Saturday, July 31, 2010
Now nourishing your body of course is vital but so is keeping up your strength and vitality through physical activity.
So before we begin tomorrow. I need you to start a new page in your log and do the following assignment. See you tomorrow!
Assignment: Target Heart Rate (THR)
It's important to know your THR and the calculation is easy.
220 - your age= your target heart rate
Make a note of that number. It is your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)
Then multiply your (MHR) 0.6 for your lowest range on the scale (note this number in your log).
Next multiple your MHR by 0.8 (or 0.9 if you are pretty fit) to get the highest range on your work out scale, also make a note of this number in your log. Between these last two numbers is the zone in which you want to work.
If you are less fit you should start near the bottom end of the zone. Don't worry there are still many benefits to be gained a this end of the scale!
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Normally prior to meeting with clients or early in our training stages I have them keep a food log for me to get an idea of what their diet and lifestyle is like.
Well guess what? Most of those vary ones are not eating a healthy diet and I'll tell you why.
I am actually going to use a page from Ryan D.'s food log. It's a typical entry in his log and he's fine with me sharing this with you since he's come a long way from these "healthy" days. For those of you who know the Ryan I am talking about, he's a big guy, with a big appetite, and often people approach him in the gym for advice simply because of his physique.
3 egg whites, scrambled
2 slices of toast (when asked this was white bread)
Kelloggs All Bran Bar or Nutri-grain bar
Low Fat wheat crust pepperoni pizza (From Frozen) or 2 Whoppers
Tim Horton's large double-double
Potato with melted cheese
Cap'n Crunch Cereal with skim milk
Let's look at the good things on this list. Ryan was eating many meals throughout the day which is great. He was also having a big breakfast. Now the thought of eating eggs makes me ill, but this was Ryan's favourite form of morning protein. So after giving him my thoughts on why I thought he shouldn't eat eggs, I went on to tell him if he was going to continue eating eggs that he was throwing away the main protein (the yokes) by eating only the whites. His reason for tossing the yokes was for cholesterol reasons. When he learned that is where all the nutrients were and asked why he was afraid of cholesterol from eggs but not the cholesterol from chicken (and other meats) he was left with a lot to think about.
Next let's look at the granola bars. This is another area that puts people in a false sense of belief that they are eating healthy. These sugary snacks are full of UNhealthy ingredients! Take a look at the filling: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, BLUEBERRY PUREE CONCENTRATE, GLYCERIN, SUGAR, WATER, SODIUM ALGINATE, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, METHYLCELLULOSE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, MALIC ACID, RED #40, BLUE #1.
This is just the filling! The ingredients list in this product and in most of his foods were incredibly long and unhealthy!
It's hard when foods are sold to us as a health food but are really nothing more than glorified junk food. Especially when one is trying to eat better and lose weight. So again I encourage you to read the labels and not to believe the hype. Just because you are told it's good for you doesn't mean that it is. Just as foods with various health check labels. People will see the symbol and believe they are being told the truth that these foods are great for you. Yet I've seen them on the most sugary, fatty foods out there! Read your labels, not the pretty packaging or what the commercials have promoted.
His lunch again was a long list of foods he couldn't even pronounce or identify. Frozen pizzas can be some of the worst stuff out there for you. You are so much better off to make your own with fresh veggies on top.
Look over his day he also consumed more coffee than he needed in his diet, and coffee at nigh is never a good thing.
As bodybuilder he needed to clean up his diet and have better sources of protein. He also needed bigger better meals. Now this is another thread entirely and I don't want to get off topic. I do want to point out that certain foods that are sold to you on the premise that they are health foods and are helping you get fit and stay healthy are not always true.
Ryan believed that granola bars were good for him and a great snack on the go. That his low fat frozen pizzas were healthy. That his Burger King burgers were great because they were 'flame broiled' and not fried. The amounts caffeine were keeping him pumped up and fueled. I thought it was cute that here there was this big body builder munching on Cap'n Crunch cereal for a night time snack. However, the ingredients in that was sugar, more sugar, food dyes, and preservatives. Again sold as a health food because the vitamins and minerals it contains along with corn.
