My BuJo version, or how I stay organized

A few weeks ago, I launched my planner, the LEAFY planner. I love this planner because it’s beautiful and includes all the organization tools that I need as well as mindfulness and well-being practices. However, before I made this planner, I used notebooks as my daily organizers.

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I loved using notebooks because it is creative and customizable to whatever you might need. I was inspired by bullet journaling, but I tried to keep things simple and manageable. Here are the basic parts I always included.

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1. Trackers: After deciding on my goals and priorities at the beginning of the year, I made some tracking grids that I used all year long. Those grids helped me stay accountable and on track.

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2. Weekly spreads: I used this on a day-to-day basis to keep track of appointments and things to do. At first, I used an hourly to-do list to help me stay productive while working from home. When I got the beat of this, I then switched to a daily to-do list which was more flexible.

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3. Creative space: I always made sure to keep some space to take notes, doodle, draft out posts or work on my projects. I liked having that room to be creative because it meant that I always could write down ideas or draw, even on the go.

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4. Interior pockets: I love adding pockets onto the interior flaps of the notebook’s cover to put some business cards or important papers. This made the notebook a lot more practical.

5. Tabs: I used tabs to have the current week’s spread easily accessible. This also meant that I didn’t have to flip through the entire notebook when I needed to take an appointment or something. It also meant that other people didn’t have a look through my creative notes but only my weekly spread, which I liked.

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I really hope this was helpful to you. I really enjoyed using a notebook as I was able to create my own system and make it really practical and relevant to my own needs. I strongly encourage you to try it out and to create your own system!

Book Review: The Little Book of Hygge

I had my eyes on this book for a while, and, so, when I saw The Little Book of Hygge, by Meik Wiking at my local bookstore, I just had to bring it home. Hygge was all the rage last year with our European neighbors. I have to say, the hygge craze is yet to catch in Canada, or at least where I live. Most people I talk to have no idea what hygge is. This is really too bad as it is such an amazing concept: cosying up and enjoying time with people you love… hum, yes, please!

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As I learned in the book, Hygge is a Danish word that can be roughly translated as comfort, warmth and togetherness. Hygge is also about contrast: a warm cup of tea and your favourite book vs. a raging snowstorm outside. Sounds familiar anyone? That’s because the Danish people have a rough climate just like we, Canadians, do! That’s why I think Hygge should be completely adopted by Canadians and other cold climate inhabitants.  I mean, I don’t need any excuses to stay in bed when the weather is miserable, but hygge brings this idea to a whole new level.

As you have gathered by now, I really enjoyed feeling backed up by an entire country in my cosying up. Seriously, a book that allows, supports and encourages staying warm and comfortable? Yasss, please! But, if you are not completely sold on the idea of a warm blanket with your favourite movie playing, well the book has a lot more to offer than cosy-up ideas.

The book itself is beautiful. The editing on this is great: beautiful paper, inspiring pictures and easy to read chapters. Plus, it’s the perfect size to read in bed: it’s not too big, not too small, just perfect! The author’s voice is also very friendly and relatable. While reading this book, I had the feeling of exchanging with a friend. I loved the personal anecdotes that make Hygge so much more understandable and the read enjoyable.

The content of the book is also very practical and really makes Hygge accessible now. With a clear emphasis on experiences and simple changes in your house, this book is perfect if you are into the minimalist wave and don’t feel like buying a whole lot of new things to get a Hygge vibe. It includes everything from activity ideas, to crafts and recipes. Yum!

I also really enjoyed being plunged into the Danish culture. Growing up I have always been fascinated by Scandinavia, and when I recently learned that I had Danish and Norwegian ancestry (DNA test, anyone?), it just felt natural to want to learn more about these cultures. The book is filled with anecdotes illustrating the Danish culture and way of living. It’s the perfect preamble to a trip to Copenhagen (totally on my bucket list, btw).

Finally, with world seeming to be completely out of control these days, this book was the perfect relaxing read before going to bed. I really enjoyed reading it every night, and really felt sad to finish it. Luckily, Sweden has Fika and Lagom, and Denmark also has Lykke, so there are other words to explore and adopt. Wishing you a very Hyggelig rest of the week!

