Iron Vegan Protein Powder Review // Poudre protéinée Iron Vegan

I’ve been testing out a few vegan protein powders recently, and I have to say it’s difficult to find one that is not too chalky, that tastes great and that is not filled with weird ingredients. Just last week, I had to go out to buy a third bag of the Iron Vegan Spouted Vegan Powder, I knew I had found a winner.

chocolatebananasmoothie

Here’s what I like about this particular powder.

  • It’s made in Canada. Most of the other popular vegan protein powders that I can find in my area are made in the States, so it is nice to find one that is made more locally.
  • The packaging is less wasteful than the regular plastic tubs (it comes in a bag).
  • What I like most is the taste. Because it contains xantham gum, it really has a smooth texture. The chocolate taste is right on point and without any weird aftertaste. In brief, this is my go-to protein powder.
  • With 18g of protein per scoop, for 3g of carbs and only 0.5g of fat, it’s the powder that I found with the greatest macro ratio.

I pay around 60$ for the 1kg bag, and that lasts me and my boyfriend for around 3 weeks. I usually have one scoop in the morning with breakfast and one after the gym.  If you want to take it to the next level, try this post-workout smoothie recipe.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 scoop of Iron vegan chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tsp of raw cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 banana

Just blend everything together and enjoy! This is my favourite and something else that I’ve had almost every day for the last few months. Really satisfying and guilt-free! Let me know if you try it out or if you have tried another vegan protein powder.


Ces derniers mois, j’ai essayé différentes poudres protéinées véganes, et je dois dire qu’il est difficile d’en trouver une qui ne soit pas trop “poudreuse”, qui ait bon goût et qui ne soit pas remplie d’ingrédients inconnus ou étranges. La semaine dernière, lorsque j’ai acheté mon troisième sac de la poudre protéinée Iron Vegan Sprouted Vegan Powder, j’ai réalisé que ma quête était terminée.

bananasmoothie

Voici pourquoi j’aime tant cette poudre protéinée particulière:

  • Elle est faite au Canada. La majorité des poudres protéinées que je peux trouver dans mon quartier sont faites aux États-Unis, alors c’est vraiment chouette d’en trouver une plus locale.
  • L’emballage est plus raisonable que les boites de platique: cette poudre est vendue dans un sac.
  • Le goût crémeux (merci poudre de xantham) et chocolaté, sans arrière goût étrange.
  • Avec 18g de protéines par portion, 3g de glucides et 0,5g de gras, cette poudre est équilibrée juste à mon goût!

Je paye environs 60$ pour le sac de 1kg qui me dûre environs 3 semaines. J’en prend habituellement une portion le matin avec mon petit déjeuner et une autre après le gym. Je vous recommande cette recette de smoothie post-workout: c’est comme un dessert!

Voici ce dont vous aurez besoin:

  • 1 portion de poudre protéinée Iron Vegan
  • 1 c. à thé de poudre de cacao crue
  • 1 tasse de lait d’amande
  • 1 tasse d’eau
  • 1 banane

Mélanger le tout et savourez! C’est mon smoothie préféré et encore une autre chose que j’ai mangé presque tous les jours ces dernières semaines. Super satisfaisant et sans culpabilité! Dites-moi si vous l’essayez ou votre poudre protéinée préférée.

 

Motivation tip: Visualization \\\ Truc de motivation: La Visualisation

When working on achieving goals, there comes a time when things get tougher because your motivation levels are slowly decreasing. I found that when I get unmotivated to continue working on my goals, one thing that really helps is visualization. It’s a really simple but powerful trick that can help you hit the gym when you really feel like staying home in front of Netflix, when you don’t feel like waking up early to do yoga, or do anything else that will bring you that much closer to your goals. Here is how I use visualization.

