Organizing My Life, My Business And My Health

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I will admit that I am not an organized person, although I try hard to be. I keep a clean home and have designated places for every item in my home, and yet my place often looks "well lived in." This also seems to be a theme in my business. Although I am very passionate and motivated to create a successful business, I struggle to keep organized and on top of my goals, which is why becoming more organized is one of my missions for 2019. I understand that having an organized lifestyle and environment helps my mind feel less cluttered and my body feel healthy. I notice that when my home is in shambles, my attention for my business is scattered. If I don’t plan my fitness goals and meals for the week, I make really poor choices. Even though I know better, I will grab whatever is available when I’m tired and hungry after a long day. This is why I’m determined to get organized while keeping my long term goals in mind.

So, where to begin? I’ve recently teamed up with “The Content Planner” which is a boss babes dream planner. I’ve been able to plan my current and future business, meals and life goals. I’m obsessed with the stickers, the well planned themes and the ideas to create goals in advance. If you don’t have a killer planner, you could also use your calendar on your phone or on your fridge.

It's also important to eliminate all of the useless things in my home. This includes the clothes that I haven’t worn in 10 years and the art pieces I "kinda like." It’s time to de-clutter and get organized in all aspects of my life! Who's with me?

Michelle xo



Sweet Potato "Nachos" (Vegan)

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I planned to create this plate of nachos for super bowl but I was just too excited to test the recipe so we made it a day in advance. It was soo good I’m going to make them again today!

It’s not your traditional nachos recipe, in fact it has no cheese or cheese like product however it’s a big pan of healthy flavourful foods and i’m telling you… it’s delicious!

I used sweet potato as the base and topped it with lots of interesting flavours. I dipped it into my newest creation “ranch” dressing which gave it an extra burst of flavour. I’m not sharing the dressing recipe just yet however you can use salsa, hummus or any other dip of your choice. Give it a try and let me know what creations you come up with.

Sweet Potato "Nachos" (Vegan)

Serves: 2-4

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes sliced thin (I prefer small thin potatoes for smaller chips)
  • 1/2 cup sliced mini tomatoes
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1 jalapeño sliced
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 small avocado diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the sliced sweet potatoes onto two baking sheets. You want enough to roughly cover two sheets so cut more if needed. 
  3. Bake the sweet potato chips for 15 minutes then flip. Continue baking for another 15-25 minutes or till they are crispy on the outside and baked all the way through.
  4. Remove from the oven and stack all the chips onto each other onto one pan. 
  5. Add all the toppings evenly over the top. 
  6. You can eat while the toppings are raw or you can put it back into the oven for 10-15 minutes to soften the veggies.
  7. Enjoy with your favourite dips. 
Created using The Recipes Generator


The Podcast Launch

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For the past 10+ years, I’ve been practicing as a Registered Massage Therapist. I have met incredible people, all who have a unique life story and have endured and overcome difficult life situations. I naturally enjoy connecting with others, and sometimes I find myself coaching and motivating my clients. Inevitably, a massage for a client, can end up feeling like a therapy session, for both of us. From this experience, I realized how passionate I am about the journey of self discovery and healing in order to overcome variations of traumas. I wanted to connect with hundreds or thousands of people, rather than one person at a time. This is how my podcast, "Muve Forward" was created.

Last week was the launch of Muve Forward. The podcast is meant to be a source for gathering inspiration, motivation, health and fitness information, and to help build a community for people to share their story, reflect and inspire hope. It was a bit frightening to put my podcast out to the world. I felt somewhat vulnerable in sharing my story and viewpoint on overcoming tragedy, starting a new career and being an entrepreneur. It’s an unknown world with many positive aspects and negative aspects too (such as the potential for being trolled.) Nevertheless, I am excited for this new adventure and looking forward to meeting powerhouse humans that I can learn from and build a tribe with. In just one week I’ve been connected with several incredible people. What a blessing!

I would be truly honoured and grateful for you to listen and subscribe to Muve Forward as well as share it with whoever you feel it may resonate with. You can find Muve Forward on iTunes, Spotify and SoundCloud. I hope the podcast can be a source of inspiration on how to live your best life. If you know anyone who might be a good fit for the podcast, please feel free to send them my way. Cheers!