I am thrilled to say Ryan's diet has come a long way! He feels better and his energy level has increased from healthy foods instead of coffee, which he now only has in the morning. He makes his own granola bars once a month from whole grains, nuts and seeds along with protein powder which all his gym friends love. Ryan D.also makes his own pizzas and salads now. Substituting his high fat ranch dressing with a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix.
He still likes his evening cereal in front of the TV but now is enjoying healthy cereals with almond milk.
Way to go Ryan, and thanks for letting us use you in this thread!!
Remember because it says healthy on the label doesn't mean it's not junk!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
1. Consume 5-6 meals a day. Yes you heard right! This will help boost your body's metabolic rate.
2. Reduce your sugar consumption
3. Hire a personal Trainer
4. Introduce a cardio work out at least 3 times a week of at least 30 minutes each.
5. Drinks lots of water
6. Get a good night's sleep
7. Exercise portion control on your plate
8. Set realistic goals
9. Increase fibre and decrease/avoid trans fats
10. Keep a food and exercise journal
We have another Question & Answer post coming soon so again feel free to submit your questions!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Food addictions and emotional eating can be real problems. Especially if you are depressed or overweight and constantly turn to food for comfort. After all food doesn't judge you and it's always there for you. In return food addicts make excuses for their behaviour. "I had a hard day I deserve it" "Well just one piece everyone else is having some"
So how do you break the habit and begin to cure yourself? Unhealthy eating habits can be hard to break.
First thing is to recognize that you are an emotional eater.
Second, try to understand your relationship with food. Often people need help with this step by seeking professional help. Especially if this eating disorder stems form something in your childhood.
Visualize yourself eating healthy and eat regular satisfying meals. Best of all try not to store the bad foods that are your temptations.
Friday, July 23, 2010
The standard recommendation is at least 8 hours, though i do believe some of us, myself included, could do with a lot more.
Failing to get enough sleep leads to aging, fatigue, shortened life span, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and the list goes on.
I'm not a fan of legal drugs so I'll share with you a few natural wonders that can help you catch a few zzzz's.
- Chamomile tea
- A warm bath
- Valerian root
- A spritz of lavender to your pillow
What to Avoid:
- Here I am again saying to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar as they all interfere with sleep.
- Naps during the day
- Try not to have a TV or computer in the bedroom
Other things you may want to try include:
- Meditation and relaxation techniques
- Sleeping in a dark room
Thursday, July 22, 2010
As you know the physical can be as important as the nutritional in achieving your goals.
So far most of our focus has been on diet, again that is because I truly believe a lot of your goals can be reached just by making the changes to what you eat and how eat.
In August we are going to begin focusing more on your work-outs.
So here are a few things you may want to purchase if you don't already have them.
-Weights (2.5, 5 or 10 pounds all depending on your strength)
-Comfy work out clothes
Now most of the exercises I'll be assigning you will be using your body weight. I am hoping that you can do these physical assignments without thinking you need to go to the gym or need to build one in your home.
In fact if you are not doing these exercises indoors you'll be doing them with me outdoors! You'll be learning to play again as we return to the park! Monkey bars make great chin up bars, benches are great steppers, and the hills are great for cardio!
So get ready, August is almost here!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Do you need to gain weight? Lose weight? Build muscle?
What's holding you back from achieving your goals?
Go back to the page in your journal where you wrote about the future you. The one that starts now.
What changes do you need to make to be that person?
Is it simple as a haircut or a little more complicated like landing your dream job?
Maybe you are afraid to share your goals and achievements? If so why? If not how will you combat negative influences en route to becoming that person? How will you deal with people who tell you that your dreams are silly or unattainable?
See the unlimited possibilities of your future!
Monday, July 19, 2010
posting as I couldn't get to all the questions you submitted. Most of these are your questions just "cut" and "pasted" without your names.
Q: Hi Sonia! I just started following your blog and love it! I'm a male over 40 and so is my waist. Will this work out starting in August help me trim my waist line down as well? I've lost 3 pounds already just by cutting down my sugar and red meat. I hope to drop another 30.
A: I like your sense of humour about it. If you've been following the blog and make the lifestyle changes then you are already seeing a difference in your weight (congrats on the 3 pounds!) and waist. Without knowing your personal details I can't say or advise that 30 more pounds will happen or is needed but the blog is about safely achieving your goals and if that is what your body needs we can certainly do it!
