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Where There’s a Will, There’s A Way!

Life is busy and sometimes you just don’t have the time to hit the gym, or maybe you can’t stand enclosed quarters with a bunch of sweaty bodies. No worries, because you don’t have to hit the gym to keep your body lean and strong. In fact, you don’t even need any equipment to get into the best shape of your life.

For a bonus, when you workout at home with no equipment, you don’t have to worry about the cost that goes hand in hand with a gym membership.

Resistance training is all about using your own body weight to challenge your muscles. That said, with all the knowledge at your fingertips today, there’s really no excuse for missing your fitness goals.

You can always do sit-ups, full body-weight squats, lunges, pushups and pull-ups, however, that can get boring pretty fast.

Note: The number one reason people give up on working out is due to sheer boredom. Here are a few pointers to challenge your mind and body to get yourself into amazing shape minus the boredom.

Pointer #1 – Count It Down From Ten

Routine is a killer when it comes to losing weight and getting strong. It’s so easy to get stuck using the same weight and doing the same number of reps of an exercise every time. Break the habit by making it routine to count down from ten with your pushups or whatever resistance exercises you are doing.

You do a set of ten, then nine, then eight, and so on until you hit the number one. Your muscle will get fatigued, leaving you just enough time to recover before the next set is on deck.

Pointer #2 – Don’t Be Afraid To Workout Like An Animal

When you make your exercise routine fun, you increase the likelihood you’re going to stick with it. Try doing the crab walk, bear crawl, skipping, and any other movement you used to do as a kid. Challenge yourself to keep it exciting!

Pointer #3 – Try Playing Cards

Pick a body-weight exercise and use a deck of cards to determine the number of reps you are going to complete. Each set can represent a different exercise, and the value of the card dictates how many you are going to do.

Pointer #4 – Tackle Drop Sets

This is when you slightly change your exercise form position to make it harder. For example, do wide grip pushups until you hit muscle failure. Right away you need to bring your hands in closer together and perform as many more pushups as you can.

Pointer #5 – Burpees Are Awesome

There are going to be times where you might not be able to do chin-ups or pull-ups. This is when burpees come into play. An exercise that helps challenge your cardio capacity simultaneously while building lean muscle. Push yourself to do as many burpees as possible. Give yourself a ten-second rest, and do it again. Rinse and repeat until you can’t fathom doing another one.

Use these pointers to get an amazing workout at home without using any equipment, or worry about gym fees.

Best of luck!

 

 

Stress Kills…Here’s How You Deal With It!

It doesn’t matter whether you are a child, grownup, or in your golden years, stress is present and alive. Stress tells us that something is out of whack, not sitting right. We do need a little stress to keep all our senses healthy and on alert, however, too much stress is detrimental to your health.

Here are a few pointers to help you manage your stress and keep it in check.

Pointer One – Get Rid Of Fake Stress Reducers

An excellent route to alleviating stress is to get rid of those fake stress relievers in your life. This refers to smoking, drugs, or drinking. Each of these is temporary fixes that only create more stress in the big picture.

Pointer Two – Eat Crazy Healthy

A well-balanced diet is one of the most direct routes to get rid of stress once and for all. When you are giving your mind and body the nutrients it requires to perform at your best, you’re taking positive steps to leave stress behind.

Pointer Three – Ease Up On The Coffee

Many people don’t understand that caffeine increases anxiety and can even trigger palpitations. Make sure you don’t have coffee after 6 pm and you’re on the right track.

Pointer Four – Get Down With Exercising

This is one of the best routes to kick stress to the curb. It really doesn’t matter what type of exercising you are doing. Just make sure you are consistent with it and you challenge yourself.

Pointer Five – Go Outside

The sunshine does wondrous things when it comes to stress. This will help you flip your switch positive and give you the mindset to battle your stresses with a smile.

Pointer Six – Focus Positive

Negative thoughts are bound to pop into your brain from time to time. Make a point of flipping all of your negative thoughts positive. Always look for the sunshine and leave the dark skies behind.

Pointer Seven – Don’t Be Afraid To Unleash The Kid In You

Think of the things you liked doing as a kid and do them again. If you liked to paint or draw, make the time to get back at it. This is the time for you to chill and enjoy yourself. An awesome route to help manage your stress.

Pointer Eight – Create Achievable Goals

It’s important that you are realistic when you’re creating your personal goals. Set yourself up for success. When you do this you are going to naturally zap excess stress pronto. In other words, don’t let your set expectations get out of hand when you are looking to set goals for yourself. If you do that you will only create more stress.

