i’m not qualified. but here is my life advice.

i have been feeling very nostalgic the last little while, and for some reason am viewing my upcoming birthday as a turning point in my life. this year i am determined to accomplish many of my goals (check out my bucket list), as well as living life to the absolute fullest. looking back over my years, i think there are many things i have learned that have gotten me where i am today, and will continue to help me over the course of my life. so for this lovely friday before the long weekend, here is some life advice i thought i’d share. hope it helps you as much as it has me!

 

1. treat others the way you want to be treated. i would hope this is common sense, but i truly believe you get back what you give. if you want people to treat you with respect, kindness and warmth, you have to treat them with the same qualities. my parents have always told my brother, sister and i this, and i’ve stood by it throughout my entire life.

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2. if you’re not happy with school/your job- make a change. once i  graduated from school, i got a job right away as an assistant buyer for a really great company. however, after a little while i came to realize that a) buying was not the career path for me and b) i was miserable. it was a terrifying decision, but i quit my job, and started working at sportchek again part-time. i did like 150 internships though, and took on a number of freelance projects-working my butt off. i’m not going to lie- there were moments i was pretty sure i was never going to find anything and would be stuck at sportchek for the rest of my life- but with some patience, and determination, i found the job i am now in, and which i LOVE! i am in the industry i want to be, and work for two of the most inspiring and hard-working women i have ever known (now go to www.thepeacockparade.com now!!!) (lol)

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3. if you need help, ask for it. at times i tend to internalize things, keeping problems to myself and not talking about them. i’m a bit stubborn, and like to think that i can do everything by myself and never need help. but guess what- i’m human, and thats impossible. i know the moment i am having a problem and struggling with something and i talk to my mom and my sister i not only get a second opinion on the matter, but i also feel a million times better. asking for help takes a lot of stress off, and lets you look at the situation in a whole new light.

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4. don’t be afraid to say no. sometimes at the end of the day all i want to do is go home and watch criminal minds and eat pop chips. if that’s what i feel like doing- then that is now what i do. i’m not afraid to turn down an event, or not make plans with friends just because i feel bad. if you don’t want to do something, then just don’t do it. you won’t enjoy it, and you’ll be wishing that you were at home with dr.spencer read the whole time.

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5. don’t be afraid to be alone and learn to enjoy your own company. i’m not going to lie- i really like hanging out with myself and i do it a lot. there is nothing like plugging in my earphones and going for a run. or catching up on a good book. or watching a movie. when i talk to people all day long, sometimes i just need to come home and shut off. my next step is the movies by myself. and then perhaps a nice dinner date with me, myself and i.

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6. you only live once, take care of yourself! okay as a former coach potato i know that it is easy to make excuses. but- we all have a responsibility to ourselves to live healthy, active life styles. if you aren’t into more intense forms of exercise, try going outside for a walk, a leisurely bike ride. i guarantee you will feel 100x better. making a change in my life was the best decision i ever made for myself- and in all honesty it wasn’t the hardest thing i’ve ever done. once you start, its easy to continue- and it becomes a regular part of your life. you just need a little will-power and determination and anything is possible.

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7. challenge yourself. as i mentioned before, this year i am challenging myself to embrace my fears, and do some of the things i have always been terrified of doing. for example, i am apparently going skydiving. thinking about it as i type this- it seems like the craziest, stupid idea. BUT- it’s something i have always thought about, and something that i know, i know, once i do it, i’m going to be so happy that i did. last year, i challenged myself to run a half-marathon. when i started the training i couldn’t run for 15 minutes straight. but i finished it, and with an excellent time. i cannot describe to you the feeling i felt, (holding hands with sarah), and crossing the finish line. i was high on life for days. it was a challenge, but i rose to the occasion, and it paid off. i’m doing the half-marathon again this year, and this time i am challenging myself to beat my original time.

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8. try new things. if you never try anything new, how will you ever know what you really like. i try to apply this motto to all aspects of my life. i love trying new foods, new products, new styles, new exercises- everything. you can really surprise yourself when you take a chance and move away from routine. for instance- and this probably sounds ridiculous- but for some reason i had this idea in my head that i hated pears, even though i don’t think i ever tried one. then a couple of months ago, i had some pear in a salad- and i friggen loved it. now i’m completely obsessed, and could probably eat five a day if i let myself. you’ll just never know- unless you try.

