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About Me

A little about me:

My mom put me in tons of sports as a kid so I was always active. Gymnastics, soccer, swimming, and even sports camp to name a few. Little did I know that these childhood activities instilled a healthy mindset in me from when I was young, which pushed me to be active and keep my body moving today.

This is me, current physique- 5’7, moderately active but eating right.

So, I really did “get back into it.” It took me a couple months after finishing my last semester of university, so here we are. I think I have myself down to a science, so I’ll try and break it down for you:

Once I’m in the mindset to workout, that’s all I focus on. But once I fall off, I fall hard. There’s no working out twice a week. It’s all or nothing for me which, I would classify as my downfall; however, for the time being I’m working out and I’m going to share my journey here.

All images © 2019 LifestylewithLika. All rights reserved.

Post-grad blues and bad eating habits

I’m back. I’ve been on a series hiatus, taking time to reflect, relax and just chill. I’ve chalked it up to “post-grad blues,” which many of us recent graduates have experienced or will experience. It can hit the best of us, those who have a plan, those who have somewhat of an idea of what they want to do, or individuals like myself who are feeling a little lost. Either way, it’s normal, it happens and you will get through it.

Where’s the correlation between post-grad sadness and eating everything and anything? People turn to food as a healing agent for all moods and seasons. Food works, you eat when you’re happy, when you’re sad, or when you’re angry because it’s always there and it can help you feel better. As you know, one of the main anti-depressants is food. However, notice that I did not say “food can make you feel better.” That’s because it doesn’t, it’s temporary but the affects it can have on your body over a long period of time can be permanent. It’s easier to prevent something, than it is to reverse it.

The last few months.

For the past couple of months I have been eating like crap because I haven’t been feeling like myself. For me that shows through my lack of effort and time management to keep up with my lifestyle. My normal…which is feeding my body with nutrients and encouraging others to do the same. I started drinking less water, I was not consuming my one green smoothie a day, and I was eating whatever I wanted, when I wanted and it made me feel worse about myself because I knew better.

Today – Sunday December 8th, 2019

For the past week and half I’ve been slowly working on bettering myself and getting back to my normal. Honestly, I was feeling extremely lethargic and overall just heavier. Of course to others I didn’t gain weight or anything, but I wasn’t feeling my energetic, fit and healthy self. It was time for a change. I slowly started drinking more water, restricting myself from snacking and began doing mini at home abs. This was all it took for me. Today, I drank 3 litres of water, did a full body at home workout, made a green smoothie and ate 3 solid meals. I also applied for jobs this weekend, slowly but surely kicking “post-grad blues” in the butt, and YOU can DO IT too.

#1changechallenge

Pick one thing that you can change today, if you need to think about it that’s fine. But we all have at least one thing we can change or do better when it comes to health, well-being and lifestyle. Some examples to get you thinking: drink more water, snack less, get more sleep, plan your meals, get green vegetables into at least one meal for the day etc.

All images © 2019 LifestylewithLika. All rights reserved.

Daily superfoods

Not only does my weekly grocery haul consist of fruits and vegetables, but also what I like to call my superfoods. I use these superfoods in a variety of ways including – in smoothies, in my cereal, sprinkled on top of rice, quinoa, potatoes, pretty much wherever I can.

I’m a huge advocate for being healthy from the inside out. That being said, I am stickler for reading the nutritional value facts on everything I buy, because I need to know how it will benefit me. So, let’s get into my daily go to superfoods; flaxseeds, they can be ground or whole, hemp seeds and chia seeds. These seeds have a multitude of health benefits and a huge one for me is iron, being that I have an iron deficiency. It’s really important to know your body and take the necessary steps to counteract health problems that are in your control by tailoring your diet to you.

Ground flax seed

The nutritional value of ground flax seeds and whole flax seeds are the same, however ground flax seeds are easier to digest. I typically use about two tea spoons maybe more, whenever I am using it. Although I don’t measure my food, it’s still really important to pay attention to the serving size. What you see in the chart isn’t exactly what you are going to get, unless you are eating a full 100 grams in one sitting.

Super seed mix

This super seed mix was on sale in Bulk Barn. We love a good sale around here so I suggest you subscribe to their email list. It consists of golden flax seed, hulled hemp, and chia seeds all in one. As you can see, I like to sprinkle it everywhere, this will ensure that I get my nutrients in for the day. Furthermore, this mix of seeds provides Protein, Fibre, Calcium and Iron. All things that I know I need, considering that I don’t eat a lot of meat.

For my plant based babies, or those who are transitioning their diet to a healthier lifestyle. Do your research. Diet is very personal to you, so what works for me or the next person might not work for you. It’s also important to note that when you reduce your meat consumption, that is not enough to consider yourself “healthy.” The nutritional benefits that meat provides the body with, need to be supplemented by other foods to make up for it.

All images © 2019 LifestylewithLika. All rights reserved.