visualization

  1. Have a clear mental image of what your goal is. Before you can start visualizing, it’s important for you to know exactly what it is that you want. If you are working on specific fitness goals, or personal growth goals, what is it that you want to be like? How do you want to look or feel once your goal are achieved? Having a clear mental image will help you set clear steps to get to your goals. This is also the image you want to think of when you are visualizing.
  2. Picture yourself once your goal will be attained. Forget about everything that needs to be done to get to your goal. What will the end result look like? Have a clear mental image of how you will look or feel once your goal is achieved and summon this image every time things get tough or when you get discouraged. Having a clear objective will help you strive on.
  3. Act as if your goal was already achieved. When I set goals for myself, I often find myself thinking things like: “When I’ll be…, I do this activity.” The results: I live in the anticipation of a possible future. This means that I don’t enjoy myself right now, which is really sad. So, instead of projecting myself into a hypothetical future, I try to think of myself as if I had already achieved my goals and act accordingly. This helps me enjoy things I want to do right now, but also to act towards my goals without noticing that I do so.
  4. Refer back to your mental image as often as you need. When things get difficult, I like to think about what I’ll be like when my goals are achieved. By bringing my attention to this mental image, choices get easier to make, and it gives me a boost of motivation to remember why I’m doing all the little things I do to work on my goals.
  5. Stay positive. When using visualization, it’s super important to stay positive. You are working on yourself, and that’s great! A positive mindset will help you be gentle and more patient with yourself as you are striving towards your goals.

I really hope these tips will help you achieve your goals and keep up the great work you are doing to improve yourself! Let me know what your motivation tips are!


Lorsqu’on travaille à atteindre des objectifs, il arrive un moment où les choses se corsent, et où notre motivation diminue. Je trouve que lorsque je suis démotivée, la visualisation m’aide à me remonter le moral et à me remettre en piste. C’est un petit truc facile, mais vraiment efficace, qui peut vous aidez à aller au gym lorsque tout ce dont vous avez envie c’est de rester en pyjama devant Netflix, à vous lever tôt pour une séance de yoga pré-travail, ou pour toutes les petites choses que vous faites pour réaliser vos buts. Voici comment j’utilise la visualisation.

visualisation

  1. Ayez une image mentale claire de vos objectifs. Avant de pouvoir visualiser, il est important de savoir exactement ce que vous souhaitez accomplir. Si vous travaillez sur des objectifs de remise en forme ou de croissance personnelle, que voulez vous accomplir exactement? De quoi voulez-vous avoir l’air ou comment voulez-vous vous sentir une fois que votre objectif sera atteint? Avoir une image mentale claire vous aidera à établir des objectifs à court-termes. C’est également cette image que vous voulez soliciter lorsque vous visualiserez.
  2. Imaginez-vous ayant déjà atteint vos objectifs. Oubliez tout le travail qu’il faudra mettre pour atteindre vos objectifs. De quoi aura l’air le résultat final? Ayez une image spécifique de quoi vous aurez l’air ou de comment vous vous sentirez lorsque vos objectifs seront atteints. Souvenez-vous de cette image lorsque les choses deviennent difficiles ou lorsque vous êtes découragés. Avoir un objectif clair vous aidera à persister.
  3. Comportez-vous comme si votre adjectif était déjà atteint. Lorsque je me fixe un objectif, je me prend souvent à penser des choses comme «Lorsque mos objectif sera atteint, je ferai telle ou telle chose.» Le résultat: je vie dans l’anticipation d’un possible futur. Cela implique que je passe à côté d’activités ou de situations qui me ferais plaisir d’essayer, ce qui est plutôt triste. Donc, au lieu de me projeter dans un futur éventuel, j’essaye de me visualiser comme si j’avais déjà atteint mes objectifs et d’agir comme si c’était le cas. Cela m’aide à profiter de choses maintenant, tout en travaillant sur mes objectifs sans m’en rendre compte.
  4. Repensez à votre image mentale aussi souvent que nécessaire. Lorsque les choses sont difficiles, j’aime me souvenir et réfléchir à comment je serai lorsque mes objectifs seront atteints. Cela m’aide à faire les bons choix, tout en me donnant un boost de motivation puisque je me souvient pourquoi je fais mes efforts.
  5. Soyez positif! Lorsqu’on visualise ses objectifs, il est tellement important de rester positif! Vous travaillez sur vous-même, et ça, c’est génial! Un état d’esprit positif vous aidera à être plus patient et doux avec vous-même pendant que vous travaillez à vos objectifs.