 

Train with me: Split workout #1

Considering that I used this workout last March, this is a long over-due post! As you might know, last year, I started going to the gym regularly. I started out with a whole-body routine that I did for a few weeks. After that, I created this workout.

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It’s a basic push, pull, leg split. When I started using this workout, I could only go to the gym 5 times per week, so this is how I organized it:

  • Day 1: Push #1: Focus on pectorals, shoulders and triceps.
  • Day 2: Pull #1: Focus on back and biceps
  • Day 3: Leg: Focus on quads, glutes and hamstrings
  • Day 4: Rest day, no gym
  • Day 5: Push #2
  • Day 6: Pull #2
  • Day 7: Rest day, no gym

As you can see, I  used to train legs only once a week because I really hated training legs and also because I wanted to develop my upper body strength more… but really I just hated training legs. As this is a bit unbalanced, you could replace a rest day by a second leg day to hit your entire body twice a week.

I also added 10 to 15 minutes of cardio before starting using the weights, either running or cycling, as a warm-up. Finally, I added 10 minutes of stretching at the end of each session.

Click on the link below to download my plan. You’ll get two versions of push and pull, and one leg day.I hope you’ll find it fun and useful. Let me know what you think of it!

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Remember that I’m not a personal training or health care professional, so make sure to consult with a professional before starting or changing your fitness routine.

 

Going sugar-free for 2 months

Last fall, I tried going sugar-free for 2 months. I had difficulties with my digestion, hormones and sleep. I decided to go on a sugar detox for 2 months to see if it could help me balance out whatever was going on on the inside. So for 2 months, I cut out refined sugars, dates, syrups and even fruits from my diet. This is what I learned from this experience.

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1. Withdrawal is a pain. I know some doctors say that sugar cannot be considered a drug, but the withdrawal was something: headaches, intense cravings and major crabbiness. This lasted for about 10 days for me. Seriously, all I could think of was chocolate for 10 straight days.

2. Vanilla powder and almond butter rock. Vanilla bean powder is your ally! Because we are so used to adding vanilla to sweet treats, adding vanilla to unsweetened beverages and yoghurt tricks your brain into thinking you are eating something sweet. This seriously helped me so much! Almond butter is also a great snack because it is slightly sweet. Best snack: rice cracker with some almond butter and a sprinkle of vanilla powder and cinnamon. Yum!

3. Veggies are the best! Removing fruits from my diet was super hard because they were a big part of it. I compensated by adding a lot more vegetables. I realized that I was actually not hitting my vegetable requirements because I was eating so much fruit.

4. Not all veggies are equal. Because I ate more veggies, I stumbled upon combinations that didn’t really work out. I realized that combining high in sugar vegetables like butternut squash and corn had the same effect as eating sugary desserts. Instead, I tried to focus on dark leafy greens and low in sugar vegetables like broccoli and cucumbers.

5. Craving veggies is a thing. After about 3 weeks on this detox, I started craving vegetables. Not chocolate, but broccoli. I know, right?

6. Fermented foods rock! In an effort to help my microbiome get healthier and to help my digestion, I started including a lot more fermented foods in my diet. I tried to have about 1 to 2 tablespoons of kimchi or sauerkraut to my meals. This added a lot of flavours and really helped me avoid the after lunch down I usually got after eating.

7. Legumes and beans are great! And so much easier to digest! No bloating or any other unpleasantness.

8. Sugar is everywhere! It was difficult to avoid sugar as it is included in store-bought sauces, bread, and even in some brands of plain yoghurt. This cure really made me realize that sugar really is everywhere.

9. Falling asleep is so much easier. No more long hours waiting to fall asleep, I actually really felt tired when it was time to sleep. It also became a bit easier to wake up in the morning.

10. It was possible for me not to crave chocolate every single moment of the day. Seriously.

I hope this will help any of you who are considering reducing sugar. Let me know how it goes!

It’s resolution time again!

I know some people think resolutions are cheesy and not realistic, but, when the first of January is a Monday, you just have to go with the urge to organize and plan, right?

