Review of the year 2017

Take a look back at some of the most memorable moments of  2017

As the curtain falls on 2017, it’s time to look back upon this years highlights and draw whatever conclusions you feel will help guide you into 2018.

January

Donald Trumps becomes the president of the United States

Supreme Court Justice  administers the oath of office to the 45th and current President of the United States Donald John Trump.

Having a proud, arrogant, bombastic man as president sure caused a lot of controversy this year.

Here’s his New Year quote :

“Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”
– Donald Trump

Women’s March 

Following the official inauguration of Donald Trump as  President,  protest rallies were held  in over 30 countries around the world. People protested to advocate legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues.

Salt Bae 170203-salt-bae-mn-1530_060e5898cdcf7b58f97126d3cfbfdf71.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000

You surely came across this meme. The way this turkish chef “suavely” cuts his meat and sprinkles his salt went viral. “Ottoman Steak”, posted January 7th on his restaurant twitter account spreads rapidly through social medias.

February

Nuclear escalation Emad Hajjaj / Jordan

Basically : Donald Trump vs Kim Jong-Un.

Patriots win the Superbowl 

NFL’s Superstar Tom Brady brought the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history on February 5th. Winning his  fifth championship as a the quarterback, beating the Falcons in overtime, 34-28. Hello Handsome !

New Yorker’s scrubbed graffiti off of subways cars

With a little help, things can look a little better.

April

United airline passenger dragging

United Airlines spurred a major social media uproar after it had Dr. David Dao evicted from his seat on a plane . The poor man suffered a broken nose, a concussion and lost teeth.

Afterwards, Canada  passed a Bill that bans airlines from removing passengers from overbooked flights.

No passengers will be dragged off a flight if Canada has anything to say about it !

Rainbows and Sparkles

Starbucks created an eye-pleasing, mysterious, color-changing beverage trend in April with its Unicorn Frappuccino, and it seemed like everyone followed suit. From Instagram foodies to bagel shops, rainbow-hued food has arched over 2017. Hey , I’m not complaining.

May

Fidget Spinners fidget-spinner

The latest craze came in the form of brightly colored, hand-held trinkets that spin to keep your hands busy. But some educators weren’t buying the spin. Being a major distraction to, well everyone,  they’re now  banned from classrooms.

 

July 

Canada’s 150th anniversary

Our country turned 150 woohoo !  Our people are Friendly, we have Universal Healthcare, Real Maple Syrup, Tim Hortons’ Timbits, Poutines, Ketchup Chips, Jim Carey, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, a Prime Minister everyone wants to marry, Colored Money, 5% Beer and beautiful raw natural landscapes.

August 

Solar eclipse 

The first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years zoomed across the country. Dazzling many but disappointing some whose view was obscured by clouds.

Mayweather vs McGregor

Against all odds (and much to the surprise of boxing fans), this was a good fight minus the pay-per-view glitches. The notorious Irishman had 0% chance of winning against the ”best ever” said boxing analysts. He surpassed all expectations and became one of my favorite athletes.

September

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma gave Florida a coast-to-coast pummeling with winds up to 130 mph. Swamping homes and boats while knocking out power to millions.

Hugh Hefner Dies 

Hugh Hefner, who founded Playboy magazine, died at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles at the age of 91.

The movie It111640.jpg

Stephen King’s iconic, terrifying clown scared the crap out of us all over again this year, and we loved it. Grossed the largest box office record for any horror movie ever made with $171 millions dollar on opening weekend !

October

Canada decided to Legalize Marijuana in July 2018

The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pressing ahead with legalizing cannabis making Canada the first industrialized nation to legalize and regulate weed.

November

Leonardo Davincis Salvator Mundi sells for 450 million US $IMG_2292.jpg

Iphone X release

Apple’s most radical upgrade went on sale for … wait for it… 1000$ ! Okay, so maybe it offered a few fun new things like retina display, the best camera system Apple’s ever made and facial recognition that sort of scared me. BUT without a fingerprint sensor, home button, fast charging, serious warranty and those annoying animated emojis I wasn’t interested.

The city of Grenoble in France banned all outdoor advertising and replaced the signs with trees

Ever wonder what a city without advertisements would look like? Book your next trip to Grenoble, France.

 

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Quick Guide to Staying Active During Winter

It’s the first week of December in New-Brunswick. The sun rises at 7:47 am and sets at 4:32 pm. We’re waking up in the dark, leaving work in the dark and spending a good proportion of our time in the dark.

 

We tell ourselves ”It’s too cold to workout”, “I don’t feel like dressing up like a mummy just to go walk the dog” “I don’t want to risk slipping on ice” or ”I’m too busy to even think about physical activity during the holidays” and blah blah blah over the next few months.

 

I agree with you, baby it’s cold outside and when the snow is blowing outside, temperature are dropping below -15 C° and the wind is howling, it can be tough to get motivated to stay active – indoors or outdoors.

But winter shouldn’t be a time to slack off ESPECIALLY with all those holiday treats around !

Benefits of working out during the winter

  1. Staying active boost immunity by keeping the lymphatic system active and improving sleep quality. Keep on moving if you want to avoid colds and the flu this season.
  2. Working out in the winter also prevents gaining weight which occurs from being inactive and eating and drinking too much over the holidays.

Here are ways to mix up your workouts, get

creative and beat the winter blues while staying warm and toasty :

 1. Take advantage of the snow

Explore seasonal activities such as cross-country skiing (a personal favorite), snow-shoeing, skating, sledding or just get out and play.  Geocatching in winter can be a lot of fun too.

You’ll burn quite a few calories just playing outdoors :

Making snow angels (214 cals/hour)

Having a snowball fight (319 cals/hour)

Building a snowman (285 cals/hour)

Shoveling snow is also a great exercise BUT if you have a heart condition make sur you ask your doctor if shoveling is okay.

 

2.  Insulate 

Layers, add some. Stay warm and dry and if you get too hot simply remove the top layer. Keep in mind that the layer closest to your skin allows moisture to be wicked away, avoid cotton because once wet, it stays wet. The top layer should be wind and water-resistant.

3. Avoid post-exercise hypothermia

It’s tempting, once back inside, to immediately remove all your winter clothes but mark my words here : give your body time to readjust (10-15 minutes) before changing. If you lose too much heat too quickly you might experience post-exercice hypothermia.

When exercising outdoors closely monitor your body for hypothermia symptoms :

  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Pale, cold skin
  • Confusion
  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Slowed breathing or slowed heart rate

4. Stay Hydrated

5. Walks indoors

Keep those Fitbit steps going by walking indoors. In my city we have the mall and indoor tracks in sport facility and arenas. A pedometer would help motivate you to walk more and walking is an effective cardio workout that suits a range of fitness levels. Turn shopping into exercise by going to the mall before the stores open and take a brisk walk. By the time you finish, you’ll be able to get a head start on your holiday shopping (window shopping at a casual pace burns approximately 68 cals/ half hour). That’s a large Tim Horton coffee with 2 milks !

6. Join a class or an indoor sports league

Expand your exercise repertoire and check out a new fitness class. From aerobic kickboxing to badminton to yoga there’s a variety of classes and sports to choose from at local community centers.

7. Workout at Home

Commit to creating a mini home gym with inexpensive equipment such as elastics, stability balls, yoga mat and small free weights or use body weight exercises. Also, don’t underestimate the power of stairs either at home or at your workplace.

Bonus : You won’t catch that nasty cold going around from your fellow gym goers.

8. Get wet

Indoor pools are a great way to stay active. Try lap swimming or water aerobics. Plus, if you can take adavantage of a sauna there it’s a great way to warm up in the cold winter days.

7. Set goals

Winter is the perfect time for you to become a couch potato, eat an endless amount of comfort food while watching your favourite TV series on Netflix but it’s also the perfect time to focus on health goals.

Decide you’ll lose those last 10lbs, sign up for that 5km New Year race (yes, you can still run outside in the cold), lock down a fitness routine, clean out the pantry and don’t let the winter conditions encourage you to eat more and do less.

The trouble with not having a goal us that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.

– Bill Copeland

 

Becoming Flawsome

There’s just something about people who embrace their flaws.

People that know that they aren’t perfect, but accept that about themselves and embrace their imperfections.

And yet, do I really accept my flaws ?

Do any of us ?

Between all of the high-end cosmetics (if you’re shocked by the image, you’d be traumatized by their price tags), lotions and potions that are standing on my bathroom vanity right now, I have to admit that I have a lot of work to do in this department.