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9. don’t over complicate things and skip the drama. i think we are all guilty of over-thinking and over complicating things- i know for sure i am. usually the situation is never as bad as it seems, and you’re making half of it up in your head. if you think some one has a problem with you-ask them. if a problem arises in your life-deal with it. there are too many enjoyable things in life to worry about what other people think about you- or to get caught up in unnecessary drama. if you’re dealing with someone who is bringing drama to your life- get away from them. it’s not worth it.

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10. believe in miracles and just be happy. every day i am surprised by how many amazing things there are in this world. miracles happen literally every day, and there is just so much to be happy about. life is too short to waste it. be positive about each day you face and what’s to come. not to sound too cheesy, but the future is yours for the taking. you only have one life, so you might as well live it right.

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have a great long weekend everyone.

ox, katie

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choosing the right muffin for you.

i have to admit that i have a weakness for bakery items. this includes, and is not limited to; cakes, cupcakes, muffins, butter-tarts, donuts, timbits, cookies, scones, croissants, etc. (and now i’m drooling). being health-conscious, i try to keep an eye out on what i eat throughout the week; sticking to a rather strict routine. however, on friday’s, and on the weekends i do let myself indulge (with limitations) and one of the things i always look forward to is my friday morning muffin.

as i walk to my office in the king west area from union station i generally pass about 1800 starbucks, 400 tim hortons, and 250 second cups, not too mention all of the wonderful local cafes along the way as well (my favourite is wagamama!). the early morning smells of coffee brewing and baked goods baking makes my mouth water all of the time- but i am strong willed- and only give in on fridays.

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as a bit of a muffin connoisseur, i’d like to think i have tried most of what’s available. before i really began to think about what i was putting into my body i was eating things like double-chocolate-fudge muffins, blueberry-chocolate chip muffins, carrot muffins with cream cheese filling, etc. i think a friend of mine put it best when he said, eating a muffin is simply an excuse to eat cake in the mornings.

let me tell you- these morning treats are absolutely jam-packed with calories, fat, sugar, hidden behind their mouth-watering smells, and cute packaging. even though they appear small, you could be eating more calories than what’s in a big mac if you’re not careful.

but don’t fret! you should absolutely enjoy what you eat, and eat what you want- everything in moderation, including moderation. i have done my own research so i can enjoy my friday muffin without immense feelings of guilt and i am going to share it with you.

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here is a list of the some of the best and worst muffin choices (health wise):

starbucks

i’d stay away from the zucchini walnut muffin. although it sounds healthy (it has a vegetable in it!) it is a whopping 490 calories. both the bountiful blueberry muffin and the blueberry yogurt muffin with honey (350 and 320 calories) are much better options. the morning-glory muffin isn’t that bad either at 380 calories.

tim hortons 

i always thought that raisin bran muffins were a healthy option- it turns out this is not the case. a tim hortons raisin bran muffin is 410 calories (and it isn’t that big!). their blueberry muffin is the only muffin on the menu below 350 calories (340) besides the low fat options which are around 290 calories but taste like cardboard in my opinion.

second cup

unfortunately i could not seem to find second cup’s nutritional information on their website- so i hope the information i did find is accurate. their lemon cranberry muffin is 420 calories, where their zucchini & carrot muffin is only 320! their raisin bran muffin is only 340 calories which also isn’t as bad.

mcdonalds

surprisingly mcdonalds muffins are actually quite delicious. perhaps avoid the double chocolate muffin with oreo cookie crumble which is 450 calories (that really is just like cake). their carrot and blueberry muffins aren’t that great either at 430 and 410 calories. i’d try the cranberry orange muffin which is 360 calories and very filling (it’s my muffin choice for this week)!

as with everything it’s always important to think about what you are putting into your body- just remember there are always healthier options.

if i’ve scared you with my muffin calorie counting there are lots of other baked good items that are much fewer calories! try for example, a starbucks marshmellow dream bar (210 calories) or their double chocolate biscotti (150 calories). tim hortons plain tea biscut (240 calories) or even their chocolate glazed donut (260 calories). second cups banana bread (210 calories) or their apple & cinnamon breakfast cookie (280 calories). and then mcdonalds- well the ice cream is only 230 calories, but i’m not sure how you feel about that in the morning.

another option is to make your own muffins at home if you have the time. president’s choice blue menu offers muffin mixes that you simply add water too and bake which are only 150 calories each.

love muffins

like i said above, if you’ve been trying to eat healthier, just think about what you’re putting into your body. and although the cute little, mouth-watering muffins might not look like much, they often pack a calorie-ladden punch.

ox, kt

ps. here are the links for more nutritional information from each company

starbucks nutrition

tim hortons nutrition

second cup nutrition

mcdonalds nutrition