Getting into the gym

Good morning my gutsy friends. Today’s post is totally inspired by my amazing mother who is just beginning her journey in the gym. I have been helping her out by creating a weight lifting and diet program to help her loose a little fat and get excited about exercise again. As I have been talking with my mom she has expressed concerns about going to the gym and I know she is not alone in these feelings.

In today’s post I want to talk about what holds people back (women especially) from beginning a fitness journey. I also want to give a few ‘How not to feel like a goof in the gym’ pointers. Anyone that knows me personally knows that I am a seasoned gym rat and I can tell you all my fitness content on this blog is legit.

As a short background I have been athletic and into sports my entire life however three years ago I really started spending time in the gym and getting into bodybuilding as a hobby and I can honestly tell you that it saved my life. I also can tell you that it changed my life and the benefits I got from lifting filtered down into my relationships, professional development and so much more.

I know it feels intimidating to walk into a room full of bodybuilders and fumble around with your workout. I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way.  Here are my beginner gym tips.

  • No one is looking at you! Trust me the really fit people are concentrating hard on their reps and a mind-muscle connection and they could care less what you are doing. Unless of course you are in their way… which brings me to my next tip.
  • When it comes to machines you get in and get out. DO NOT text in a squat rack, on a bench or on any machine. Just don’t do it.
  • Know what you are doing. Go in with a plan. There are thousands of workouts on , Instagram and Pintrest. Save it on your phone or write it down on a piece of paper and go through it mentally before you hit the gym floor.
  • Hide! When I first started lifting I was so intimidated. So I went to the gym with my headphones in and a ball cap with the brim down low. This way I didn’t have to talk to or look at anyone. I also started in the women’s only section at the gym. If your gym does not have one of these you can take whatever equipment you need and hide in the studio.
  • Wear an outfit that makes you feel confident. I truly believe that a great pair of yoga pants (or singlet or whatever you are into) can help you conquer the world.
  • Re rack your weights! Put them back were you got them. Don’t be that guy.

I really hope that these tips have been helpful. If you are feeling scared don’t, the gym should be a place that you look forward to visiting. The more momentum you gain from working out on a regular basis , the more confidence you will have. If you liked this post please let me know in the comments below. I add content every Monday and Friday. Stay healthy my friends!


Get more sleep!

Good morning my gutsy friends!

I hope that everyone is feeling well rested this morning… If not this is the blog post for you! Continue reading Get more sleep!

Rest to digest!

Good morning gutsy friends!
This month I want you to focus on two very important things REST and DIGEST…

Continue reading Rest to digest!

Supplement list (Part 2)

Good morning gutsy friends!

As promised I wanted to share the supplements I am currently taking to reach my fitness goals and tell you briefly why you don’t actually need supplements if you are new to fitness/the gym. Continue reading Supplement list (Part 2)

Supplements I’m taking for health

Good morning my gutsy friends!

Lately I have been asked a lot about what supplements I am taking. I am going to break this up into two posts. I take some supplements for my health and to support my Crohn’s treatment I also take supplements to support and help me achieve my bodybuilding goals. For those of you that don’y know me personally I am a gym rat and enjoy resistance training 5-6 days per week. I am currently working on a leaner physique and have incorporated some supplements to help me achieve these goals. To learn more about the supplements that I am taking to support my health read on… Continue reading Supplements I’m taking for health

Crohn’s/IBS survival Kit

Good morning my gutsy friends!

Today I am going to share with you my five essentials for daily Crohn’s/IBS survival!

In no particular order these are the five things that I cannot live without (okay that’s dramatic, I could live without these but you get it…)

