Not many people know this about me, but body image is something I have always struggled with. I feel sad looking at old pictures, knowing that in that moment, I was thinking that my thighs were too big, or that my stomach was not thin enough. I want to shake my younger self, and tell her that she is strong, that she is healthy, and that she should focus on what her body can do, rather than what it looks like.
Yet, I still have these thoughts today.
When I was a gymnast beast of a child, I thought my legs were 'thunder thighs.' When I played soccer and could run and kick with vigour, I internally compared myself to my teammates. When I was a dancer, poised and graceful, I felt uncomfortable in my tight bodysuit, which I found unforgiving to the fat on my stomach. When I trained for and ran a half marathon, I was disappointed that the training had not made a difference in my physical appearance. And now - when I can lift weights, run, do yoga, hike, and practice handstands - I still have days of hatred towards my body.
But why??? If my body were someone else's, would I still be able to balance and walk on my hands? Would I still be able to hike and snowshoe and run, enjoying it despite the burn? Would I still have the same spatial awareness, aerobic capacities, muscular strength and muscular endurance abilities? Why would I want to have someone else's body, when I have built and earned these capabilities for my own body?
Even if I have some 'extra' fat should I really care that much? I am healthy, I am strong, and my body is incredibly capable.
I need to remind myself of that more often.
If you've been following my blog since the beginning, you may know that I struggled with acne about a year ago. It wasn't a severe case, but my confidence levels were definitely still affected, and it was always on my mind. I was constantly upset and frustrated at my skin, as anyone with acne would be. During this period of my life, I was completely convinced that handling things the natural way would cure me. However, my idea of a natural cure involved products like witch hazel, tea tree oil, coconut oil, and paraben - free makeup.
Although these topical solutions are AWESOME (I still use some of them!), I was missing the whole point. I made no effort to change my diet, as I believed I ate a fairly healthy diet already. I considered myself a pescetarian, which meant that I did not eat meat but I did eat fish. So I continued to slather on coconut oil and feel sorry for myself.
Eventually, I was so fed up with the lack of improvement that I went to see my doctor. I was prescribed some antibiotics and a topical cream, which did work. For awhile.
You see, back then, stupid me didn't realize that you can't just stop taking your antibiotics whenever you start feeling better. But that's what I did.
Everything was fine for awhile; I was happy, my skin was mostly clear, and I was no longer constantly worried about my skin.
But then it came back. And WORSE.
This time around, painful cysts formed deep under the skin, and several at a time. They may not have been too noticeable to the people around me, but I could feel them, and they HURT. Once again I was back to scrubbing my face relentlessly, in hopes that one day I would wake up and see a clear face in the mirror.
At this point, I was constantly researching website posts and YouTube videos on the vegan diet. Eliminating dairy and eggs from my diet made sense to me; it would not only be better for me, but also for the planet and the animals. I was genuinely interested in the lifestyle for quite awhile (see my last post: http://littlemisshealthy.weebly.com/blog/im-vegan for more info), but I was still apprehensive to fully commit.
Until now. Nina and Randa, two vegan youtubers, have been my biggest inspirations to fully immerse myself in this lifestyle. They were raised vegans, but at age 20, they broke out in horrible acne. It was completely unexpected, since they had been eating a plant-based, mostly whole foods diet their whole lives. The problem, it turned out, was fat; even the good kind like avocados and nuts. The excess fats in combination with hormones were what was triggering their acne. I've included their video on it below for those of you who are interested in their story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Qdwn2itsgg
Suddenly I realized that the natural cure that I sought after didn't lie solely in creams, cleansers, and toners; it had to begin with what I was putting into my body. Everything they said made complete sense to me.
So is my acne cured yet? Currently, the answer is no. I have only been eating a high carb, low fat vegan diet for 11 days now, so I do not expect my skin to be perfect at this point! However, I have noticed changes in not only my skin, but how I feel since I began eating this way. I feel fantastic and I don't crave any junk food whatsoever. Carbs are your friend!