All the tea on laser hair removal

Let’s start with my hair removal journey. I first started shaving the bikini area around grade 6 ( I did gymnastics and swimming so it was about that time) and I got my first Brazilian wax at the end of grade 12. If you don’t know what that is, it removes all the hair from that area using wax – bikini line, front area, and between the cheeks. A few years later, I started sugaring – this method of hair removal is all natural and is supposed to be better for skin than waxing. After sugaring, I never went back to waxing because it changed my life for the better. However, my sensitive skin and inability to find a knowledgeable sugar lady where I was living left me in a pickle. Just like anything, if you are not consistent with sugaring/waxing you will not see any results. Worst of all, you could end of damaging your skin in the long run.

PSA

-For my ladies who like their hair, keep it, flaunt it, and don’t let anyone tell you differerently. I am in no way saying all woman need to be hairless. Do what makes you happy!

-This is for anyone who waxes! Please make sure your wax professional is NOT double dipping. Most people don’t pay attention to what’s happening while they are being ‘taken care of’; however, I have seen waxers dip the stick in the wax, wax me, then proceed to put it back in. This is a NO GO. If they are doing this with you, think about all their other clients they are using the same wax with and double dipping. You get the point. It’s your skin and your health at the end of the day. If you need to stop someone mid wax, I personally have, to ask if they are using a clean stick, DO IT.

Everything laser

Are you tired of the hair removal process? I know I was, so I finally decided to invest in my skin $$$. Being the skincare junkie that I am, I went on a quest to find the best laser hair removal clinic in the GTA. I did extensive research prior to visiting any clinic, to make sure I had as much background knowledge on laser hair removal for people of colour as possible. Not too long ago, there were little to no lasers that could accommodate the pigment in our skin, therefore it would literally burn our skin off along with the hair. Presently, there are lasers on the market specifically designed for darker skin tones allowing us to explore the wonders of laser hair removal.

Tips

1. Consultations are FREE (at least at the good spots- I went to 7, but I’m extra); book a consultation with a skincare professional at a laser clinic.

2. Do preliminary research, read google reviews, and be observant (upon arrival you need to scan the cleanliness of the clinic/office).

3. Do not get bamboozled. Laser hair removal is expensive, but you don’t want to get it done somewhere that will put you in debt for a SMALL area. Also if it’s too cheap, it’s a no go. ‘Invest in your skin’ $$ but be smart.

4. Try to compare prices of your top 3 clinics, go to your consultation with an idea of how much you are willing to spend, and make your decision based on the esthetician who will be performing the laser treatment on you.

My experience

I chose my laser hair clinic based on Google reviews (4.5 stars), they had a promotion – a package of 6 for one large area plus one small area. I was genuinely happy with the responses to my 21 questions and I liked the esthetician, who was going to be all up in my area (the most important).

I had my first treatment on September 12, and to answer your question, no, it didn’t hurt but I have a high pain tolerance. Also, I was informed that multiple factors can lead to why some women get the ‘zappy’ feeling and others feel next to nothing – hormones, periods etc. THE TEA. We are now into October, I just had my 2nd appointment this past weekend and I have been SMOOTH as a button since the beginning of September. My hair literally said, “see ya later” and I could not be happier.

Be advised that you won’t know if laser hair removal is for you until you do your research (click here for more info) and go for a consultation. You will not see results overnight, in fact, it’s a 6-8 month process for most people, and you typically schedule each appointment 4-8 weeks apart. I will be sharing my overall thoughts and results to document my Brazilian treatment. So far I am excited, and can’t wait for summer 2020.

All images © 2019 LifestylewithLika. All rights reserved.

Rule: 80/20

80 % diet 20% activity

The 80/20 rule is nothing new and I did not make it up. But it’s definitely a rule that I live by. Essentially, if you are not consistently active, at the very least, your diet needs to be on point. I was able to snatch my waist and go from 27″ to 25″ since August, just by eating right. I don’t count calories, macros or weigh my food but if you do that’s great and keep it up. What do I do ? I just eat. I eat nutritious foods that will keep me full, energized and won’t leave me bloated.

10 % -20 % Diet – 80% Gym

This right here is not going to work. This blog is about health and lifestyle so it’s important to note that just because you or someone looks good does not mean they are healthy. If you are eating pure junk food; foods high in cholesterol, sodium and sugar but live in the gym, you are really just doing yourself a disservice. You are not feeding your body with nutrients and you are not living a healthy lifestyle sorry to break it to you.

Slim does not equate to being healthy and a larger frame does not equate to an individual being unhealthy. Stop letting society dictate what health looks like to you, because health comes in many different shapes and sizes. I know quite a few women that eat healthy, are fairly active but still remain on the bigger framed side and that’s okay. More than okay actually, because health comes from the inside out. If you feel good and you are happy with what you see don’t let the scale, social media or just people in general tell you otherwise.

