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What is Intermittent Fasting and the What Are the Benefits?

Fasting has been a norm for humans for centuries. Throughout history, people did not eat 3 meals a day at set hours, plus snacks in between. Today, our eating habits are very different. We no longer have a need to hunt for food, it is readily available and we can pretty much eat any time we like. More recently, intermittent fasting has become a popular topic in health and wellness conversations (especially in the keto realm), and has shown to have many benefits.

Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting

What Is Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is where you cycle in and out of periods of eating and not eating.

Although people do experience weight loss with intermittent fasting, it is not so much a diet plan but more of a lifestyle choice to take advantage of some incredible health benefits, some of which are listed in the section below.

Types of Intermittent Fasting

  • 5:2 – eat normally five days a week, and then the other two days you are fasting, although you do still eat between 500 and 600 calories per day.
  • Eat-stop-eat – You restrict all food for 24 hours, once or twice a week.
  • 16/8 (most popular) – You eat all of your daily meals within typically 8 hours, and then you fast for the remaining 16 hours. You can do this every day, or just a few times a week. It can be any 8 hours you choose – a typical schedule could be 11am-7pm, or 12pm-8pm.
  • Keto Coffee Intermittent Fasting – resembles the 16/8 method, but with one difference: you drink a cup of keto coffee in the morning. It’s a clever hack to keep your hunger at bay while still staying in the fasting state.

Intermittent Fasting Made Easy

5 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

  • Helps with Weight Loss and Reduce Belly Fat
    • When you are in the fasting state for an extended period of time, your body goes into a ketogenic fat burning state, where it burns your body’s fat for fuel instead of the food you would otherwise eat.
  • Reduces Inflammation
    • Inflammation is at the root of many health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Fasting for prolonged periods, coupled with drinking lots of water and proper hydration, can help eliminate inflammation in the body.
  • Boosts Brain Function
    • What is good for the body is often good for the brain as well. Intermittent fasting improves various metabolic features known to be important for brain health.
      IF may improve mental acuity and concentration. According to Johns Hopkins Health Review, IF can improve connections in the brain’s hippocampus and also protect against amyloid plaques, which are found in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Reduces Insulin Resistance and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
    • Case studies have shown that intermittent fasting has helped people with type 2 diabetes to limit their insulin intake, dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improve insulin sensitivity, as well as significantly lower blood pressure.
  • Simplifies Life and Saves Money
    • When you eliminate the number of meals you eat in a day or week, you will find that meal prep becomes much easier, YAY! During eating windows, you can simply eat your regular food and then drink water, tea, coffee, or bone broth while fasting. Easy, right?! This saves you both time and money on food.

How to Survive Your Fasting Hours

There are a few tips and tricks I can give you to survive your intermittent fasting hours. I have learned these over time, as I went, because my stomach normally wakes up before my brain does and I normally need to eat as soon as I wake up.

These tips will help you ease into intermittent fasting, if you are just getting started:

  1. You can drink tea and COFFEE!! Just make sure you are drinking either black coffee or keto/bulletproof coffee.
  2. Drink LOTS of water. This will help you feel full and will help keep your hunger at bay. You can add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to it as well.
  3. You can drink bone broth. It contains numerous minerals and vitamins and is quite ‘filling’ in terms of reducing hunger pangs. The other benefit is that you can add a good amount of sea salt to it, which will help you stay hydrated.
  4. Hunger will often increase into the second day. After that, it gradually decreases – many report a complete loss of hunger by day 3-4.
  5. Stay busy to keep your mind off of being hungry and the countdown to your eating window.
  6. IMPORTANT: Don’t binge after fasting! This will only counter the benefits and will make the next day more difficult.
I hope this post been helpful to you. If you are interested in joining a super fun informative group filled with challenges, prizes and more, please shoot me a message

A Monumental Day In My Business

Today is a monumental day in my business.

First, let me tell you how absolutely amazing our company is that they paid us 3 days early today! Whooop!!!

Second, and this is the monumental part, when I saw my paycheque land in my account a few minutes ago, I got curious and had the idea to look at my old pay stubs from my last full time office job, and here’s what I found —> I have officially EXCEEDED my previous job’s monthly income by $47!!!

So here’s the thing.

When I started with this business, all I wanted was to make $500 per month to help with our household bills while Adam and I built up our coaching business, The Cycling Co. That $500 was going to help relieve some financial stress and allow us to still have a bit of fun and go on date nights, as new business owners.

When I hit my goal of $500 after 3 months, my “Why” changed.