Q: Why all the free content? No one does this! I'm not complaining because it helps me, but why?
A: I've answered this question a few times already on Facebook and the simple answer is, it helps people. All I want to do it help people achieve their goals. If a free content blog does it, why not?
Q: How do i test to see if I am too acidosis or alkalosis?
A: Your doctor can test your blood or cells for this. If that's not possible you can look at doing a self urine or saliva test (though not the most accurate reading). If you are going to do a urine test I suggest first pee of the morning just as a woman would do for the best pregnancy test results. pH test strips can often be purchased at drugstores or health food stores.
Q: How will you be doing the fitness part of this? Or how will we be doing it?
A: I hope in the near future to be able to show you the exercises by creating videos and uploading them for you, but right now as I am on the mend it's just not possible. So for now the best I can do is give you a written description of the activity or exercise and hopefully add a few pictures.
Q: In one of your posts "Dairy Vs. Calcium" you are against cow's milk. What if it's raw organic unpasteurized milk?
A: I think no matter what type of cow's milk it is a very poor and unnecessary source of calcium for your body. I don't think it's natural in this day and age despite the many commercials saying otherwise. I'd suggest checking out a few sites that show how the milk is attained. What happens to the cow and just how natural that is for the cow.
I've attached a link to a recent article on milk and the myth of the happy cow. I hope you take some time to read it and watch the video.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I talk about it in my blog about fertility (fertilityToday.Blogspot.com) and I will talk about it here, because it is that important.
Too much acid is extremely damaging to the body in so many ways. You can create acidic blood by your diet, medication, your lifestyle, etc.
So what is the range you want to stay in? Well it's actually a very narrow one on the pH scale. Between 7.35-7.45. Though you may see other ranges, this is the healthiest range to fall within. Being above or below this range can give you disease, cause infertility, and cause you to gain weight. In fact many studies show that cancer can't exist in an alkaline body!
Next you ask how do we get within this range. The best way and easiest way is with an alkalizing diet or eating alkalizing foods.
Of course these will be whole grains, veggies, especially the dark leafy ones, legumes, and fruits like bananas and cantaloupe (both in season). The highest acid forming foods are meat, dairy, and sugar.
All this being said it is not just our diet that can cause our bodies to be out of balance when it comes to pH levels. Your mood, personality, even culture can cause you to be too acidic or even alkaline.
For example if you are always angry or living in fear, your body becomes acidic. If you are happy and at peace you become more alkaline.
Fitness too plays a part. If you practice mindful fitness like yoga and t'ai chi this helps relax your body and again balances the pH levels.
We want to have healthy blood, healthy tissues all resulting in healthy bodies.
Friday, July 16, 2010
If you've been following my recommendations to date, I am sure you've lost anywhere between 5-10 pounds and are feeling great!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Okay here we go, in response to your many emails about the foods I think you should have in your home right now, the following are either in season or readily available at your local outdoor or farmer's market.
Tastier and fresher now that they are in season or available go crazy because these foods are great for you! Incorporate them into salads, smoothies, stir fry or on the grill or munch on them just as they are!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
At a loss of what you should have for breakfast? This morning I had, oatmeal, fresh fruit, a smoothie, with Ezekiel bread toasted with almond butter. I'm set!
Breakfast should be one of your largest meals of the day because it's the longest period of time your body has gone without food. Likely you've not eaten for 8-12 hours after waking up and your body needs to refuel and get it's energy for the day.
I'm still getting emails requesting breakfast recipes so here is one more! I've done my best to give you measurements as you know I cook by eye and not by measuring cups and spoons.
2 egg replacers
1 c. Soy milk or other non-dairy milk
1/3 c. water
1 c. flour
1 Tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp vegan margarine
Whip in a mixing bowl, pour thinly into a hot pan. Keep an eye on these as they don't take long to cook! Then fill with your favourite fruit, or sauteed veggies. This is also a great recipe for dessert you can fill with sliced bananas and drizzle with warm vegan chocolate!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Have you found your mission and purpose in life? Are you happy with your job, your relationship, your life? If not, what needs to change?
Monday, July 12, 2010
In Winnipeg some of my top 3 favourite veggie friendly restaurants are:
Affinity Vegetarian Garden
Delicious Vegetarian Restaurant
East India Company
On the blog home page you will find a full list of restaurants that I have personally enjoyed both within Canada and Internationally. This by no means comes close to the complete list and keep checking back as I continue to update it.