J’espère que ces petits trucs vous aideront à rester motivé et à atteindre vos objectifs. Partagez vos trucs de motivation en commentaire!

Motivation Tips \\\ Let’s go, on est capable!

It’s the middle of January already! Like many people, I took new year’s resolutions. The first week or so, things were simple enough since I was still home on a break. However, now that my work and study routines are back, I find it difficult to keep up with my resolutions and to work on my new habits. I thought about this at the start of the month and found a few tricks that keep me accountable and support me when things get hard. I thought I would share them with you, so here we go!

motivation

  1. Think about your priorities: Why are you changing the way things are? What is your ultimate goal? I really find that keeping a big picture, a longer term goal in mind helps me when I get discouraged or find it hard to keep up with my resolutions.
  2. Write everything down: I like to keep my goals on paper so that I can refer back to them as I’m going along. It serves as a good reminder when things get tough. You can also write down some inspirational quotes to give you a little push as you are working on your resolutions.
  3. Track your progress: I like to make lists and check off things as I do them. Of course, this works well for things to do, but it’s also a great way to track new routines that you are trying to incorporate into your life. Having things like “read for 30 minutes” on my to-do list each day helps me feel more accountable, but also weirdly satisfied when I can check it off.
  4. Have positive role-models: The internet is your friend for this! Find people who have achieved your goals and get inspired. This will help you refine your goals and expectations. It can also be a powerful tool to help you visualize your goals being achieved.
  5. Remember that progress takes time: It’s really important to remember that progress is not something that will happen overnight. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you are enjoying the process. Make sure you choose things that are important to you, but that you actually enjoy doing. This will help you stick to your new routines and reach your goals.

I hope these tips help you out and give you inspiration and ideas to help you stick to your resolutions and achieve your goals. Good luck!


Wow! On est déjà à la moitié du mois de Janvier! Comme beaucoup de gens, j’ai pris des résolutions pour l’année 2017. La première semaine, les choses allaient plutôt facilement puisque j’étais encore en vacances. Cependant, maintenant que j’ai repris ma routine de travail et d’études, c’est plus difficile de me tenir à mes résolutions et à mes nouvelles habitudes. J’avais réfléchis à ça au début du mois, et j’ai trouvé quelques petits trucs pour me motiver lorsque la routine tente de l’emporter. Voici mes 5 trucs pour vous aidez à atteindre vos objectifs.

motivation

  1. Refléchissez à vos priorités: Pourquoi introduire ces changements? Quels sont vos objectifs ultimes? Je trouve vraiment que de garder un objectifs global, à long terme, m’aide à me focusser et à me motiver lorsque je me décourage ou que je sens la paresse revenir.
  2. Tout mettre à l’écrit: J’aime écrire mes objectifs à long terme et à court-terme parce que je peux m’y référer lorsque je me décourage. C’est aussi une bonne idée d’écrire quelques citations inspirantes pour nous donner un petit boost de motivation lorsqu’on a pas envie!
  3. Faites des listes: J’aime faire des listes de choses que je dois faire chaque jour. Bien entendu, ça m’aide à m’organiser pour mon travail, mais c’est aussi une bonne manière de se sentir plus responsable de ses résolutions. Lorsque je vois “lire pour 30 minutes” sur ma liste du matin, je considère cette résolution comme quelque chose de concret à accomplir, et je retire une drôle de satisfaction à pouvoir rayer cet item lorsque c’est fait.
  4. Ayez des modèles positifs: L’internet est vraiment votre ami pour ça! Trouvez des gens qui ont déjà accompli vos objectifs et inspirez-vous de leur parcours! Cela vous aidera à redéfinir vos objectifs et vos attentes. C’est aussi un bel outil pour vous aider à visualiser vos objectifs.
  5. Soyez patient: Il est vraiment important de se souvenir que le progrès ne se fait pas en une nuit. C’est pourquoi il est vraiment important d’apprécier le processus. Soyez certains de choisir des objectifs qui sont importants pour vous, mais qui vous procure du plaisir. Cela vous aidera à garder vos routines sur le long terme et à atteindre vos buts.

