Six weeks later... I've made it! I've completed
Week # 6 of the
Canadian Living 6-Week Slim Down. So tell me, how did you do? How would you
rate your 6-Week Slim Down experience?A) I've achieved my goals - and I'm on top of the world!
B) I've made some gains- (well, losses) and I'm doing fine.
C) I'm on the verge - I've made one or two small achievements but I’m on my way – it just took a bit longer)
D) Oops, trying again. - TTiming wasn’t right for me but good plan. Me? I think I'm a "B" - and I'm happy with that. [caption id="attachment_2393" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Can you feel the benefits of six weeks of healthier living? You bet!"]
I feel like I'm really beginning to make progress. I’m not there yet, but I’ve made some significant gains and I’m much more aware of the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of my past approach to fitness and nutrition.
My overall weight-loss: 4.8 lbs (though I really wanted to lose 10 lbs). But it’s nothing too sneeze at.
A few things I've learned: • Eat s
maller portions and more frequently during the day. (I spend a lot f time staring at the palm of my hand!) • I’ve started
preparing and planning meals in advance, bringing my lunch and snacks to work. That way, I'm less likely to skip meals throughout the day and then go on a full-out binge later on. (I have no doubt that the fast-food vendors at the food court across the street are missing me.) • I’m making a point of
not eating after 8 pm in the evening. I’m sleeping better and feel better overall. (My canine partner in crime Scooter McGee is not happy about missing
his nightly snack.)
Most importantly I recognized a few other things: I prefer w
orking out with friends, not ‘exercising’ as much as ‘having fun while doing motor walks and push-ups with music on and my dog watching.) Plus humour is a daily requirement up there with roughage and 2 litres of water each day. An equal dose of laughter plus a daily multi-vitamin how can I go wrong? The six-week slim down is over, but my journey isn't I still have a ways to go and I’ll keep you posted on how I do. My new adage, “Slow and easy wins the race.” In parting, I want to share with you an amazing Canadian-made "Magic Pill" in the form of the smartest health-fitness video I've seen in a long time. Enjoy!
What part of the
6-Week Slim Down was easiest or hardest for you?
Aside from being an easy snack for the office, yogurt is chock full of ingredients that help your body run smoothly, no matter what age you are.
Although yogurt has long been a staple in the health food world, it has become even more popular thanks to Greek yogurt. Whether you eat it plain, low-fat, greek, frozen, from a tube or a bottle, or in your smoothies, yogurt has health benefits beyond good old calcium. Read on for the lowdown on its many health benefits.
1. The probiotics.
You know yogurt has probiotics because every commercial for yogurt says so, but what does that actually mean? In the simplest of terms, probiotics are good-for-you bacteria. They help in regulating your digestive system and decreasing gas, diarrhea and bloating. Research has even suggested that probiotics can aid in boosting your immune system, help you manage your weight and reduce the risk of cancer.
2. The calcium.
Just like all products in the dairy family, yogurt is a great source of calcium, which plays a huge role in the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth. It is also important for blood clotting, healing wounds and maintaining a normal blood pressure. Some yogurts contain vitamin D, which helps the small intestine absorb calcium to its fullest potential, so finding those yogurts or pairing yogurt with foods high in vitamin D is always a good idea.
3. The protein.
Plain yogurt made from whole milk is a rich source of protein, which can increase the absorption of minerals, promote lower blood pressure and aid in weight loss.
4. The vitamins.
Yogurt made with whole milk contains every single nutrient the human body needs. Yogurt contains vitamin B12, which keeps your nerves and red blood cells healthy and can only be found in foods originating from an animal. Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is also in yogurt. This helps the body convert carbohydrates into glucose, or 'food into fuel.'
Want to incorporate yogurt into your diet, but don't want to be stuck with buying processed, sugary yogurt cups? Check out Canadian Living's recipes:
We asked some of Canada's top celebrity designers to spill the beans on their best-kept design secrets—and did they ever! Read on for expert advice on everything from space planning and choosing paint colours to styling shelves and how to create a foolproof gallery wall.