  1. Kombucha! If you missed my post or you have no idea what the hell I am talking about you can read about this delicious fermented drink here.
    I used to take a pro-biotic and I do think that probiotics are valuable especially after extensive courses of antibiotic treatments. When I am not in an acute flare I prefer to get my probiotics in via my diet this means having a daily fermented treat like Kombucha, Keffir, Kimchi or yogurt. I love trying new brands and flavors. I am a big fan of the Booch!
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar!
    I take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in water (or straight up from a shot glass) twice a day every single day. This stuff is amazing and has so many benefits for my digestion, inflammation and immune system. The enzymes in ACV support your stomach acid production and can help to kill harmful bacteria in the body. I personally think it has helped with my digestion, boating and has improved the look of my skin and hair. If you are going to incorporate this into your diet I suggest purchasing a brand that is organic and unfiltered as well as made ‘with the mother’. I am currently loving the Farm Boy organic however Bragg’s seems to be quite popular on Pinterest and other health blogs.
  3. Peppermint essential oil!
    I love essential oils but if I had to choose one for a desert island it would have to be peppermint. I put this on my wrists and rub it on my abdomen if I am having some discomfort after eating (yes that works). You can also add this to your tea however be careful  because it is very potent, One drop is more than enough. You can also rub it on sore joints for effective pain relief.
  4. My hot water bottle!
    I have several of these with different shapes and covers. I don’t take any pain medication because I believe that this aggravates my Crohn’s and it doesn’t seem to be worth it. I honestly think a hot water bottle is the best pain relief for Crohn’s and IBS. Although I have been having more good days than bad I am still experiencing pain after meals due to the extensive scar tissue in my intestines. Hot water bottles always seem to save the day.
  5. Jimmy Bars! Or honestly any protein bar made with natural/clean ingredients.
    High volume meals and animal proteins are very inflammatory to the gut. I do try to eat small nutrient dense meals throughout the day. I am a very busy girl so I always carry a bar with me. This way I know that when I get hungry I will have a gut friendly option no matter where I am. My current favourite is Jimmy Bars. I buy them at Costco. I also like Lara Bars and Vega Sport protein powder in Mocha for a quick on-the-go snack.

Thank you so much for reading my post. Have a great day and stay healthy. If you haven’t already check out the happy guts Instagram account @happygutsinsta.


4 ways Crohn’s has impacted my life

Good morning my gutsy friends. Today’s post is a little more personal. I mostly like to provide educational content on this blog but today I am going to share something a little different. I do not like to share a lot about my personal experience with chronic illness because I don’t think its healthy or productive to dwell on the negative experiences I have had in my life. I do think it is important to share the experience of living with a chronic illness because I want to emphasize that a diagnosis is not a jail sentence. I think its important to live your life to the best of your ability but also to acknowledge your limits (something that I am constantly working on). If you want to know a little bit about my own experience with Crohn’s read on…  Continue reading 4 ways Crohn’s has impacted my life


Biological therapy for Crohn’s management

You can’t talk about pharmacological interventions for Crohn’s (and many other autoimmune diseases) without adding biologics to the conversation. Biologics have proven to be extremely effective (and usually safe) for the treatment and management of moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. I have personal experience with the big two ( Remicade and Humira). I am currently receiving entyvio infusions and have recently added methotrexate into my regimen (Fun Fact: methotrexate isn’t a biologic per-say and is often used in the treatment of Cancer and Shingles ). Biologics do not have to be scary… If you or your loved one is starting on one of these medications have no fear  and read on for an easy summary. Continue reading Biologics

Weird trick to help with digestion

…And fat loss if you are into that thing

Good morning friends. In today’s post I want to share with you a little trick that I have been using lately. I have had more energy, better sleeps, better digestion and I have even lost my summer burger belly. And the million dollar secret is *drum roll*… Continue reading Weird trick to help with digestion

FODMAP updates

Good morning my gutsy friends!

Today I wanted to share with you a few updates about my own FODMAP journey. I also wanted to touch on the subject of ‘re-challenging’ or the reintroduction of FODMAPs into your diet. If you need a refresher on FODMAPs, read my post here.

FODMAPs can be harmful to your gut if you are suffering with IBS or IBD. FODMAP free diets can be equally damaging. This is because FODMAPs contain important prebiotics. Prebiotics are essentially nice fibers that act as fertilizer for your friendly gut bacteria. When you are using a strict FODMAP diet long term you are depriving your guts of some essential bacteria thus damaging healthy gut flora.

In the rechallenging phase you should trial small doses of FODMAP to determine which FODMAP is contributing to your gut stress. Rechallenging schedules can be found all over the internet. I used one from my dietician. My dietician recommended one re-challenge day followed by one rest day. Remember that Monash university only advocates using a FODMAP restrictive diet for two to six weeks. You should be symptom free for 48-72 hours before beginning the final phase of the FODMAP diet. I also would still recommend strict FODMAP when coming out of a bad flare or when you feel that it is time to do a re-set on your gut biome.

My findings from this experience were that I have low-to-no tolerance to onions and garlic, mild tolerance to SMALL amounts of bread and wheat products and little to no tolerance to honey, soy and apples. This diet was especially helpful to reinforce the importance of listening to my body and helped me to identify the foods that were really exacerbating my symptoms. Since its been the summer season I have been enjoying a FODMAP un-friendly lifestyle (as we do). September I am shifting my focus to my health and getting my guts back on track. Remember; it’s okay if your nutrition isn’t on-point 100% of the time, we are human after all.

I hope that you have found these FODMAP posts helpful. I will continue to post about FODMAPs and FODMAP friendly food alternatives in the future.