Fit Girls 28 Day Jump Start Challenge

You can’t get much done in life if you only work on days when you feel good.

I know, I know. Almost EVERYONE makes this cliche resolution every new year, and yet, not everyone ends up following through with it. Maybe you did too, I know I did.

Yes, I’m talking about living healthier and exercise.

For the past couple of years, I’ve attended exercise classes on and off (like yoga, spinning, even aerobics lol), but consistency was always a problem. One way or another, life always somehow caught up with me… and I gave up.

But when I found my Fit Girls guide on my computer (that I had bought on impulse a few years ago but, again, never followed through) I decided, this year will be different. I liked this guide because it provides an exercise plan, a meal plan, and general tips and information on how to be healthy. There is also a strong network of #fitgirls that you can join in on social media – you can communicate, support, and receive support from other fellow fit girls!

I also really like the idea of a 28 day challenge. Obviously you can continue living healthily after the challenge (they also have “intermissions” in between the challenges for you to continue the lifestyle). For me, the counting down gives me something to look forward to in the future. And counting the days that you’ve been doing the challenge always gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Can't wait to start! @fitgirlsguide #28dayjumpstart #fitgirlsguide #beyourownfriend

A post shared by Elle (@elle.fitgirl) on

It’s the first day of the challenge, and so far I’m on track (such a fail if I can’t even do the first day LOL). I will be back to post about how the challenge goes throughout the month. Also, feel free to follow my separate fit girls account to keep track of my progress!

Do you still remember what your 2018 new years resolution was? Are you on track?

Awakening: Choose to Shine

Recently, I’ve adopted the practice of meditating when I wake up in the morning. It’s not always possible, but I try my best to squeeze in even a few minutes. I’ve found this practice especially helpful this weekend because of the ice storm in Ontario (it’s supposed to be spring, for goodness’ sake!)

It’s easy to feel blue when it’s cold and dark outside, and you’re staying at home all day because it’s too dangerous to go out. Practicing meditation has taught me to become more mindful and look into myself to find what makes me happy.

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That’s why I chose this photo I took from the Qingyuan Jiulong Town Garden in Guangzhou, China for this week’s photo challenge theme, Awakening. It inspires me to become like the sunflower who tracks the sunlight to grow everyday.

I wake up everyday by becoming aware of my happiness.

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Oh, how I miss thee, sunshine

During my morning meditations, I try to think of a focus for the day – something to improve on, do something that makes me happy, etc. Being mindful of yourself and the world allows you to allocate your time and effort throughout the day. Then, you can work on what makes you happy and what you excel at to succeed!

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It’s what the sunflowers do.” – Helen Keller

How do you like to start your day?

Guide to Drinking Green Tea

 

Because good health is the greatest blessing of life.

This post will be part of a multi-part post on what green tea is, why you should drink green tea, and how you should enjoy a perfect cup of this popular tea.

Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves, originating from China. Traditionally, it has been used to treat everything from headaches to depression. Hailed as a superfood for being rich in antioxidants and nutrients, green tea has become a very popular drink today.

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The major nutrients in green tea are:

  1. Catechins
  2. Caffeine
  3. Theanine
  4. Vitamins (C, B2, Folic acid, β-carotene, E)
  5. Saponins
  6. Fluorine
  7. GABA
  8. Minerals (Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Manganese, etc.)
  9. Chlorophyll

How do these nutrients affect you? Here are a few benefits of green tea:

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1. Green Tea can make you smarter

According to research, the consumption of green tea has been shown to have a positive effect on the brain’s cognitive function, particularly working memory.1 When used in higher-than-usual doses in another study, green tea was also shown to be able to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.2

2. Green Tea can clear your skin and give you a brighter smile

Researchers found that green tea can be used to treat dry, red, flaky skin caused by inflammatory skin diseases by slowing the growth of skin cells and affecting a gene that regulates the cells’ life cycles.3

Studies have also found that catechins can inhibit the growth of the harmful bacteria Streptococcus mutans (cavities), and drinking more green tea can help improve dental health.4,5,6

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3. Green tea can help you lose weight

Green tea has also been shown to help decrease body fat percentage, body weight, waist circumference and even belly fat, according to a 12-week randomized controlled trial.7,8,9

4. Green Tea can lower your cholesterol

Another analytical study showed that the consumption of green tea in either beverage or extract form reduced total cholesterol (TC) and “bad” cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) concentrations, but showed no difference on the “good” cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol).10

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5. Green Tea can reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease

Green tea is also shown to have a positive impact on cardiovascular health. A study following 40,000 participants (aged 40 to 79) for 11 years showed that the participants who drank at least 5 cups of green tea per day had a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who drank less.11

According to the journal Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, consumption of green tea and coffee is associated with a lower risk of CVD and stroke. 12

6. Green Tea can help you live longer and healthier

Research shows that polyphenols, which are compounds in teas that affect it’s flavour and texture, take up approximately 30% of green tea by weight,.13 Included within this category is a particular catechin called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is found in large amounts within green tea, which have the potential to prevent cell damage.14

In another study following 40,530 participants over the course of 11 years, those who drank 5 or more cups of green tea resulted in a 23% lower risk of death in women and 12% lower risk of death in men.15

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Given all these benefits and hype, it is difficult not to hail green tea as a ‘superfood’. However, it is also important to note that some studies are inconclusive and may not show a statistically significant benefit. As such, some information needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Considering all these benefits of green tea, will you be making green tea a regular part of your life?