The inside scoop on space planning
How much space do you need around your dining room table? Can you really make a room feel larger? Our experts weigh in.
Tip 1: Sofas should be two-thirds the length of the longest wall, and seating is placed close enough around so no person is more than eight feet from another to allow for easy conversation. — Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander
Photography by Arnal Photography
Tip 2: One easy rule to figure out what size dining table you need: allow for a minimum of 30 inches walking clearance on all sides. — Karl Lohnes
Tip 3: Space planning is critical. For a kitchen island, for example, leave three feet of space between the island and surrounding counters. Ensure that appliances (like the fridge or dishwasher) can open without blocking traffic flow or hitting neighbouring walls or cabinets. Not leaving enough room is a mistake people make all the time, before they call a designer in a panic to help fix it! — Lisa Canning
Photography by Arnal Photography
Tip 4: Use mirrors strategically to expand space and increase the amount of natural light reflected in the room. Framing a wall with floor-to-ceiling mirrors adds a dramatic effect to the feeling and scale of the room. — Brian Gluckstein
Photography by Arnal Photography
Tip 5: Allow for 18 inches between the sofa and the coffee table so people have enough room to pass by and to make it easy to reach for drinks or food. — Amanda Forrest
Tip 6: Want to make sure furniture fits before it arrives at your door? There are a host of free sites (like planyourroom.com) that allow you to put furniture onto a scaled floor plan. Another option? Many furniture and decor stores offer free design services, and they'll do the calculating for you. — Janette Ewen
Light it up
Follow these five rules and your lights will shine in all the right ways.
Tip 2: Install dimmer switches; they're a practical way to control light and energy consumption. — Amanda Forrest
Tip 3: The bottom of the shade of your bedside reading lamp should be at shoulder height when sitting in bed. Do the math! — Karl Lohnes
Tip 4: Choose a pendant or chandelier that's one-third the size of the table or kitchen island. Hang it approximately 30 to 36 inches above the table or island; if there are more than one, place them 12 to 18 inches apart. — Mia Parres
Tip 5: Incandescent bulbs are great for atmosphere lighting, but LED bulbs are more suited to task lighting, when you really need to see what you're working on. — Janette Ewen
The inside scoop on paint and palette
Did you know that paint selection should be one of the last decisions you make when decorating a room?
Tip 1: I'm a firm believer in mood boards. They're not just for designers! Gather together fabrics, paint samples and inspiration images for a room before starting. It will create a picture and a trajectory that you may not have thought of. — Steven Sabados
Tip 2: When you design a room, pull your palette from one inspiration fabric. Whether you use a whimsical print or a more traditional pattern, take all the colours present in that material and allow those to guide fabric selection for pillows, throws, drapery and upholstery in the room. Take that same fabric to the paint store and have a custom colour mixed that matches one of the hues exactly. — Lisa Canning
Tip 4: Fine finish Choose a fresh trim colour in a semigloss, such as Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace OC-65. It creates a subtle separation from a matte wall, and it's a much more durable finish, which comes in handy since trims are usually the most touched, bumped and scuffed parts of our homes. — Mia Parres
Tip 5: Colour pop If you buy that cool orange statement chair, give it a buddy. When you're adding a colourful piece to a space, always have at least one other subtle hit of that colour elsewhere in the room to create a cohesive feel. — Tiffany Pratt
Tip 6: Want to make a room feel taller? Paint baseboards and crown moulding the same colour as the walls. Want it to feel huge? mix one-third of the wall colour into the ceiling paint. — Karl Lohnes
The inside scoop on styling
You've bought the sofa and painted the walls. Now what? Our experts show you how to style a room like a pro.