Michelle xo










My 2019 Bucket List

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As 2018 comes to an end, I’m already looking forward to the new year. Although most of you know I’m pretty positive most of the time, this year has been an extremely challenging one. This year has come with so much unpredictability, sorrow and loss. I’m confident 2019 is going to be better. I’ve heard many times that when we are going through challenging times, it often means we are growing and evolving. I’m confident that 2018 was my year of growth and learning, and 2019 will be my year to use that growth to evolve and shine into the giving goddess I’m destined to be. To help make sure of that, I’m creating a one year bucket list filled with various adventures and goals to keep me on track. I thought I'd share a few of the adventures on my list so perhaps you can also think about building a list to crush throughout the year. I’m already so excited and can’t wait to check off things on this list.

  1. Write and publish my first cookbook

  2. Climb the stairs to the CNTower

  3. Attend the ballet

  4. Purchase my second real-estate property

  5. Start my Podcast (it’s so close and should be out early January)

  6. Try arial yoga

  7. Attend several (all least 3) leadership/learning conferences

  8. Get hired for public speaking (this scares the shit out of me which is why I know I have to do it!)

  9. Start my foundation “Maries Kitchen” which provides healthy food for families dealing with cancer (and other life changing illnesses)

  10. Incorporate meditation and my gratitude journal into my daily routine

Is all this attainable? Absolutely! If my dreams and goals change throughout the year and I have to adapt the list, that’s okay, but for now I’m already excited to get started. As I work through this list, I’m going to add more. What are you excited about this year? Comment below!

Michelle xo

The Power of Judgement

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Judgement. It’s such a powerful feeling that can hold you back from so many wonderful things that you could be accomplishing. Judgement can be felt from your family, friends, strangers and yourself in many ways.

I recently had a dream where I was feeling uncomfortably judged by a friend who has a lot of opinions. The dream felt very real and I woke up feeling angry and frustrated at myself for allowing this judgement on my life to affect me. Mind you, this wasn’t a real life encounter, it was a dream. When I thought about the dream, I realized I was manifesting this reaction due to past situations where I felt judged by this person. I also came to realize that it’s up to me to feel confident about my life, my decisions and my journey.

Being a blogger/influencer, I often have moments where I second guess posting a picture or information with my viewers due to the fear of judgement from people. It’s incredible however, how the posts that I'm most hesitant to share seems to have the most impact on others. Often these posts are the ones that have connected me with more people who, rather than judged me, found common ground and support in what I had to say.

Now I could ramble on and on about examples in my life but moral of the story is that judgement can hold a power so strong that it can stop you from reaching for the stars, living your most authentic life and developing your most personal growth. Always go for your dreams, your desires, your passions. Dance like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening and try to live every moment without the trappings of judgement. Live YOUR life, for YOU. Now go get it. 

Love, Michelle



My Tricks for Eliminating Bloat

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The first time that I remember having stomach pains and bloating was when I was 9. My mom had recently passed away and my eating habits had drastically changed. I can remember feeling full all the time and I would have to leave my figure skating lessons early because of the pain. I thought the pain was from my leggings being too tight and pushing on my stomach. 20-something years later, I finally feel like I have a better understanding of why I was bloated then and how I can help my sensitive tummy now.  

Here is a list of the factors that cause me to bloat and make me look 6 months pregnant.  

1. Food sensitivities:

By doing blood work, my naturopath discovered that many foods I was eating daily were triggering bloat in my body. Some of these foods are avocado, tomato, oatmeal, wheat, nuts and seeds. Even though these foods are healthy, my body was becoming sensitive to them. When I eat these foods for a few days in a row or if I eat too much of these foods at once, my body reacts with bloat. I really need to limit these foods in order to enjoy them, and I try to be more mindful to eat a range of foods in moderation as I know how sensitive my body can become when I eat too much of one thing. 

2. Lack of movement:

My body needs to move! When I don’t move enough, my digestion is stagnant and food will sit in my gut and weigh me down. Without movement, food will build up gasses and ferment inside my body (which is gross to think about – imagine, food inside your intestines for days!) When I move my body, I can feel the food, air and water moving inside and through the intestinal tract. This is one of the reasons why I named my blog MUVE. (Move was too boring which is why I changed the spelling.) If I happen to eat more than I should have or if I eat a food that seems to have caused bloating, I will go for a brisk walk, dance around, jump up and down, MUVE for 15-20 minutes. This tactic always helps to aid in better digestion for me.