Please feel free to share your favourite veggie restaurants with us in the comment section following this post.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
There are so many types of Veggies out there and you will find most veggies will define for themselves what their being vegan or vegetarian means to them, but these are the most common definitions:
Saturday, July 10, 2010
"Milk it does a body good" and "Got milk?"are just some of the dairy industry's campaign slogans to get you believing your body needs milk.
So much so that even after a child is weaned, a mother believes her baby still needs milk, but not hers, instead the milk of an animal because somehow she's been trained to believe that this is best for her infant. How does this make sense? You stop giving your child your milk, but think giving your child the milk of another species is fine and needed.
Don't' get me wrong! I'm 100% for a mother breastfeeding her child her milk. I also strongly believe that milk from a naturally lactating cow is great, for her calf! However, even a calf doesn't continue to drink milk from it's own mother as it gets older. So, why do most humans think it's normal to drink cows milk throughout their life?
As with all mammals, mother's milk is intended for the baby, not the grown adult.
So many people experience such terrible reactions from cow's milk, and still even though their bodies are telling them no, they continue to drink it. Even those who are severely lactose intolerant make me shake my head as they pop pills to make it easier on their system and continue to down the stuff as they hold their stomachs in pain. The negative reaction to milk doesn't even need to be immediate or as severe for your body to be telling you this not right for you. Many experience awful acne, weight gain, ear aches (especially in children), inflammation, congestion. I remember way back in the day when I'd eat ice cream how I'd have small coughing fits, only to find out later that milk is mucous forming, that explained my reaction!
So what to do? Your body does need calcium. Well milk is not the only source of calcium as the dairy industry would hope you'd believe. In fact it's not even close to being the best source of calcium!
So what can I recommend for you to have with those cookies instead? Lot's! There is an endless choice of grain, vegetable, seed and nut milks that are so much healthier for you to consume and still get you calcium.
...and most of these milks come in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry too!
Other sources of calcium include:
-Black strap molasses
-Many seeds and nuts like almonds
-Beans and peas
So you see your options are almost endless AND healthy!
I would like you to experiment with alternative types of calcium this week and slowly start to make the change to these healthier options.
Friday, July 9, 2010
This great for the new or experimental vegan with mock sausages, toast and hash browns. Yum! I'm making myself hungry!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I've been receiving so many emails and phone calls with many questions on a variety of posts, so I am going to use today to reply to the questions that seem to keep repeating themselves. Let's get started.
Q: Why do you think that plant protein is better than animal protein?
A: For many reasons, plant protein is not taking a life, it's not filled with hormones, steroids, antibiotics, mercury and metals, it feels better, it's not in your system for days and most plant protein is not acid forming like meat. It's not difficult to digest (though some people have problems with soy, this is usually if they consume too much, have an allergy to it or are not eating organic soy). I could go on but I think I've given you enough to consider for now. :-)
Q: You mentioned either BMI or WHR can you help me? What is the right waist measurements?
A: If I understand your question correctly you want to know what you should aim for in waist size. For a woman it's no bigger than 32" and for a man no larger than 35". Some calculators allow for an inch or more in either direction.
Q: Are you taking on more Personal Training clients? I'd love you to train me.
A: I'm sorry to say that at this time I am not taking on new clients.
Q: Do I have to be vegan to follow your program?
A: No, but it certainly helps in feeling healthier and living a cleaner life. Being vegan also will help you to lose weight, lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It's really one of the best decisions you can make for your health, for the animals and for the planet.
Q: Are there cookbooks you would recommend?
A: Yes! Please see the link at the top and bottom of the blog home page.
Q: In your post about protein shakes you talked about a lot of them being bad for you but you didn't give us any that you'd recommend, and I don't want a recipe. I want a powder I can take with me and add water too. Can you give me a brand name?
A: Good point! I didn't offer up any brand names as a healthy alternative and I should have. One that I use and recommend is Vega. The creator is both vegan and a Canadian athlete! He has many flavours to choose from as well. You can find it in most stores that carry protein powders.Q: As a vegan/vegetarian do you worry about B12?