J’espère que ces petits trucs vous inspireront et vous auront donné des idées pour rester motivés et atteindre vos objectifs! Bonne chance!

Minimalist Skin Care: Oils // Soins minimalistes: Huiles

(version en français plus bas!)

A few posts ago, I wrote about my favourite floral waters. Well, let’s talk about oils now! In the past, I had a lot of difficulties finding moisturizers that would keep me skin hydrated but not overly oily. I used to love Clinique’s yellow moisturizer, but when I realized it wasn’t cruelty-free, it had to go. I also wanted to find something that would be chemical-free and that I could play with as the seasons evolved. Again, I turned to the kitchen and grabbed a few oils.

oils

Before I get into the specifics of my favourite oils, I wanted to tell you how I choose my oils. First, I go to the oil section of my grocery store or health food store. I really believe that the highest quality oils (for a reasonable price) are in the food section! Chances are, they are “ingredients”, meaning that they are not fillers in the bottle. That’s actually my second tip: look at the ingredient list and make sure it is pure oil. Finally, to have all the benefits of the oil intact, make sure to buy first cold pressed oil. Each oil has properties and characteristics to I encourage you to do some research to see what oil might fit your skin best. Here is an overview of my favourite three oils that I use daily and really love.

Daytime oil, Hazelnut oil: I love the smell of this! It’s rich and nutty and very light. I use this oil in the daytime because it is a dry oil: it is quickly absorbed by my skin and doesn’t leave it greasy or shiny. I love that it is so quick to absorb into my skin because it makes it very comfortable and easy to use on busy mornings. It’s a great oil for dry skin as it is very rich in vitamin E. It’s also a great oil for sensitive or damaged skins as it is very soothing. It also helps keeps the skin elastic, while also having antibacterial and sun-protecting properties.

oil-hazelnut

Nighttime oil, Avocado oil: This is so rich! I love to use this as a night oil during the winter or colder months because it is so moisturizing. While it is oilier than hazelnut oil, it is still very comfortable on the skin and is usually absorbed in a few minutes. This oil also has wonderful anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties, and also cell regeneration attributes. It does wonder to really dry skin, while not being too heavy for mixed skin.

oil-avocado

Nighttime oil #2, Sweet almond oil: I love this because it makes my skin so smooth. It’s a bit lighter than avocado oil, but still a little bit too rich for a daytime oil. This oil is hypoallergenic, which makes it a great option if you have very delicate skin. This one is an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant oil which makes it great for irritated or fussy skin. It’s also a great option after you have been in the sun. I love to mix in a few drops of lavender essential oil and use this as a special oil for when I want to relax before going to bed.

oil-almond

To use these oils, I just place a few drops on my hands, rub my hands together and apply just like a regular moisturizer. I then rub my hands on the ends of my hair to add whatever’s left on my hands there! Let me know if you use other oils!


Il y quelques billets, j’ai partagé mes eaux florales préférées. Il est maintenant temps de parler d’huiles! Dans le passé, il m’a été difficile de trouvé une crème qui hydratait ma peau sans la rendre super huileuse ou graisseuse. J’adorais la crème jaune de Clinique, mais lorsque j’ai réalisé qu’elle n’était pas sans cruauté, j’ai arrêté de m’en servir. Je voulais aussi chercher un produit qui serait sans produits chimiques et que je pourrais facilement adapter aux différentes saisons. Encore une fois, je me suis tournée vers la cuisine et j’y ai trouvé quelques huiles.

oils

Avant de vous présenter mes huiles préférées, j’aimerais vous expliquer comment je choisis mes huiles. Je m’approvisionne dans mon épicerie! Je suis vraiment convaincues que c’est en épicerie qu’on trouve les huiles de meilleures qualités pour un prix raisonnable. Il est également plus que probable qu’elles soient des « ingrédients », ce qui veut dire qu’elles sont 100% pure, qu’il n’y a pas d’agent de remplissage. Il est vraiment important de vérifier la liste des ingrédients pour s’en assurer. Finalement, pour s’assurer que les huiles seront aussi bénéfiques que possible, je vérifie qu’elles sont bien de première pression à froid. Comme chaque huile a des propriétés qui lui sont propres, je vous encourage fortement à faire vos propres recherches pour trouver l’huile qui conviendra le mieux à votre peau. Bon, maintenant, mes huiles préférées!

