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About: Olivia

Recent Posts by Olivia

How to Be Healthy When You Have No Time

We all know by now that living an active healthy lifestyle should be one of our top priorities in life. We are well aware that only by taking good care of ourselves do we stand a chance of being the kind of woman we strive to be at work, with our significant others, our children and in our communities. However, that does not mean that it’s easy, especially within our busy schedules.

Work, especially, can get in the way of our fitness and working out—in fact, there is a big paradox going on, and it becomes more obvious the more challenging and fulfilling a job becomes: On one hand, we struggle to find time to work out; on the other, we can’t afford to not exercise because it is such an important part of our sustained success and happiness.

I have found the best success if you first and foremost MASTER THE BASICS and foundations to a healthy happy life. I love the saying “get healthy to lose weight, don’t lose weight to get healthy.” This is so key for us

ladies and represents a much more effective, sustainable and enjoyable approach to getting fit.

A couple DEAD SIMPLE things to be on top of to master your health in this week’s episode:

Here is the download recipe and one day meal guide sample: Chocolate Berry Smoothie Download

You were meant to feel and look amazing! We must first get our minds into the game and then take inspired action.

Your turn. Do you have any SIMPLE, effective health tips that you believe and fundamental to being fit and healthy? Please leave us a comment. Would love to hear your thoughts. I am sure we will have some common threads here.

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for my next video on strategies to fitting in workouts when your too busy.

Much love,

Olivia;)

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The 3 Greatest Myths About Appetite

For those of us who are trying to stay as healthy and fit as possible while managing a busy lifestyle, here are some thoughts on appetite and dieting that might put some things in perspective for you…

The 3 Greatest Myths About Appetite:

1) Hunger is primarily dictated by what’s happening in your stomach.

2)The biggest battle in eating healthy involves willpower.

3) As long as a food is low fat, it is not going to make you fat.

The Truth About Appetite:

Appetite is controlled by the brain; more specially the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a small, almond sized gland located in the middle of the brain and controls biological functions such as temperature, metabolism, and sex drive. It also coordinates behaviours that involve appetite, thirst and sex.

The battle over your eating isn’t between your will power and the bag of mini chocolate bars; its between your brain chemicals.

Think of foods as drugs in terms of how they affect the chemical balance of our brains. When you eat foods, different messages are sent throughout your system. Eat the right foods, and your hormones will send messages that will keep you feeling fuller longer while eliminating cravings. Eat the wrong foods, however, and you will send your hormones through overdrive, leaving you feeling hungry more frequently.

Eating more good quality fats (cOlivia Foodsoconut oil, almonds, avocados) and protein (eggs, chicken, fish) while not depriving your body of its much needed carbohydrates (yams, apples, green veggies) earlier in the day will help you feel energized, satisfied and more equipped for a good night’s rest.

Also, beware of choosing foods labelled as “low fat.” A lot of the time, these foods will contain high amounts of sugar as food manufactures remove the fat (which contains most of the flavour) and in turn, will replace the foods with sugar in order to make up for the flavour loss.

In the end, it is best to focus on eating and being HEALTHY first and foremost, rather than on dieting or eating less. When your body is nourished and given what it truly needs, rather than deprived and depleted, it can begin to function and perform optimally for you. And remember, your body wants to and is designed to be fit, healthy and strong!

Start small, be consistent and don’t beat yourself up if you slip up:)

I hope that helps!

Much love,

Olivia

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How to Not Gain Weight During the Holidays

With the holiday here, we tend to overeat and under exercise. It is totally normal. However, I wanted to share some basic tips and tricks on How to Not Gain Weight During the Holidays. 

1) Exercise.  Doing so helps to boost the “feel good” hormones, elevate your mood and naturally suppress your appetite.

2) Reduce Stress. It is important to know that when your stress hormone is high (cortisol), your testosterone, which is hormone we need in order to build muscle and burn fat CANNOT be high at the same time. Hence, why people who are under chronic stress have a very difficult time burning body fat. To reduce stress, take some downtime for yourself. Try a light walk, meditation or anything that helps you to relax.

3) Drink Water. Drink tons of water because being dehydrated slows down our metabolism and the body’s process of burning fat.

4) Eat Frequent Snacks. Unlike what your mother may have told you growing up, waiting or saving yourself all day for dinner is not an ideal way to keep the pounds off. Starving yourself until dinner only encourages your blood sugar levels to drop which will result in overeating and usually foods that are unhealthy.

5) Stay Entertained. If you indulge in the after dinner “mint” you will most likely get some form food cravings. Instead of filling up on junk try to keep yourself busy with a family activity or something fun that doesn’t involve eating.