You see, we had gotten married about 9 months earlier, and we never went on a proper honeymoon. So I set my new goal to earn $2000/month with my online business, so that we could save some money to take the trip of our dreams for our honeymoon.

7 months later I hit that goal.

(We are planning our honeymoon later this year!)

The Next Goal

The next goal I set for myself (because why stop now) was to earn enough m

oney with my online business to replace my previous full time employment income.

You see, when I left my last office job, I swore that I would find a way to never have to work in that environment again. I knew that there were other ways to earn an income that did not require me to commute in traffic to and from an office everyday, sit in a stuffy windowless cubicle, in an office where I was the only woman, where although I liked the work, I felt I was not treated as an equal in the workplace.

I would NEVER go back to that environment. (There is more to this story, but I will leave that for another time.)

Because TODAY is a MONUMENTAL DAY!

Today (5 months later) it happened! Today my monthly income from my online business has exceeded the full time monthly income from my last office job!

And THAT is a reason to CELEBRATE!!!!!

#celebrationfriday #livealifeyoulove #whynotyou

I used to dread Mondays…

Mariska on MondaysI used to dread Mondays… 

I used to start thinking about my work week on Sunday afternoons. My entire Monday evenings would be spent stressing out about how much I REALLY did’t want to go into the office the next morning to spend my whole week in a windowless cubicle, in a completely male environment with far too much chauvinistic testosterone flying around. I would become a grumpy, stressy, mess and I probably was not that pleasant to be around…

All I could dream about was how I wanted to, one day, work from home (or from anywhere for that matter), so I could hang out with my dog, Roxie, all day and wouldn’t have to feel guilty about leaving her home alone for nearly 10 hours a day. (Poor beastie!) 

I used to sit in my Vancouver basement suite and dream up ideas on how I would make my income from wherever I wanted, and I even started my own little company at one point, found a few clients, and was slowly working toward being able to leave my cubicle job.

It was HARD!! And eventually I just gave up. 

THEN I saw this girl on Facebook who was doing exactly what I always wanted to do. She had it all! She had the freedom to work from home while raising her baby, and she had the financial freedom to buy her dream home/hobby farm with her earnings! She was doing it!!

So I started to follow her. At first I would silently stalk her posts. Then, as I got to know her online self a bit better, I started to interact with her posts a little bit, and one day I got up the courage to send her a message. 

Let me tell you something: That was the BEST thing I’ve ever done for myself!

This girl inspired me to dream bigger and to believe more in myself and my ability to be, do and have whatever I can dream!

I joined her team and haven’t looked back!

Mondays Look Different Now

I am now living my dream, spending my Mondays and everyday working from home, with my 2 dogs and my husband at my side. I start my days with a workout, make my own hours and can take my work with me wherever I go, so my income isn’t impacted if I want to take a vacation or spend a week at the beach. I no longer need to ask for time off. I no longer work in a windowless cubicle. And I am now surrounded by an incredibly inspiring team of people who motivate me everyday to be a better version of me!

I used to be stuck in a rut of thinking that life had to be about the morning commute and the 9 to 5. I thought that the location independent lifestyle was something only OTHER people could do. I thought I just wasn’t good enough to deserve it for myself.

Boy was I wrong!

All it took was the courage to send one message and it totally changed my life!

What does YOUR Monday look like? And what would you like it to look like? What will it take for you to send that one message that could completely change your life? Are you ready? I’m here for you. 

#thiscouldbeyou #livealifeyoulove 

Income Disclosure 2016

Recipe: Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

I’m always on the lookout for easy, healthy and delicious meals to add to my rotation and in the winter months that often involves my crockpot!

This was my first try with this cilantro chicken recipe, and it turned out awesome!

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans - Cooked!

Recipe Details:

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Crockpot Cooking Time: 6-8 hours on Low OR 5-6 hours on High
Serving Size: 1 cup
Serves 6-8

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans - Ingredients

Shopping List / Ingredients: 

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, thighs or breast
    (I find that chicken thighs don’t dry out as much as the breast in the slow cooker)
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1, 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Siracha sauce (optional, if you like it spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

Directions: 

To eat it today: Combine all ingredients except cilantro in the slow cooker and cook it on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.

To prepare for the freezer:  Chop up all the ingredients (except cilantro) and place them into a ziploc bag and freeze it for an easy meal option at a later date.

When you’re ready to cook it, take it out of the freezer, run warm water over the bag to separate it from the frozen food, and place frozen ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans

How to Serve Cilantro Lime Chicken:  

Stir in 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro before serving.

