The Eye That Beholds Beauty… Like A Boss!

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Happy May! It’s a new month and a new theme, this month we’re looking at beauty. May is a month when we can count on more beauty coming into our lives and it’s often so inspiring. There’s beautiful weather and beautiful flowers that start to spring up, these often bring beautiful smiles and much more beautiful attitudes and perspectives. And I hope for you it brings more beautiful days enjoyed in parks, on decks and docks, beaches and patios and other beautiful places nurturing beautiful relationships with friends and family. And, I will at the risk of sounding shallow, point out that to some degree most of us partake in fitness programs not only to have beautiful healthy insides, but also to enhance our outer beauty too.

I challenge you to start this month with finding the beauty in your everyday. We get caught up in our routines and go around on autopilot lost in thought much of the time, we forget to stop and smell the roses. It’s not just about the roses though, it’s in everything, even the things that seem the same day in and day out that aren’t actually all the same. If you take the time to notice you’ll see the finer details of difference that can keep a seemingly repetitive routine beautiful. You can actually stop and smell the roses, and try more: stuck in traffic crank tunes and enjoy your time to yourself, actually enjoy every sip of your coffee or every bite of your dinner (put down the mug/fork between sips/bites while feeling the texture and taste of it), focus on every rep/breath/stride of your workout, respond to texts or emails with thought (even if they’re not sent to you that way), talk to your local barista/grocery cashier.

At one time I wanted every day to be a brand new adventure, and thought the only way to see life’s beauty was by doing something brand new and out of the ordinary daily, for most of us this isn’t even remotely realistic; even if you’re on an adventure you still have to brush your teeth every day. You may notice the more memorable and enjoyable everyday moments aren’t the ones you were caught up in your thoughts, but paying attention to what’s going on, surely a new adventure helps to facilitate this, but it’s always available. It’s about how fresh you feel running your tongue across your just-brushed teeth (and other fine details of your routine) that we can appreciate the beauty of our everyday life.

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Be A Space Case

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If you’ve been having trouble implementing some of the previous renewal suggestions so far this month despite your efforts perhaps it’s a space case: we are so loaded down with stuff and schedules and to-do lists, we often haven’t created enough space in our lives for these things.

Think about how much harder it is to get things done in a messy space, how helpless we feel in a dirty or crowded space, and how challenging it is to remember to do and implement new habits into your routine when you feel like you’re overwhelmed by an already packed schedule. Does something here really speak to the way you are currently living? If so perhaps you need to be a space case.

If you’re already feeling challenged or helpless and time pressed and lost in a mess, this all sounds fantastic and ideal, but how and where to start?! Nike have a good point when they say “just do it”. Of course not all at once, but rather than ponder and dread and procrastinate and avoid the problem face it head on, in a manageable 10 minute chunk of time if you have to.

1. If time is an issue address your calendar first. What’s in there that’s making you feel overwhelmed, that you said “yes” to when “no” was really ok? Or what is an old habit in your routine that you know you don’t need to do? Make some time priorities for yourself, and really question the validity of “have to” outside of work and obligations that will truly cost you, or meetings and events you really will regret missing. Now you’ve likely found at least a few minutes to spare.

2. As a matter of priorities you manage to find time to do lots of tv watching, facebook creeping newsfeed cruising, internet surfing (we’ve all been click baited into an hour of time wastage before whether we like to admit it or not, and then wondered why we wasted that hour), and probably even useless/junk email checking. So when the thought crosses your mind that you should put down the remote, the mouse, or the phone because you know you’re wasting time: just do it and don’t look back. You will never regret missing a binge session of Storage Wars or 25 gifs of the most epic fails.

3. Now that you’ve got some time, start looking at your space even if you think “all I needed was a bit more time”, but have a cluttered or messy space, your mind may still have a level of overwhelm you don’t recognize due to being “used to it”. Use some of this time rather than making new habits and filling up your schedule again to make some life space, or work space, creative or family or active or spiritual or even cooking/food prep and eating space. Make your living spaces places you want to spend time and enjoy yourself. Spaces you find aesthetically pleasing.

4. If all of this seems scary and out of your comfort zone that’s a good thing. Often fear is an opportunity to move and grow into “better” people to ourselves and our family, but is a stretch outside of our idea of what we’re capable of, or challenges us to accept a different belief than one we’ve been carrying around for a long time. Be scared and do it anyhow! The reason we procrastinate and fill our time with non-meaningful activities is often our excuse not to be who we want to be or achieve what we want to achieve. Comfort zones are important and gut feelings are too, don’t get me wrong, but can we all acknowledge that many times they are hindering and holding us back? Allow yourself to be scared and move through it, don’t wait to not be scared of something new or different. You may never get over that fear, but you may step out of it and realize it’s usually very freeing and not as fearsome as you thought.