I hope that helps!

Have an amazing holiday:)

Much Love,

Olivia

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Holiday Hangover Cures

We’ve all been there- the pounding headache, a desert-like dry mouth, and a stomach that feels like you went on a rollercoaster fifty times in a row. These are some various symptoms of the overindulgent and often inevitable holiday hangover. Fortunately, there are ways for you to prevent and cure the beloved hangover, besides the painfully obvious, not drinking in the first place. Most likely, this option is hardly appealing so the below 5 remedies can be very helpful in minimizing pain and maximizing pleasure this holiday season.

(1) Hydrate

Alcohol is a diuretic that forces water out of the body causing dehydration. Rehydrating your body is essential in recovering from a hangover. Be sure to drink plenty of water before you sleep and when you wake up and try to make a point of drinking as much water as you do alcohol during the night.

(2) Juices

You may have heard that drinking more alcohol the next day to cure your hangover is a good solution. Sadly, nothing could be worse in prolonging the hangover itself. Instead, try juicing fresh juice and vegetables, drinking tomato juice, or blending a fruit and protein smoothie to aid in replenishing essential vitamins and nutrients in the body.

(3) Eat

Try and eat a snack before or while drinking as this will help the body’s ability to metabolize the alcohol and remove it from your system. If you can stomach it in the morning, one of the best things you can eat are eggs, which are high in cysteine, and help the body process the toxins in alcohol.

(4) Coconut Water

Coconut water has the ability to cure the two main causes of a hangover; dehydration and electrolyte loss. It contains the 5 essential electrolytes to keep the body hydrated and functioning at its optimal state. It is also very high in potassium which can replace the salt and potassium your body expels whiling drinking.

(5) Sleep

It can seem almost impossible to get a good night’s sleep after a night of drinking. Alcohol can put you to sleep quickly, but when it begins to wear off after a few hours, the withdrawal symptoms can interrupt sleep patterns and make it hard for you to stay sleeping. Although lack of sleep on its own won’t cause the hangover, it most definitely can make it worse. If you have the luxury of time, stay in bed for as long as you can.

In the end, the only guaranteed treatment for a hangover is time. In the meantime, grab a tall glass of water and get plenty of rest. Cheers to having an amazing time!

-Olivia

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Is Organic Produce Really Worth It?

One common debate among friends these days: Is buying organic produce really worth it?

This is a question we get asked all the time and my answer is…YES! In a perfect world, we would all eat 100% certified organic (oh and hormone-free, grass-fed beef, and other free range) foods all of the time. However, this is not necessarily budget friendly, nor is it always available.

Consuming toxic chemicals like pesticides from non-organic foods are harmful to the body as they love to accumulate and hang out in our body’s fatty tissues for decades to come. Researchers claim that poisonous exposure from pesticides can cause hormonal disturbances. Hormones are responsible for the regulation of all major bodily functions, including our metabolism, which means that even a small amount of chemicals consumed silently could affect our weight.  Beyond this, researchers have also claimed that pesticide exposure is linked to neurological problems, reproductive problems, insulin resistance, metabolism syndrome and even cancer.

Harsh, eh? Well here’s the deal. At the end of the day, the overall health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables greatly outweigh the risk of pesticide exposure in non-organic foods. Simply put, eating conventionally grown produce is WAY more beneficial than not eating any fruits and vegetables at all. However, the types of foods we choose to eat, or not eat, play a major role in our overall health and wellness. For this reason, it is ideal to try to eat the highest quality of foods with the least of amount of pesticides whenever possible.

As a great budget friendly starting point, follow “The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15″ principles. The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 are basically two lists created for the public each year by the Environmental Working Group; an amazing non-profit organization that works on “our” side to ensure the public receives truthful, uncensored facts about what is really going on with the chemicals in our food and environment. These lists are wonderful as they can help you to get more for your money by prioritizing which organic produce to purchase based on the amount of pesticides they contain.

The Dirty Dozen list reveals the fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of detected pesticide residue. Whereas, The Clean 15 list highlights the produce with the least amount of pesticide residue.  If your budget allows, choosing 100% certified organic produce even from The Clean 15 list will ensure that you are consuming nutrient dense, whole foods that are non-genetically modified. This will in turn help to nourish your cells and prevent disease and illness in the body. However, even if you just avoided produce on The Dirty Dozen list below and choose organic instead, you would be lowering your pesticide exposure by 80%.