Add to tacos, burritos, taco salad, nachos, or make burrito bowls with it. Or just add it to your meals as a side dish. It’s very flexible.

In the photo below I’ve made huevos rancheros with my crockpot cilantro lime chicken for breakfast – DELICIOUS!

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans - Huevos Rancheros

Do you have a crockpot recipe to share? Post it in the comments below!

Recipe: Apple Butternut Squash Soup

I’m a HUGE soup lover, so I thought I would give this delicious looking apple butternut squash soup a try with the surplus of apples I picked from my parents’ trees. I had a fairly small butternut squash to work with, so I cut the recipe in half – an average squash should be fine with the full ingredient amounts.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Total Time: 1 hr.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 50 min.
Equipment: Blender, large saucepan
Yield: 8 servings

Shopping List:

  • 4 lbs. butternut squash
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 medium apples, peeled and chopped
    (Tip: Use the apples of your choice, a more sour apple will help reduce sweetness of the soup.)
  • 4 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
  • 1 thin slice fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped
    (Tip: I keep my ginger in the freezer, it helps it last longer and makes it super easy to cut into very thin slices.)
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
    (Tip: if you have lactose intolerance, use almond milk instead.)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • Optional: Cilantro to garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
    Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - Squash cut in half
  3. Cover squash halves with foil and place them on a baking pan cut sides up. Bake until tender (about 45-50 minutes). Set aside.
    Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - foiled butternut squash
  4. While your squash is in the oven, add oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Add chopped onion; cook, stirring frequently until tender (maybe 3-4 minutes).
  6. Add apples, broth, ginger, and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until apples are tender (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat.
  7. Pour the apple mixture into the blender (in batches, if necessary). Blend until smooth. Return apple mixture to saucepan.
    Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - Blended apple mixture
  8. Take the squash out of the oven and scoop the flesh out into the blender, add milk (or almond milk in my case) and blend until smooth.
    Apple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - baked squashApple Butternut Squash Soup Recipe - Blended squash
  9. Add blended squash to the apple mixture in the saucepan and add salt, and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil over low heat, stirring frequently.
  10. Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with fresh apple chunks and cilantro.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup

If you liked this apple butternut squash soup recipe, share the love with a pin, a like, a pic or a comment below!

Recipe: The Best Healthy Apple Crisp

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about this apple crisp recipe when I first read about it – mostly because there is no butter or no sugar in it. But I thought, “Hey! I have a TON of apples from my parents trees, so I may as well give it a shot.” Well let me tell you, I am pleasantly surprised by what I pulled out of the oven last night! So here, as promised, is the recipe. (Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for a bonus Shakeology recipe.)

Apple Crisp - 21 Day Fix Approved

Apple Crisp (21 Day Fix Approved)

Recipe Details:

Prep Time: 28 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes (approx.)
Serving Size: 1 cup

Shopping List: 

  • Your favourite apples (enough to make 4 cups, peeled and sliced)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 finely chopped (or crushed up) pecans and/or walnuts

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  2. Peel and slice up 4 cups of apples.
    (I had a leftover peach that needed to be used up, so those are the orange bits you see in the photo below.)
  3. In a medium baking dish; combine the apples with 2 tbsp maple syrup and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and mix well.
    Apple Crisp Recipe - 21 Day Fix Approved
  4. In a bowl, combine oats, nuts, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and mix well.Apple Crisp Recipe - 21 Day Fix Approved
  5. Top the apple mixture with the oat mixture in the baking dish.
    Apple Crisp Recipe - 21 Day Fix Approved
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the apples are soft.
  7. Clean up. There’s not a whole lot of mess…

Cleanup from apple crisp recipe

Enjoy your fresh, delicious, 21 Day Fix approved apple crisp with a cup of tea or coffee! (In the photo: Earl Grey de la Creme black tea from Steeped Tea With Jenn)

Apple Crisp with Earl Grey del la Creme Tea

Bonus Vanilla Shake Recipe

Apple Pie Shakeology RecipeThis morning, as I was making my fiancé’s vanilla shake, I wondered how good it might be with some of the apple crisp blended into it.

Um, Hello Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream!

Apple Pie Shakeology Recipe:

Blend together:

  • 1/2 cup apple crisp
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Shake Powder
  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • Ice (optional)

Did you like this recipe? Share the love with a pin, a like, a pic or a comment below!

This Opportunity Could Make Your Dreams Come True!