But that's besides the point. By cleaning up my diet and switching up my skincare routine (post coming soon), I am positive that I will achieve clear skin in the near future. In addition, I have booked an appointment with a naturopath to determine if fats are the exact cause of my acne. Whatever the case may be, I believe that it's completely possible to heal yourself from within with the food that you eat. And that is exactly what I intend to do.
Remember to eat your veggies and have a lovely day xx
Smoothie bowls are a wonderful and energizing way to start the day! If you love smoothies or you love frozen yogurt, you'll love this fun way to get your fruits and greens in.
Smoothie bowls are basically a smoothie in a bowl with your choice of healthy toppings. It's fun to get creative! You can use any smoothie recipe as the base, and any fruits, seeds, powders or granolas as your toppings. What I recommend is using less liquids so that your smoothie comes out with more of a frozen yogurt consistency. Here's a combination I've been enjoying lately:
For the base, blend together:
2% milk < almond or coconut milk (I tried hemp milk..I'm definitely not a fan)
Salad dressing < olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Mayonnaise < seedy mustard and avocado ( My FAVE spreads for veggie sandwiches!)
Ice berg lettuce < romaine, spinach or kale (the darker the better!)
French fries < homemade potato, yam, taro root, or kale chips (baked/roasted, not fried obviously!)
Ice cream < nice cream (my favourite is blending frozen bananas, 1 fresh banana, and frozen mangoes with a little bit of water!)
Candy < fruit!! (Grapes, blueberries, mangoes...mmmm)
Fruit juice < coconut water for smoothies, or better yet, whole fruit!
Butter/margarine < olive oil or coconut oil (in baking)
White bread < whole grain, or better yet, sprouted grain bread ( my favourite brands are Silver Hills and Dave's Killer Bread)
Sugar on oatmeal < cinnamon and nutmeg
Salt < spices
Table syrup < Maple syrup
Chip dip < hummus or salsa
These are just a few that I strive to swap as a part of my daily diet. If you have more that I didn't mention, comment so I can try them out :)
Have a lovely day,
I Feel My Best When...
I have a smoothie and toast with peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon for breakfast
I work at least once a week
I sweat at least 5 days a week
I spend time with my cats
I have quality conversations with people I love: "Great minds talk about ideas; average minds talk about events;small minds talk about people" (- Eleanor Roosevelt)
I prepare my lessons beforehand
I constantly learn new things
Others smile at me
Others trust me
I chill out and just listen to music
I spend time appreciating nature
I feel strong
I eat nutritious, colourful food
I practice yoga
I make my bed
I play Clue with my family
I spend time to make my food
I help others
I save most of my earnings
I spend time with my friends and act silly
I make little achievements
I'm on time
My room and bathroom are clean
I wear no makeup
Also, when I wear makeup occasionally
I use highlighters and colours to organize my work
I give genuine compliments to others
I feel confident
I spend time with children (why I love my job!)
I try to: "live simply, so others may simply live" (- Gandhi)
I wake up at the same time every morning, even if I don't set an alarm
I feel genuinely grateful for all I have in my life
Well this the contents of my brain right now, but this list could go on :). These are the things that make me feel like the best version of myself, so really, I should incorporate all of these things into my daily life. What makes you the best version of yourself? Comment below.. :) When you reflect and incorporate what makes you flourish into your life, you'll notice you not only feel more successful, but also happier. Try it :)
This smoothie is filled with yummy nutrients to start your day off feeling energized. By blending up the greens (in this case, kale) you're helping your body absorb more of the good stuff because you've already broken it down. My recipe makes a blenderful, so about 4 glasses. Enjoy! :)
Creamy Green Smoothie
Let me know if you try this out :)
Tomorrow is the last day of classes, which calls for a celebration! If you're in my PE class, you'll get a taste of these muffins. :) This year has been one filled with reflections, friendship, and new adventures; and now it's on to the next one. Hopefully I'll be blogging more soon, I realize I've been neglecting Little Miss Healthy. :( Life has been so crazy. Ahh.. I say that too much. Blogging to me is a form of self-care; I shouldn't be too busy for it, but lately I've felt that way. Taking the time to write slows life down for me, so I should do it more often.