5. Embrace this idea: failure is awesome! Fear of failure to embrace a new change, let go of an old habit or something that once meant a lot to us stops us because maybe we failed at it, or something like it before, but failure is usually inevitable prior to success. You walk don’t you? Ever seen a toddler walk on the first or even the fiftieth attempt? I’m sure you get the point here, and to add to it often failure comes with fantastic lesson(s) with each attempt. We wouldn’t have most of the many amazing tools we use every day if failing was a sign we should give up on something. So go ahead and fail at any or all of this; just renew your “can-do” attitude and try try again!

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited

Drop It Like It’s HOT! Your Diet And Why It Won’t REALLY Work

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Will your diet help you lose weight? Sure. “For how long?” or,” at what cost to my health?”  are the important questions you have to ask yourself! Especially since this is your what, umpteenth time around the diet track, only to realize you’re back at the beginning, often times even worse off than before. This isn’t just you, it’s so so many people who don’t realize what exactly they’re doing to their metabolisms and their bodies overall as they run this vicious cycle. Here are the 5 things essential to your health and success when it comes to your health, weight loss and the way you eat.

If you take nothing else away from this let it be Michael Pollan’s (he’s a brilliant food and health guy with several New York Times best-sellers) advice: Eat (real) food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Part of me hesitates to expand upon this. Its beauty is in its simplicity. But I’ll add these small nuggets: real food has no ingredient list, or a very very short one consisting of a bunch of foods that have no ingredient list, for example, there is no ingredient list for tomatoes, they just are. Salsa has a short ingredient list consisting of foods that just are, making salsa, homemade of course, real food as well. Not too much, is not too much, not overfilling yourself, not allowing yourself to eat what you know is too much but you’re not full because of years of stretching your stomach with too large portion sizes. Know what it’s like to be a little bit hungry and then eat until you’re full-ish, not stuffed. Tell me the last time groaning in stuffed pain was actually enjoyable anyhow. Mostly plants, because that’s how we evolved, eating mostly plants, so that’s what our bodies like to digest, keeps us healthy with the nutrients we need, and maintains our figure.

You will need to choose a healthy lifestyle of which a healthy diet with some rules –written more in sand than stone—will have to apply. One of the reasons diets don’t work is because most of the time you can’t do them forever, you would die of starvation, malnutrition, or disease. So when you stop because it’s over or because it takes soul-sucking will and energy to stay on, meanwhile feeling like a pile of crap, you eventually put the weight back on. And while you were on that diet you also likely damaged your metabolism further because most of them don’t maintain proper blood sugar levels or mess with the body’s hormone systems (among a long list of things that it can be negatively affecting depending on the diet), when you return to your normal eating habits it is desperate to ensure you never “starve” it of its needs or wants again and will slow your metabolism often causing a greater weight gain than before you dieted. So what you need are some simple guidelines to live by, ones that from time-to-time you can break because there is usually a time that real life calls for ice cream cake, for example. If you are seeking easy logical healthy diet guidelines I recommend Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules, for full lifestyle programs request a complimentary consultation.

 Nutrient abundance is key to overall health and permanent weight loss. There are many lifestyle diets outside of my recommendations that are also sustainable for longer periods, what is most important is that your healthy diet is actually healthy, abundant in nutrients. This is why I say agree with mostly plants, they are rick with nutrients that our body needs. Most Westerners are overfed and still starving for nutrients, it has been hypothesized by many that overeating is highly correlated with poor diets because, on top of addictive substances like sugar and MSG, people are calorically overfed and yet they’re starving for nutrients their bodies really need! Whether this is true or not you leave a lot less space in your stomach for wannabe food if you fill it with nutrient-rich veggies, fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, healthy fats, and naturally-raised meats. Your body will have less tendency to maintain excess fat stores if you feed it real food abundant in nutrients it needs.