If you’ve been following my blog and social media for a while, you know that financial freedom, time freedom and location independence have always been important to me. These are things that I have dreamed about for quite a while.

For years I have been working a day job, and taking on side projects with hopes that “one day” the side jobs would out-weigh the daily grind. But, due to the time commitment of the day job, that dream always stayed a dream. I never found the right formula and support system to make it happen.

Are You a Dreamer?

Are You a Dreamer?

Are you a daydreamer? Do you ever sit at your desk job, thinking about the other things you could be doing? Thinking where you might be if you were location independent with financial freedom? What you would be doing? Who you would be doing it with? Which passion projects you would be working on?

  • Close your eyes.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Think about what that day dream looks like.
  • Visualize it.
  • Got it?
  • Write it down.
  • Read it to yourself everyday.

What would you say if I told you that you could HAVE that dream?

What would you do if you had the tools and the means to get there?

Would you give it a shot?

What if I told you your dream could be a reality?

Becoming my own boss has given me the freedom to work on my own terms, set my own hours and do something I’m passionate about, all from any location I choose! Whether I’m  at home, at the beach in Parksville with my family, skiing in Whistler, or somewhere more exotic like Europe or Costa Rica, as long as I have an internet connection I can get my work done! My online business has taken my dreams out of my head and into my life!

If this inspires you and you’re ready to take your dreams into your own hands, try something new, be a part of a supportive community of like-minded entrepreneurs, and dream a little bigger, drop me a Facebook message, comment below or shoot me an email for more info.

Creating My Own Momentum

[This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7]

I’ve been working at my Beachbody coaching business for a little over two months now. I’m still learning the ropes and figuring out where my momentum is going to come from, but there a couple of things that I know will make a big difference by committing 45-60 minutes every day for the next 30 days. I’m taking Natalie’s advice to take this on for 30 days as a personal challenge!

This time commitment will be shared by two tasks:

Daily Beachbody Workouts

In order for people to truly understand what I do is and the true benefits of it, they need to see the program in action. Over the past couple of weeks, I have substituted other outdoor activities (hiking, running, etc.) for my daily workouts at least 2 or 3 times a week. My commitment is to do a Beachbody workout every single day for the next 30 days. There are so many options, from yoga to bootcamp to extra ab workouts – I have no excuse to not get a workout in everyday.

Daily Personal Development

think-and-grow-rich-napoleon-hillPersonal development plays such a great part in transformation and growth. It is something that Beachbody encourages over and above all else. Always be learning. Always be developing yourself.

I have read bits and pieces from Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich,” and I have heard great reviews about this book, but I have never read it cover to cover. This will be the first personal development book I tackle and will read from start to finish.

The Compound Effect is another book I’ve heard is worth checking out. If you know of any inspiring books that I should add to my list, I would love your recommendations in the comments below.

There are Still a Few Days Left to Join the Blog Challenge!

I have found this 10 Day Blog Challenge to be a fantastic exercise to help me get back into a habit of writing everyday, as well as to explore where my personal road blocks are.

Do you have road blocks of your own that are stopping you from living your dream life? There’s still time to join this Blog Challenge! *Click* the image below to join!

Join Natalie Sisson's 10 Day Blog Challenge

 

I Am the Master of My Own Success

[This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5]

I’m loving this 10 Day Blog Challenge that Natalie Sisson, the Suitcase Entrepreneur is hosting! (If you want to build a lifestyle business and you aren’t following her, YOU SHOULD BE!) In the past 5 days she has made me think (and write) about things that I would not have otherwise picked out as things that would bring me success and freedom in life and business. So far we have covered and explored:

And today’s assignment is to think about how to set myself up for success.

What does SUCCESS look like?

STEP 1: Create a Productive Workspace

Today, after watching Natalie’s video, I walked into my office to my desk covered in papers, receipts, bills, and all kinds of other things that have been left there in a “dump it and run” fashion. I have recently worked from my back deck, my couch, my kitchen bar stools or even my bed, and I haven’t given my actual designated workspace any love or respect.

So, after listening to Natalie’s very clever advice, I dove into the office and organized the space. I paid and filed the bills, filed my financial statements and receipts for the 3 businesses we are running from our home, and completely uncluttered mySetting Myself Up For Success space so that is became liveable, and more importantly, WORKABLE!

