the processed sugar, gluten, made it vegan and significantly reduced the carbs…flavour is still there though. Promise.
PEPPERMINT NANAIMO BARS
1 C roasted hazelnuts
1 C shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 T raw cacao powder
½ C dates
3 T almond milk (or more to bring together)
1 C cashews, soaked 2 hours
6 T coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 handful fresh mint leaves
1/3 C almond milk
¼ C maple syrup
20 drops of liquid stevia ( or to taste)
2 tsp peppermint extract
Liquid chlorophyll (to colour green)
1 C stevia sweetened chocolate chips
1 C stevia sweetened chocolate chips
1.Process base ingredients & press into a parchment lined, square baking tin
2.Place in freezer while you make the filling
3.Place filling ingredients in a high power blender until smooth, add chlorophyll to desired green colour is achieved
4.Pour filling over base and place in freezer 2 hours
5.Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler and pour over filling, spreading evenly
6.Place back in freezer for 2 hours
7.Remove and place on a cutting board for 20 minutes before cutting into squares *make sure you wait until chocolate topping is softened so it doesn’t crack and break
8.Win at life
OKAY! It’s officially December. It finally snowed. The holidays are fast approaching and we’re all trying to get through the next couple of weeks. So we can say: Check ya later 2016.
Two things are happening right now. We are being reminded that the best gift of all is the gift of our presence, while at the exact same time, everyone everywhere uses every avenue to sell us all the things.
It’s December. The month where we celebrate another successful year and eat in complete caloric excess as we do it. Spirits are high and so are temptations. BUT, If we aren’t mindful, we will look like Santa by the end of the month.
It doesn’t matter how disciplined, consistent or mindful I set out to be, December ALWAYS tests me. By now, I have established some ground rules for the month, so I can enjoy myself and still finish the year strong.
December is an unpredictable month for me. I am more liable to go out for drinks with the girls on a whim or end up at parties, so it is important to meal prep. Failing to plan is planning to fail, after all. I ALWAYS meal prep each week in December.
The next unpredictability December brings is treats. These things are going to pop up everywhere. At work. At the gym. Clients will bring them in. My rule here is, I eat clean by myself, but if someone offers me something, I take them up on that sweet offer. Homemade things are delicious and I am human.
Finally, there’s bound to be some extra…ahemmm…fuel in the tank, so I work in either extra training in two-a-day form, or I piggy-back cardio onto my training each day.
At this time of year, it’s important my cardio is quick and effective. ‘Tis the season for HIIT. At this point in my training, you won’t see me on the elliptical. If I crank that thing up all the way, I still feel like I’m walking the dog. I perform HIIT either using sleds and weights, the Arc Trainer, or take the party outside for some hill sprints.
Here’s some balance for you, perform some awesome HIIT workouts and then make my go-to Holiday cookie recipe…I have been making these cookies throughout the year for years, but at this time of year, I pretend they are the Holiday variety.
These ALLERGY-FREE, coconut shortbread cookies are amazing for kids, soft and fluffy for babies and won’t last until Santa’s arrival… Oh and easy on the abs because if you’re like me, finding enough ways to eat extra carbs this month.
ALLERGY-FREE SHORTBREAD COOKIES
1 C coconut flour
3/4 C grass-fed butter, unsalted & room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract, alcohol-free
3 T maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Use a pastry cutter to combine butter and coconut flour
3. Add remaining ingredients, do not over mix
4. Roll into golf balls and then flatten with a fork in a hashtag formation
**You can top these babies with nuts or dried fruit before baking, or dip them in chocolate and top with toasted coconut at the end if you’re done your Holiday shopping (unlike me) and have extra time (unlike me).**
Sprinkling nuts and seeds on your meals is a great way to increase the nutrient content. Just make sure you roast, soak or sprout them first. Nuts and seeds contain “phytic acid” which is considered an “anti-nutrient” that binds to the minerals: zinc and iron, preventing their absorption in the gut.
They say failing to plan is planning to fail and throughout the years, I have heard this adage applied to the fitness lifestyle hundreds of times. Being mindful about the way you eat and exercise is your best resource for controlling your outcome.
You’re on a health kick. You’ve visited your Holistic Nutritionist. You have a plan. You’re meal prepping. Your energy is up. You’re crushing your workouts. You’re taking photos of everything you eat and posting it all over social media with hashtags like “fitlife,” “fitspiration” and “fitfam.”
If you want to feel super human and perform super human, you have to eat super human, and there are few foods as super as fermented foods.
Do you track what you eat? You should. You might be surprised at what you discover about the food you eat once you actual have goals with what nutrients to eat in what ratios.
Stop being afraid of carbs. Carbs are friends. Carbs are fuel. Your body prefers carbohydrates as it’s number one energy source. This is what humans have evolved to eat and there is more to fat loss than “cutting carbs.”