Huile de jour, Huile de noisette : J’adore l’odeur de cette huile! Riche et douce, cette huile me sert d’hydratant de jour car elle est légère et sèche : elle est rapidement absorbée par ma peau et ne laisse aucun résidut graisseux ou brillant. J’aime qu’elle soit si rapidement absorbée car cela la rend très confortable et aussi facile à utiliser le matin lorsque tout doit se faire rapidement. Elle est très hydratante car elle contient beaucoup de vitamine E, ce qui la rend parfaite pour les peaux sèches. Elle est également indiquée pour les peaux fragiles ou sensibles car elle est appaisante. Finalement, elle aide la peau à rester élastique, en plus d’avoir des propriétés antibactériennes et de protéger des rayons UV.

oil-hazelnut

Huile de nuit, Huile d’avocat : Cette huile est si riche! J’adore l’utilisé comme crème de nuit durant l’hiver ou les mois les plus froids car elle est vraiment très hydratante. Beaucoup plus « lourde » que l’huile de noisette, elle reste confortable et rapidement absorbée en quelques minutes. Cette huile a également de très bonnes propriétés anti-âge, anti-inflammatoires et encourage la régénération des cellules. Elle est merveilleuse pour les peaux très sèches, sans être trop grasses pour les peaux mixtes.

oil-avocado

Huile de nuit #2, Huile amande douce : J’aime cette huile car elle rend ma peau si douce. Plus légère que l’huile d’avocat, elle reste trop riche pour une huile de jour selon moi. Cette huile est hypoallergénique, ce qui en fait une bonne option pour les peaux délicates ou sensibles. Elle a également des propriétés anti-inflammatoires et anti-oxydantes qui aident beaucoup les peaux difficiles ou à problèmes. Finalement, elle est également une très bonne option comme lotion après-soleil. J’aime ajouter quelques gouttes d’huiles essentielles de lavande à mon huile d’amande douce que j’utilise avant de me coucher pour m’aider à relaxer et à dormir profondément.

oil-almond

Pour utiliser ces huiles, j’en place quelques gouttes sur mes mains que je frotte ensemble. J’applique ensuite l’huile sur ma peau comme n’importe quelle crème. Une fois que j’ai fini d’hydrater mon visage et mon cou, je passe généralement mes mains sur les pointes de mes cheveux pour les hydrater elles aussi! Et vous, quelles huiles utilisez-vous?

 

Minimalist Skin Care: Floral waters \\ Soins pour la peau minimalistes: Eaux Florales

(Version française plus bas!)

If you read my last post on Materia body care products, you know that I have struggled with and still am working on my skin. After trying every anti-acne product I could get my hands on, I went cold turkey and got rid of all of them. I turned to the kitchen as a source of gentle toners and moisturizers to help my skin heal instead of spending all my money on synthetic and harmful products. Two things that I stole from my mom’s pantry then and still use now are floral waters and oils. Today, I want to tell you about my two favourite floral waters: neroli or orange blossom water and rose water.

floralwaters

Now, before I start raving about these beautiful waters, I think it’s interesting to know how floral waters are made. When making essential oils, large quantities of plants, flowers or leaves most of the time, are distilled. This means that water steam is forced to go through the plants. As the steam goes through the plants, it collects their essential oils. When this steam is cooled, it condenses back to form liquid water and the essential oils will float on the surface while the floral waters or hydrolats are at the bottom. These waters still contain some of the essential oils but in a diluted form. Okay, on to the rave.

rosewater

Because floral waters still contain some essential oils, they have amazing smells and also share some of the properties of the oils without being too strong to use directly on the skin. I really like using them as toners because they help clear out my skin by being soothing, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and purifying. Sounds good, right? Well, forget all of this. The real reason you have to try out floral waters is because they smell great. It is so luxurious to spritz these on my face in the morning and before bed.

