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.

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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.

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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?

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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:

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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!

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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.

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The Top Five Reasons I Love Tracking Macros

Macros and I go back.  Way back.  In fact, I wrote one of my first posts about tracking macros over three years ago (July 11, 2015, to be exact), and it’s still a good read and I recommend it to get acquainted with the basics of what tracking your macros is all about.  At that point, I’d already been tracking extensively for several months.  This approach to diet/nutrition was a game-changer for me, so much so that I’ve continued to use it in pursuit of my goals on and off for the three years that have ensued since then.  In fact, I’ve taken ALL of the knowledge and experience I’ve gained and put it into my signature program, GAME YOUR GRAMS.  If you want to learn more about it, just e-mail me with the subject line “GAME MY GRAMS!”

I decided that three years is plenty long enough to re-visit and expand (and expound) even further on why I love tracking macros.  “Oh, tracking macros, how I love thee!  Let me count the ways…”  Guess how many reasons I came up with?  Did you come up with five?  (Did the title of this post give it away)?

Let’s discuss the five reasons why I love tracking macros (and why I think you will love it, too):

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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).

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Five Reasons for Accountability Coaches

This week is all about accountability coaching/coaches.  Sure, we’ve heard of fitness coaches and/or nutrition coaches, and they each provide a measure of accountability, aka keeping you accountable for your goals.  So what exactly is accountability coaching as a standalone service?  What services do accountability coaches provide?

Let’s say you’ve ever wished you could pay someone to come along and slap donuts (or other less-than-optimal foods) out of your hand.  Your nutrition coach might give you a plan or advice along those lines, but sometimes you just don’t want to admit it to him or her when you’re struggling.  Or you don’t really need a full-blown custom meal plan, but you do need some helpful nudges and/or healthful tips or tricks to get or stay on track.  Or maybe you want to have a little voice in your ear pushing you to get more out of your workouts, especially if your athletic trainer or coach has assigned you a program but isn’t there to monitor you every day.  Or you’re looking for accountability help you stay on track with any success habit or life goal, from practicing the mandolin every day to competing in an Ironman. That’s accountability coaching.  It’s like having a really intrusive and pushy friend or family member, in the best kind of way, without the awkward emotional entanglement.

Let’s read on for some of the top benefits that accountability coaches bring.

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Five Times I “Failed” With My Fitness or Nutrition Goals…And How I Got Back On Track

“Failure.”  Nobody likes to admit to it.  So let’s re-frame: a failure is really just a learning opportunity, a chance to take stock of what doesn’t work and to move forward with what will.  It would be fun but fake for me to say that I’m just always perfectly on top of all of my fitness and nutrition goals and that every approach to exercise or eating I’ve ever tried has worked out effortlessly.  Let’s just cut through that crap.  Instead, I thought it would be worthwhile to share times I’ve gotten off-track with my fitness and/or nutrition goals and what I did to re-group and get back on track (or to change tracks entirely).  As per usual, I’ve also made an Instagram video series on this topic (and if you’re not on the ‘gram, the videos also show up on Facebook.)

Here we go with five times I failed had learning opportunities to enhance my ability to stay on track with my fitness and nutrition goals.

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