I love finding new blogs that promote eating well and staying healthy. It was quite a while ago that I found Sharon’s blog The Honour System. Her latest post is paleo granola that’s sugar free. For real. That sounds so good! I was so intrigued when I read about Sharon’s story and thought it would be the perfect one to elaborate on here. I was grateful she agreed. So hailing from Canada, Sharon gives us a peak into her world.
Sharon is Dynamo because of her commitment to herself, her health journey, and her desire to share this knowledge with others. Dynamo is a series dedicated to showing real people, real power-houses, who inspire me and people around them in their everyday healthy living. I believe we all influence others more than we realize or recognize. These interviews are meant to capture the journey, where ever that is right now, and inspire each of us to continue in our own unique journeys.
On your blog you reference that you used to be a “pack a day smoker.” Why did that change?
I guess you could say I just plain old smartened up. I was fifteen when I started smoking and like any other teenager, I thought I knew it all. As time marched on and my thirties were approaching, I took a long, hard look at my lifestyle and how my choices were affecting my health. I picked a date and quit cold turkey. I smoked for almost 15 years and stopped just like that. It was time.
What have you learned about yourself through that process?
I learned that I can do anything I set my mind too. I know that sounds super cliche but it is the truest way for me to say it. Statistics say that smoking is one of the hardest addictions to break. I beat it and it’s so empowering.
If you still sometimes crave smoking, what do you do to fight it?
Initially I would knit or, big shocker, eat. But after the first few weeks my cravings were gone. I was *so* ready.
Was there something that propelled you to go from “chemical laden, processed foods” to more healthful whole foods?
Reading more labels and analyzing what is actually being added to processed foods was enough for me. I quit smoking because of the dangerous chemicals and additives, so why would I now want to eat them?
What was the hardest thing about changing your diet?
Preparing all of your meals and snacks takes organization. Planning out the week, making the detailed grocery lists, and executing it all is like running a small business in itself.
Can you tell us about the “honour system” that you believe in?
Yes, the Honour System. It was my big ‘light bulb’ moment. As an ‘all-or-nothing’ type person this took me awhile to grasp. While I eat healthy most of the time there are moments when I just want Chinese for dinner or a night out with friends isn’t going to be at the organic cafe. This is when you use the Honour System. It’s kind of the 80/20 rule except I hate numbers and math so I stick with my Honour System. I like to say “You can treat yourself, but don’t cheat yourself.” These occasions don’t happen daily. But they will happen and I find staying realistic about it so much better in the long run. Enjoy the night out and get right back to wholesome eating the next meal. The key is not letting it spiral out of control.
You create beautiful recipes on your blog, what has been the most rewarding things about blogging?
It’s given me such a feeling of accomplishment, you have no idea. My intention with The Honour System is to do something I enjoy for a living. Through many hours of recipe testing, photo taking, post editing, social media sharing, and of course, because of a few wonderful friends spreading the word, I’ve achieved that goal on a part time basis. My blog has become my business and I’m so incredibly proud.
What is your current favorite go-to recipe?
Hemp Seed Energy Balls, all day long.
How do you set yourself up for successful healthy eating each week?
Have a plan! Like I said earlier, keeping organized is the key. If the pantry is stocked with healthy options you will choose those. If your cupboards are bare? Fast foods are incredibly easy and tempting.
What do you love about your body? Why?
Hmmm … loaded question. I’m not someone who can comfortably toot my own horn and am uneasy with compliments. I am quite tall and to be very honest, I love that the most because it allows me to eat more than the average woman. That’s the honest truth. Funny how it all comes back to food for me.
Do you incorporate any physical practices/fitness with your healthy eating? If so, what and how do you feel like this encourages your healthy eating?
I have a solid group that I work out with. We do a trainer led circuit class that is ever evolving. I find accountability is key for me with staying consistent with my fitness. This fun group of ladies keeps every workout fresh and interesting. I also know that they will call me out if I miss a class. Accountability. It works! I also find that my workouts are always easier when my body is fueled with the right foods. Here I am taking a selfie and not doing my ab work. 😉
I also enjoy getting out for long walks after meals. While they are delightful in spring, summer and fall, winter can be a different story. Living in Canada, it won’t surprise you to hear that the winters can be long. I make an effort to get out for walks even when there is snow on the ground.
What are three of your current goals?
- Plan a holiday with my love
- Organize a springtime clean of my home
- Continue striving to make thehonoursystem.com my full-time gig.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to change their current lifestyle to one of breaking unhealthy habits and eating more healthful foods?
I think a lot of people are apprehensive of ‘drastic’ changes but it will really add such quality to your life. Start small and keep building. Don’t focus on what you shouldn’t be eating but instead celebrate all of things you can! Like Hemp Seed Energy Balls. 😉
What does happiness look like to you?
I have a very small group of loved ones and they are my happiness. Together we enjoy the simpler things. I am truly blessed to have found the love of my life who is also the best friend, partner and ally imaginable. We are kindred spirits and relish quiet time together. There’s a quote by Jane Austen that I love. “There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.” That’s my happiness.