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    • What's All the Hype Around "Self-Care"?

      It's all over Instagram, you've probably seen your favourite YouTuber preaching about it, and definitely seen Snapchats of friends with face masks on. All of this hype had me wondering, what exactly is "Self-Care"? And why is it such a big deal? I decided to take a look, and here is what I found... According to PsychCentral, "Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it's a simple concept in theory, it's something we very often overlook." Talk about a simple concept... Simple Concept I was trying explain "self-care" to my Oma on Facetime this week, and it was so difficult. She grew up in an age where it was normal to get enough sleep, participate in activities you enjoy, and spend time relaxing. Imagine trying to explain self-care to your grand-parents - it's harder than it seems! Essentially, self-care means taking good care of your health. It doesn't need to be face masks, movies, or fancy gym classes. It means making time to relax and do things you enjoy. Whether that is getting a good night sleep, watching movies, or going out with friends, it means taking a break. We aren't meant to be working constantly. Breaks help us breathe, de-compress, and allow us to work with more focus and efficiency when we do sit down to work. In today's day and age, we are so stressed and anxious constantly that I think the self-care trend is a good thing. I wish we didn't work ourselves so hard that we had to remind ourselves to take breaks and relax, but this is the world we are in - and I am guilty of it too. #selfcare FOMO When I first started seeing #selfcaresunday posts, I felt like I was missing out by not participating. I felt like I NEEDED to participate in this trend. Some weeks, it felt like I was dropping the ball by not having enough time to participate in said afore-mentioned "relaxing" activities. It felt like #selfcaresunday was another thing to add to my to-do list. If you've ever felt this way, I want to make it very clear that you should not feel like you're missing out if you're not doing face masks or Hallmark movie nights. That is the nature of the beast social media has created, but it is not good or healthy. Although these activities are fun to do, you should not be doing them to get a cute picture or story out of it. I know the internal sense of pressure to capture the moment and share a cute picture. I think it is a a side-effect of growing up in a social-media world, and honestly, I don't know if that will go away. What I do know, is that self-care is not something you do to impress others. Self-care is for YOU, and nobody else. As I like to say, you can't take care of business until you take care of yourself first. You should feel less stressed by the thought of self-care, not more! Wrapping Up I have a tendency to work very hard and find it difficult to take breaks. I have been trying to "do" a self-care night every week for the past few weeks, and I have to admit, it has been fun jumping on the self-care bandwagon! I have watched a bunch of cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies and have fallen in love with my vanilla chai sugar scrub. So, if classifying fun activities as "self-care" will help you do them, then I'm all for it! Never mind Self-care Sunday, let's have self-care every day! Make time to sleep, sweat, and smile every day. Take breaks from your work; you deserve it. Sidenote: If you're in Kingston and looking for some self-care inspo, check out Sunday Scrubs. My friends started the company and I am obsessed with their handmade scrubs! Seriously, my skin is sooo soft for days after I use a scrub...

    • "I Don't Own Baking Dishes" Banana Bread Squares

      Hey Friend, Once upon a dream when I was bored in quarantine, I decided to start a food blog. Despite my long previous track record of having grand ideas, starting projects, and then not finishing them, I thought this was it. I was about to be a food blogger. Alas, I realized that is was not only confusing, but also that I am not meant to be a food blogger. HOWEVER, I have a few absolute go-to, favourite, health-ified recipes that I need to share with you because they are EASY & DELICIOUS. I'm talking "there's no way this is healthy because it's so good" -type-of-good. This is one of them. Allow me to channel my far-fetched food blogger dreams while I share with you this dreamy banana bread squares.... Okay Chefs, originally, I wanted to make banana muffins. Then, I thought about washing the muffin tin, which is the WORST dish ever to wash. (Can you tell I really, really, don't like dishes?) Last semester, I didn't have a muffin tin or a bread tin in my student house. So, I improvised. And let me tell you, banana bread-muffin-squares are is not only just as tasty as the real deal, but also 19420x easier. Seriously, these are so simple and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand already. I'm not saying these are as healthy as straight kale, BUT they are made with much better-for-you ingredients than pure butter and sugar (nothing wrong with those on occasion!). I actually feel GOOD after I eat these. Ready? Let's get baking! Ingredients: 1/2C Oil - I used regular olive oil, but you could use melted coconut oil, or really anything else 1/2C Maple Syrup 3 mashed bananas - the riper, the better 1/4C Milk (I used almond) 2 eggs - Vegan option/substitute: use 2 flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1tbsp flaxseed mixed with 2.5tbsp water. Mix and let sit for 5 min so it becomes like a paste) 1tsp baking soda 1tsp cinnamon (at least) 1tsp salt 1C flour 1C oats Optional: 1/2C chopped walnuts, or another mix-in of choice Servings: 16 squares Instructions: Preheat oven to 350˚F Spray your pan with oil (alternatively, line it with parchment paper). I used an 8x8" baking dish (aka brownie pan) Mix oil and maple syrup Mash in bananas -> do it right in the bowl; no need for extra dishes! Beat in milk and eggs so all liquid ingredients are mixed well Add all dry ingredients (baking soda, cinnamon, salt, flour, oats) and mix until you have a batter If the batter doesn't stir easily, add a small splash of milk. If the batter is liquid-ey, add a little extra flour or oats. Instructions: Stir in any add-ins (I highly recommend walnuts) Pour into baking dish Bake for 20-25min Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes (if you have the patience; I clearly don't) so they don't break into weird pieces when you cut Cut into squares, serve, & enjoy! Storage: Honestly, I'm not sure how long these will last because my batches always seem to disappear within 3 days... :) If you want them to last longer, keep them in the fridge! I hope you love these as much as I do! I'll put my step-by-step picture instructions all together at the bottom since I get so annoyed when blog articles take forever to load because of all the pics :) Enjoy! Love, Jess Update: This recipe is also amazing as regular banana bread - it just takes longer to bake (mine took around 45min) Before: this is what your batter should look like - it is pretty liquid-ey for a batter, but that's what makes it so moist! After: Just look at that crust aahhhh Also this was "Sorry bread" I made for someone in my family. It worked ;) Side note: I used a mix with equal parts brown sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon for the topping and it is AMAZING. It's dark from the cocoa, not being burnt!