Tip 1: Shop at stores that have liberal return policies and buy three times as much as you think you need. This gives you plenty of merchandise to play with to see what works and what does not. Mix in unique family heirlooms and vintage finds with the new pieces you purchase to create a naturally curated look. — Janette Ewen
Photography by Magdalena M
Tip 2: For a no-fail pillow combination, you need only three: one 20- by 20-inch, one 16- by 16-inch and one 12- by 16-inch. Those sizes look good together no matter how you arrange them! — Jo Alcorn
Tip 3: Beauty is in the details When styling a console, include framed art on easels or leaning against the wall; it's a great way to display smaller pieces. Create a dynamic vignette by mixing in boxes, vases and vintage pieces in differing heights and dimensions. — Brian Gluckenstein
Tip 4: Mix and match Use these common elements when styling shelves: stacks of books, gorgeous flowers and at least one accessory that has a lot of shimmer and shine. Varying heights and textures is also really important for visual interest. — Lisa Canning
The inside scoop on art
Take the mystery out of hanging art.
Tip 1: Make your own art! Buy a canvas in a size you're looking for, then grab some paint in the colours you're decorating with, and see what happens. Great masterpieces are born of happy accidents or beautiful mistakes. — Tiffany Pratt
Tip 2: When hanging art on an empty wall, the middle of the art should to be hung 66 to 72 inches off the floor. — Karl Lohnes
Tip 3: Art relates to furniture, not the ceiling: Keep art about six to eight inches above the sofa, or any piece of furniture, when hanging it. — Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander
Tip 4: For a gallery wall, use different-size frames in one single finish and select artwork with a consistent theme in colour or subject matter to keep the display cohesive. — Brian Gluckenstein
Each year, top designers and brands showcase the best in innovative and inspiring design from around the world at The Interior Design Show in Toronto. We’ve picked our top Canadian designers that you may not have heard of yet, but should.
Buying art is easier than ever thanks to online shops that offer everything from contemporary abstracts to landscapes—often in a variety of sizes. With prices that won't blow the budget, you can curate an art collection from the comfort of your couch.
1. He and I wall art
The image wraps around the sides so you can enjoy its beauty from every angle.
Artwork has the power to transform the look of any room in your home, but it can be hard to find a perfect piece that fits your space and your budget. Our favourite online destinations for affordable art will help you decorate your walls without emptying your wallet.
Sweet potatoes offer a tasty addition and creamy texture to your meals, and they're great when eaten alone, too!
They're found in desserts, they can take the place of regular potatoes as a healthy (but still tasty) french-fry alternative and they continue to gain recognition and popularity at the dinner table. Aside from being the only veggie you can get your kids to eat, they come with a huge range of benefits you might not have known.
They're good for your heart. Because of the great source of B6 vitamins and potassium, sweet potatoes contribute a great deal to heart health. The Harvard School of Public Health says the B6 vitamins found in sweet potatoes are great at breaking down homocysteine, a substance that hardens the blood vessels and arteries.
They can help you de-stress.Yes, there's a healthy food that can help keep your stress level in check. Although sweet potatoes alone won't relieve all your life-related stress (we wish!), they contain magnesium, which is the original "chill pill," according to Psychology Today. Magnesium promotes relaxation, calmness and a good mood.
They can maintain blood sugar levels & stabilize appetite. A 2007 study done at North Carolina State University found that sweet potatoes might just be the secret weapon against diabetes. Sure, they're sweet, but they have a low glycemic index and release sugar slowly into the blood stream, which reduces the risk of sugar spikes and unbalanced levels of blood sugar.
In addition to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, the mineral element manganese, which is found in sweet potatoes, also helps the body metabolize carbs, utilize antioxidants and stabilize your appetite, according to a report done on manganese by the Micronutrient Information Centre at Oregon State University.
They help prevent cancer. There are anti-carcinogenic properties in sweet potatoes, thanks to the beta-carotene found in orange veggies. Purple sweet potatoes have also shown to have cancer-fighting abilities, with a positive effect on cancer cell growth.
If you want to take advantage of these health benefits but don't know how to incorporate sweet potatoes into your family's meals, check out these recipes: