2017 Recap, 2018 Goal Crushing

Congratulations, we made it a week in 2018!

Before I share how to make 2018 the year where you crush all your goals and more, I thought I’d give a quick recap of my last 12+ months.

2017 was a mix of ups and downs, twists and turns, and I’m sure that’s what it was like for most of you…because that’s what life is all about.  If it wasn’t, it would be boring.  Challenges and excitement help us feel alive and keep us growing.  I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

Near the end of 2016, I was training to compete in a fitness competition.  (If you’ve been following my fitness journey on here or Instagram, you can skip to the next paragraph.  If not, read on!)  From being on a strict regimen while also studying for my personal training course and working full time, the competition prep became too stressful and I was no longer enjoying it.  The stress was affecting me not only emotionally but also a great deal physically.  I started to gain weight, when I was trying to cut, and acquired chronic shoulder and back pain, which hindered my workouts.  On December 31st, I decided not to do the competition anymore.  It wasn’t an easy decision to make, especially since I was on my way to becoming a personal trainer and wanted to build my credibility…but I knew it was what was best for me.

Unfortunately, releasing myself from the competition brought on a whole other mountain to climb.  I began to “let myself go” since there was nothing to work towards (this is why consistent goal setting is important!!) and was binge eating daily (and this is why a balance diet that makes you happy is important!!)…I became obsessed with food, both healthy and unhealthy.  I ate and drank more than my body could handle and over a few short months, I had gained an extra 30 lbs.  So for the majority of 2017, my focus was to get back to feeling like myself…and I am forever grateful of this struggle because I LEARNED SO MUCH.

In 2017, I learned…

To accept what is and work with what I have.  Things won’t always be easy, but building resilience will help you conquer whatever comes your way.  Every day, strive to be stronger and better than you were yesterday.  Setbacks happen, it’s really not a big deal…do what Aaliyah says and dust yourself off and try again.

To love and appreciate myself wholeheartedly, because hating on myself will get me nowhere.  I still attack myself with negative self-talk at times and find myself in a downward spiral, but whenever I come out of it, I make sure to acknowledge what happened, forgive myself, learn from it, and move forward.

To find the blessings in everything.  Even when things don’t work out the way you planned, this kind of attitude will help you get over it more easily so you can get on with your day.  Learn to appreciate not only yourself but also the things around you.  Once you fully embrace this, you’ll start to notice more positive changes happening to you.  It’s pretty magical 🙂

Now, let’s get into how to make 2018 absolutely incredible!!

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS
Make sure they’re S.M.A.R.T. goals and don’t hesitate to make them small.  This will increase your chances of achieving them, which decreases the potential of failure or discouragement.  Set goals regularly, not just at the beginning of the year, and check in with yourself weekly and monthly.  Focus on process/behavioural goals (ie: workout 4x/week, drink 10 cups of water a day, practice yoga 1x/week, sleep by 10pm on weekdays), as the right activities will get you to your  goal.  Setting only outcome goals (ie: lose 10 lbs in 2 months, fit size 6 pants) can be discouraging or tougher to achieve, as they are not as predictable or controllable…plus I am a strong advocate of improving health and fitness to FEEL and FUNCTION better, over LOOKING better.

HAVE AN ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM
Find yourself an accountability buddy, whether it’s a friend, colleague, or trainer.  Share your goals, set deadlines, put something on the line or decide on a reward, and check in with them regularly.  It’s important to choose someone who will call you out on your sh*t if you don’t follow through, otherwise it’s possible to let it slide and forget about it.  Be their accountability buddy back, so you can support each other!  Chances are that you’ll learn something new and even incorporate some of their goals when bouncing ideas off each other.

KEEP IT FRONT OF MIND
Post your goals up where you’ll see them daily and set reminders to check in with your accountability buddy or yourself.  There are also lots of great to-do apps (I use “Any.do”) where you can enter in reminders of your goals, and also breakdown goals so you stay on track.  For instance, if your goal is to do cardio 3x a week, either schedule specific times in your calendar or set reminders in your app 3x to mark off.  Keeping goals front of mind prevents you from losing sight of them, which is easy to do in this busy world of ours.

CELEBRATE ALL THE WINS
So many people set such big goals that they forget to celebrate and appreciate their little achievements.  Celebrate all your wins, especially your small successes!  They are what will help you enjoy the journey and keep your momentum strong.  It also relates to the Law of Attraction where achieving will lead to more achieving, and winning will lead to more winning!  Which brings me to my next point…

PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Remember to appreciate where you are, what you have, and who you are…and more good things will come.  You’ll also feel a whole lot happier and energized, which will enable you to get after your goals and dreams!

With that, I wish you an AMAZING year filled with love, happiness, and great health!

xo,
Sheena

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A Glance into the Vegan Life

A few friends of mine recently turned vegan and noticed an improvement with weight management, an increase in energy, and feel overall much healthier…so I thought I’d give it a try for a month to see how it made me feel.

Here’s how it went for me…

WARNING: You may become very hungry after reading this post.  It’s all about FOOD.

WEEK 1 – Start date: November 3rd

It was a bit of a rocky start, as it took time to become reaaaaaaally aware of ingredients…and there were a few oversights because of things I automatically cook with during meal prep, such as oyster sauce and Better than Bouillon chicken stock, which are now blatantly obvious! lol

On November 4th, we watched Georges St Pierre fight, at a sports bar.  Not many vegan options, as you could assume.  We had onion rings and yam fries…not very healthy and now that I think about it, it was likely not deep-fried in a vegan way either.

The following day I made up for it by going to the Vancouver Health Show, learning some things and discovering some vegan food products, such as “pulled pork” using young jackfruit instead of pork.  Also picked up amazing vegan dumplings from one the vendors, House of Yee.  Later that evening, I went for happy hour drinks at Earls Kitchen and had a delicious Quinoa & Avocado Powerbowl, while I watched my family eat chicken wings, tuna poke, and meat pasta.  I love all those things but luckily the powerbowl tasted amazing, so I was barely even phased.

That week, I meal prepped more powerbowls.  I admit, I became a little obsessed with powerbowls…because they were so yummy, so colourful, and so easy to prepare!  The powerbowls consisted of chickpeas, quinoa, orange peppers, cucumber, spinach, corn, and avocado…and then I had it with hot sauce.  I pretty much ate these for lunch and dinner until I became tired of them.

WEEK 2

After a week or so, I started to get the hang of it and was better at catching myself from eating things with eggs or dairy hidden in them.  I also was pleasantly surprised at how restaurants are able to cater to veganism.  I went to Hapa Izakaya with a couple friends, and the server pointed out all the vegan-friendly options AND had the kitchen make a few off-menu items just for us.  We ended up enjoying a roll, a salad, a stone rice bowl , yaki udon, and a whole lot of sake.  It was a great night.

The next day was my niece’s birthday, so knowing that there would be nothing we could eat there, we went to Jinya Ramen Bar for the Spicy Creamy Vegan Ramen (add corn), my new favourite dish!  Then after playing with the kids for 3 hours, we had worked up an appetite, so we went to a nearby sushi joint to have a few vegan rolls.  Later that night, some friends & I enjoyed a big meal at The Naam in Kits, a vegetarian restaurant with live music on the weekends!

The next day, I went to Virtuous Pie with the same vegan homies from the previous night.  On Monday’s, they have all-day happy hour with select pizzas and wine on special!  This place is amazing, whether you’re vegan or not.  And then the day after that, we went for vegan hot pot at Little Sheep Hot Pot.  They have a vegan broth (which comes out clear as water, but don’t worry, it becomes more flavourful throughout your meal) and a huge selection of veggies and sides that you can order a-la-carte.

For lunches, I prepped powerbowls again.  Quick, easy, and delicious. Pretty much used the same ingredients, but then I became a little tired of them by the end of the week again.  This is when I realized I needed to become more creative when cooking vegan meals!

On Friday, I finally went to try Melu Juice Bar with a girlfriend.  Had their lunch combo that came with juice (I had The Hulk), a salad (Undercover Curried Rice w/ Zoodles), and a health bar (Salted Pecan Pie).  Everything tasted sooooo good, and the shop is really cute too!

WEEK 3

On November 18th, we decided to take a break from veganism and enjoy all the things at Pan Pacific’s Opera Buffet.  It was a fantastic meal and made me realize that I’m okay with incorporating some meat back into my diet.  I had really been missing fish!  Dairy and red meat, I could live without…and especially being lactose-intolerant, I try to stay away, and take a Lactaid pill only when absolutely worth it.

The next day, I meal prepped chickpeas, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and zucchini for my lunches.  It was a nice change, and still super simple to prepare!

My lunches were healthy but I was finding that the rest of my meals were quite carby, since most vegan options I craved were noodle dishes or vegan pizza.  I hadn’t noticed many health benefits yet, other than feeling less gross or heavy after meals.  The difference was more noticeable after eating out, like having vegan ramen vs chicken ramen.

WEEK 4

It was around this time where I decided to be 86% VEGAN – that’s 3 meals a week where I can have meat.  I was missing sashimi like you wouldn’t believe…and then I was magically treated to sashimi and sushi rolls at Tojo’s!  If you haven’t been, you must go.

Following that weekend, my lunches were consistently healthy and vegan, and my dinners were either salad or noodles, depending on cravings or who I was dining with.

And here we are after a month of veganism.  It has definitely tapered off (maybe about 50% vegan now) and I decided to go back to eating meat because I felt like I was missing something from my diet.  My eczema came back in full force and I found myself craving heavy carbs again… but on the plus side, this vegan trial made me want to eat cleaner and get more creative with my meal preps.  I made butternut squash for the first time, and I loved it.   I dine often with my vegan homies, so there are still many more restaurant/recipe discoveries to be made!

So there’s a glance into the vegan life… and some really awesome vegan restaurant recommendations for all you foodies out there!

xo,
Sheena

 

Healthy Holiday Fitness Challenge – December 1st-25th, 2017

Have the healthiest of holidays by participating in my fitness challenge from December 1st to 25th!

You’ll receive:
🎁 Customized fitness plan
🎁 Suggested meal plan
🎁 24/7 digital support

Investment: $25
(That’s just $1/day!)

What I’ll need from you:
 Commit & register by Nov 25th
 Submit ‘before’ photos by Dec 1st
 Submit ‘after’ photos by Dec 26th
(Let me know if you would not like your photos to be shared on social media)

Prize: Your $25 investment back, and a special gift sent straight to you!

WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN DEC 27TH!
Must live in North America to receive gift.

Summer bodies are made in the Winter! 👙 And this is your final push to get in shape for all your holiday parties and maybe even a Polar Bear Swim on New Years Day! ❄️ Who’s with me?!

Comment below or email me at xo@sheenalouie.com to sign up today!

xo,
Sheena

No More Sick Days!

It’s cold & flu season, so here are some quick tips on how to avoid the bug and stay healthy all year long!

Wash your hands.  Wash them often and wash them well.  With plenty of soap, scrub all surfaces and in between your fingers.  When handling washroom doors on the way out, use a paper towel to protect your hands from possible germs.

Use hand-sanitizer.  Keep a small bottle in your car or purse for when you’re out, and a pump bottle at your desk.  Offices are notorious for circulating the bug so don’t be shy with the hand-sani.

Pamper yourself.  Massages, cupping, and acupuncture are a few self-care ways to stay healthy, keep your immune system up, and increase circulation.  These services also provide several other health benefits, so I’d say that’s a win/win.

Get a flu shot.  Clinics and pharmacies offer it and some workplaces even bring in a nurse to administer it.  There’s always the controversy on whether it’s effective or not, but after turning down the flu shot a few years in a row and catching the flu more than once, I’m thinking…what’s the harm?

Sweat it out.  Whether you hit up the sauna/steam room or have an intense workout, getting your sweat on is a great way to release toxins.  Be sure to hydrate with plenty of water in the process.

Consume immune-boosting foods.  Citrus fruits, bell peppers, turmeric, ginger, green tea, apple cider vinegar, beet juice, and many other fruits/veggies/juices will nourish you with the vitamins you need to keep those sicknesses at bay.

Relax yo self.  When we’re stressed, our entire nervous system is affected and our immune system weakens.  Do you ever notice that when you’re really stressed, you tend to get sick more often, have low energy, and just kind of shut down.  When we’re happy and healthy, our bodies functions at its highest capacity and we’re able to fight off bugs more easily.

With this said, I hope you all take amazing care of yourselves and stay healthy throughout this beautifully cool sweater weather!

xo,
Sheena

How to Take Progress Pics

No matter where you are in your fitness journey or what shape you’re in, I STRONGLY encourage you to take progress pictures.  Not only do they keep you in check, but they are also very motivating…they either motivate you to work harder when you don’t notice improvement, OR they motivate and increase your momentum when you recognize the awesome results you’re achieving!

I recommend taking them on a monthly basis.  Bi-weekly works too, but just make sure you are patient and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see a huge difference.  Results take time.

Here’s how to take progress pics:

FRONT – stand tall with feet together, flex everything, smile
SIDE – stand tall, flex abs, lift arms up and out of the way
BACK – stand tall with feet together, shoulders back, flex arms

Stay consistent as possible with time of day, lighting, posture, your outfit, and even hair (up vs down can make you look differently).

Some other ways to measure progress:

  • weigh yourself on a scale
  • compare how your clothes fit
  • calculate your BMI or body fat %
  • measure areas of your body (ie: biceps, waist, hips, thighs)

It’s effective to use more than one way to measure your progress.  I can’t emphasize enough how the bodyweight scale should NOT be your main determiner, as there are so many factors that go into how much you weigh.  You will also fluctuate each day depending on what you ate, how much water your body is holding, how much you sweat, etc.

Alright, friends – the month just started, so take your progress pics today and see what your body is capable of in a month!  And if you’re looking for some extra support with an online fitness program, let’s connect.

xo,
Sheena

How to Find Your Motivation

Anyone can get unmotivated at times, but it’s how we recover from the slump that matters!

Here are some quick tips to catapult you back into feeling MOTIVATED:

Write down your goals.  Don’t just think them in your head, physically write them down and post them up where you’ll see them daily.  This will be a constant reminder of what you’re striving for, keeping you laser focussed.

Celebrate the small wins.  Things can seem overwhelming, so instead of only aiming for a big end goal, keep in mind some smaller ones so you can celebrate and enjoy the journey along the way.  This will also help create momentum.

Choose your influences.  Surround yourself with things that lift your spirits and people who inspire you.  Read books/blogs, watch motivational videos, and listen to influential speakers…these are all at our fingertips on the World Wide Web.

Obtain an Accountability Buddy.  Reach out to someone who is willing to check in with you every once in awhile, and call you out when they notice you sliding…and vice versa.  Bonus if they have similar type of goals as you, but not necessary.

Check yo self.  Is your mindset in the right place?  If you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts and psyching yourself out, snap out of it and tell that inner voice to STFU.  You deserve to be awesome, and you deserve to do awesome things.

Know your ‘Why’.  Be crystal clear on it.  If you deeply know why you’re doing something, you will feel driven, excited, and like nothing can stand in your way.  Once you know your ‘why’, write it down.

Do what Nike says…and just do it!  Sometimes you just need to stop overthinking and just go for it.  Stop worrying/stressing/dreading/analyzing, and start doing.  Take that leap and go after the things that set your soul on fire.

Practice these tips consistently and soon you’ll notice the momentum you’ve built.  Things that used to be a struggle will become part of your natural routine.  This applies to all things – health, fitness, work, life, etc…

With all my clients, I encourage them to take control of their goals, which will increase their program adherence and enjoyment.  They set both process goals and product goals that excite them, which makes the journey that much more fun.

Feel free to contact me to bounce goal ideas off of.  I’m happy to support you!

And remember, if you happen to fall, that’s totally okay…you’re human!  Get back up, set your focus, and go after your goals once again.

xo,
Sheena

Vegan Low-Carb Cookies

Here’s my recipe for incredibly delicious vegan low-carb COOKIES!

Ingredients:
2 cups Almond meal
1 scoop Hard Magnum Choco Love protein
1/2 tbsp Baking powder
1 tbsp Flaxseed meal
1 tbsp Chia seeds
1 tbsp Stevia
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
5 tbsp Unsweetened almond milk
3 tbsp Almond butter
Chopped vegan dark chocolate
Mixed nuts to top

Pre-heat oven to 375F, mix dry ingredients, then mix in wet ingredients til you have a cookie dough consistency (add almond milk if too try, add almond meal if too wet), prep baking sheet with coconut oil, roll dough into balls, flatten them with a spoon, top with a nut, bake for 8 min…and enjoy!  Simple as that.

Aren’t they beautiful?  Good luck resisting eating the whole batch at once!

xo,
Sheena