"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone." - Audrey Hepburn
If you asked me three years ago what it meant to be beautiful, I'd say you'd have to be this super sexy woman who was skinny and had a perfect beach body with long flowing hair and big boobs. I would have said, screw the Dove commercials. If you're not fit and pretty you aren't considered beautiful.
The new me would have wanted to put the mind of my old self in the palm of my hand and throw it off the side of a ship.
Are you kidding me?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BEAUTIFUL?!
To be beautiful, you as a person must be able to stand in front of the mirror and say, wow. I'm amazing.
You need to be selfish.
You need to be cocky.
You need to be in love with yourself.
We hear it too many times - one must love themselves before they love anyone else. Confidence that comes from within that can mirror what you are carrying on the outside, is pure.
What is PERFECTION?
You mean, what is bullshit?
How on earth are we supposed to live a life under the impression that the 'perfect' job aligns with the 'perfect' partner with the 'perfect' lifestyle. How?
Not saying that the word itself is bogus. Rather let's take a step back and rephrase the three piece system of the balanced life: The idea that your work, relationship and lifestyle graciously hold one another together to create a BALANCED life - for YOU.
Sometimes it can take years before we can find this balance. Before we get out of debt, before we find love, before we start our lives... years. We need to do things on our own (i.e. without someone holding your hand in the process) to balance the three part scale in order to see it.
In amongst this perfection is a mask that we fail, most of the time, to see the beauty that lies within.
Have you ever stood in front of the mirror and looked at yourself, like really looked at yourself?
Have you ever looked at your facial expressions?
Have you ever turned around, naked, and looked at your rear reflection with another mirror and checked out the shape of your rear?
Have you ever looked at yourself dead in the face and said "I love me"?
I never used to.
I started a daily trend. We all know how we look in the morning... At least I know how I do. So I would stand in front of that mirror and compliment myself.
I'm Richelle and I love my hair. I love my freckles. I love my cool dimples on my face. I think my little nose is neat. My boobs are so cute and small they just sit so nice on my chest. I like my little hands. I think the tattoo of my anchor on my foot is badass. I love that my eyes look like icy oceans. I love that little freckle below my lip. I think my butt is awesome because I built it myself.
I could go on and on.
I carried this trend on until I started to believe that beauty does come from within. It's a hard exercise... But the best thing about it was that I didn't have to do a single thing to my body to make me believe that I was beautiful. I am just as much Richelle as I was 5 years ago. 10 years ago. 20 years ago. I'll always be who I am and I love ME FOR ME.
I challenge everyone to do the same thing. Try it on... Try complimenting yourself. Check yourself out in the glass windows of buildings as you walk by. Give yourself a pat on the back for being a HUMAN. You were given life, you can do things.
Try it on.
The biggest change that I saw within myself once I was able to love myself wholly, was that I was a lot more willing to open up to others to let them see the real side of me. I was able to be myself. My trust issues? Vamonos. What is the point of holding in resentment towards a superficial idea that something might happen? Let it go, and let life take you where it needs to. We get so caught up in past memories that we prevent ourselves from making new ones...
Trust the love of yourself to guide you through the obstacles of life.
Trust that these obstacles are just a way of learning the greatest lessons.
Most importantly, let yourself be open and RAW to what life will bring you. The moment we let our hearts run wild, is the moment we truly experience the beauty of life.
Mug cake supreme
We all get those before bed cravings that set our sweet tooth through the roof. It's like, I could eat 47 cookies right now or I could be good and just go to bed hungry.
Neither of those sound healthy to me. If you're hungry, you're hungry (as long as you aren't mistaking hunger for thirst... then you're golden pony boy).
is that chocolate sauce lady?
You bet your buttons. This is a loaded cake that I came up with the other night when I was under my macros and was literally starving. Also how I know my metabolism is on fire (thanks Coach). So here's what I did...
You really don't need much at all, in fact you probably have all of these ingredients in your cupboard right now.