Exercise, the other 40%. You can lose weight on a diet without exercise, but again your results are unlikely to last. Exercise does not need to be “hardcore”, but it serves many purposes in over healthy lifestyle and long term weight loss. Some will tell you it’s only 30% of the equation, some will even say 20%, I’m going to give an experiential opinion here and say that 20% doesn’t account for long term maintenance. Exercise is 40% if you want to look at long term weight maintenance and health benefits, and especially if you want to feel awesome (remember you quit the diet because you felt like crud), as there are lots of feel good benefits of exercise. It doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment and you can choose to do activities you like, but exercise is a fundamental part of the equation.

Always choose quality over minimal calories. Artificial sweeteners are a perfect example for this. They are poison, actually poison, aspartame turns to formaldehyde in your body (yup like the dead-people-preserver, and also a neurotoxin), acesulfame potassium or K contains a known carcinogen, sucralose has heavy metals arsenic and methanol, saccharin is a coal tar compound and associated with bladder cancer. They contain few to no calories and yet prompt greater calorie consumption and in the meantime (because your body doesn’t know your ingesting anything so it’s still hungry) are doing a disservice to the body that you’re trying to otherwise have run smoothly and efficiently. It is not only about the calories, I’m sure it’s clear at this point that while sugar is quite bad for you it is still better than an artificial sweetener. More calories of (real, check the ingredients on these there should be like 3) sour cream or cream cheese are 100% better for you than their low-fat or fat-free counterparts. Fat-free sour cream is not possible, it’s just fake, cream by its very nature is fat, making fat-free sour cream not even real food. Am I saying you should eat sour cream? Not often and only if you’re going to truly enjoy it, but there is a place for sour cream as there is for ice-cream cakes, it’s of a quality incomparable to a food invented in a lab, and your body will thank you for not poisoning it even if you do gain a few ounces.

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

CAUTION! Ignore Bright Shiny Objects

I admit it, I sometimes suffer from bright shiny object syndrome. As you and I both know bright shiny objects are far more often a bit of broken glass, a shiny quarter, or a 4 year-old’s glittery art remnants than they are diamonds, gold nuggets, or even fool’s gold!

That is to say sometimes I’m easily distracted from where my focus needs to be. With all of the distractions provided by today’s technology, a culture based on productivity, and an emphasis on multi-tasking I’m certainly clear on the fact that I am not alone in this.

Now you want to start taking care of your health, fitness, wellness, or achieve any other goal and how do you do that when it doesn’t seem like you’ve got enough time in your day as it is?! The answer is actually super simple: focus.

Focus on what you want.  We spend so much time focussing on what we don’t want or what we fear, or what could come of a situation. Our brains are fantastic imagination machines. You may think as an adult you’ve lost your creativity. I challenge you to pay attention to all of the scenarios your mind comes up with in a day and tell me you’re not creative. You may not be producing stories that you like, but you’re creative. So start creating what you want. Catch your mind producing the worst-case-apocalyptic scenario, and then reframe it to the exact opposite to produce the actual result you want, and focus on that instead.

Focus on your time. For me sometimes that means airplane mode on my devices; desperate times call for desperate measures! It’s actually not extreme at all, despite I’m sure your jaw dropped at such a thought. Never have we been so readily at the beck and call of others’ and their “need” to contact us immediately and get an immediate response. Never has our time and focus been so divided. So as I write this, my phone is on silent and I’m signed out of email. When I do yoga for myself, am training or teaching a client or class, respectively, you bet I’m not answering. This isn’t rude or dismissive, the fact is we are all entitled to our own time or not to divide our focus among several tasks, and we can focus on others more intently during our time with them if we have some space to ourselves. Having boundaries on instant availability (or not) allows you to keep focus on your goals and what really matters in that moment.

Focus on your priorities. What do you actually need to do today? How much are you trying to cram in? What can you give up that is totally distracting you from your actual goals? You may have completely dismissed the fact that you have “no time” to exercise or to make healthy meals, but you had time to watch the whole Breaking Bad series over the course of the past 3 weeks?! Those are your priorities then, you may not want to admit that television is a priority, but on some level it is if that’s where your focus is. Sort out what you’re willing to give up in order to achieve your goals. There will be some things you aren’t willing to annihilate from your life, but maybe you could watch less television or make yourself do 20 minutes of exercise for every hour watched (because the average is 5 hours/day, you’d actually get quite fit). Or maybe it’s Facebook, or YouTube, maybe it’s not even technology-related, but you know you spend way more time doing it than you should, or that it affects your ability to get other things done. The point is to set your priorities and intentions and focus on those, do not let the bright shiny objects pull you from your path, no matter how enticing they may be.