Choosing organic foods are not only beneficial to our health and wellness but also for the planet. Make a list of the Dirty Dozen or download the Environment Working Groups free App to your phone so you can buy the healthiest food possible. Be sure to always wash your produce and in the best case scenario, enjoy locally grown organic fruits and veggies  from local farmers or at your local Farmers Markets. All in all, no matter what stage you are at with eating organic produce, try and include fruits and vegetable with every meal to decrease your chance of illness and give you a natural energy boost.

3 interesting facts on organic produce and food:

1) Only foods labeled “100% Organic” must be entirely organic and food labeled “Organic” needs to be 95 percent organic.  Finally, food labeled “Made With Organic Ingredients” only need to be 70 to 90 percentorganic, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

2) According to the Environmental Working Group “Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce,” 98 percent of tested onions were pesticide free. As these bulb-like vegetables grow underground, they are safe from many pests and have a strong, pungent flavor that naturally repels bugs.

3) A great natural way to remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables is by washing them with apple cider vinegar. All you have to do is cover your produce with water in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Then, let them sit for 5-10 minutes. Finish off by scrubbing the produce with a brush and rinsing it off with water.

Have an awesome day,

-OliviaThe-Dirty-Dozen

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3 Habits for Healthier (and Happier) Mornings

With busy, hectic, over scheduled lives, most of us are sleep (and nutrient) deprived to some degree. Truly, this is a result of the daily grind of our modern day living. We have long, demanding days that can result in the lack of proper nourishment, rest, and play leaving us feeling less then energetic and motivated to exercise and eat well. Instead, we find ourselves spending downtime sitting in front of the computer or watching TV while eating processed garbage (aka junk food).  Once in awhile we decide we are going to eat clean and go the gym but in a few weeks, our busy lives take over and our motivation dies down.

As a trainer, I have seen firsthand how stress, poor nutrition, and an overwhelming schedule can negatively affect one’s health and fitness goals. When we are so busy that we find ourselves forgetting to drink water throughout the day, skipping meals, and struggling through workouts, it’s time to “work in” instead of struggling to work out!

For these reasons and to cultivate a healthier and happier lifestyle for the long haul, here are my top 3 simple habits to develop in the mornings BEFORE the hustle and bustle of the day begins.

1) Drink water – If there was only one healthy habit I could recommend for you to begin, it would be to drink a LARGE glass of water first thing in the morning before anything else. Drinking lots of water hydrates the cells and ensures proper regularity. Most people are “backed up” and mistake being tired and hungry for dehydration. Being dehydrated slows down your metabolism and the process of burning fat. DRINK UP:)

2) Move your body - Do some sort of cardio for at least 20 minutes first thing in the morning to awaken the body and boost your mood. Some mornings, you may only be able to fit in a brisk walk, but it’s important to do something every day. Walking, running, yoga or boxing are all great options. Doing so will work to kick start your metabolism and release the “feel good” hormone, serotonin into the body. This in turn, helps to relieve stress and increase overall self-confidence. Upon many other benefits, exercising in the morning can help you to be more alert, productive, and creative throughout the day. If you work in a high stress atmosphere, exercising in the morning is extremely beneficial. If you are more advanced, feel free to do a full, more intense workout in the mornings.  Being intense AND consistent is great together, just make sure that you are consistent FIRST, in order to build the habit; especially in the beginning.

3) Be grateful – Practice gratitude by thinking of 5 things that you are truly grateful for everyday in the mornings. Give yourself a few minutes to dwell on them with an “attitude of gratitude,” possibly during your stretch after your workout. Although this can be tricky at times, especially as it tends to be human nature to notice all that is wrong or that we lack, I find that if we give ourselves the chance on a regular basis to notice the little things that are working, we can increase our overall sense of happiness, and create hope and optimism for the future, regardless of what is going on.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”- Robert J. Collier

I have always found positive, long term results by incorporating small, incremental changes that compound over time with any part of life. This way you can feel successful everyday without any overwhelm….awesome!

Much love and GRATITUDE,

Olivia Keane:)

 

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How To Spread The Love

We have all had that moment walking down the street when a stranger randomly shoots you an authentic smile and you feel great afterwards. It’s proven that when someone acknowledges you in a positive way, you instantly feel better than if you were to be ignored. Next time you are out walking about, you might want to think of giving a stranger a smile.

As humans, and by nature, we are social creatures who thrive on feeling connected to others. However, you may have noticed how awkward it can be at times to simply smile at someone you don’t know. With so many unknowns, it can feel uncomfortable to get yourself to do this in the first place. For instance, what if the person doesn’t smile back, what if they do but they think you’re hitting on them, what if they blatantly ignore you, or what if you just feel crappy and don’t want to?