This one is for my ladies, take note because this is important. A little belly fat is OKAY and does not translate to you being unhealthy. That may be hard to hear coming from me, as I do have a smaller waist, but you don’t need a “flat” stomach to be on the journey to health. You just need to care. The goal is get the results you want, if a flat stomach is on that list great! But don’t feel like it needs to be, a lot of women like their pudge and they rock it. You should too. For me I wanted this, so I worked for it and continue to work for it everyday. On the flip side, I know I don’t want killer abs for example so I hope you’re following where I’m going with this. It’s all about what YOU want.

All images © 2019 LifestylewithLika. All rights reserved.

What are your habits ?

It’s no secret that your long term habits will be a huge determining factor on how your life turns out. Especially when it comes to health and fitness, because you literally become what you eat. There are many things that can go wrong with the body that are completely out of your control. However, what YOU choose to eat is not one of them. My philosophy is, you only have one body so why not treat it that way. You’re not a ‘cat with nine lives,’ so you don’t get a do over if you mess it up.

If you’ve already determined what your unhealthy eating habits are you’re on the right track. But have you actually done anything about it is the question? Fighting your bad habits is not easy, but instead of making it about “weight loss” do it for your health and longevity. Fuel your body with the right foods and I promise you will feel better just knowing that you are taking care of yourself.

| Be realistic, nothing worth doing ever comes easy.

| Make a list of your bad habits; it might seem extra but writing things down is beneficial.

| Compile a list of things you should be doing to get to where you want to be. Ex: Drinking water daily, getting fruits and vegetables into your diet daily etc.

| Take it slow; start with cutting back, then get rid of the bad habit all together.

My old (bad) habits and how I said see ya later to them!

| Drank way too much juice + tea with lots of sugar

| Consumed a lot of snacks throughout the day

| Ate large portions of food

| Late night snacking after dinner

These are the bad habits of mine that I recognized and decided to change. I slowly started drinking more water-less juice, started paying attention to my portion sizes and cut back, and I also cut out the late night snacking all together. These small changes to start my journey made all the difference. It’s easier to start your journey to health when you set out realistic goals for yourself. If you jump all in at once more often than not it won’t work. I don’t want to say you’ll fail but you get the point.

I want to turn your attention to an awesome book that will help you nip your habits in the butt and give you a good laugh at the same time.

All images © 2019 LifestylewithLika. All rights reserved.

Let’s Throw It Back

2013

2014

I started sliming down due to dietary changes and portion control.

2015

Don’t have any progress photos around this time.

2016

At this point 2015-2016 I started packing on a bit of weight.

2017

Around this time I was working out moderately, and barely eating – not very healthy, wasn’t feeling my best.

2018

2018 was my year. I really took the time to work on myself and it shows. I’ve never really tracked my progress, so I didn’t notice how far I’ve come until now. I’ll be going into detail about what changed and what I did to achieve this in the next couple blog posts.

2019

These photos were taken the first week of September 2019.

All images © 2019 LifestylewithLika. All rights reserved.

Who I follow

Fitness Edition

First and foremost, BE YOUR OWN BODY GOALS. It’s hard but wishful thinking and yearning for another body won’t change what you already have. So… why not work with what you do have and create the best version of yourself ?

Personally, I think it’s important to follow people who spread positivity but also encourage you to feel good about yourself. If the fitness influencers you follow do not align with your fitness goals, do not appear naturally attainable for you, and do not spread the message that all bodies are desirable, unfollow them right now. I too had to do a cleanse and it was the best thing i’ve ever done for myself.

I’ve compiled a short list of Instagram fitness influencers and YouTubers I personally follow. Their content is great, they are positive, they motivate me to get up, and most importantly, their workouts can be done in the gym or at home.

*Important to note: who I follow might not work for you, so find people who motivate you and follow their content.

All images © 2019 LifestylewithLika. All rights reserved.

Flat tummies are made in the kitchen!

Tip: Try to incorporate veggies in every meal! My go to vegetables are kale and red peppers.

What you put in your body is important for your health, especially to maintain or attain that flat stomach. No matter how many days you hit the gym, the fact is a tight core is made in the kitchen.

Let’s talk about genetics.

Genetics is important to touch on when it comes to fitness and health because at the end of the day, your shape is your shape. Don’t get too discouraged though; you look great. Instagram is not real life and a flat stomach does not define your fitness level; however, we could definitely all do a better job at nurturing our bodies.

Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is not as hard as it looks (this is coming from a former university student who was constantly on the go as well as living on a student budget). I’m no expert but my suggestion is to find what works for you. Simple enough right? Wrong. It took me a while to figure out how to differentiate between healthy foods I liked, foods I could tolerate, and foods I can’t stomach to this day. I even made an eggplant lasagna one time; the dish wasn’t bad but I wouldn’t eat it again.

As I got older, I started to really pay attention to what I was putting in my body. Instead of trying to diet I made a lifestyle change. I cut out or reduced my consumption of pork, dairy, red meat, and foods high in sodium. You’re probably wondering what I ate during the school year as student budget friendly meals typically consist of mr.noodles, frozen pizzas, mac and cheese… need I go on? Well I made it work. I started researching fast, easy, cheap meals and the ideas were endless.

All images © 2019 LifestylewithLika. All rights reserved.

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