Both rose water and neroli water are strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial waters, which is great for toning down my acne. They also are mildly astringent, meaning that they help control excess sebum without drying out my skin. Finally, they are also very hydrating and help make my skin feel soft. Adding to all of this, their smell is so relaxing. I usually use rose water in the morning to start my day on a bright note, and neroli at night because it helps me fall asleep and sleep deeply.

neroliwater

A final note on floral waters: make sure you buy 100% pure hydrolats or floral waters. Some brands use fillers and artificial scents, which kind of defies the purpose of using minimalistic and simple products. You can find both rose and neroli waters in middle-eastern groceries for very cheap, but you can also buy higher quality waters where you find your essential oils. Happy hunting and let me know what you think of floral waters!


Si vous avez lu mon billet sur les produits corporels Materia, vous savez que ma peau est difficile et que nous avons eu un parcours chaotique ensemble. Après avoir essayé tous le produits anti-acné sur lesquels je pouvais tomber, je me suis complètement retournée et je me suis débarrassée de tous ces produits artificiels. À la place d’aller en pharmacie, c’est dans les placards de la cuisine de ma maman que j’ai trouvé mes nouveaux produits de beauté: des eaux florales et des huiles. J’aimerais partager avec vous ma routine de soins en commençant aujourd’hui par mes deux eaux florales préférées: l’eau de rose et l’eau de fleurs d’oranger.

floralwaters

Avant de commencer, je pense qu’il est intéressant de savoir d’où proviennent ces eaux florales. Lors de la distillation de plantes, généralement les fleurs ou les feuilles, pour la fabrication d’huiles essentielles, une grande quantité de vapeur d’eau passe au travers des plantes. Ce faisant, elle collecte les huiles essentielles contenues dans les plantes. Par la suite, cette vapeur d’eau est refroidie ce qui la force à se condenser. Cela veut dire que la vapeur d’eau redevient liquide. On observe alors deux phases : les huiles essentielles sur le dessus, et les hydrolats, ou eaux florales, en dessous. Ces eaux contiennent également des huiles essentielles mais de façon beaucoup plus diluée ce qui les rend non seulement comestibles mais également douces pour la peau.

Cela veut également dire que certaines propriétés des huiles essentielles sont aussi partagées par les eaux florales. J’adore utiliser les eaux florales parce qu’elles sentent vraiment très bon, et elles sont également anti-inflammatoires, antibactériennes, purifiantes et apaisante. Pas mal, non? Mais vraiment, elles sentent super bon! C’est vraiment un rituel bien-être que de vaporiser ces eaux sur mon visage matin et soir.

rosewater

Comme je le disais plus haut, les eaux de rose et de fleurs d’oranger sont mes préférées. Cela s’explique par le fait qu’elles sont anti-inflammatoire et antibactériennes, ce qui est parfait pour mon acné. Elles sont également astringentes ce qui veut dire qu’elles aident à contrôler la quantité de sébum produite par ma peau, tout en douceur, sans l’assécher ni l’irriter. Elles sont également hydratantes et rendent ma peau si douce! Finalement, en plus de tout ça, leurs odeurs sont incroyablement relaxantes. J’adore utiliser l’eau de rose le matin pour commencer la journée sur une note positive, et l’eau de fleurs d’oranger le soir car elle m’aide à m’endormir et à dormir profondément.

neroliwater

Une dernière note sur les eaux florales : faites attention à ce qu’elles soient pures à 100%. Certaines marques ajoutent des arômes artificiels et autres produits synthétiques, ce qui est un peu contradictoire avec l’idée d’utiliser des produits simples et sains. Il est facile de trouver des eaux de rose et de fleurs d’oranger dans les épiceries magrébines à petits prix. Il est également possible de se procurer des eaux florales de plus hautes qualités auprès de votre producteur d’huiles essentielles ou en épicerie bio. Bonnes recherches et dites-moi quelles eaux florales vous préférez!

