How-To: Improve Your Nutrition (Without Changing Your Food Choices)

Hello and welcome to Monday!  As we kick off the week, I invite you to start where you are.  I mean, honestly where else CAN you start?  If you want to pursue a vegan, raw, macrobiotic, alkaline diet but you’ve currently got a three-a-day Twinkies & Diet Coke habit, then let’s honour THAT.  Quite frankly, you HAVE to start where you are, because well, it’s where you are.  I’m excited for the science of dual-locality, but until we get there, let’s ditch the thought of doing a complete dietary overhaul every Monday morning, only to find ourselves barely hanging on come Thursday (or Wednesday.  Or even Monday night).

I’m a big advocate for going after “low-hanging fruit” – and not just in literal orchard-picking.  In any endeavour, these are the “easy wins,” the “no brainers” – if there was something EASY you could do to move the dial just a little bit in your favour, wouldn’t you turn that dial?  If you’re trying to make a million dollars today, would you turn down someone who offered you $5?  Nonsense!  Maybe that’s exactly how you’re going to get to $1  million!  Two hundred thousand people are going to give you $5.  Who are you to turn them down?

So, in that same spirit, I’ve come up with five easy ways to improve your nutrition without even touching on your food or portion choices.  As per usual, I’ve made really EASY, digestible (pun totally intended) videos on my Instagram (and also put those same videos on Facebook to make it EXTRA easy for you).  Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy, as my seven-year-old would say (another saying that’s made its way into my household with no clue as to its origin.  Cute, but not mine.  The saying, I mean.  Not the kid.  He’s cute and TOTALLY mine).

Keep reading

Advertisements

Hallmarks of a Good Nutrition Coaching Program

As you may or may not know, I’ve decided to further invest in my education.  On top of my certification as a CanFitPro Personal Training Specialist, I felt led to deepen my knowledge, understanding and teaching of nutrition.  How many times have you heard, “Abs are made in the kitchen,” or, “Results are 80% nutrition”?  To that end, I am pursuing my Level 1 Certification from Precision Nutrition.   So far, everything I’m learning really resonates with me in terms of what I have experienced to be true about my own journey with nutrition.  From a coaching perspective, I shared on my Instagram video series (and my videos on Facebook), five hallmarks of a good nutrition coaching program.

Regardless of the type of food (vegan, vegetarian, non-GMO, organic, processed, paleo, etc.) or approach (intermittent fasting, mini meals, etc.), the COACHING to support good nutrition should exhibit the five characteristics that follow.

Keep reading

Five Reasons for Rest

Welcome to this week’s discussion on the importance of REST!
(As always, there is an Instagram video series on this topic, or see my videos on Facebook).

If you’re anything like me, you can feel a pressure to just do more.  Taking a day off seems like “laziness” or at the least, taking a step back away from and not towards our goals.  “Rest is for the wicked,” you may have heard.  It’s time to let that go.

Just as in other parts of nature, like the tides or the seasons, our bodies are meant to wax and wane in their efforts.  Even elite-level athletes have an off-season for a reason (and it’s not just to play golf).  I personally just took a “de-load” week (as in “take a load off!”) to rest, recover and rejuvenate from training. For a full week I took a break from lifting weights, running and any other intense workouts. I kept my body moving with gentle yoga, walking and swimming. Now I’m feeling rested and energized for the week ahead.

Guess what? I didn’t gain weight, my muscles didn’t fall off and my clothes still fit. And I’m happier for it.

Rest is not only the rest between sets of exercise, or rest days between intense workout days, this is also the rest you get each night as you sleep.  Let’s talk about WHY rest is so vital for our success – I’ll share five reasons.

Keep reading

Five Elements of Tranformation

This week’s series is all about TRANSFORMATION.  I personally just spent a transformative weekend in Indian Wells, California.  This desert landscape proved to be an oasis for me in terms of personal transformation.  I attended a retreat “life-changing 4-day transformative experience” called NeoGenesis (literally, “new beginnings”) hosted by the supreme Niurka.

The experience was indescribable and deeply personal for each and every attendee, and I wholeheartedly recommend checking it out for yourself.  I did my best to distill my key learnings on the elements of transformation in my Instagram video series on this topic (and I also shared those videos on Facebook).  If anything, the course also reinforces the importance of effective communication when it comes to improving the quality of your life in ALL regards: health & fitness, wealth & finances, love & relationships and more.

Given that I’ve already been privileged to receive the gifts of fitness and nutrition to transform my body and my health, I’m SO excited to apply the underlying principles of transformation to EVERY area of my life, and to share these principles with you.

Are you ready to be TRANSFORMED?

Keep reading

Why You *Should* Weigh Yourself Daily

I feel as though lately, scales have gotten a bad rap.  “Stay off the scales!”  “Don’t weigh yourself!”  “Muscles weighs more than fat!” (Not exactly true, or at least that is an incomplete sentence.  Because guess what?  A pound of fat weighs exactly the same as a pound of muscle.  However, a pound of muscle takes up less space.  Or, for an equivalent VOLUME of fat and muscle, the muscle will weigh more.  Two different ways to say that muscle tissue is denser than adipose – fat – tissue.  But I digress.) My Instagram video series (and my videos on Facebook) this week are on the topic of weighing DAILY (gasp!).