    • "The OG Amaze-balls" | Easy, Cheap, Delicious Energy Bites

      Hi Friend, As you know, for a week in quarantine I decided I was becoming a food blogger. I have since changed my mind. I like sharing what I'm making with you occasionally, but I am not nearly passionate about it to share new, fun, delicious recipes with you consistently. I figured it would be better to share them here than on my Insta feed since this is so much easier to search and find when you actually want to make it! So, this is a re-post of my first and second-last recipe of my food blogging dreams... Hey Friend, or should I call you "chef"...? Even if you don't feel like a chef yet, you will soon be cooking up a (healthy) storm. I know that making healthy meals easy, quick, & fun is a BIG promise, and I will do my best to deliver. You see, my journey into healthy eating started at least 5 years ago when I first started dealing with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). It didn't take long to learned not only how making healthier choices impacts your body, but also how simple is CAN be. I know most food blogs show gorgeous, Pinterest-worthy photos with fancy, complicated recipes, but not here! I'm a student, my guess is if you're reading this, you are too, and we have neither fancy kitchens nor oodles of time. I am going to give you the basics. This will be the simplest possible ways to make healthy food; no fluff or expensive ingredients that warrant a trip to a health food store. I am bringing my student kitchen to you. I am so excited to start this little project! Maybe it will just keep me busy during quarantine, or maybe it will turn turn into something much, much bigger. Who knows?! Honestly, I just want to inspire you to make some healthier choices and teach you how you can ~realistically~ do so. Okay, enough from me, let's get cooking! These balls of goodness are my first-ever memory of "healthy treats" - and they are also what got me hooked! I think I first made them when I was 15, and they've been a hit ever since. Seriously, even self-proclaimed "healthy treats aren't real treats people" LOVE these. They are shocked to find out there is no flour, sugar, or butter! (but there are chocolate chips, of course) I've have adapted the original recipe I found 5 years ago (ah, scary!) since then to make it as EASY as possible... You need one 1/2C measuring cup, and if you add the ingredients in the order I listed, you won't need to wash it in between. The only other equipment you need is a bowl (obviously) and a fork for mixing. That means you have a grand total of three - THREE - dishes, all of which you can put in a dishwasher, if your student house is lucky enough to have one. Seriously, it doesn't get simpler than this! Let's get to it... Ingredients: 1C Rolled Oats (any type of oats will do). Use your 1/2C measuring cup twice to avoid an extra dish. 1/2C Shredded Coconut. I always buy/use unsweetened! You can't taste the difference in recipes and you just eliminate tons of unnecessary sugar (refined sugar = not healthy) 1/4C Flaxseed Simply fill your 1/2C measuring cup halfway - it doesn't have to be perfect, just get it kinda close If you don't have this on hand, substitute for another dry good. Whole wheat flour might work, but I haven't tried that and can't confirm. (If you try and it works, leave a comment below so others know too) 1/4C - 1/2C Chocolate Chips Add more/less depending on how hard your upcoming week is ;) 1/2C Peanut Butter I much prefer natural PB because again, un-necessary sugar, but whatever kind you have on hand will work 1/4C Honey This helps the balls stick together. Any type of syrup would also work (i.e. maple syrup, agave, etc) Instructions: Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl. Remember to add in the order above (i.e. dry first, liquid second) so you don't have to wash your measuring cup in between! Mix until it forms a cookie-dough-like texture. Roll into balls. I usually get about 12, but it depends on how much batter I "sample" while rolling ;) Taste to understand why I call these OG Amaze-balls. Time to ball out (I hate that I said that too). Share with friends & impress them with your culinary skills! Storage Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week (if they last that long) You could also freeze these and then move to refrigerator when ready to eat Nutritional Information: Serving: 1 of 12 Servings Calories: 174 | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | TransFat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 148mg | Total Carbohydrates: 15g | Dietary Fiber: 3g | Sugars: 9g | Protein: 4g ***Note: These are an approximation per serving and intended to give you a general sense of the nutritional component of foods NOT to track foods down to the calorie or deprive yourself! If you make any ingredient substitutions that work well, please comment them below for others in case they are in the same situation! If you make these, please share them on and tag me in your post! Cheers, Jess

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    Forum Posts (5)
    • Sweaty selfie!

      Today was the perfect day to workout with our friends because we had partners for the partner track!! Thanks so much Jess we all had a blast 💙💙

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