As I approach my 40th birthday this fall…yes 40…it has dawned on me what 40 looks like. Or, “looked like.”

I remember back in the day how old people seemed, especially when I would hear it was one of their milestone birthdays. It felt like I would see them living their lives like it was some sort of halfway marker. Maybe not making the best choices for themselves as they chose better for those around them, and were left lingering in the background.

I have a picture of my Dad on his 40th birthday (I only know this because of the giant helium balloon behind him and the fact that he was still with my stepmom at the time, who is also in the picture) and as I look at it now, my Dad doesn’t look particularly old. But what I can see are some of the choices around him (no, not talking about my former stepmom!). I’m talking chips and booze and sugary snacks….all the things I struggle not to love today.

It’s funny when you get to similar milestones and you start to think about what you want, where you have come from and how much further you need to go to keep fulfilling your dreams and desires.

One of the biggest targets this year for me was to hit my wellness as hard as possible. Yes, a big part of it was vanity. Wait, did you actually think I was going to stand here and lie to you, telling you that abs and leaning out weren’t one of the primary parts of my fitness and health journey? Before you start to hate me, I will say that it isn’t the primary focus. To be honest, it’s more like #3 on the list. #1 is being able to get up and go out and live my life and not feel like 40 is holding me back or making me feel a certain way that I certainly don’t. #2 is making sure that I treat my body the way I want it to look. That includes watching what I buy, the way I prepare it, and no more sour key candies in bed at night (I woke up 2 months ago with one melted into the bedding. I walked to the washroom with our top sheet glued to the pant leg of my pyjama pants. Yes this is 39. Yes I still make mistakes, and yes I had to wash everything twice before the stickiness was gone.)

As I mentioned above, I, along with my husband are embarking on a journey that not only includes health, working out and physique, but we have also made some changes into what comes into our house. In no way are we full time vegetarians, vegans, or plant based athletes. But we incorporate more veggies and protein sources that aren’t necessarily meat/dairy.

In general, I feel like we are better informed today now more than ever. We have amazing resources around us and heck, everyone has at least one friend who is just so obsessed and smart when it comes to healthy foods and fats and it’s exciting to pick their brain. Also the products hitting the market now are getting better and better.

Protein shakes are a daily source of the “BRO-tein” in our home. For the past 6 years, we have loved plopping veggies into the Vitamix and scooping a heaving scoopful of whey protein into it. But then we started researching more plant based, less dairy options and let me be honest, the sludge we were making was making it an unpleasant experience. I felt guilty wasting half of my morning shake/post workout shake down the drain because of how awful it tasted. Or the consistency reminded me of a construction site pouring the base of a home.

When withinUs™ decided to make a plant based, 5 ingredients only protein powder I was beyond excited to try it. So order it we did. And love it, we did. Again, 5 simple ingredients, no hidden sweeteners or added flavouring. Which, can we just talk about for a second how much I love the fact that buying a tub of Plant Protein + TruMarine® Collagen also allows you endless combinations and varieties? Gone are “I guess I’m having chocolate-with-everything shakes” for months on end. If I want something fruity and naturally sweet, BAM I can blend the non-gritty powder in without a long term flavour commitment. Wanna up your greens and go heavy veggie based? No problem. Full on Vanilla, Peanut Butter and hemp hearts? You go girl. The endless possibilities make me and my cravings very happy. I also love the (yes I read the label) the certified organic ingredients: brown rice, quinoa, sacha inchi (a mountain seed high vitamins and protein) and fermented peas.

Plus, who doesn’t dig the added benefits of the highest grade, non GMO TruMarine® Collagen with each scoop? 25 grams clean protein too. SOLD.
So whatever it is that you are striving for this year, this birthday, this summer, I encourage you to dig in deep. Don’t be afraid to try something new or GAWD FORBID PUT YOURSELF FIRST every once in awhile. You might just surprise yourself, just like that 40 year old party my husband is throwing for me later this year.

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