 

 

A clutter-free mind

As we moved recently, I have been witness to the incredible amount of junk and clutter we can accumulate without noticing. These unused items take place, are magnets for dust, and make our living space smaller and cumbered. It’s fascinating to see how much more comfortable I feel when I enter a yoga studio where there are only a few objects, or how free and clear my mind seems to be after having cleaned up my desk. Of course, it’s easy to see how a clear space can help create a clear mind, but how can we keep a clear mind?

bee

Many things can make my mind feel foggy, negative, in a rut, dusty or disorganized. I feel like it’s my responsibility to take care of my mind, just like I would take care of clearing up my desk, bedroom or living space. However, it’s not always simple to know how to do so. I wanted to share my few bits on that today. Here are a few principles that I apply to make sure I don’t feel like there’s too much going on between my two ears too often.

  1. Your mind is like Hermione’s purse: The amount of information that our brains can contain and remember is incredible! I like to imagine that my brain is like the famous magical purse: you can pretty much put everything and anything in it, and it will stay there. The great thing about this is that you can choose what you want to put inside of your mind-purse most of the time. For example, you can decide to watch a heartbreaking documentary on Indian orphans or the documentary on the amazingly inspiring doctor who works with these kids. You can decide to look at pictures of tortured animals, or focus on the wonderful initiatives that exist all over the world to help animals. I strongly believe that no one needs to consume negative images, texts or films in order to be informed. It’s not denying any situation, it’s simply making sure that you take in positive information that will nourish your creativity and motivation. This is particularly important when you consider point #2.
  2. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat: According to many studies, 90% of our thoughts are repetitive. Wow! This is impressive. We think all day, every minute of every day, and yet we are almost devoid of originality when it comes to these thoughts. We repeat, mull over, come back, and look again over and over and over again. The way I understand this combined with point #1 is that if I subject my mind to negative images, for example, these images will come back to me again and again, influencing me even days after I saw the original images. I might as well nourish my mind with positive information.
  3. Unplug: I love the internet. You can find anything on the internet. But you can also find many of these same things in the real world. Libraries are still there, the sky is still there, people are still there. As a kid, before the internet took over the world, I used to spend entire afternoons curled up in a corner of my local library exploring books in different languages, discovering new possible hobbies and cultures and challenging my librarian to find the next book that I would bring home. Unlike the internet, my library was peaceful and commercial free. I didn’t have to like everything I saw, and I could be alone with my thoughts without sharing them with the world. This time alone gave me the chance to settle down and relax from days spent surrounded by noise and people. It gave my mind a chance to move at its own pace. So, I like to unplug completely regularly to force myself to go out and explore the real world.

These three points don’t seem like much, but they have helped me incredibly to choose what information to consume and what to do with my free time. As a vegan especially, I feel like it’s easy to be overwhelmed with information about animal welfare that is little more than horror stories and gruesome pictures. However, this type of information don’t help me become a better person, they don’t motivate me, they just make me feel unhappy and uncomfortable. Same goes with all the rest of the media. Anyways, I could talk about this for hours, so let me know what you think!

 

 

Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray

There comes a time when you do yoga when you realize that your yoga mat has different marks and grime stuck to it, no matter how clean and careful you are. This is what happened this morning. I took out my yoga mat, and realized that my footprints were visible. Ew! How disgusting! So I went in my bathroom and made myself a little cleaning spray. Super simple, effective and refreshing!

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 5 drops of tea trea essential oil
  • 5 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1 spray bottle (preferably glass)
  • 1 small rag to clean

Here is what you do:

  1. Pour all the ingredients in your spray bottle. Close up and give a good shake.
  2. Spray on your yoga mat, working in sections, and whipe out with your rag.
  3. Let your yoga mat dry completely before rolling up.
  4. Enjoy a nice, clean and fresh mat!

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This is so refreshing! It took off all the grime that had accumulated over time, and my mat is like new! I think I’ll get in a more regular weekly cleaning routine so that I can keep it longer and always have a fresh mat to practice on. By the way, this is also a great room freshener spray. If you remove the vinegar and lemon essential oil it also makes for a very relaxing spray. And if you don’t have these essential oils, look around and try different scents. I went with those because they have cleansing and antibacterial properties, but feel free to explore! It’s so much more fun! Let me know how you take care of your mat!

I’m a mindfulness instructor!

I feel like I have reached a new level in “hippie-land”!

Joke aside, I have completed my 12 weeks training with Mindful Schools to be a mindfulness instructor this week. How exciting! As an end of training celebration, I’m sharing some thoughts on how this happened.