Final Words

Stress is a part of life and it’s super important that you learn how to deal with it. Use these pointers to help you get a handle on your stress and make better life decisions for you.

Good luck!

 

With A Little Creativity, You Can Get Your Children Eating Super Healthy!

No doubt, there’s a whole whack of information out there for parents looking to encourage their children to eat a healthy plant-based diet. Some of these websites tell you that your kids will need a b-vitamin supplement, and others warn you that your children will be missing many essential vitamins and minerals with a plant-based diet.

It’s a work in progress, to say the least!

Here are a few delicious recipes that are going to make it fun for your kids to eat healthily.

A – Quick Breakfasts

When you’re trying to get the kids off to school, it’s safe to say that breakfast time is usually pretty crazy. A lot of kids miss out on the most important meal of the day just because they don’t have time to eat.

It’s important for everyone, especially children, to eat breakfast every day. Here are a few easy plant-based breakfast ideas your kids will love!

#1 – Whole Grain Bread With Spreads

This is an easy one. All you’ve got to do is toast a piece of healthy whole grain bread and offer these specialty spreads to make it exciting and super healthy.

-pumpkin, sesame, or sunflower butter

-home-made jams

-hummus or avocado spread

#2 – Super Easy Smoothies

Smoothies are awesome because they are quick to make and you can put in all your favorite fruits and veggies. You are best to mix lots of fruits with a few veggies and add protein sources like nuts, beans, and rice milk.

B – Make Lunch Healthy

Whether you are packing lunches for school, or just chilling at home, it’s important your kids get lots of veggies, some healthy fats and good carbs in their day.

#1 – Easy Peasy Wraps

One of the easiest lunchtime meals is a wrap. Start with a whole grain wrap and load it with lots of fresh veggies. Add some protein-rich hummus, tofu, or even beans. Change it up to make sure your children get excited about lunch!

#2 – Rice Is In

Making a whole grain or wild rice is an excellent base for a healthy lunch. You can mix rice with beans, fruits, and all sorts of veggies. Add a little bit of cheese to ensure the protein content is there.

C – Dinner Ideas That Rock

Dinner time is where you are starting to wind down for the day. It’s all about sharing your day and helping your children to eat healthily. Here are a few awesome healthy dinner ideas.

#1 – Pasta Is Where It’s At

Pasta is fast and super easy. Cook up some whole grain pasta and add your favorite sauce. Throw in lots of fresh veggies and don’t forget the cheese! Yum!

#2 – It’s Pizza Time!

Pizza doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Try making a whole grain crust, use minimal cheese, and load it with lots of sauce and healthy veggies. Get creative and make sure you pick all of your children’s favorite vegan toppings.

Final Words

Use these tips to help teach your children to enjoy eating a healthy and exciting plant-based diet. With a little creativity, you can make amazing meals your kids are going to love, ones that are going to power them up with all the vitamins and minerals they need to be the best they can be.

Best of luck!

Dreaming of having your own signature style? Figuring out how to find your own personal style is easier than you might think! In fact, you probably already have a more iconic style than you think. It is just a matter of making some minor adjustments to create a one of a kind look that you love.

Ready to become a fashion icon? Here is everything that you need to know about how to find your own personal style.

Know What Works

Rule number one: know yourself! Figure out what makes you feel confident and comfortable. Of course, this has a lot to do with getting to know your body shape. Figure out what styles and silhouettes work for you. The easiest way to do this is take pictures of yourself in front of the mirror. Sort through your selfies and decide which looks you love.

When you are thinking about how to find your own personal style, it’s not about a total overhaul. It’s about finding what you love and editing from there.

Know What Doesn’t Work

Lifestyle is another major factor when you are figuring out how to find your own personal style.  While you should definitely dress for the life you want, it is essential to dress for the life you have. If you go from office wear to PJ five nights a week, there’s not point in investing in dozen of pairs of jeans. Likewise, if you’re raising a toddler, now isn’t the time to fill your closet with club wear.

It is also essential to be honest about what makes you feel good. It doesn’t matter how on trend something is. If you don’t love it, ditch it! Feeling comfortable is what differentiates a fashionista from a fashion victim.

Invest in Great Pieces

On your mission to figure out how to find your own personal style, start in your closet. Pull out things that you haven’t worn in more than a month. Donate the digs that just don’t work for you.

Once you have a closet full of clothes that you love, search for trends. Which clothes do you reach for over and over again? You might not realize it instantly so take your time see which styles you feel best in.

Find a Signature Piece

On your mission to find your own personal style, start thinking about how to find your signature piece. As you probably already know, the greatest style icons all have a signature look. Whether it’s a particular hairstyle, sunglasses, lipstick, or a scarf, it’s all about feeling good and radiating that “It Girl” vibe.

