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Healthy Living

I Don’t Even Like Cake!

(ok, I really liked this chocolate mousse cake) 

I have a confession to make.

I’ve been seeing a rising trend on social media of people moving away from the diet culture (praise hands!) and towards food freedom or intuitive eating. At first, I was so happy. We need more people to talk about why the diet culture needs to go away and how we can find healthy relationships with our food and our bodies.

But the more people I saw openly preaching intuitive eating, the more I started to get frustrated. The people on my feed were skinny and beautiful, wearing bikinis while eating cake and giving no F’s. Meanwhile, I’m over here doing my best to eat healthy while still allowing myself the foods I want, like beer and pizza and the chips that are constantly on the table in my office and I’m pissed off because I’m gaining weight and have no desire to put on a bikini let alone share a photo of me in one.

In my mind, I was seeing intuitive eating as eating whatever you want, which doesn’t work for everyone because eating too much of the wrong food is what leads to weight gain and health problems in the first place.

But I was wrong.

For weeks I vented with friends who shared similar feelings of resentment towards the people preaching intuitive eating while we struggled to figure out how to eat to lose weight. Because yes, we should love and accept our bodies at all stages but that doesn’t mean we can’t also want better for ourselves too.

It wasn’t until I was at a get together talking about how frustrating this new trend has been when someone said, “the key is to ask yourself whether you really want the thing, or if you’re just eating the thing because you’re bored or sad or whatever”. It was further solidified at a lunch and learn at my office where a registered dietician presented to us. She too said that we have to think about why we’re reaching for the foods we’re reaching for. Are we bored? Are we sad? Are we satisfying a craving?

Which brings us to my ‘a-ha’ moment.

Intuitive eating does not mean eating whatever you want. It means listening to your body and asking yourself questions about why you’re making the choices you are. Your body is a smart thing that knows what it wants when you take the time to listen. This is the hard part and the part that I need to work on.

My take on intuitive eating is to make healthy, balanced food choices for all of your meals, paying attention to portion sizes, ensuring that you’re getting protein, carbs, and fats in all your meals, and choosing whole foods. I already know that the more healthy choices I make, the better my body feels and the more I want to make those healthy choices. But what about the extras? With intuitive eating, there is no such thing as good or bad food, cheat days or food rewards. All food fits, but how?

Stop and think about why you’re eating the thing, before eating it.

Do I actually want this piece of cake or am I eating it because it’s someone’s birthday? I always take a piece of cake when we celebrate birthdays in the office but you guys, I don’t even like cake so why the fuck am I eating it!? You know what I like? Beer. Beer makes me happy and when I have a beer, I fucking enjoy that beer. And if I say no to cake (because fuck cake*) and drink the beer, I’m not going to feel guilty like I would if I ate the cake and then drank the beer and wonder why the fuck my pants don’t fit anymore.

Take the time to truly enjoy your food. Take small bites, let it linger in your mouth, recognize how it makes you feel. Are you happy? Heck yeah, you are because that thing you want (cake, beer, ice cream, chocolate, whatever) is GOOD! Then you can move on and continue your day with no guilt and no regrets. If you have an intense craving for cake that just won’t go away, eat the cake (because we all know I’m not going to anymore). Even if it means eating cake (and loving it) for four days, that’s ok because chances are, you probably won’t eat another piece of cake for a few more months until another birthday celebration takes place in your house.

If you just pop that chocolate in your mouth and swallow it before you’ve even had a taste, you’re more likely to reach for another piece, and another piece, and another piece and before long you’ve binged that entire bag of Lindor truffles. You’re probably not going to feel as happy and satisfied after that and you’ll probably be pissed because now you’re out of Lindor truffles and that shit ain’t cheap. Same with those goodies that seem to constantly be in the lunch room at the office. They call to you every time you walk in so you grab a handful, and then another, and then another and at the end of the day, you’re probably like, why the fuck did I eat all of those chips. I wasn’t hungry, they didn’t make me feel satisfied and I don’t even like chips!

Intuitive eating doesn’t just happen overnight. We need to tap into our brain a little more and listen to our bodies instead of just eating mindlessly and calling it intuitive eating. I realized I had it wrong, and that maybe intuitive eating can be for anyone, regardless of your genetic makeup, your metabolism, how fast or slow you lose or gain weight. I’m sorry for being pissed off at the skinny girls promoting intuitive eating and wondering why I can’t eat whatever I want without my pants getting tight.

This road isn’t an easy one to follow, and I might still take a wrong turn now and then, but it’s a helluva lot better than falling into bullshit diet traps.

*No hard feelings, cake.


A Sunday Well Spent

What better way to spend a beautiful winter afternoon than a snowshoe trek through city trails, hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows and a nice little yoga session to stretch it all out? I can’t think of anything.

I spent Sunday afternoon doing just that with Pursuit Adventures and Love Yoga Grace’s Frosty Nose and Toasty Toes tour.

The afternoon kicked off at the Pursuit Adventures basecamp, located in the popular Capstone area. Their basecamp is not only the meeting place for all of their tours and adventures, but a cozy little spot to grab a cup of Kicking Horse coffee and a bowl of soup or muffin too.