I enjoy taking resolutions because it’s a time to reflect on my priorities and realign my every day habits with my objectives. It can be a bit intimidating at first, but I try to stick to concrete objectives that can easily be broken down into smaller goals. For example, one of my goals last year was to have a more active lifestyle. All year long I tracked how many times I went to the gym and how many times we went for hikes or walks. It’s nice to see how I progressed and how much more active I am now after a year. I usually keep a monthly tracker in my planner where I can check things off every day. That way I get to think about my priorities every day which keeps me accountable and on track.

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If you are not sure where to start, may I suggest looking at my planner (I know, shameless!). I’ve included detailed sections to help you figure out your priorities and create meaningful goals. You’ll also have everything you need to track your habits monthly and weekly. Plus you get a beautiful planner. Plus you get to download it, so you can print out the sections as you go. Really, you should check it out 😉

One other thing that is fun to do at the beginning of the year is a bucket list. This year is the first time I’m doing this, but I’m looking forward to adding and checking out things as I go, year after year. It’s also fun to have a bucket list because you get to include experiences that are not linked to practice or that are not processes. Writing down your list can also help you see what recuring patterns caracterize your wishes and that can help you see what your priorities should be. For example, I realized that many items on my bucket list were travels. As a New Year’s resolution, I’ve therefore decided to open up a savings account for future travels, something I’ve wanted to do for a while but hadn’t gotten to do yet.

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I really hope you’ll take some time to reflect on what you have accomplished so far and what you want to do this new year. Good luck and enjoy the process!

Feeling overwhelmed? You’ve got your back!

In difficult times, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, resourceless and alone. There is nothing great about this! If this is where you are right now, remember that you have all the tools you need to feel great again. The trick is just to think of these again! Here is a quick list of things that you can do to feel good again.

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  1. Pamper yourself. Mix your favorite ingredients and make a face mask, take a bath, burn some incense while you read, prepare yourself a colorful salad, or wear your favorite socks. Take a few minutes to take care of yourself. Be selfish for a few moments and you’ll soon feel better!
  2. Do something you enjoy. When we’re feeling low, it’s easy to feel sluggish and unmotivated to do anything. In those moments, I try to push myself to do things I normally enjoy like painting, reading or baking. These simple joys usually make me feel content and take my mind off of what is bothering me.
  3. Sit. There’s nothing more powerful when you are feeling low to recenter yourself on the present moment. Sit down straight and take deep breaths. Observe these breaths and relax your body. After only a few breaths you should feel refreshed and more ready to face your feelings.
  4. Connect. With billions of people in the world, it is quite impossible that you are truly alone at any given moment. I often find that when I feel overwhelmed, writing or talking to friends and family cheers me up. Other times, it’s good to be in the company of strangers at a workshop or to go people watching at a coffee shop. Whatever you do, remind yourself that you are not alone!

I hope these tips help you out. If you are feeling low, I’m sending you happy thoughts! Try out these few tricks and you’ll soon feel like yourself again. The truth is, everyone feels low sometimes, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Take your time, take care of yourself, and things will go just fine.

If you want more tricks and support on building wellbeing habits, I’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign for a planner I’ve written, the Leafy Planner. Take a look!

The Leafy Planner, or my latest project!

I have been the worst blogger these last few months, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything with myself. As some of you might know, I’m currently changing a lot of things in my professional life, and so I needed some time to think. I also started training a lot more at the gym, so that has been taking me a bit of time (see the plan I started with). But, really, the thing that has taken me away from the kitchen is the Leafy Planner.

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I basically condensed my wellbeing and mindfulness practices into this planner to create not only an organisation tool, but a personal growth guide. I love to take notes and to organize my day with a planner, but I also like to doodle and track my habits. I also wanted something where I could follow how I was taking care of my body and mind. Instead of having a dozen notebooks around my desk, I’ve included everything I need in a single planner, and that’s LEAFY!

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Over time, the planner evolved into two different versions. The desktop one is beautifully filled with inspirational pictures from nature and printed in colour. The pocket version is perfect to take with you everywhere and in black and white.

Overview of planners

I’m now going completely out of my confort zone and trying out a kickstarter campaign to help me get some funds to print some more planners. I’d really help me out if you could take a look at my campaign and share it with your family and friends.