And that’s where it’s important to remind ourselves that the simple act of giving without any attachment to receiving is key.Truly, the best ways to instantly feel good about yourself and  is to make someone else feel good about themselves, regardless of the outcome. In the end, as they always say, “what comes around, goes around.”

Check out this video as we put this theory to the test:

Let’s start spreading the love by making the effort towards someone else FIRST, regardless of the outcome. A smile, a hug, a high five, or a genuine compliment will work just fine:).

Because let’s be honest here, at then end of the end of the day we all want the same thing in life: to be HAPPY!

With Love,

Olivia:)

ps – let me know your thoughts, ideas and experience with this topic. I would love to hear about it.

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Breakfast of Champions

Your mother was right; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whatever you eat, or do not eat for that matter will impact your mood, energy level, digestion and appetite for the rest of the day.

Just imagine, you get up in the morning and you go to drive your car to school or to work. But your gas tank is empty, so you can’t go anywhere. Now imagine your body, getting up and skipping breakfast. How well do you think you will make it through your day? I love comparing it this way as cars cannot obviously run on empty and our bodies are truly no different.

Food is our body’s fuel source (and no sorry, it’s not your coffee). Without breakfast, we slow down our body’s metabolism, increase food cravings, promote overeating, and make it harder to focus and concentrate for the rest of the day.

Therefore, you want to be sure to start your day off right with a large glass of water and a nutrient dense breakfast. Choose a metabolism boosting meal that consists of three things: fiber-rich carbohydrates for quick energy, lean protein to promote fullness, and some healthy fats to keep you feeling satisfied.

Avoid eating processed carbohydrates without any protein or good fat for breakfast. For example, avoid sugary cereals or heavily processed baked goods.  A nutrient depleted type of breakfast such as these will only spike your blood sugar levels, making it easier for your body to store fat and your energy levels to decline shortly after. As a trainer, I get a lot of people telling me that they don’t have time to eat breakfast. The truth of the matter is that there is ALWAYS time to eat something. You just have to want to make time.

Try this simple, energizing, fat burning smoothie if you are short on time. Simply blend the ingredients together and you are good to go!

Blueberry Delight:
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 banana
1 scoop vanilla whey protein isolate or brown rice protein
1 tablespoon coconut oil or coconut manna (my new favourite delicious healthy fat)
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
2-3 ice cubes

 

Much love,
Olivia:)

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuna Lettuce Wraps

Most days, it can be a struggle to get enough raw veggies into our diet. Not to mention, finding a vegetable based meal that is both tasty and fulfilling.

That is where these yummy, “bread less” wraps come in handy!  They are jam packed with flavor, protein, healthy fats, and greens that are sure to hit the spot and keep you feeling satisfied. Make these delicious, healthy wraps for a quick and easy lunch, snack or light dinner.

In this recipe, I used Collard greens instead of a traditional wrap. However, any type of lettuce will do. Collards are great because they are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A and fiber.

Also, your best bet to buying healthy mayo in a store is this brand found at some health food stores (or online): http://www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com/product/dressings-condiments-mayo/Mayo16.php. In the end, making your own homemade mayonnaise is always going to be the healthiest option. Follow a recipe to a T at first to get the right consistency and later you can play around with it to get the taste you like:)

Ingredients:
3 collard green leaves
1/2 avocado cubed
1/2 tomato cubed
¼ c diced red onion
1 can of tuna
¼ c shredded L’Ancêtre cheese (optional)
3 Tbsp of Wildness Family organic mayonnaise
1 Tbsp curry powder
Cayenne to taste

Directions:
1- Mix tuna with mayo and red onion. Add curry powder and cayenne.
2- Take 1/3 of the tuna mixture and place on collard green.
3- Top with tomato and avocado.
4- Wrap and enjoy!

Love,

Olivia:)

 

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Christmas Spice Protein Shake

With Christmas fast approaching, schedules are getting busier and those tempting treats are all around us. Try this healthy, festive shake for breakfast or as the perfect snack to curb sugar cravings and sustain your energy!

Recipe:
  • 2/3 cup yam frozen (baked first)
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 banana (optional)
  • 1/3 cup ice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp clove
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix in a blender and enjoy!

Also, for a healthy alternative to a Christmas flavored Starbucks latte or frappuccino, try adding coffee to this recipe and increasing the amount of almond milk for a delicious treat!

Watch here to see more on how to make this recipe:


Much love,

~Keane 2 Be Fit

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