Keep Evolving

While it is great to figure out how to find your own personal style, it is essential to allow your style to keep evolving. As your life and interests grow, let your style keep changing too! While it is fabulous to have a signature look, it is just as essential to have a look that continues to grow with you.

Hey! Ready to upgrade your wardrobe? Here are our favorite chic (and flattering!) fashion trends for summer 2018.

Summer Trend We Love: Jumpsuits

Fun and functional? Yes, please! Jumpsuits are so easy to pull off and they can be dressed up or down. Pair them with comfy shoes for a cool daytime look, then upgrade to heels and a stylish blazer at night.

When it comes to jumpsuits, it can be tricky to find the perfect fit. It’s too easy to look like you are drowning in an oversized jumpsuit while a tight fit can leave you looking a bit too much like Cat Woman! Opt for something flowy, and slightly oversized. To accentuate your figure, add a belt for an hourglass look.

2018 Summer Trend We Love: Shirts Under Dresses

This is one of the best fashion trends for summer 2018 because it is so easy to wear and it doubles your wardrobe. Make evening dresses perfect for daytime by adding a t-shirt underneath. Have a summer dress that is a bit too revealing for brunch? Throw a button up shirt under it! This is such an incredibly versatile and undeniably cool trend that is easy to make your own.

2018 Summer Trend We Love: Off the Shoulder Shirts

Still loving the cold shoulder look? We’ve got good news! This is still one of the major fashion trends for summer 2018 so you can keep rocking this style. This trend has also evolved into a one shoulder look.

Not only does the asymmetric shoulder style look fresh, but it’s more practical than the cold shoulder trend. You can wear it with a convertible bra rather than having to deal with strapless bras. It also a warmer pick for cooler days.

Mix it up with jeans, leather pants, or palazzo trousers. One of our fave looks is the classic shirtdress with an asymmetric shoulder!

2018 Summer Trend We Love: 80s Style

Retro is always on trend and 80s style is one of the top fashion trends for summer 2018. We are talking about shoulder pads and high waists. It is all about stealing style inspiration from Princess Diana and Saint Laurent!

If shoulder pads are a bit too severe, go for puffy sleeves. One easy style to rock is the customized jean jacket. Find denim jackets with airbrushing, patches, and pins. When it comes to 80s inspired night looks, it is all about tulle!

2018 Summer Trend We Love: Pastels

Everybody is on the hunt for the new millennial pink! While pink is still one of the big fashion trends for summer 2018, it’s time to explore all of the gorgeous pastel looks out there.

When it comes to finding the new millennial pink, a lot of fashion experts are talking about lilac and lavender. We are also loving the beautiful new shades of pale pastel yellow and mint green.

One of the reasons we especially love that pastels are one of the biggest fashion trends for summer 2018 is that they are so easy! You can update your wardrobe in a flash with some simple pastel accessories.

Backpacking, road tripping, jet-setting and adventuring around the world are often considered luxuries beyond the reach of those living within smaller budgets. Contrary to this belief, traveling is not only possible for the lifestyles of the wealthy. Traveling on a budget is arguably the best way to travel more often than you thought imaginable and to affordably explore the world.

Deciding whether the goal is an adventure, or to arrive at a specific destination is a great place to start before configuring transportation. Cross-state, cross-country or cross-continental road trips are eye-opening experiences because of how many beautiful parks and breathtaking views can be seen right in your own backyard.

Sharing fuel costs is also a great way to cut transportation costs when budgeting for a trip. Drivers without reliable vehicles can even sign up with the several companies in North America that offer vehicle relocation services for people unable to drive their cars, vans, and RV’s to their desired destinations. This is a great way to get the fuel costs of the trip partially or totally covered.

Traveling by plane can easily be done on a budget as well. There are many last minute deals and standby flights available to those that can maintain flexibility in dates or location preference. There are also many reward programs that are worth using if you fly often. Be sure to download the applications that track prices and find the best flight connections as well!

Once you arrive at a destination you will need a place to sleep. Camping or van-camping are great ways to decrease or abolish accommodation costs during road trips. There are some amazing do-it-yourself templates that turn an average soccer van into a campervan! Don’t forget a cooler and cooking tools for budget road trips as meals can easily become the biggest expense when they are not carefully and economically executed.

There are communities of travelers that can be found online that exchange free or economic places to stay for travelers who are flying, traveling without a car, or not interested in camping. Staying with locals in their homes is the best way to authentically learn about the area and connect to the community.

