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Plain and simple.

I’m no cookie monster – unless sis sends me birthday cookies – but I definitely have a salty tooth. According to my friend Anna over at Your Healthy Place it’s because I’m dehydrated. I may agree with that, but even on days where I down three litres of water, this girl sometimes wants a treat. While grabbing for a bag of barbeque chips may not be the smartest decision, it is definitely one I’ve made. While they may fill a craving, the obvious and sad fact is, they do nothing for the body.

I’ve been on the search for a healthier snack and came across Simply Protein Chips.

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They come in herb and chili – I’m partial to a little heat, love the chili – and have 15g of protein, 140 calories, and only 2g of sugar and 4g of fat! Pea protein…who would have thought?! Now that’s a snack you won’t have to plan gym time around. I’m not going to lie, these won’t fool anyone into thinking you’re eating potato chips, but they are tasty and a much better option. Best news? They have a BBQ flavoured protein chip coming out in September which has one full serving of vegetables.

Simply Choices are also bar stars.

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The Simply Bars are vegan, and come in six different flavours. I’d suggest the Cocoa Raspberry for any chocolate lovers. They have only a handful of ingredients and you can pronounce them all, which means no chemical, artificial or junk ingredients. These puppies are all natural.

The newest item to join the family are the Simply Whey bars; an exciting addition as they have the most protein with the least calories of any natural food snack. Made from all natural ingredients, the products are vegetarian, free of peanuts, dairy, gluten and soy, high in calcium and even kosher. They are perfect for people with dietary restrictions, and a great alternative to high glycemic snacks. I die over the coconut; it’s delicious.

I’m definitely giving the line of Simply products a “yay”; they make my What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday list and have been a recent addition to my gym bag for a post-workout snack.

Have you ever tried Simply Protein Chips or Bars? What’s your protein bar of choice?

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What I’m lovin’ Wednesday: walking.

With nothing but sun and above-seasonal temperatures in store for Calgary for the next week, I’ll be covering a lot of pavement.

I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than walking around a city and exploring. Add a puppy and some music and I’d be ecstatic.

This past weekend, I grabbed two friends and headed outside. On Saturday we explored Prince’s Island Park, Kensington, and make out point the Crescent Heights look out.

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Sunday, we headed to The Rockies and I had the pleasure of introducing both of them to Sulphur Mountain in Banff and Lake Lousie.

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I live in a very beautiful province, and I need to spend more of my time exploring it.

Another reason that heel-toe’n it is so important to me, is because there have been numerous studies that show regular exercise, as low impact as walking, can be successful at limiting many health risks.

Check out my latest article for CLUBLIFE Magazine about the benefits of walking for women:

It’s as easy as putting one foot in front of the other. A recent European study discovered walking could decrease the risk of stroke in women.

Over 19,000 women and 13,000 men were part of the study that monitored physical activity as well as diet, lifestyle habits and medical history. They were all between the ages of 29 and 69 and participated in the study for at least 10 years. It found women who walked for approximately 3.5 hours per week at a moderate intensity were at lower risk of stroke than those who did not engage in regular walking.

But in an age of convenience, how can we possibly walk more…

To read the full article, click here.

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Bathing Suits

Bathing suits!? I haven’t temporarily gone crazy – that happened a long time ago – but lately I can’t help but rave about Swimco.

As a new addition to my ‘hood, the storefront always looks so cheerful on cold and snowy Calgary days. It’s even better when they decide to throw a tropical party on some of the coldest days.

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A few weeks back, the lovely ladies of Swimco 17th taught me how to pack for paradise with tips on what to include in your carry-on and how to not over pack (something I ALWAYS DO).

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I may not have a tropical vacation booked, but thanks to Swimco I was going to look the part. First up, a spray tan by Tan Luis. As a spray-tan virgin, I was terrified. All I kept picturing was Ross from Friends getting attacked by the booth spray. As I stripped down to my intimates and got cozy in a mobile tent with a stranger, I realized the process was much more personal than that. I didn’t even have a chance to drink my prosecco to feel more at ease, thankfully the process was painless and friendly, and I emerged perfectly sunkissed.

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Posh de Luxe complemented my new glow with neon pink nails. I was even stopped on the walk home by two different people to tell me how great my nails looked.

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Sadly, with my freshly spray-tanned face, I couldn’t get my makeup touched up from Madd Pretty, but I’ll be visiting their salon in the near future. I stared while others got their hair and makeup done, and dreamed of owning their gorgeous pallets.

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The whole night was capped off with a fashion show, debuting the newest Spring looks. Bold colours and Hawaiian print are back. 

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So when I needed a bathing suit for my weekend in a hot tub the mountains, it was no surprise I ran to Swimco. I haven’t bought a full bathing suit since high school – the beach or hot spring visits were styled with random tanks or sports bras and bikini bottoms – so I expected the process to be painful and tearful. With the help of a consultant, I was able to find the most adorable and retro polka dot Lauren by Ralph Lauren suit.