A must watch on this subject is Kelli Jean on Ted Talk :

She explains that people (especially women) will do almost anything to not be one thing : Fat.

Kelli affirms that billion dollar industries thrive because of the fear of being fat.

She is not chubby or cuddly, voluptuous or curvy she is Fat and she is Fabulously Beautiful.

When you watch her talk so confidently, it will make you envious  :

I wish I had her confidence. Even when she is far from what our society  would call “perfect”.

Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than being ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’?

-J.K. Rowling

https://www.ted.com/speakers/kelli_jean_drinkwater

There is something endearing and inspiring about someone who can be proud of their “imperfections”

If Tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think about how many industries would go out of business

– Dr. Gail Dines

The urban dictionary defines ”flawsome” as:

”Flawsome. Something that is totally awesome, but not without it’s flaws.”

A “Flaw” however, in this context does not refer to a detrimental quality or a life changing mistake, the focus is rather on a small mishap, idiosyncrasy or quirk.

I have a couple of crooked teeth for example. Growing up, I saw all the teenagers getting braces and after having them removed having perfectly symmetrical smiles. When I asked my dentist about fixing my tooth he said : You’re teeth are fine, it gives you character and charm. After all, it’s imperfections like these that make the world’s most beautiful faces.

In Western countries, crooked teeth are seen as imperfections and most people consider a straight set of pearly whites ideal.The story is slightly different in Japan, where “yaeba,” or snaggletooth, are considered cute; with some men finding the imperfect smile they form enduringly childlike and attractive

 

What makes you different or simply the quality of being transparent and not claiming to be more than you are is to be flawsome.

Before and After Makeup
All Women are pretty without makeup but can become pretty powerful with the right makeup

For example I used to spend hours trying to hide all my blemishes with concealer. I could have used that time cooking with my boyfriend, playing with my dog, reading, enjoying a nice stroll in nature, spending quality time with my grandmother or writing in this blog which are all thing that would have made me smile.

Becoming more aware of what’s really worth your energy is key.

The opposite to being flawsome would be presenting or marketing yourself as perfect and flawless.

Social Comparison

Nowadays, people seem to be obsessed with showing off their lives on social media so that the whole world knows how they live a ”perfect, Happy Life”.

What’s the point of being happy if you’re not going to post it right ?

One of my guilty pleasures is looking at what stars look like without makeup. Some look just as pretty (if not more) without it but let’s be honest here, with professional teams of hair and makeup that follows them around all day it’s rare seeing celebrities out and about without their faces on. And we’re all here wishing we’d look like them.

 

Another example is seeing those (annoying) romantic couple on our newsfeed because it serves as a constant reminder that everyone on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc are having perfect relationships.

 

Single? well let’s just say I can sympathise with your resentment. It’s quite easy to forget that people only post their best moments online while hiding their worse.

Personal anecdote

I used to religiously train at a CrossFit gym and there was this “perfect” couple that used to train every morning with me. I remember thinking “that’s what I want, a relationship like that” They did the workout together, holded hands, took selfies, they always locked lips after the workout, wore matching clothes, bragged about their romantic adventure on social media, etc. Little did I know, their marriage was so broken they were on the verge of getting a divorce.

So much effort was put into presenting themselves as the “perfect couple” on social medias and in public. Why ? Because maybe they thought that the success of their relationship was measured by the amount of likes they would get on the pictures they posted about their date, or how romantic their post seemed to be.

The word ‘Imperfect’ actually spells ‘I’m perfect’ because everyone is perfect in their own imperfect ways.

– Anonymous

Checklist to being Flawsome 

  1. Being Flawsome doesn’t idealize one particular body image

How many times have you hear “Real women have curves” or  “Nothing feels as good as skinny feels” ?

That last one makes me cringe…

Flawsome is not about pushing you towards being a gym rat, being toothpick thin, eating clean or not taking care of your physical appearance anymore ; it’s about embracing you, as you are, and loving yourself.

 

You deserve to be happy

You deserve to live a life you’re excited about

Not one drop of your self-worth depends on other people’s acceptance of you so make yourself proud !

2. Being Flawsome builds confidence from the inside out

Your lines and wrinkles are emotional souvenirs. They’re a representation of every emotion we have experienced thought-out our lives, therefore, they are a reminder of what made us who we are today. You don’t have crow’s-feet, you have laugh lines and they were worth it !

 

Cellulite, wrinkles and dimples are totally normal.

I could go on and on but the point is :

It’s not your body that’s flawed, it’s your belief system 

Despite what the beauty industry claims, true confidence doesn’t always come from what’s on the outside (or from a bottle…).

Recognize your value and your talent and do something about it !

Reach those personal goals, finish that project you always wanted to do and most importantly do things that bring you happiness. Each of us bring something special to this world.

3. Being Flawsome alters our notions of perfections

Rather than altering yourself to fit the mold of “perfection”

(that changes every couple of years by the way)

CHANGE IT !

The reasons why so many girls struggle with body image is because they think, no let me rephrase that…  They’re  absolutely sure that there is a “more perfect” version of themselves that’s hidden inside of them and with hard work they will reveal it.

Go on about your days with confidence, don’t hide, don’t complain and stop spending precious time and money on altering your already perfectly, unique self.

Give up Perfect for Being Authentic
– Hal Elrod

How to Become A Morning Person

It’s 4:19 am, i am currently sitting at the table sipping on my wonderful first cup of coffee and I can say, without a doubt, that this is the time of the day where I am more creative, productive, engaged and energized.

I’m not just a morning person, I spring out of bed at a time even roosters wouldn’t think of opening they’re eyes. No alarm needed BUT I do require some form of caffeine to start off my day.

This is my “me” time.

Waking up early gives me time to think and reflect before other people or engagements start requiring my time and attention.
But isn’t it hard to get out of bed this early ? Don’t I crave that extra hour of sleep ? This is where ,us, early risers have the competitive advantage. We begin tackling our day while others hit the snooze button ; no e-mail, messages or text notifications, no one to interrupt our lovely moment of peace and quiet.

Not convinced ?

Here is a list of 5 scientifically proven health advantage of being a morning person :

1. You might weight less and exercising more consistently : The timing of your exposure to light can influence your weight, according to Northwestern University research. People who got most of their light exposure for the day in the morning had a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who got most of their light later in the day. This was independent of how active people were or how many calories they ate.

Also, early birds are less likely to be derailed by an unexpected work deadline or a sluggish commute, people who exercise in the morning seem to maintain more consistent workout routines than those who break a sweat at other times of the day. “In terms of performing a consistent exercise habit, individuals who exercise in the morning tend to do better,” Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief science officer with the American Council.

2. Safer drivers : Spanish researchers asked night owls to drive at 8 a.m., not surprisingly they performed worse and paid less attention than when they did the same driving simulation at 8 p.m.
When early birds did the same experiment, they performed consistently well during both times of day. Why? Morning people tend to exhibit more detail-oriented, conscientious traits that may serve them well even when they’re driving at night.

3. Pro activity and better grades : Harvard biologist Christoph Randler surveyed undergrad students a few years ago, he found morning people were more likely to agree with statements that reflect a go-getter mentality, such as “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen,” Harvard Business Review reported.

A 2013 study of students at five German high schools found that night owls had lower grades than morning people, even after researchers accounted for their cognitive abilities, conscientiousness, and motivation to do well in school. Even in college, when students may have more control over their class schedules (sleeping in instead of attending that 8 am biology class for example), early birds still triumph.

4. Happier and better mental health: When University of Toronto researchers surveyed more than 700 adults on their sleeping habits, mood and health, they found that morning people (7 am or earlier to be specific) had up to a 25 percent increase in feelings of happiness, cheerfulness, and alertness.

5. You might sleep better : A massive study conducted by 23andMe also found that only about 20% of self-identified morning people suffered from insomnia, compared to nearly 40% of night owls.

Simple strategies and habits to help you get out of bed early

1. Set an alarm, then set that alarm far away
Getting out of bed is often the hardest part about waking up in the morning. Having your alarm clock next your bed makes it easier to press the snooze button and sleep longer.

2. Wake up a pleasant alarm sound or vibration not the sound of sirens

The type of alarm sound you choose has an effect on your mood. Try a sounds that gradually wake you up (many apps. has this feature) to wake up more naturally from your sleep cycle.

I use “percussion” with gradual increased volume on my Samsung.