If you are looking to achieve your ideal body composition and maintain it, it is essential that you hit your macros. The easiest (and most boring) way to do this is to eat a traditional meal plan that tells you exactly how many cups of oats to eat and how many ounces of chicken you should consume in ratio to sweet potato carbs.
I always knew my business partner Kandyce had a green thumb, but DAMN the girl can grow some zucchini. She’s been inspiring me lately with all this talk of the “zoodle” eating she has been doing, so I had to whip up my own bowl.
ZOODLE = Zucchini Noodle…by the way.
We are inundated with conflicting information about what to eat for breakfast and I’m here to set things straight because breakfast is my favourite. I would be completely satisfied eating breakfast all day, every day, for the rest of my life. I’m a bacon, eggs and waffles kind of woman.
Magnesium is kind of an underdog mineral because it is an essential co-factor in hundreds of chemical reactions in the body. Though it is supportive, it is vital to bone health, energy production, muscle firing, nervous system function, blood sugar regulation and immunity.
Pool date anyone? Seriously who has a pool? I’m melting…I’ll bring the snacks!
I think it’s safe to say we’re in the middle of a heatwave my friends and I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do in this heat is cook on a hot stove or BBQ for that matter. Luckily, my all time favourite recipe, and the one I am most possessive about, requires no heat whatsoever.
If you’re into fitness, chances are you have heard of cortisol. Simplified, cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands that helps the body cope with threats, illness, and injury. It also controls blood sugar and blood pressure levels. When you experience emotional or physical stress, cortisol is at play.
And cortisol can make you fat.
Another long weekend is fast approaching and nothing will throw you off your fitness and fat loss goals more than your social life, especially if the people you surround yourself with are not on the same journey with their health.
Ah the classic fitness dichotomy, abs vs. alcohol.
I think we should all live life the way Bautista hits a ball. When Bautista steps up to the plate, you can bet he’s going to hit that ball as hard as he can. Bautista is all in. If we want our life to be a home run, we have to learn to be ALL IN. (more…)
It’s easier to be and stay in motion today, because that’s the state most people are in. They are “grinding,” “hustling,” and “sacrificing” for their goals. Being constantly busy gives you status in this culture. There are not many motivational speakers around telling the crowd to take it easy, chill, take a nap, have a smoothie bowl. Except this one. HI! (more…)
If I had to choose one item from my tool belt that makes me better every day, I think I would have to say coconut oil. I put it on everything. I even put it on myself. Coconut oil is greased lightening for your health, inside and out and it may be the solution to the world’s worst problems, like lowering cholesterol, and making your sweet potato fries crispy. (more…)
Over the last week and a bit, I have been writing from an informative perspective in the third person and from the viewpoint of my company, “Ambition Nutrition Inc.” My intention was to share my knowledge, but I also have a “thing” about “blogging.” Anyone, anywhere can write a blog, which is cool and also a literary disaster. (more…)
As nutritionists, we were taught to “chew our smoothies.” Chewing stimulates the release of the first of the digestive enzymes you need to breakdown nutrients: salivary amylase, preparing your body for the caloric incoming. (more…)
People are on a “gluten-free” kick left, right and centre. What was once a dietary restriction reserved for those with the digestive and autoimmune disorder Celiac, has become mainstream. The only current medical treatment is a longterm gluten-free diet, but why has it become so common for non-suffers to partake? (more…)
Flexible dieting, or “If it fits your macros” has caused a lot of controversy in the bodybuilding world because it has been largely celebrated as an excuse to make poor food choices and still achieve one’s desired aesthetic results. After all, a macro is a macro. Your body doesn’t know the difference, right? (more…)
You’ve heard the expression, “You are what we eat,” and maybe even, “You are what you eat eats,” but when it comes down to it, we are only as healthy as the soil we are using to grow what we eat eats. (more…)
It’s officially strawberry season in Ontario’s fruit belt and these little berries pack a serious nutritional punch. Best enjoyed raw, to preserve their impressive delicate vitamin and mineral profile, there is also a dark side to strawberries that may be doing more than satisfying your sweet tooth.
There is an ancient proverb that reads: “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”
We think less of the athlete who takes a night off, when really, we should take a lesson.
One piece of feedback I consistently hear from the people in my life about my body is just that, I am CONSISTENTLY lean. I get asked what my “secret” is and the truth is there is no magic trick to staying lean. I have a healthy metabolism that I maintain 365.
Being less than 4 weeks out from my first OPA bikini competition, I am currently banging out “two-a-days.” (more…)
Wake up, caffeinate. Go to work, caffeinate. Hit 3 pm wall, caffeinate. Time to train? More caffeine. Need to feel ‘normal?’ caffeinate.
Table salt, is 99% sodium chloride and it is bad for you. It is ‘purified’ to appear white, chemically altered to prevent clumping using aluminum hydroxide and should be avoided.
Sodium in it’s purist form, such as Himalayan Salt is full of over 80 essential minerals and is extremely healthy.
From the combined evolution of sport and technology, a new breed of athlete has emerged: the “Mindful Athlete.”