Five Sneaky Ways to Get More Vegetables in Your Day

All right, it’s time for a show of hands.  How many of you have heard that eating more vegetables is part of a healthful diet?  Hmmm…okay, yup, just hold them up a minute or so longer while I count…ok.  You can put your hands down now.  Next, how many of you have heard that you shouldn’t eat vegetables?  <Crickets>.

Yup, it seems that your grandmother was right.  Even conflicting fad diets seem to embrace vegetables as a commonality.

So now that your shoulders and arms are all warmed up from that first round of hand-raising, let’s get ready for round two: how many of you are eating the recommended 5-10 servings per day of fruits and vegetables.  Oh, okay.  I hear you.  You *would* be, if only your kids (or yourself) liked vegetables more.  If only vegetables tasted more delicious.  If only they were convenient and accessible.

Well, then.  In case you missed this week’s Instagram video series (or scrolled past the videos in your Facebook newsfeed – be sure to choose “Follow” and “See First” to ensure you’re getting all of my latest and greatest FREE health & fitness content), here are my top five tips for busy professional working women to get their kids (and themselves) to eat more vegetables.

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Five Ways to Get In Charge of Your Appetite

I don’t know about you, but I just get so HUNGRY sometimes, like out of whack with what my actual needs are to fuel my body. And I realized that there can be “appetite triggers” around us that actually trick us into feeling hungry when we really physically do not need food (nasty devils, they are.  As if this whole “health and fitness” thing wasn’t challenging enough already!).

So, this week’s series is just for busy, professional working women (just like me!), and is all about ways to make your appetite, especially when you are trying to control your energy balance (see last week’s post to geek out on our energy needs) to lose weight or fat.  I’ve also posted the five points as a video series on Instagram and Facebook.  You can read the fine print, next!

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Five Sneaky Ways to Get More Activity in Your Day

Last week’s post on five family-friendly, delicious and nutritious recipes was a hit with my busy professional readers.  I decided to follow it up with the fitness portion of the health and wellness equation, since energy balance is all about both calories in (from food) and calories out (from our bodies’ processes and activities each day).

Are you ready for today’s science lesson?  The amount of energy we use each day is called our Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).  It’s not just about the numbers on the calorie counters at the gym or on your personal tracking device (both of which are notoriously inaccurate, by the way).  Nope, the bulk of calories we “burn” in a day aren’t in our Zumba class, but rather the normal daily biological functions that keep us alive and moving.  Things like breathing, digesting our food and thinking.  Even sleeping!  The amount of energy it takes to keep our bodies functioning each day is called our basal metabolic rate (BMR) or resting metabolic rate (RMR).  The fact that it takes energy to break down our food for use in our bodies is captured in the thermic effect of eating (TEE).  And of course we know that we use energy when we hit the gym or do another kind of workout or class – that’s physical activity (PA).  But then we have all of the movement we undertake each day that’s not part of our formal exercise routine.  We get out of bed, we brush our teeth, we walk from Point A to Point B, and back to Point A because we forgot why we went to Point B in the first place (or wait, is that just me?).  Yup, all this movement adds up!  It’s the non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).  So TDEE = BMR + TEE + PA + NEAT.  Neat, right?  NEAT, indeed!

This post is all about ways to increase your NEAT and get more activity into your already busy day.  Read on!

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Five Family-Friendly Healthy Recipes

Are you ready for the hands-on portion of the class?  I write about a lot of theory, and I decided it was time to get back to my roots (and I don’t mean my hair) – if you didn’t know, this blog actually started mainly with recipes for meals and snacks!  Since I am committed to helping busy professional working mothers to lose fat (and all other comers are welcome, too!), I thought it would be practical to share some of my latest and greatest delicious and nutritious recipes.  These are all kid- and husband-tested and approved.

I’ve taken some of the Golden Graham family favourites – a lot of these are updated, more healthful versions of perennial favourite foods like pizza or burgers.  They are delicious AND nutritious, and I especially love them because they can be on the table in 20-30 minutes (or faster, if you do some make-ahead prep – my top prep tips are here).  You’ll definitely want to pin or bookmark this page for easy reference for these recipes to keep you winning the weeknight dinner wars!

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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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