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Flashback to the beginning of the year: This year, I have been assigned with six groups of 30 to 38 students. I know most of them as I taught them last year too, and I know that many of them have a great potential that is hindered by their anxiety, stress, or strong feelings/emotions.  This is my problem because it makes it difficult for students to learn when their minds are busy processing all kinds of thoughts. It is also a personal problem because teaching is hard! You are dealing with so much more than the curriculum: student meltdowns, administrators, parents, and taking all this personal stress at home because you care for the kids in front of you. Add this to regular-human-being stress, and you are pushed off balance on a daily basis. So, this beginning of the year is hard, and I feel resource-less.

Meeting with Charity Bryant: At a teacher conference, I get to meet Charity Bryant who is a mindfulness instructor who started out as an English teacher. Her presentation is inspiring, and I feel like she is describing my students when she tells us about her own students and experience bringing mindfulness in the classroom. I need to know more so I write to her ,and she tells me about the online training given by Mindful Schools.

Training with Mindful Schools: I start with the six weeks mindfulness fundamentals and follow through with the mindful educator course. I feel very lucky to have received a scholarship because this training is very complete and thorough, but would have been inaccessible to me as I’m paying it on my own.   Not only does this training help my students, it also helps me face difficulties and deal with my emotions better. Things are still hard sometimes, but I feel like I have a better tool set to face them.

Introducting mindfulness at school: To give me courage, I start offering a mindfulness workshop once every two weeks for interested students. As the meetings go by, I gather experience and confidence with this ideal group. I then introduce mindfulness as a daily routine to my different groups. I am amazed by the curiosity and willingness to try that my students are showing. Most importantly, I feel that my most difficult, disturbing students are responding to this very positively. I also welcome their suspicious as to this “voodoo stuff” and discuss research and brain functioning with them. I really like how it creates an open, ready-to-learn environment where the students are taking time to slow down and connect before starting to work. Is it time lost? Not really. Since they are relaxed and available, I don’t need to bring them back to the activities as much, instructions and modelling take less time because their attention is there, and I can tap in to their new capacity to pay attention with a shared and understood vocabulary.

The results of implementing mindfulness in my classroom might sound magical and untrue. And yet, they are real. My students are still teenagers, but somehow, they are more focused, calmer and more available to learning, to their peers and to my interventions. I really love our 15 minutes of practice each class because it gives me a chance to teach them something out of the curriculum that is precious and truly helpful. I am really glad to have done this! Let me know what you think!

 

 

Meditation Prop: Small Bench

After completing my yoga prop cabinet, my boyfriend set out to make me a meditation bench. How exciting!

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This is really comfortable: it helps me keep my back straight while giving me support for the legs. Since I don’t sit with my legs crossed it is also easier on the knees, and it make it possible to sit for a long period of time. I have a really hard time staying cross-legged for more than a few minutes even when sitting on a pillow, so this is perfect.

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I really like how the wood has different colors and how sturdy this is. It is also really fun because my boyfriend made it at the perfect height for my legs, which means that it is unique and adapted to my body and posture.

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I really love working with this small bench! It makes practice feel even more special by creating a small ritual: I know that when I sit on this it is to be mindful and to give myself some time. Let us know what you think, and if you’d be interested in having one!

 

Yoga love: Wild and Roaming Leggings!

I usually don’t splurge on fancy yoga clothes: most days, I use a giant t-shirt and my pajama bottoms to practice. Because really, you spend most of your time with your eyes closed anyways, so who cares what you are wearing?

And then, I saw the Wild and Roaming leggings…

These are so beautiful! I love how the designs feature nature, and I find the colors amazing! (And they go so well with my mix-matched socks! Not ready to be a model!)

I love the fern design, and the sunset makes me happy! As a result, I couldn’t focus during yoga because I was too busy admiring my new leggings. Ah, well!

These are really comfortable, and I like the fact that they are made in Montreal, by a BC design team. They also give part of the money you pay to different non-profit organization, and you get to choose which one. Go Canada! I really love them, and I think I’ll be purchasing other designs in the future. Just can’t get over how fern these are…