People always seem to get car-related analogies so, look where you want to go. If you’re not getting results something here surely “clicked” with you, because if you look where you want to go and keep your eyes on the road you should be getting at least some results, even if you’re not driving a fast car. If you need help getting on track with your fitness, health and wellness, if your lifestyle habits needs an overhaul, if you need a nudge and a reminder every once in a while to get back on track, or if you just don’t know how to create a plan and maintain it, CREATE has plans and programs to help you, and it’s all tailored to what you need. Call today for a complimentary consultation 416-994-6267 or fill out an online form

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited

Holiday Survival Guide 2 for 1: Surviving the Main Event & Round 2: Fight… for “rock bottm” prices. Making it through Boxing Wee

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With all these holidays and parties I’m going to take some time off!!! As such this blog is a 2 for 1 in the Holiday Survival Guide. We’ve got surviving the main family get together and meal AND surviving Boxing Day/Week.

So in terms of surviving and thriving the primary get together of the season, remember previous tips from Thanksgiving about the food? Those can apply to any big family or holiday meal, a quick recap:

Eat throughout the day, don’t arrive starving.
Survey the table for your favourites and have reasonable portions of those.
Fill up on your favourite veggies first.
Don’t eat stuff “just ‘cuz it’s there, or even ‘cuz it’s healthy, you’re getting plenty of nutrients at this meal and your body won’t “miss out” on superfluous calories you didn’t enjoy.
Don’t obsess. It’s the holidays, life isn’t perfect, do your best not to ruin all your efforts (best and obsess are different!) AND enjoy!

A couple of more tips:

Think ahead: Every year people generally serve the same, or very similar food, so after how many years on this planet you can likely anticipate what will be on the table and how well it’s prepared to yourliking. Think ahead to what you’re looking forward to, that’s what you should focus your calories on as you seemingly missed it, those are the things you want to make a point of enjoying!

Hydrate: you’ll eat way more if you’re dehydrated, and, more importantly, being dehydrated isn’t good for you, and you’re likely also imbibing in alcoholic beverages. Drinking water will keep you from having a headache and a guilty step on the scale tomorrow.

Eat until you’re satisfied and loving your meal: choose not to feel gross and guilty, and maybe even sick. Yes, it’s tasty, so slow down and enjoy it, there will probably also be leftovers and there will definitely be a better appreciation of the meal if you don’t feel more stuffed than the turkey!

And thriving with abundant family time: it sounds so easy, and looks so good in holiday ads, but really we all know family get-togethers can have tension or over-imbibers or drama that just doesn’t go as smoothly as we all hope, or sometimes the activities being partaken in are just not your cup of tea. Try some of these approaches to take it from humdrum to fun:

1. Choose your ‘tude: you know who they are and what to expect of any given person. You can’t control them, you can only control how you approach the event/person/situations. Ahead of time choose a positive frame of mind for the event, and there’s any expected thing you know challenges you? You can choose an attitude of “shake it off”.

2. Suggest activity over TV or movies, you might start a new tradition of going for a big family walk after the meal, or a skate (very suited to hockey families), or even a Christmas dance off or limbo contest. Be imaginative, and sell the kids on it first (they’re solid sales people, read persistent, when they want to do something!)

3. Either you didn’t pick them, but you love them (your family), or you loved one of them and willingly took their whole family as part of the package (partner’s family). No family is perfect, in fact (actual fact!) about 80% are dysfunctional, yup it’s the norm, but it’s the devil you know and love, so own your family’s brand of holiday celebration and live up their wackiness to the fullest. Make the best of the holiday chaos, knowing it’s how they all deal with a busy time of year and do their best to show up and share of their time and love.

Round 2: fight… for the cheap stuff. Holiday survival guide the boxing day edition

You just spent a ton of money on stuff, and you probably just got a lot of stuff. Consider not buying more stuff just because it’s cheap. People get trampled in “rock bottom” prices and fight, like for real fight over a deal, this doesn’t seem worth it. So here’s my advice:

1 .Stay home. You have enough stuff, you don’t need more. Human needs are actually these: water, shelter/elemental protection, food, fire/energy. Note the lack of iphone 6 in that list. Note how you actually have way more than even what you need, be grateful for your abundance and keep from being trampled.

2. Your computer died 3 weeks ago and you’ve actually been waiting for Boxing Day sales. Stay away from Day 1 chaos if you can, and wait until about Day 3 when it gets less hectic, go first thing when the store opens. You may have to deal with ridiculous volumes of people but trampling risk, and getting punched in the face because you innocently picked up the last wireless keyboard to go with your new computer are not going to happen.