I’ve had several clients say to me lately, “I know I *shouldn’t*, but I weigh myself every day.”  It seems like they are almost expect me to chastise them and agree that they shouldn’t.  But you should know that I’m not a fan of “shoulds.”  Instead, I ask where that “should” comes from.  Is it coming from a place of self-knowledge and self-awareness that seeing the number on the scales is just BAD NEWS for how it will impact their day?  Or is it just another generic “SHOULD” perpetuated by the fitness industry that doesn’t take into account the fact that we are all unique individuals (like butterflies or snowflakes), and certain strategies that are ill-advised for some work beautifully for others? (Like the keto diet – don’t get me started.  It’s a not a magic bullet for fat loss for all and can be a downright dangerous dietary move for some, while it is one of the best paths to vibrant healthy and vitality for others).

So let me state my case for weighing daily. But first, let’s remember that your WORTH, your WORTHINESS, and your VALUE as a human being are completely independent of ANY number – your weight, your % body fat, your bank account balance, your number of followers on social media…you are a completely incredible, valuable, worthy human being just as you are.  But, if Amazing You is going to weigh in, weigh daily. Here’s why:

Keep reading

How-To: Break Free From Binge Eating

This week’s series is all about binge eating.  I’m not just talking about eating a few slices of pizza.  I’m talking about eating in a zombie-like state, well beyond physical hunger, to the point of physical discomfort accompanied by a complete sense of loss of control.  This is a serious mental and physical health concern and is something I personally struggled with for over a decade, starting in my early twenties.

It turns out that I am not alone and if you currently struggle or have also struggled with binge eating disorder or episodes of binge eating, then you are not alone, either.  This issue is likely way more common than fitness professionals like to admit.  Binge eating disorder is actually considered the most common form of eating disorder, affecting both women and men, more than anorexia and bulimia combined.

The good news is that there are resources out there for treating and successfully moving away from binge eating. I’m excited that I can take my experience and the resources that helped me and in turn share them with you, if you or someone you love is struggling.

I’m going to be covering the wonderful work of Dr. Melissa McCreery this week.  Her BEAST acronym is a great tool for breaking free from binge eating, compulsive overeating and emotional eating.  This tool helps to identify, plan for and hopefully deal with overlooked triggers for overeating so that we can reduce or eliminate binge eating episodes.  I’ve taken each letter of the acronym and filmed a one-minute video on Instagram  (the videos are also on my page on Facebook).

We got this.  Together, we’re going to break free from binge eating.

Keep reading

How-To: Start (or re-start) Your Fitness Journey

It’s that time of year – a new season is upon us, which usually means that people are re-visiting, re-vamping or dusting off their health & fitness goals.  Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to get started (or re-started).  If you’re looking for some easy, actionable steps to get you going, read on!

Keep reading

How-To: Crush Your Chocolate Cravings

Mmm…chocolate…drool…(so, if you’ve ever heard me say that I’m a runner, basically the image at the right is what’s going on).  I just LOVE chocolate.  I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate?? (Okay, I know you people are out there.  Identify yourselves at your own risk.  You probably don’t really need to read this post, but on second thought, you probably should anyway so that you’re prepared to deal withhelp the chocolate lovers in your life.  Let’s face it; you’re in the minority.)  I’ve literally been talking about chocolate all week on my Instagram video series (and for a double dose, I’m on Facebook as well).  I’ve basically been PURPOSEFULLY trying to get you to crave chocolate all week, just so I can share with you how to crush your craving.

Let’s be clear…when I say “crush” your chocolate craving, I mean honour it.  Respect it, meet it, FILL it.  I don’t mean ignore it or use mind-Jedi tricks to pretend that those celery sticks are really rich, luscious chocolate.  I’m a firm believer that our cravings are our bodies’ ways of telling us things.  Important things. Things like, “FEED ME CHOCOLATE!”

Of course, fitting into your favourite jeans or crushing your back squat PR in the gym or playing with your kids or just plain having energy and confidence for life are important, too.  Don’t worry; I got you boo.  I’m sharing my favourite HEALTHFUL chocolate choices to help you meet those NEEDS and stay on track with your goals.  I even made a FREE E-BOOK for you!

SHOW ME THE CHOCOLATE! (/Jerry Maguire)

Keep reading

How-To: Stay (or Get) In Shape On Vacation

‘Tis the season to be…on holiday (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway).  But if you want to stay more on the svelte side vs. the Santa side, then it’s important to consider how you’re going to keep your “summer body” through the trials and tribulations of travel.  Temptations of all kinds abound when you’re in holiday mode – temptations in terms of foods to eat, in terms of opportunities to forgo your workout routine, temptations to let loose and party like everyone else.  And of course, you can (and likely should!) eat the foods and relish an opportunity to take a break from your regular exercise grind AND enjoy time with loved ones.  But you can do that without abandoning all of your progress!

I’m actually currently in the middle of a two-week tour of the Maritimes to visit MY family (staying with four different hosts in two different provinces over fourteen days), and I’ve focused in on the five things I’m doing to stay on track and still have fun with the fam jam.  For the quick, super vacation-friendly version of this content, you can check out the videos on these topics on my Instagram or Facebook feed.

Keep reading

How-To: Drink More Water

Is it HOT enough for you, Cal-GARY?  Or Halifax? (I’ve been hearing reports of record temperatures and humidity on the other side of the country, too).  Or wherever you are?  Or maybe you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and it’s actually cold right now, and indoor heat sources are cranked and drying out the air, and YOU’RE dehydrated, too!  We’re in the middle of Environment Canada Extreme Weather Advisories and Heat Warnings, etc.  And since adequate water intake is a key component of fat loss, all the more reason to share my top tips for drinking more of the good stuff.  Good, ol’fashioned “aitch two oh” (“haitch two oh” in Newfoundland).

Keep reading