THE SAUCE (I use this same chocolate sauce for basically everything)
The beauty of this little mixture is that you can essentially use any flavour of protein powder, although different brands may alter the way the cake cooks. I personally prefer Magnum for my baking because it's LACTOSE and GLUTEN free. Yes it still contains dairy, but processed the same way that lactose-free yogurt is. So it's super easy on your stomach! Since my diet is completely gluten-free, I personally have to be so careful with protein powders. They may seem harmless, but a lot of them have hidden ingredients in them, which do contain wheat. Do your research, and find what is best for you!
A new chapter
I'd be lying if I said I knew 100% that I was going to stay here for good once the month was up. I'd also be lying if I said I didn't know if the big city was going to be for me once I finally left the small town that I was trapped in for so many years.
I was completely oblivious to what my life was about to become.
small town girl moves to a bigger small town
I grew up in Mission, British Columbia, a small town located between Maple Ridge and Abbotsford. I lived in a little cul de sac that backed onto a lush ravine that I spent all of my childhood days in, getting dirty, making new scars and of course, breaking bones from getting too wild in the trees. We had a great home and amazing neighbours and countless memories shared blasting Spice Girls on my parent's stereo system from the 80s. You know... The ones that were the size of small humans made of wood? Those ones.
When I was 11, my parents decided to pack up the memories made in my childhood home and start a new life in the Okanagan. It was a bigger city than I was used to, but unlike Mission, Kelowna does not have many surrounding cities to give it the 'big city' vibe - rather, Kelowna is its own little island in the middle of BC's desert.
I spent most of my life in Kelowna, learning my hardest lessons that helped me become the person that I am today. I overcame hardships such as braces (seriously so devastating, who wants to kiss a girl with braces? Oh that's right, NO ONE), the loss of friendships, drug addiction and failure. Each lesson brought me motivation to do better, as with anything in life.
The last few years of my life have been consumed by my love for fitness and health. As I have spoken about in the past, I grew up dancing. That was my only sport... I didn't do anything else. Competitive Irish dancing in particular is what developed my eagerness to win at everything I put my mind to, and even if I did fail, I knew what I was going to do differently when I did it again.
I'm not stubborn at all.
When I retired from dance, I found love for things like dumbbells, peanut butter and L-Carnitine (L-what-a-teen? Keep your shirt on there friendship, it's the make-me-better supplement). It wasn't until I did my first fitness competition that I really got addicted, with a few love/hate obstacles in between.
Back to the story... This past October, another partner and myself were presented the opportunity to do a store opening for work down in Vancouver. For the past year or so, I have been in this weird flip-flop stage of my life where this burning desire to move away from Kelowna was on the back burner in my mind. I knew I was going to leave at some point, given that I did not have anything in that city to tie me down. I just didn't know if or when it was going to happen.
Bigger small town girl moves to the big city
Not thinking twice, I dropped my life in Kelowna, packed 2 bags of clothes and drove down to the coast not knowing a single thing about the big city other than what street I was working on. My scheduled time down here was only supposed to be one month, which is all that I had planned for. After one week of living here, I knew I didn't want to go back to Kelowna, in fact, the thought of it gave me so much anxiety that I couldn't sleep at night.
What am I supposed to do... I thought to myself. I was so torn. I was ready to go back to Kelowna and do what I had to do before I eventually made the move down here, but I didn't have a clue whether or not that was going to be a reality. There was a lot more risk leaving my life down here for what I had already back at home. Everything was better. I fell in LOVE with my life. It wasn't just my job, it wasn't just the big city. There are so many reasons why my life became better just by moving away from Kelowna. I got clarity in my personal life, my lifestyle became healthier, I get to see my family more than twice a year, and there are so many people who have come into my life who have captured my heart and making me realize that yes, it is completely possible to start a life in a new city.
It's the most selfish thing I've ever done, some may even consider it flighty. At the end of the day however, my sanity was more important than the foundation I was trying to keep alive back in Kelowna. So was I really being flighty, or was I finally checking out my wing span?
So here we are, officially one month spent down in this city but as far as I'm concerned, this is just chapter one of this amazing new adventure. Time for the Kelowna girl to convert to a Vancouverite. I'm home.
Fresh out of the brain box
Soooo... this happened
It's Tuesday, November 8th. Surprisingly, it's a stunning day here in Vancouver as I glance out my window watching the Sky Train whip by. I find myself calm and humbled today... I threw on some old school Snow Patrol to get this post going with a little fire. Being that I don't have to work until later this afternoon, I had the morning to myself and to let my busy brain do its thing.