3. Better yet, find it the deal online and revert to point number one about staying home!

So for today: Happy Chanukah (not just for night 5, but for all 8 days)! And to longer days ahead on this fine Winter Solstice!

And for the coming week: A Very Merry Christmas & Bountiful Kwanza.

Season’s Greetings to all whether you have an official holiday at this time of year or not, enjoy paid days off, or really well paid days on, and get ready for some New Year Renewal!

Ready for some renewal? How about a “New You” Year? Be Healthy. Look Fantastic. Feel Awesome! Register Online for a Goal Setting Workshop August 29th at 7:30pm where you’ll learn how to create goals and an action plan that will drive you to success. Or Call Now 416.994.6267

Ready for BIG Change? Book a complimentary fitness, health, and wellness consultation, and we’ll recommend our best program to get you GUARANTEED RESULTS! Or Call Now 416.994.6267 to book.

Looking to better manage stress in the New Year? Do you think yoga is “not for me”? Try “I Don’t Bend That Way!” Yoga for Beginners & the Previously Intimidated. Starting in the New Year Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6:30pm PWYC for your first 8 weeks! Call Now 416.994.6267 or Register Online.

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited

Holiday Survival Guide: Surviving the Crowds

You left shopping to the last minute and now you’re dreading surviving the crowds. Well you know this disaster is inevitable if you wait too long, but there are some things you can do to make it less “ugh!”, or maybe even not “ugh!” at all!

Step 0.5: Do your workout before any shopping, wring any restless energy right out! And don’t leave the house starving, eat something healthy lest you be tempted by whatever’s up for offer to those in a hurry!

Step 1: Don’t even go out into a mall if you don’t have to; online shopping can be glorious. Remember there can be lots of extra packaging to ship certain items, so when it comes to those few items you can get all in one go, make that trip, but for the harder to acquire items this may be the best way to go about it.

Step 2: Accept that this crowd business is your predicament, and choose to make the best of this experience! You may want to make a list of a few reasons you’re lucky to be able to have this experience. Like that we live in abundance and that this annual dance of chaos wouldn’t be if we weren’t so lucky. It will help you more easily accept those who aren’t making the best of the experience and don’t have a “lucky to be here” list (I guarantee you you’ll be the only one with one of those!).

Step 3: Why are you going to the mall or big box? You’re not right?! Almost everything you need can be found at an independent retailer and you’ll be supporting someone locally. Your local big box will likely never know your name (or care when they inevitably take your info for the extended warranty), nor will they appreciate your patronage, or offer you an expert opinion on say quality so that you don’t buy this season’s lemon. They’ll probably be easier to get to just based on parking time alone, and there won’t be the same crowds to wade through and line up with. You might actually enjoy the experience, feel good about putting your dollar into the local economy, look forward to shopping there again, and love giving a gift you were sold based on passion for the product or service, instead of a someone’s whim as they half listen to what you need while serving 4 other people.

Step 4: You have to go to the mall or big box? Take a list, know your stores, get in, get out, be as courteous to those around you as you hope they’d be to you. Silly as it seems it makes this experience at least a hundred times better. Just be kind and smile, remember that someone selling you and 4 other people stuff is working their butt off and probably stressed the heck out. You’ll a) get the best service of the day from someone spread too thin, and b) you’ll feel good for not being miserable in a sea of it seeking more company. FACT: we can feel way better (or worse) just via use of body language that communicates happiness. Pair that with giving someone the gift of kindness and you’ll be strutting through that mall wondering why the heck everyone seems so out of sorts.

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, that advice is totally “cheesy”! I’ll be cheesy and happy any day. You are welcome to “cool misery”, “badass angst” and “suave belligerence” if you like, I’ll take my cheese extra gooey (and you’re always welcome to join me) because I’m rockin’ happy like a new pair of hot boots!

Don’t just survive this holiday season, create your awesomeness! Book a free consultation today. Call 416-994-6267 now or click to fill out an online form.

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Holistic Holiday Survival Guide: Surviving the Parties

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So not every party you’re expected to attend this season will have homemade tzatziki and hummus, freshly squeezed green and pink juices, and homemade dark chocolate sorbet like some anniversary parties you may or may not have recently attended (ahem!). No, there will be flaky pastry hors d’oeuvres filled with ham and cheese, heavily rum-laced egg nog, and all kinds of shortbread cookies. This sounds like a disaster to you and your newfound eating habits! Not to mention that you have to have silly make–like-you-care conversations with co-workers you otherwise manage to avoid most of the time because they’re full of other people’s business. These among other things like maybe parties, or ugly sweater dressup or carols aren’t your “thing”, but being there is somewhere you feel obligated to be.