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picture her blonde and with more curves – I’m adorable. 

Paired with Swimco sunnies, I was a bathing beaut all weekend in the Delta’s outdoor hot tub.

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Thanks to Swimco and Anneke Forbes for the great photos!

My #1 vacation tip: always remember the SPF!

Fun part for you: You can win one of two pieces of Roxy luggage courtesy of Swimco. CLICK HERE TO ENTER.

Make sure you tell them who sent ya!

Are you going anywhere tropical? Can you take me with you?

What I’m lovin’ Wednesday: Power of Movement

Sunday is the big day! Me and tons of other yoga enthusiasts will be taking to our mats on Sunday, March 3 for Power of Movement in support of arthritis research.

I hold this event very near to my heart and my creaky joints. Many a time yoga has been my rock as I recover from an injury. The pain and weakness in my lower leg/ankle are with me daily, and a regular practice keeps me powerful, balanced, and a strong believer that anyone and everyone should do yoga.  Last year  I was fortunate to be named a Power of Movement Champion.

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With events taking place across Canada, everyone has the chance to make a difference. I want you to join me in Calgary. Check out the link, register as an individual or join a team, and I’ll see you on your mat in a few days.

Here are the vitals:

What: Power of Movement Calgary
When: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Time: 11 a.m.
Where: Eau Claire Market
200 Barclay Parade SW
Calgary, AB
T2P 4R5
Who: Open to all, it is a family-friendly event.

If you can’t make it out, but would still like to help, please consider donating to my team: The Chakra Khans. Tax receipts are issued for any donation over $20.

Funds raised from this event go towards life changing research, which benefits more than 4.6 million Canadians that are living with arthritis and autoimmune conditions. For more information on Power of Movement, check out powerofmovement.ca.

Are you a yogi? Will you be taking part in Power of Movement? If so, which city?

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Cheap and Easy Valentines.

I’m not much for Valentine’s Day. I would much rather have a random display of affection, than a store bought one. Though, I am one for giving cards and gifts. Truth be told, in university I made my friends Valentine’s cards with drawings of cats, houses, and fire hydrants – my artistic abilities are endless, people. Be impressed.

This year, I have a stack of cards waiting to be penned, and my oven is dreaming of baking special sweet red treats.

So how do you impress a girl who doesn’t really care? Go the cheap and easy route. Here are my four top V-Day gifts for under $15.

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1. Love Card – Etsy – $4.50
Handmade cards and humor are the two quickest ways into my pants heart.

2. Red Velvet Elvis – Crave Cupcakes – $3.25
I’m not much for sweets, but red velvet cupcakes are my guilty pleasure. If you somehow managed to combine cheesecake with this I may die.

3. Neon Elastic Bracelet – alimonada – $14.90
The only candy I want is arm candy. The mixture of cobalt and gold scream summer. (is it summer yet?)

4. Tulips – Safeway – $4/bunch
Don’t get me an expensive bouquet of red roses when a simple bunch of tulips from the grocery store tied with string is what I desire.

And a special number 5? A kiss – free – I’m sold.

Are you big on Valentine’s Day? What are your plans?

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday.

Warhol.

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Last month I visited the Museum of Contemporary Art Calgary for the Andy Warhol: The Athlete Series exhibit.
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As much as I loved the pieces, the behind the scenes photographs are what really captured my attention. A master at work.

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Mr. “15 Minutes of Fame” is a creative inspiration for me. This exhibit makes me think in Technicolor.

“I’d rather buy a dress and put it up on the wall, than put a painting, wouldn’t you?” – Warhol

Yes, yes I would.

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Expressive, individualist, lover of Elvis. Need I say more?

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday.

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1. Pretty Edgy – Essie
Emerald is the pantone of 2013. This green takes a bit of getting used to on my finger nails since I’ve never worn a bright other than neon pink, but I love it.

2. Skull Scarf – Zara
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen a bunch of my outfit of the day posts – a good amount of them feature my skull scarf.

3. Boyfriend Watch – Target
I have been coveting a rose gold Michael Kors watch for years, but couldn’t shell out the money for it. Instead I found this gorgeous statement piece from Target for a fifth of the price. Not exaggerating.

4. iPhone Case – Magenta Photo
My new iPhone case features my own photo. The Love Tree is one of my favourite memories from 2012, and the amazing people at Magenta Photo turned that memory into a beautiful day-to-day keepsake. They make so many things, check them out. Now everyday I get to spread love into the Universe.

5. Impassioned – MAC Cosmetics
A pink lip is always a show stopper. Impassioned by MAC is a great layer lipstick. With liner and a few coats it’s a matte and bold choice. One coat on a natural lip is a rosy pink that’s great for day.

Are you lovin’ what I’m lovin’? What would make your list right now?