Anyways, on to the recipe!
(I adapted this recipe from http://ohsheglows.com/2011/03/24/mini-whole-wheat-blueberry-breakfast-muffins )
Hope you have a lovely summer break :) Enjoy it, be adventurous, and have fun. You deserve it.
Good morning! :)
I've been sick these past few days (again!) but I'm starting to feel much better. I have one more dance to compete at a festival this weekend. I competed my lyrical trio on Thursday and my jazz group yesterday, which we received silver for in both. Silver's been the colour of the weekend; golds have been rare and platinums even rarer! It's the new gold ;). Today, we had acro group and we did really well although it was a bit crazy onstage. Good news is we received gold and an "Outstanding Performance" award, but bad news is the younger girls' acro beat us haha.. They really did look fabulous though, and they're such sweethearts! Their little number to "Sugar Sugar" was the cutest and I'm happy for them :) They rocked it and deserve the recognition. Now, I just have lyrical left tonight. The fact that I'm feeling significantly more alive makes me that much more excited!
Anyways, that wasn't the point of this post. If you've read my past posts, you might know that I've been using coconut oil on my skin to cleanse and moisturize. Although I still use it on my body, I've stopped putting it on my face.
I've never had too many issues with my skin, but starting this year it started to break out constantly. Mainly on one side of my forehead and then sometimes beside my mouth and on my chin. My mom noticed and asked me several times if I wanted something for it, but I just brushed her off, because I believed my natural ways would solve my issues. At the time I was using coconut oil, tea tree oil, and witch hazel. (The witch hazel rarely, though. I kept forgetting about it). I was on a no-parabens frenze, and I didn't let my acne bother me, because I was all "pro-natural."
However, last week I finally reached my breaking point, and I blew up after I got two gross under the skin pimples, because I finally realized my situation was only getting worse. I was definitely over-dramatic about it, but I was just so fed up with my skin freaking out at me and having to wear makeup to feel secure about myself. I just kept thinking, "Why me!? Why do I only have issues, Airlie doesn't!" I'm not giving my meltdown any justice so let's just say I was quite frustrated and unhappy last week. Picture that, then multiply it by 20 and that's how I was acting.
So on Wednesday, my mom took me to my doctor to see what he had to say, and it was pretty cool because I talked to him through video because he's in England right now. I pretty much skyped my doctor haha. The nurse that was in the room woth me zoomed right up to my face though so he could see my skin in HD, which I saw on the screen as well. Yuck :( but my doctor's fab so it wasn't that bad, I just felt disgusting and I didn't want to see my skin so up close!
He ended up prescribing me some antibiotics and a topical cream, and then I also picked up a new cleanser and moisturizer at Superstore while my prescription was being filled. Sadly, at this point I didn't care what ingredients were in the products as long as they cleared my skin. I ended up choosing Spectro, because it's dermatologist recommended and for sensitive skin. And the ingredients aren't all that bad :)! So far it's been good for my skin. As for the antibiotics, I won't know for awhile how effective they are because I only just started them. I'm a little scared of antibiotics..but if it's going to help my skin then it's worth a shot. I just don't want my skin to relapse once I'm off them if my body builds up a resistance.
So, in order to keep my skin clear once I'm finished, I've decided to experiment with my diet. Starting today, I'm cutting back on/cutting out dairy (I'm still eating eggs) for a month, and I'll see where that takes me. It's worked for other people, so maybe it will work for me. I really hope these new changes work! I need to listen to my body. Although I'm all for natural living, it's not necessarily always the best thing. Ahh the joys of being a teenager. Ha..
Hope you've been wonderful xx