3. Temperatures: 

My slow digestion becomes even slower in the winter and on cold days. Naturally, my body is cold in cold climates or if I ingest cold water or food. To help warm my body, I drink water that’s either room temperature or warm to hot. It’s soothing and keeps things moving inside me. In the winter especially, I’ll typically eat only warm heated foods. For years I would eat cold foods and never understand why I would bloat after eating a salad. Now that I’ve experimented more, I find a warm stirfry or soup is a better option during a cold day. In the summer when it’s hot outside and when I’m more active, I can tolerate colder foods and it won’t affect me as much. Having a glass of warm water 30 minutes after I eat has become a new habit that seems to help my digestion as well. A little tip… drinking water with your meal will dilute the acid in your stomach which will slow the digestion and absorption of nutrients so try to drink water at least 30 minutes before or after your meals. 

4. Portion sizes:

How often do you feel like your full, yet you keep eating? I used to eat everything on my plate no matter how full I felt because I hate wasting food, and I love to eat. This becomes a problem for someone like me who has slow digestion. It’s already hard work to move a regular meal through my intestines but giving it more food then it needs will take even longer, cause more bloating and discomfort and weight gain. If I’ve eaten a big lunch, I will make my dinner smaller, and if I’m satiated at the time of my meal, I will leave food on the plate. I’d rather not eat it then feel like crap from being too full and bloated. If I want to try a dessert, I will have a few bites and leave the rest. Once I’ve tasted it, that’s often all I need. I know that eating the whole thing will unnecessarily fill me up, so I take a few bites and leave the rest or share with friends. 

5. Chronic Stress:

Your body has a natural way of responding to perceived threats, whether the threats are big or small. A combination of nerve and hormonal signals will prompt your adrenal glands, located above your kidneys, to release hormones that will elevate your blood pressure and increase your heart rate. This helps give your body a boost of energy in order to deal with an acute stressor. The hormones released in stressful situations, will suppress the digestive system and impact your mood and motivation. Luckily, the body’s stress response is self regulating and once the possible threat has passed, hormonal levels will return to normal and your body will continue to function as needed. Unfortunately, if you experience chronic stress, these hormone levels will consistently be elevated and can cause lasting havoc on the body. As noted above, stress will suppress your digestive system, as well as have a negative effect on motivation. This combination alone is a cause for bloating. Although I don’t think I’m a stressed individual naturally, I have definitely come across some stressful situations in my life which may be impacting my body. I have read books and listened to podcasts that have helped me learn more about how to deal with stressful situations. I learned that it’s very important to take more time for ME! I also practise yoga and breath work to help with stress. Being mindful of your stress levels and actively choosing ways to help with de-stressing can make a big difference on your tummy and overall health. If and when possible, choose to stress less! 

6. Gut Flora:

Your gut flora can have a huge impact on absorption of food and whether or not you will have bloating. Choosing real foods and limiting/eliminating processed foods will help promote good gut health. All the other things listed above will also play a factor in optimizing your gut flora but there are a few other things I like to include to ensure I keep the bacteria in my gut balanced. I take probiotics which help with adding good bacteria. I practice intermittent fasting which gives my gut the time to process foods and heal my gut between. I drink apple cider vinegar and other fermented foods which are known to help maintain a healthy gut. They say your gut is like a second brain for your body and it’s extremely important for optimal health. This topic is definitely needing its own blog post but for now, know that each of the other factors I’ve listed will help promote good gut health.  

Of course, every individual is different which means we all have different foods and stressors that could be causing bloating. Above are the things that I find are important for me and my gut. If you’ve been dealing with bloating and are unsure where to start, I’d suggest taking a look at the list above to see if there are any commonalities. I also suggest continuing your own research and experimentation, talking to a naturopath or another health practitioner. Keeping a food or emotional diary of your day can help you determine where your stressors are and how to manage them. If you experience bloating, you can take a look back at your diary and perhaps see a common denominator. Just remember that bloating is often something that can be prevented or at least limited once you know your triggers. Message me below to let me know what are your bloating triggers?

Sending you love while you continue your journey of health and wellness! 

Love, Michelle