I’m starting a thing! I’m working on being a lot more positive and thankful in my life, and being really mindful of who I am, where I’m headed, and what I can do to better myself.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to be posting a #MondayMantra every week to get things started off on the right foot!

This week’s #MondayMantra is:

Prioritize your own happiness. 

I don’t know about you guys, but I constantly find myself worrying about the happiness/success of others, and am willing to put their needs in this respect above my own. Now, putting the happiness of others above your own can be a very selfless and healing act… as long as you’re not doing it constantly. I have fallen into a pattern where my default is to please someone else before I please myself, and I’d like to break that habit.

For a significant portion of my life, I felt like I existed to please other people — and if they had done me a favour or treated me well, I was forever in their debt. So, I’d find it hard to move on or make choices based on my own wants and needs. I’ve been grappling with this as it pertains to my job. My current boss is an almost-family-member, and is honestly the sweetest person you’ll ever meet. She has believed in me, given me ample opportunity, and been a big cheerleader for me. However, I’ve come to realize that despite how much I love her as a person, this job is just not where my passion lies. I was feeling stuck, feeling bored and unchallenged, and generally feeling out of sorts. All of this was complicated by the fact that I felt that I couldn’t leave my job because I would be letting her down, and I would seem ungrateful for all that she had done for me.

The thing is, I’ve come to realize, if another person is really invested in and really cares about you, they won’t be upset if you make a choice to improve your life. In fact, they’ll likely be happy for you! So for me, as long as I go about changing my career path in a respectful, appreciative way, it’s very likely that my boss will be happy for me. She’ll know that I respect and appreciate her, but that this job just isn’t for me. It’s not personal. And it’s okay. This realization really was a process for me, and I’m still grappling with it. I desperately don’t want to be the girl who is deemed ungrateful or selfish… but I also need to take care of myself, and right now, that looks like switching some things up in my life, including my job.

We all deserve to be happy in our lives, no matter what our past looks like, no matter the mistakes we’ve made. If you are not happy with your life, the way it is now, you are allowed to change it, even if that isn’t going to please other people. Do what’s best for you, boo!

So this Monday, and all week, for that matter — prioritize your own happiness. 

You deserve it!





Miracle bean salad!

Ok so I know this is the weirdest title ever for a recipe… but this salad is honestly miraculous. I made a bunch to have for lunch a couple days in a row and it’s super tasty! But that’s not the reason I referred to it as ‘miracle bean salad’ when describing it to my boss (lol). The reason it’s a miracle is that it kept me full all afternoon. I shit you not, folks, a bowl full of veggies kept me full from 1pm until about 5pm. In my world, that’s pretty much unheard of. Thus – miracle bean salad!

I mean I guess if you want to be an adult and stuff you could call it White Bean Salad… but as we all know that’s not how I roll. 🙂

With all that nonsense out of the way, behold! The recipe! The answer to your lunchtime prayers!


Miracle White Bean Salad (compromise. 😉 )

1/2 of a can of white beans, rinsed

1 tomato, diced

1/3 of an avocado, diced

1/3 of a cucumber, – you guessed it- also diced

1/8 cup red onion, sliced


1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

pinch of basil

1 clove garlic OR 1/3 tsp garlic powder

Optional: splash of balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar

Mix dressing well and drizzle over salad. For tastiest results, let sit overnight and eat for lunch the next day. Make sure you mix it all together again before you eat it!

There you have it, my new go-to weekday lunch. I could get used to this whole not craving a snack half an hour after eating lunch thing!






So, now that I’ve got my blog all set up and (mostly) functioning, I thought it might be a good idea to take some time to properly introduce myself and give an update on where I’m at.

Buckle your seatbelts, folks, ’cause this might be a long one.

In case my veeeery informative blog has not yet let you know, I’m Jess. I’m 23, I love food, I don’t really love cardio, and I’m working on being the best version of myself.

I’ve had a bit of an on and off romance with fitness, to be completely honest. In the fall of 2014, I reached a point where I was fed up with my body, with my clothes not fitting, and with my unhealthy habits, so I decided to make a change. Unfortunately, I had no idea what the f*ck I was doing. I went to the gym a lot, but spent a lot of time on mindless cardio and some haphazard exercises I’d learned on Pinterest, but I didn’t have a lot of direction. I especially didn’t know what I was doing when it came to nutrition. I was heavily influenced by ‘trendy’ foods and hadn’t actually done the work of informing myself about what my body needed to function properly. So, I basically just researched ‘clean eating’ recipes and existed off of those for about 4 months. I lost about ten pounds and was feeling… okay. (Okay meaning I was seeing results and losing weight like I wanted to but I got sick a lot and always felt super exhausted.) Christmas happened, I gave my body a break, and then I started Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide in January of 2015.

The program, along with a lot of support from the Instagram community, worked well for me. (The #BBG community on Instagram is AMAZING. Chock-full of supportive, inspirational girls. LOVE IT.) The fact that it’s a 12 week program kept me on track and looking forwards. I was also using her nutrition guide, of which I am slightly less of a fan, but I’ll leave that for another post. The more I saw results, the harder I went, to a point where I was in the gym twice a day and was only eating about 1,300 calories a day. (Not quite enough for a 5’8″ lady who is burning over 600 calories a day in exercise alone.) Again, I hadn’t done my research, I didn’t know my Basal Metabolic Rate, I didn’t know how much I should be eating, and I was going way too hard. So, once I reached my goal, which was a trip to Hawaii at the end of April 2015, I kinda fell off the wagon. It was a hard lifestyle to maintain, and since I was at a place where I was happier with my body, I let myself slack off.

Long story short, I was lazy all summer and then moved to Paris for 4 months, during which I barely exercised and ate my body weight in carbs/cheese/wine… and the weight all came back.

As it turns out, by not eating enough during my intense fitness phase, I also happened to mess up my metabolism a little bit. Up until now, I’ve been pretty good with my nutrition (I have done my homework, I know what my body needs, and I do my best to provide that for it… plus a lil bit of pizza.) but I’ve been lacking on the workout front. I just can’t seem to get back into it! So, I’ve been at the gym, but my dedication has been sporadic at best. To add insult to injury, after years of working in retail to fund my university education, I am now working a 9-5 desk job. Turns out, sitting all day is not that good for you!

So. Where does that leave me?

Well, I’ve started this blog to document my ups and downs, because a) I hope to hell it’ll keep me accountable, and b) I think we often view fitness and weight loss as a straight-shot, end-goal type of scenario when in reality, it’s pretty all over the place. I want other people to know that you can fall down and pick yourself right back up again – we all f*ck up sometimes, and it’s ok! It makes us human! As long as we’re doing our best to take care of our lil bodies, we’re doing something right.

I now have a standing desk at work (woooo!) and am experimenting with walking in place as I work so that I can get some steps in. I’m making sure that I’m drinking my full 3.5L of water at work every day, and as of Monday, I’m starting the BBG all over again!

Which is why….

I’ve attached these terrifying progress pictures. #yikes

Gotta start somewhere, I guess! Wish me luck!