It might seem a little strange, but if you want to wake up without the horrifying sound of bells (because every morning should begin with a mini heart attack) then one of the best ways to do it is with vibrations. I use my Fitbit.

Oh, and just a side note : Don’t wake up to your favorite song, you’ll end up despising it after 2-4 mornings…

3. Have something to looking forward to

For me it’s that first cup of coffee. I swear that sweet black nectar of the gods touches my soul and i feel like i can handle anything. Set your coffee maker to a specific hour and let that freshly ground heavenly smell wake you up.
You could also make breakfast to look forward to the night before.

4. Take advantage of the many benefits of exercising early in the morning
– It enhances your metabolism
– Cultivates Consistency (no interruption in the wee hours)
– Improves your physical and mental energy all day (focus)
– Enhances your personal discipline (and bragging rights)

Fill two needs with one deed : Invite a Friend, having someone relying on you will guarantee accountability. “If you know a friend is waiting for you at the gym or won’t pound the pavement without you, it’s tough to bail,” says Thomas Plante, PhD, professor of psychology at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, who has completed multiple studies on the power of exercise partners.

5. Go to bed early ; what a shocker this one is….
6. Change your mindset ; What you repeat to yourself becomes reality. So stop complaining that you hate mornings.
Still can’t get out of bed ?

I believe the key to productivity is being truthful with yourself. Some people circadian systems are just backwards. Those individual are what science calls “evening people” or “Larks” (something involving a single nucleotide near a gene called “period 1”).

No matter what they do they’ll feel tired early in the evening and then won’t get tired until very late at night. So instead of trying to be something you’re not go ahead and sleep in.

I won’t judge and on behalf of all morning people, please excuse our noise while you’re try to sleep in.

Altering our Notions of ”Perfection” : Becoming More not Less

How we perceive, feel and think about our bodies and our sense of how other people view our bodies is more important than the reality of your actual physical appearance

According to research, approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies.

During the past 5 years, consumer spending doubled, pornography became the main media category and thirty-three thousand American women told researchers that they would rather lose 10-15 pounds than acheive any other goal.

The greater our discontent with how we measure up when compared to social standards or media supported norms (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter) the more negative our body image and the lower our self-esteem will be.

The greater the risk for and resort to :

  • Expensive cosmetic surgery (who hasn’t though about a little Botox or Fillers, liposuction, bigger boobs or a perfectly symmetrical nose)
  • Unhealthy extreme diets (Fasting, low carbohydrate/calories, high protein, paleo, ketogenic, IIFYM, sounds familiar?)
  • Extreme exercise compulsion (Is your workout is always your top priority, are your a slave to fitbit ?)
  • Weight obsessions (weighting yourself multiple times a day, counting calories, beleiving thinness will magically solve your problems, tricks to avoid eating or hunger)
  • Bulimia, anorexia, binge eating
  • Using steroids for muscle building and weight loss (yes, women too)
  • Mental disorders and conditions (anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia, substance abuse and dependance)

Just to achieve their ideal body shape.

About 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed in the media (and even then, the perfect girl you’re constantly creeping on instagram probably photoshops, airbrushes or edits her pictures – even i’m guilty of touching up selfies with retouching software)

So roughly speaking, you’re being bombarded everyday with hundreds of images and messages of people seeming totally happy, perfect and having amazing lives and it’s impossible to not feel like there’s something wrong with you (even though we are well aware that everything is not as it’s posted)

Our culture of self-comparison today is obsessively focused on unrealistically positive expectations – all the positive and self-help stuff we hear, read and buy all the time, all those beautiful women we see and envy on social medias, all those promises the beauty industry are handing us are actually making us fixate on what we lack.

It’s making you feel as though you aren’t succesful enough, loved enough, healthy enough, fit enough, pretty enough, rich enough, intelligent enough etc. It reminds us over and over of what we are not, what we lack, of what we should have been but failed to be.

I am here to tell you that your are enough and being overly stressed, overly neurotic and overly self-loathing about this or that is part of being human.

My goal as a blogger, is to create a beautifully designed blog to revitalize, inspire and make women think about the way they eat, move and live.

I want to provide you with reliable, valuable resources, personal anecdotes and practical advice from nutrition to fitness to stress management to how-tos and more in order to empower you to make positive changes (and hopefully, make you smile).

 

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