With the Popeyes Fall Classic coming up, I got into the spirit of treat making this morning, as I have a few teammates competing in the show this Saturday.
I know for a fact that my protein ball recipe is mastered. No... I still won't share my secret. Sorry folks. So taking it to the next level, I thought, how hard can it be to make sugar-free chocolate? Even further, sugar-free chocolate truffles?
The answer is: Not hard, but you need to be very patient and get ready for a tummy ache from all the taste-testing hehe.
This is also why I am back in bed digesting before I go to the gym to hit some cardio and upper-body this afternoon before I start my shift. #fitgoals.
PROTEIN ALMOND BUTTER TRUFFLES
Time to get whitegirlWHEYsted. Makes 10 truffles.
For the chocolate outer layer:
For the protein almond butter fluff:
THE WORKOUT - NO TIME WHEY-STED
Get ready to super-speed your baking... It's like cardio with supersets. Using a silicone mold with shapes of your choice (I chose flowers), pour 1 tsp of chocolate mix in each shape. Using a small baking brush, brush the chocolate mixture up onto the sides of the mold to create the outer layer of the chocolate. Set in freezer for 3 minutes. While it's setting, make your protein almond butter filling. Take mold out of freezer, refresh your chocolate mixture with a good stir, and brush the edges with more chocolate sauce mixture. Set back in freezer for another 2 minutes, and repeat this step one more time. The reason why you want to do it a few times is to make sure the outer shell is hard enough to hold the middle. The homemade chocolate sauce is more fragile than traditional chocolate being that it does not use any additional fillers, and that everything is a natural product. So we must treat it with care!
Using the protein almond butter fluff that you made, roll a small ball (about 1/2 tsp worth) and press into each chocolate mold. You'll probably have leftovers (guilt free - add to lactose-free greek yogurt for homemade proyo as an idea).
Refresh that chocolate sauce again and carefully top off each little chocolate with enough chocolate sauce to cover the filling I used a teaspoon to ensure that equal amounts were distributed. Set back into the freezer for about 5-10 minutes to make sure they're super hard. Remove and crack each chocolate out of the mold, and set onto a plate to get ready for the protein almond butter SAUCE that is about to go on top.
For the protein almond butter drizzle:
Can't wait for my #teamRAMFIT to try these bad boys!
That's it, that's all friends. Time for this girl to get her butt outside and head to the gym! Have a beautiful Tuesday xo.
It's a cloudy day in Vancouver as I begin this post (shocking). I woke up this morning with my brain radiating with curiosity; it was time to take it to the kitchen.
I wanted to create something that warms the belly but also provides sustainable energy throughout the day, while feeding the fall-ish vibe we have been seeing around lately. I'm a little behind the pumpkin spice game, simply because I don't love pumpkins. I had a couple apples kicking around in the fridge so I sliced them up, got them soaking and used my brainpower to create something truly spectacular.
PrOATein Apple Crumble
Creamy. Dreamy. No added sugar. High in protein. Oh, and they're gluten-free, duh.
I started these little guys off by thinly slicing two Granny Smith apples and soaking them in warm water for two hours. I went out for a run in the mean time, along the False Creek Seawall. Breathing in the ocean air with an absolutely killer view took my breath away this morning.
In a bowl, I combined 1 cup of gluten-free oats, 1 tsp of sea salt, 1 scoop of vanilla isolate protein and 1 tbsp of stevia. In a separate bowl, I mixed together 1/2 cup of cashew butter, 1 tbsp of coconut oil and 1 tsp of stevia, melted in the microwave for about 20 seconds. I then poured the gooey mixture over the oats and combined well, and spread it evenly in a coconut oil smeared baking dish and topped it off with the sliced apples.
Threw it in the oven at 400F, for about 40-45 minutes until I saw that the edges of the oats were starting to brown. Once it has cooled, you can scoop it out and enjoy! Top it off with your favourite dairy-free frozen treat. My go-to is the CocoWhip made my So Delicious... It's like cool whip but 10x better for you. Enjoy friends!
Providing you with the knowledge that I encounter on a daily basis through my fitness lifestyle.