So on feeling obligated: ask yourself how really obligated you are. Sometimes we put undue pressure on ourselves to say “yes” to more than we really have to. If you despise an event that much maybe you can find another way to contribute to that community without having to do/be somewhere you’d really prefer not to be.

I understand you may have to say yes to some commitments. For those I recommend re-framing your perspective. Example: a friend of mine had a birthday at a country and western bar, not my “thing”, but I chose to have a good time with it, make a fool of myself line dancing, and kind of disliked the music but had a blast overall, because I “had to be there” for his 30th. His new girlfriend at the time, chose not to have fun and generally intent on ensuring she ruined the evening as she was miserable and wanted company. You’ll get over the music, sweater, etc. and actually enjoy yourself. It is 100% a choice, whether you like that truth or not, when we take personal responsibility for our attitude and choices it changes our potential to be happy despite _______, in any moment. So choose to make the best and it will be!

The food is also about personal responsibility, but from another perspective. It’s about being responsible to yourself, and honouring yourself and your goals. Not to say that you should have none of those things, but choose wisely, according to your favourites and don’t arrive starving (you’ve heard all the logistics before when it comes to thanksgiving food tips).

From a mentality perspective though, do it because you care about your goals and yourself enough to make choices that serve you. This can be challenging, I am not denying this, but leaves you feeling really good in the end rather than temporarily comforted by food.

Come back to that little devil and angel on your shoulder and listen for the angel. S/he’ll speak more quietly and comes with more amount of “feeling” the right thing usually more so than hearing “do what serves you”, in fact I’m sure you’ll seldom, if ever, hear that. Whereas that little devil will speak loudly with all kinds of convoluted logic like “you’ve already ruined it, by having ______, so just have everything you want”, or “ the broccoli cheese puffs totally have a serving of veggies for every 2 puffs, you should eat 6 to get in your remaining veggies for the day!”, these are silly examples, but you know that loud, clear, easy-to-understand voice that basically finds excuses to “okay” what you know really doesn’t fly, and sometimes that “logic” is equally as silly as my examples when heard repeated back at a later time!

And so I leave you with this for surviving the parties: Honour yourself! Honour your need to say no when you don’t have to. Honour yourself with choosing a great attitude in a not-preferred situation to make the best of what is and must be, and honour yourself enough to choose what is an okay treat to truly enjoy and what’s going unnecessarily overboard (and in the end won’t really enjoy, and may even feel guilty about).

Don’t just survive create your awesomeness! Book a free consultation today. Call 416-994-6267 now or click to fill out an online form.

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Good Luck Taking It With You: Letting Go, Sharing & Charity

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As (I hope) you all know CREATE”S first anniversary party is coming up this week (Thursday, RSVP and put it in your calendar!), and what I may not have pointed out enough is that any donations/tips for the complimentary classes are going to Save the Children, a non-denominational charity that boasts an impressive percentage of funds actually going to the cause and not getting lost in admin), there will also be a raffle for said cause (YAY prizes!).

I’m bringing this up because at this time of year we often get very caught up in the consumer hubbub and are worried about, and in fact kind of trained to, mindlessly spend and give, but in places where the monetary cost is large and the gratitude often limited; ever got anyone something they asked for but in the “wrong” colour? And some didn’t hesitate to tell you, and ensure you felt kind of bad for not getting it “right” did they? What colour is “wrong” anyhow?!

What if we spent just $100 on a cause for those less fortunate? $100 you say!? Well yes, considering most of us will spend an average of $885 I figure you could somehow manage to spend “only” $785 on people who might never wear or use what you gave them, or perhaps “re-gift” it. In many cases we’re giving something to someone for whom we have no idea what to get, not because we genuinely have something for them that they’ll love, but because we feel obligated, and the enthusiasm they exhibit for receiving a fogless shaving mirror is highly evident in their forced smile and thanks. Obligation gifting: the best feeling of the season. NOT!

On the other hand, giving of your time or money during the season to those less fortunate is just about one of the most uplifting. In fact giving whether it be monetary, of time, of knowledge, of care, support, an old coat, or of love, is likely the most amazing feeling with the long-lasting mood-boosting effects.