Once the group was all assembled, we hopped on the adventure bus for a quick ride over to Heritage Ranch, where we strapped on our snowshoes and hit the trails. The beauty of trekking with Pursuit, is learning about new trails in an area I’ve frequented often. I can’t wait to head back with my own snowshoes to do some more exploring. We spent a good couple hours out in the sunshine, navigating deadfall, watching squirrels, calling for owls and letting the fresh air fill our lungs and souls. Part way through, we took a break for the kiddos in the group to run around in the untouched and nearly waist deep snow while having a little nibble of the famous homemade marshmallows to keep us going for the uphill walk back to the bus.

Danielle, our tour guide for the afternoon, took the time to stop and tell us little facts about the area we were exploring, pointing out a snow farm (who knew there was such a thing!), and pointing out squirrel’s winter mansions. It was fun and engaging for both adults and the kiddos and just the perfect amount of time to keep the kids from tiring out before making it back to the bus.

We reassembled back at the bus and headed back to basecamp for some fresh baked muffins and hot chocolate topped with another marshmallow, the perfect way to warm up.

When our bellies were full and warm, we shed our winter gear and wandered a couple doors down to the beautiful little studio at Love Yoga Grace. We were treated to a quick, playful class, with lots of giggles from the littles. We down-dogged, and sun-saluted our way through to the best part, savasana. After a couple hours in the sunshine and fresh air, it was easy to slip into a peaceful little 2 minute nap. If only we could have had an hour long savasana before having to return to real life.

I overheard part of the group making plans to venture over to Troubled Monk for a pint after the tour, which would have been a great follow up to the afternoon.

Whether you are venturing out solo, with a group of pals, or with the family, the Frosty Nose and Toasty Toes snowshoe and yoga tour is the perfect adventure without straying from the city.


Many thanks to both Pursuit Adventure and Love Yoga Grace for inviting me to join them for the afternoon. 

Healthy Living

Between Diet Culture and Intuitive Eating

The road to finding your health can be difficult to navigate.

In one direction you have the diet industry throwing an overwhelming amount of information at you, tempting you to try the latest and greatest thing. It’s an industry that makes millions off your diet failures. You’re constantly restricting yourself, falling off the wagon, and restarting, never seeing results and never enjoying life. It’s a piece of our culture that really needs to take a hike.

In the other direction, you have the body positive, intuitive eating people telling you to just eat what your body craves and love yourself in whatever form you’re in. The intuitive eating direction can also be difficult to navigate if you’re unsure how to go about it properly. Sometimes this can be seen as allowing yourself to eat whatever you want, which for some people is how we start gaining weight in the first place.

There is a middle road, a road in which you can learn about what is best for your body. How much food you should be eating, what a healthy weight or body size looks like, and how to maintain this for a long-term change are not easy things to figure out but will ultimately result in the healthiest version of you.

The first stop down this road? Schedule yourself for a body composition with the In-Body scanner at Bond Nutrition. While I don’t believe in scales and numbers (I go by how my clothes fit), it’s a good idea to get an idea of what your body composition looks like. In-Body tells you how much of your body is fat, water and muscle more accurately than most body composition tests and the results can give you a good base for what changes could be made to find your optimal health. When I talk about optimal health, I don’t just mean trying to lose weight and be skinny. We should know by now that healthy comes in all shapes and sizes and is truly individual. As women, a lot more comes into play with our bodies than weight and size such as ensuring we’re preventing osteoporosis as we age.


The folks at Bond are so great to work with and so knowledgeable. They go through all the numbers from your In-Body scan so you understand the numbers and can then offer some advice on next steps and how to accomplish your new goals. Generally, it comes down to diet and knowing what kinds and how much food to eat. This could mean working with a registered nutritionist/dietician to learn what your portion sizes should look like and what foods are best for you. This could also mean playing around with macro counting to get a better idea of what a typical day of food should look like. At no point does it have to mean restricting yourself. My belief is that when armed with the knowledge of what works for us individually, we’ll be able to move more towards that intuitive eating path where maybe we don’t need to put as much thought into what we’re consuming because it’s become natural to us and we fall into our optimal health.

So, which road do you choose?

I used to follow a strict diet, carefully planning my meals and only allowing myself treats on cheat days. I can say with confidence I was at my leanest during that time in my life but I was constantly thinking about food and what I should or shouldn’t eat. It wasn’t a healthy mindset and truthfully I wasn’t any happier at that weight then I am carrying an extra 20 pounds.

I’ve now been on my own journey to find that intuitive eating path. There’s been some ups and downs for sure, but it is so much better to enjoy life with a few extra pounds than to miss out on living because you’re restricting yourself too much. I don’t believe in numbers and avoid scales for comparison. I’m armed with the knowledge of how much muscle I should aim to build from my In-Body scan and have goals to clean up my diet without restricting myself. I eat fairly healthy but don’t really think about the extra junk that I consume on a daily basis. I know that with a little more thought (do I really want to eat those chips or am I just reaching for them because they’re on the break room table at work) maybe I can find that balance and ability to eat a little more mindfully and find my optimal health.

And hopefully, we can band together to kick the diet culture and just live our healthiest lives in whatever shape it comes in.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary body scan in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.