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Barb Guembel
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KEEP IT ALL NATURAL - AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE! After over 3 years with all hands on deck with taking care of my babies, I finally took a 7 day trip out west to visit my brother Greg. He has been living in Vancouver for 6 years now and I finally got out to see him. This was a much needed trip, to catch up with my brother and to start to create more balance for ME. My husband was a ROCKSTAR with the kids all week, and I came back to only one BIG bump on Kensie's forehead and laundry that was toxic with chemical fragrances... During my trip we ran out of my all Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent, so my husband when out to get Tide with Fabreeze + fabric softener (code for full of chemical fragrances). A few months ago I switched our laundry detergent to an all natural one made with essential oils, a DIY liquid laundry detergent. All our sheets and the kids clothes and their LOVIES were so full of 'nasty' fragrances that I just could not handle. After not using store bought laundry detergent and fabric softener in our home for some time, this gave me an instant headache and almost made me feel nausea!! This experience has truly highlighted the importance of removing the nasty fragrances/chemicals a MUST. Please give this DIY All Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent a try, it is so cheap + easy to make. I promise you will never look back! We switched to an all natural laundry detergent after Osker started to get really bad eczema. I tried to eliminate anything that may have contributed to outbreaks. Eczema is a tricky skin condition and very often kids just grow out of it... but it's so hard to watch your babies scratch their skin until it bleeds. Managing the condition is where it's at, by eliminating triggers and nurturing the skin so that it calms and heals! I will chat more on what I use to calm and nurture skin in a future post, please stay tuned!
Barb Guembel
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3 Things I Changed After Having Kids My life before having kids was so simple, with lots of time to train and rest. For three years leading up to having kids, I was training for triathlon events mostly in the half and full IRONMAN distance. With my last race being Ironman Mont Tremblant in the summer of 2013, where I had the best race of my life!!! Finishing the event in 11:02:24, and 9th in my category. This left me in the best shape of my life for pregnancy, which was great because it was that much easier to stay active and feel good during my pregnancy. My son Osker was born on November 10, 2014, and only a year and a half later our baby girl was born on June 1, 2016. Having 2 kids turned my training routine completely upside down. As a result I had less time to train, and trained less frequently. I wanted to keep up my fitness so that when the kids start school in the next couple of year I can go back to train for Ironman and similar events again. Here are a few things I have incorporated into my routine to get back to my pre-baby fitness, get my body back, and to set myself up for long term success! ONE: I started to introduce intermittent fasting into my weekly routine. This was so important to me after I stoped breastfeeding. While breastfeeding I would eat so much, this was due to the extra calories my body needed for breast feeding and because of the hormonal in-balance due to sleep deprivation, which took place during months of night feeding of 2-3 feedings/per night. Once I was done breastfeeding, for me this was at about 9months for both babies, I then introduced intermittent fasting once a week to simply regulate my blood sugar and to reset my 'natural' style of eating. This is what a typical fast would look like:The evening before a fast I would have a typical dinner, but stop eating for the evening at 7pm, I would then sip on water, 'clear' tea or coffee until late lunch time (around 1pm, 18hr of fasting) the following day. This would be an 18 hour fast. This made such a significant change for me that I started to look forward to my fasting day. The benefits that I was expeianceing are due to blood sugar level being low; in absence of glucose in your blood, HDL rises and there are tremendous benefits to this, check this video out for more details on the benefits of (intermittent fasting). My approach is a bit different then how they describe it. You Have to make it work for you, so let me know what works best for you or if you need help with adding this to your weekly routine!!Warning: the key here is 'intermittent', which means you eat normally/healthy six days of the week and fast for ONLY one day (18 or 24hr)! The moment you start fasting for longer periods of time (i.e. everyday), all the benefits diminish and you start to slow down your metabolism and start to break down muscle for fuel, and we never want to do that!! Key to success for Intermittent Fasting is that it is something you can incorporate into your weekly, or monthly schedule, it doesn't cost anything, it is sustainable for long term success. Healthy eating in-between and regular exercises is a given!Here is a great book that I followed to help me to better understand intermittent fasting:  TWO: I started practicing mindfulness and self-compassion. Having two little kids and a pre-existing anxiety, things started to get pretty bad for me! Before babies I had a regular outlet; regular exercise and training with groups, better sleep, and time for me. All of this was all of a sudden removed and I was left with what I though was no tools to deal with my anxiety. It took me a very long time to understand my anxiety. With the help of my doctor and therapist, I introduced mindfulness and self-compasion to my daily practice.  These two practices have changed my life forever. Anxiety not something that you can overcome overnight, but rather is it an on going process, I follow these two resources to better understand self-companion and to develop skills that I can incorporate in to each day.       THREE: When I started to introduce regular exercise into my routine with the kids, I started off by doing the things I used to, 'old mindset' ... long rides, followed by long runs, trying to squeeze swimming where ever I could, oh and don't forget weight training, and yoga. I got to the point where I felt so burned out, and felt too tired to take care of my kids, again hitting this wall made me reconsider what I was doing. So I changed my focus to workouts that were 30-60 min max, and race focus on 5km running races. A focus on 'quality' versus 'junk miles'. I now had a very exciting and realistic new goal that energized me and let me feeling like my long term goals can be achieved. Here is a typical workout that I would do on the treadmill: Warm Up WU: 10 min warm up, easy runningMain Set MS: 1 min of hard effort (5:00min/km or faster), 1 min easy running (10min/km) x 6 - 10 depending on how I was feeling that day or how hard I was pushing that dayCool Down CD: 5 min easy running Behind the Scenes :) Teaching Kensie Long Jump, while Osker plays in the sand with his trucks and diggers.

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Aktiv Life Inc.


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15 Lock Street, #101

St. Catharines (Port Dalhousie),

ON, L2N 5B6

Wolf: 905.931.3472


Barb: 905.931.0984


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