And in mentioning the old coat, most of us have more than we need already, and we’re about to add to it. The effect of clutter is distracting to the mind, enough so that you are less likely to be productive in a cluttered space, or be able to focus on a task or series of them. Unclutter and make room for focus (on a fitness or lifestyle goal perhaps?). I know it can feel like you’re acting with reckless abandon when you give away a lot, like all that stuff you hung on to that you told yourself you’d use/wear last year, and still haven’t. Yes, it’s time.

Let’s also share this season; of course there are the kids that “need” the x-box and such, but most people if given a choice between a fogless shaving mirror and a gift you made, would choose a crocheted doily, bar of soap, or slice of pie knowing you thought of them over the alternative even if doilies aren’t their groove. Because it’s groovy when people share their true gifts. If you don’t know what yours is, it’s the thing you create that you don’t share because you’re embarrassed someone will judge it, or that you haven’t done in years that you love and aren’t sure why you stopped. Start doing it again, and tell that part of you that’s scared to pull up your bootstraps and be bold, you’ll never know what it could be if you don’t share it.

After all we came with nothing, we only have the money, time, knowledge, care support, talent, love, and the old coat while we’re here. Even if you love that coat more than you love life itself, good luck taking it with you!

Now RSVP to the party already!!! It’s going to be excellent, schedules are at there too, the deadline is noon Dec. 1st, DO NOT miss the awesomeness!

Need help with that fitness or lifestyle goal? Book a free consultation today! Call now 416-994-6267 or click to fill out an online form.

CREATE loves boldly sharing  awesomeness! Check us out on facebook, twitter, google + and instagram

And in case you’re not yet entirely convinced about giving, don’t take it from me, but take it from some of these famous and brilliant folks!

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Cooking Up a Side of Life’s Awesome Sauce: the recipe that yields excellence of all kinds!

I’m talking about gratitude. In last week’s article I mentioned briefly that gratitude is important. But it’s not kind of important, something you do when you think of it. It’s big time important! It helps yield success in all of your endeavours (fitness, health & wellness included!).

Gratitude brings you right to the here and now, to what you have right now and incites an emotion of well-being in this moment. Given that we spend a whole lot of time worrying about “stuff” that may or may not happen in the future, planning for a future, often oblivious to what’s happening right now, and being driven by fear, anger, sadness, and cynicism based on past experiences I’m sure you can imagine the power of gratitude on our psyche and therefore our success in getting through the day with a smile on our faces and a glimmer of hope in our eyes… yes I went with that cliché line, you chuckled, no?

Yup, there will always be stuff happening in your life that sucks in some realm or another, but be grateful for the good stuff and rather than focus on, lament, and avoid the “suckiness”, deal with it so that you can put it in the past and chalk it up to life experience.

This was one of the most life-changing activities I’ve done and brought greater joy to the everyday grind, which became “un-grindy”. It really began to change my perspective of the world, and millions, yeah, millions of people attest to the power of this exercise. It’s pretty uplifting and actually hard to remain depressed if you take inventory of the goodness. So here I challenge you:

Write down 3 things you are grateful for every day. Aim for the rest of 2014. Yes, it’s a gratitude journal. You’re only committing to a month and a week of this, you can stop it after that if you find it to be a waste, but give it a solid commitment! Actually give anything you do a solid commitment, in our instant gratification society most people don’t put in the commitment required to see the results they seek in most endeavours, that is to say most of us are quitters. Depressing! Don’t be one of them! I digress.

It can be detailed, but point form is ok to get you started. You can do it as the day goes along, or at a set point in the day. I like to do it just before picking up my book at bed time, but you might find you remember best at another time.

f you’re not quite ready to commit yet that’s ok, it does however get you off to a great start for the New Year (resolution-wise you’ll be in an excellent mindset), so figured I‘d challenge you to start ahead of the game. But if you want to see some little changes here and there, you can even try reframing for gratitude: When you find yourself complaining, out loud or in your head, interrupt it with something to be grateful about in that situation or moment. If it’s something you don’t realize until later, then reframe it later. Just do your best to find what’s wonderful in your life and you will find life wonderful… and then you can start to believe in your potential for awesomeness and success in all realms, but that’s another blog post altogether. Perhaps something for the New Year?

My Gratitude: I am so grateful and thankful for you. Yes, you: my clients, blog readers, and friends, everyone who reads this post. I love that I can share my knowledge, experience, and facts with you, help you to further create your awesomeness, and that you all take the time to read it. I’m also grateful and thankful for bunnies and excellent time with family. That’s my 3, now it’s your turn, and feel free to share in the comments!