This is what is looks like now…

Setting Myself Up For Success - My Workspace

STEP 2: Make a List

I find I work far better when I work from a hand-written to-do list. When I’m working, I always keep a notepad within arm’s reach to write down all the things I need to do, as well as ideas as they come to me. The list tends to be long and gets overwhelming at times. My plan to make this more manageable is to prioritize this list and then break it down into a list of 3-5 tasks to accomplish per day. It always feels great to cross things off the list.

STEP 3: Choose a Production Time Period

My days tend to be a bit unpredictable, as I like to allow myself the freedom to take a longer do walk when the weather is nice, or to run out for coffee with a friend if the invite pops up, or to help a friend move (this has happened twice with two different friends this week), so my production hours will be different each day, depending on the events of the day. I do, however, ensure that I get at LEAST 4  good production hours in each day.

During those production hours, I find that I work best in 20-minute increments (I never realized that this was a “thing,” until Natalie Sisson identified this as the Pomodoro Technique). I have watched the clock and have noticed that it’s pretty consistent that I lose focus at the 20-25 minute mark. So, I schedule my work time in those increments to chip away at the to-do list mentioned above, beginning with the highest priorities to get them done and dusted first.

After each 20-25 minute increment is done, I get up, walk around, hugs my beasts, refresh my glass of water or tea, and then go back for another session.

STEP 4: Celebrate Successes!

Wits-End-Retreat-wine & pastriesI strongly believe that celebrating successes, even the small ones, is very important to keep people motivated. So, when a series of tasks leads to the completion of a larger scale project, it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate not only the goal itself, but also the milestones that get you to the goal.

This acknowledgement could be as simple as a glass of wine or a treat at the end of the day, or social media post to celebrate an accomplishment, or even just telling my partner about it and my excitement around it.

Celebrating success is so important for me to stay motivated, so I make sure this is something I always incorporate into my accomplishments.

What are some of the methods YOU use to be your most productive? (share in the comments below)

 

There’s Still Time to Join the Blog Challenge!

If you enjoyed this post and you’re interested in joining in on the 10 Day Blog Challenge to explore your own freedom in business, there’s still time! You can join right up until the last day of the challenge! *Click* the image below to join!

Join Natalie Sisson's 10 Day Blog Challenge

Identifying My Inner Superpowers

[This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 4]

Today’s assignment for the 10 Day Blog Challenge is to talk about my superpowers. As I’ve discovered while thinking about this throughout the day, I’ve got quite a few things that I’m good at that could fit into this category, but I’m going to choose just a few.

Self Proclaimed Superpowers.

From the historical content of this blog, I’m going to go with:

I’m Good At PhotographyMariska, the Photographer

It’s no secret, I LOVE taking pictures. And I think I’m pretty good at it too! Over the past 8 years I’ve traveled more than I ever did in my previous life, always with a camera in hand. I just love experiencing different scenes and cultures and people and capturing them in pixels. Sports and event photography tie for a close second place for favorite photography subjects.

I Provide Good Tips & Tricks

Whether it’s travel tips, how to make a drink, how to use a sarong, or how to naturally cure a headache, I’ve got tips for you! I really like writing these types of posts, and some have become quite popular and well-visited on my blog.

I’m Good At Motivating Health and Wellness

This is a fairly new superpower I’ve discovered over the last couple of months, since beginning my Beachbody business. I love sharing my health and fitness journey so as to help others make healthier choices for their own ongoing wellness as well. It’s so inspiring to see others’ success come out of a spark I lit for them. Amazing!

mariska-richters-health-and-wellness-coach

Superpowers Identified By Others

It’s a funny thing to ask people what they think you’re good at. Some of the responses I got were unexpected and surprising. Things I would never claim to be good at, but apparently other people think that I am! I really enjoyed this part of the exercise!

Some of the things other people said I’m good at:

  • Organizing – both physical spaces and business related things
  • Creating websites
  • Social media
  • I’m solution driven and come up with creative ways to solve problems
  • My love for dogs came up as a superpower – this made me happy!
  • I have a huge heart – although, this came from my fiance, so there may be some bias there…
  • Organizing events for groups
  • Stress-free traveling
  • Trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone
  • Self- motivated

If you know me and you have something to add to this list, I would be so appreciative if you would leave a comment below.

It’s not often that people express these things unsolicited, so I’m soliciting! 😉 I would be very interested to learn what you think!

There’s Still Time to Join the Blog Challenge!

If you’re interested in joining the 10 Day Blog Challenge, there’s still time! You can join right up until the last day of the challenge! *Click* the image below to join!

Join Natalie Sisson's 10 Day Blog Challenge