As for the future of this blog, I’m working on improving myself a lot, and that also means changing things up with my diet. I’m feeling that inspiration is on it’s way, so stay tuned for more recipes!

Beginner’s Weight Training Plan

It’s here! This is the training program that I used when I started back at the gym. It targets the entire body, so it’s great if you only have time for 3 to 4 gym sessions per week. Just print it out and take it with you! Here a are a few guidelines before you get started.

  1. Make sure you are fit enough to start training. Consult your doctor or personal trainer to make sure you have their go before starting any new training program.
  2. Start by a quick cardio session (5 to 15 minutes) on your favourite machine to get warmed up before you head to the weight lifting section of your gym.
  3. I’ve included pictures of each exercises so that you have a reminder of what they are once you hit the gym. I suggest checking them out on google before you start if they are unfamiliar. There is a ton of videos for each exercise, so you should have no trouble finding them.
  4. I’ve included a suggested repetition and series number. 3 x 10-12 means that you should go for 3 series of 10 to 12 repetitions (so you do the exercise 3 times for 10 to 12 times). You can also see the rest period for each exercise. This is the rest period you should give your muscles to recover between each series. So you do your first 10-12 reps, rest 1 minute, do your second series, rest 1 minute and do your final series.
  5. I’ve also included a tempo. Basically, each exercise here has an eccentric (the muscle lengthens) and a concentric phase (the muscles shortens). These two phases are kept equal in this plan and should last two seconds. For example, if you are doind the biceps curl, starting with the weights at the bottom with your arms straight, it should take you two seconds to bring the weights to your shoulder and then two seconds to bring your arms straights again, without any pause at the bottom or at the shoulders. That’s what the 2-0-2-0 means.
  6. To know how much weight you should use, I suggest going through trial and error. Start at a low weigth and see if you can do no more than 12 reps. If you can do 13, 15, or even 20 reps, up the weigth. Let your muscles rest for 1 minute, and repeat the process until you find a weigth for which you can only do 12 reps and not one more.

I really hope you’ll give this program a try! Let me know what you think!

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Click here to download the pdf !

Remember that I’m not a personal trainer, but simply a gym enthousiast. You should always check with a personal trainer, a kinesiologist or your health care practitioner before changing your exercise routine. Be careful and have fun!

 

Something new has been cooking at My Lighthearted Kitchen: an exercise section!

I have been playing around with this idea for a while now, and I have finally decided to share my training sessions with you. Some of you might know that I have started weight training in January and have been completely obsessed with this sport ever since.

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I have to say that it has been incredible to go back to the gym to take care and put my body to the test with each session. I love the rush of satisfaction I get every time and can up the repetition number or the weight I’m lifting. It really helps me feel better in my own skin while also giving me some “me-time” at the gym. After a back injury that prevented me from seriously exercising and two years of intense work as a teacher, it’s great to sweat and to exercise again.

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Because I love weight training so much, I decided that sharing my work-out plans could be a good way to spread this sport. Too many girls and women are intimidated to go in the weight training section of their gym, and it’s a realy shame. Getting stronger is a great way to build self-confidence at the same time as a great posture and more available muscles.

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Right now, I change my work-out routines every 8 weeks. Each work-out routine is composed of 5 training days: 1 leg day, 2 push days and 2 pull days. I include 2 rest days to let my body rest and my muscles grow and get stronger. I sometimes repeat the led day a second time if I feel like I don’t need the 2 rest days. I like working with the same exercises for 8 weeks because it gives me time to learn the exercises properly and to progress with them. Remember that you need to push yourself every single time you set foot in the gym! As for cardio and abs, I alternate between cardio sessions and ab training sessions each time I go to the gym.

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So, what will you find in this section of the blog? First, a beginner’s training routine to get you started in the gym. This is a whole body routine that you can do 3 to 4 times a week for the first 8 to 12 weeks of your new training regimen. This is to get you used to going to the gym and gently starting to push your body into liking weight training. After that, I will post my work-out routines every 8 weeks. You are welcome to join me in the gym!

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Remember that I’m not a personal trainer, but simply a gym enthousiast. You should always check with a personal trainer, a kinesiologist or your health care practitioner before changing your exercise routine. Be careful and have fun!

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.

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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.

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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.