Through this process, you may discover the most affordable local prices for entertainment and food, as well as places like beaches and parks that are meant for locals rather than tourists. Another option in most tourist destinations is affordable living accommodations such as hostels or traveler houses. These places often offer a volunteer exchange for room and board. These volunteers typically work some hours in reception or the kitchen in exchange for a semi-private or dorm-room bed as well as some or all meals.

This unique opportunity of staying and living in one area while traveling allows for settling, friendships, integration, and exploration that does not happen as easily when quickly passing through as a tourist. Being released from the responsibility of paying for room and board is another perfect way to extend a trip on a small budget, so long as there are not too many ongoing bills or costs or that have been left behind at home.

Depending on where and how long travelers find themselves away from home they could be entitled to work. At the very least it is possible to find a volunteer or barter-exchange relationships to attain accommodations, food, and fun. Many people work from their computer online or learn to use their skills and training in music, massage, yoga, sports, and art to find work along with their trips.

Traveling on a budget can open the door to opportunities and growth, often more so than a typical luxurious vacation. By minimizing costs, remaining flexible and open, and maintaining even a small income or method for volunteer and barter exchange, traveling can happen more often and could even become a nomadic adventure that lasts forever!

Welcome to our first article in the blog! My name is Ahmed and I am the founder of MarketSpell. I am honoured and excited to be given the chance today to tell you our story. MarketSpell is the first marketplace in Canada for local products that you’ll love.

Before MarketSpell

I always saw myself as a dreamer. A person who wants to have a positive impact on society. But I had no idea on how I could do that.

I was very fortunate to be brought up in a family of diplomats. I had the privilege to travel around the world and to live in many different countries. It was a great opportunity for me to learn and meet some amazing people.

I saw how social status, gender, ethnicity, religion, orientations didn’t matter. Our struggles as humans are all the same. People should be measured by the size of their heart and the love they give.

Some of the wisest words that I have heard throughout my life came from farmers and workers who hadn’t received a basic education. I used to see the joy in their eyes when they were giving back to their community regardless of how little they had.

Without realizing it, they were changing the world with these small acts. They were a big inspiration for me. They helped me to understand myself better and made me realize that happiness for me meant helping people and giving back to my community.

The Birth of an Idea

Before founding MarketSpell, I was an engineer in his twenties who had a good career working in many international projects.

Yet, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t doing what I truly loved: helping communities and giving back to our planet. When I moved to Canada three years ago from England, I fell in love with the country.

Canada has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and a high standard of living. But I quickly realized that what made Canada truly exceptional is its people. They are some of the kindest, welcoming and talented people that I have ever met.

While living here I became fond of local Canadian products. I was also intrigued and interested to know more about the stories of the talented people behind these products. I learned about their successes and their struggles.

I found that many small business owners and artisans faced difficulties when selling online and reaching new international markets.

At that time, I didn’t realize it but the idea behind MarketSpell was just born. My goal was to create a service that could help them access new markets and to share their stories.

By starting MarketSpell, I wanted people all over the world to discover our amazing products. My goal was to celebrate local Canadian talent and share it with the rest of the world.

Starting MarketSpell

In late 2017, I decided to quit everything and pursue my dream. Many people around me were very skeptical.

They thought it’s was a bad idea and I shouldn’t do it. I knew that it was a hard endeavor and that I would likely face many failures, discouragements and that I will be tested to the very core. But I believed in my dream.

MarketSpell became my passion and I wasn’t prepared to back down.

So I moved to a coworking space in Montreal and I dedicated all my efforts in realizing my dream. I faced many challenges as I lacked expertise in many fields.

It was hard but I always remembered how lucky I am to be doing something that I love and that has the potential to change the lives of many people. I had to learn and improve myself. I read dozens of books in every relevant subject to improve my knowledge in many fields.

But I knew that I couldn’t do this alone. I was fortunate to receive the help and support of my family, friends, my mentor, business coach and the goodwill of strangers to guide me. I am also humbled and honored to have an amazing team that believes in my vision. Without them, I would have never been able to move on with my dream.

When starting MarketSpell, I wanted to embed my values into the company culture. Success for us is never about how much money can this company makes.

It’s about how we can change people’s lives for the better and how we can help small Canadian businesses reach new markets. We also have a strong social & environmental mission. For example, an increasing part of our revenue each year will go toward charitable causes in Canada.

I am excited to announce the launch of MarketSpell very soon. We are currently in touch with thousands of amazing Canadian sellers to bring you their products to the marketplace!

Thank you all for your amazing support!

Ahmed Dawod

Founder of MarketSpell