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My sister and I at her very 80s birthday

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My father’s 65th birthday was also this weekend, and cosmic bowling happened!

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How could I not be grateful waking up to this little face every day?!

And don’t forget to join us for our first anniversary party. Click to RSVP Now!

For more on good food, fitness, yoga, healthy lifestyle and creating your awesomeness check us out on facebook, twitter, google + and instagram

© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

“Try the cookies, they’re healthy, they’re gluten-free”: why this and other too-good-to-be-true claims are too-good-to-be-true AND how you can still enjoy eating!

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When I hear stuff like “Try the cookies, they’re healthy, they’re gluten-free”, Public Enemy’s song “Don’t believe the hype” comes blaring on my internal song playback (you know the one, “stuck-in-your-head studios”).

So let’s start with gluten-free cookies and why they’re not healthy. Cookies are cookies. A lack of gluten (which is simply a protein that some people don’t digest well/at all) does not turn a cookie into health food, even if you bought it at the health food store. The same applies to dairy-free (soy or coconut-based) ice creams, and anything else that sounds to-good-to-be-true. Sometimes they are made with better quality ingredients, don’t get me wrong, but it’s still a dessert lacking in nutrients and adding sugar and fats. Unless you can’t eat an ingredient in your junk food (extreme pain and hospital visits aren’t worth it) then eat what you love when you’re indulging in something calorie rich, because it’s never going to be healthy and you’ll be left for want of those things you really love anyhow.

With all that in mind you could end up having the not-really-what-I-wanted gluten-free version of something, feel unsatisfied, and go ahead and eat the real thing anyhow. Then you’ve eaten crap twice rather than once! Moral of the story: Just enjoy the treat you want, forget trying to have a “healthy version”. Yup, I said that, but don’t stop reading now…

Low-fat and fat-free and sugar-free are also things to be wary of when they are things usually loaded with fat or sugar. It’s not even really the food that they’re calling it, like fat-free sour cream cannot actually be cream and not have fat. To produce something like that (taste, smell, texture of something it’s not) often takes a whole lot of engineering. You may have seen a meme that says something about these types of things being a chemical s@$# storm. It’s true. Food shouldn’t have to be engineered, so just enjoy the full-fat version. Yup, I said that too, keep reading.

You see for the most part diets don’t work, even if they’re based on sound principles. People fail themselves when they have to follow really bizarre rules that don’t work with their usual lifestyle and eating habits, and force them into eating in a completely different way, usually without any level of easing into it to keep it sustainable either.

So eat your junky gluten and dairy-laden food, and your high-fat or high-sugar food. But always eat real food; if ingredients in there are known to be REALLY bad for you (like high fructose corn syrup) OR you don’t understand it as an ingredient and wouldn’t/haven’t ever see it in anyone’s pantry or your own, OR if it can somehow “live” for years on a shelf (yes pickles and dried beans are ok, but cakes don’t work that way) do not eat it!

Now here’s the most important part. You may actually be willing to bake pies all day. If you are, this does not mean you can eat pies all day! Desserts and treats should be treated as desserts and treats. Our society is very used to instant gratification and it has carried over heavily into our diets especially as life has gotten busier, because treats and desserts are often convenient and individually packaged. Problem is, our systems haven’t evolved to run on fast food and junk, or even the desserts and high-fat food we love and can enjoy from time-to-time. And that is the key.

So with that keep in mind the treat factor; dessert shouldn’t happen after every dinner. Snacks are supposed to keep you energized until your next meal, they aren’t tube-watching entertainment. Find healthy snacks you can enjoy.

“But you said I could still enjoy eating!” Yes, I did. There are plenty of tasty healthy foods out there and part of the adventure and enjoyment is trying them, also when’s the last time you sat and really enjoyed your junk (or even your whole meal) and said “I’m eating ice cream/pudding/pork rinds, and it’s sooooo good!”? Or were you watching TV and barely noticing it as you scarfed it down?!

So, take the time when you’re having a treat to enjoy each and every bite and morsel. Savour your food, stop watching tv/surfing/being distracted while you eat, sit at a table, and if you can, share the experience with family or friends. That’s how to really enjoy eating!

For more on good food, fitness, yoga, healthy lifestyle and creating your awesomeness check us out on facebook, twitter, google + and instagram

© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness Inc. with appropriate and specific direction to original content.