A: Short answer no? I've been living this healthy lifestyle for most of my life I am very aware of what foods contain B12. If you are new to becoming veggie (vegetarian or vegan) you may hear a lot about B12 as a scare tactic. There are many non-meat sources of B12 which I will list shortly or you can look into taking supplements. Other sources include nutritional yeast, miso, most fermented soy products.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Sugar, syrups, sweeteners, substitutes ...what is best?
Do you know that most North Americans consume at least their body weight in sugar each year if not more!?
Personally I try to stay away from refined sugars, I don't use honey (yes the vegan thing, you do know honey is bee vomit right?) and I certainly don't touch chemicals called artificial sweeteners.
Sugar weakens your immune system and is linked to causing cancer and building up yeast in the body.
To follow along with me on this program you need to eliminate artificial sweeteners from your diet and we will talk more about sugar in future posts.
If I must use a sweetener and it depends on what I'm using it for, I do try to to lean towards "natural" sweeteners like maple syrup, agave nectar and stevia. However, these products are not for everyone. The good thing about these sweeteners is that other than being natural, they don't cause the crash you would get from refined sugars because of their glycemic index (GI).
Also because of the effect they can have on the body pregnant women and those trying to get pregnant should really watch their intake. For those who follow my fertility blog (FertilityToday.blogspot.com) you know that I sent "Sarah" (not her real name) for many tests one of them being uric acid and to test her PH balance, to see if she was fructose sensitive and needed to stay under 25-30 grams a day and to see how acidic her body was.
Still just because something is "natural" does not necessarily mean it's good for you. For example the agave syrup that I like to use is not for everyone. It's high fructose which can lead to obesity (it's stored as fat), high blood pressure, diabetes and more. This doesn't mean these plant sugars don't have health properties, especially if consumed in small portions, they do.
Again as with any of these sweeteners it depends on brand, how they are processed, and what, if anything is added to them.
I like stevia. I think it is the safest alternative to refined sugar. Like agave nectar you can also get it in flavours like vanilla, hazelnut and English toffee for those who like to sweeten their "coffee".
So step one, I want you to stop using refined sugars, bee regurgitation (honey), and artificial sweeteners.
Step two, I want you to go out and purchase either Stevia or Agave Nectar and start experimenting with them in places you would normally use sugar or a sweetener.
We will be having a lot more conversations on sweeteners to come.
The cleaner your palate becomes the less you will feel the need to sweeten everything. For example you may begin to enjoy herbal teas for their natural flavour rather than the habit of sugaring it to make it taste good.
Ciao for now
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Today I want to talk a bit about meat.
As most of you know I stopped eating meat as a teenager. It was an easy choice for me. Meat is not healthy for you, killing and torturing animals to feed our bellies is just unnecessary and mean in this day and age, and humans were not created as meat eaters.
Want to lose 5 pounds this week? Stop eating meat! Do you know meat stays in your body for up to 3 days!? ...and if you are eating meat every meal, every day, ...well you do the math of how much decaying animal is currently plugging up your intestines.
Meat eaters have an intestinal track that is 3 times their body length so that they can have rotting flesh quickly pass through their systems. Humans, like other non-meat eaters have a track more than 10 times their body length. Also meat eaters have a stomach acid 20 times stronger than our to break down meat protein.I want you to try to go at least one meal a day without eating meat for this month. For some the easiest meal to do this with is breakfast. If it's easier to do this at lunch or dinner, consider a pasta dinner, or replacing your meat protein with a plant protein. Another option though not one I recommend on a regular basis, is using mock meats which can be readily found at any health food store or most grocery stores in the freezer or produce section. This way you can have your favourite recipes with mock ground beef, chicken, mock burgers, hot dogs, etc. you get the idea. These mock meats are made with soy or vegetable protein but are still highly processed and I want to eventually steer you away from processed foods.
Now I'm not expecting you to become a vegetarian or vegan, but I do want you to be aware of what meat does to your body and where your meat comes from. So this will not be our last discussion on the topic.
I want you to spend the time to watch the video below. I know many meat eaters envision cows and chickens living free and happy on a large farm, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Still other meat eaters don't even make the association between what was once a living animal to what is on their BBQ or plate. Please feel free to post your comments or email me on your thoughts after watching the video.
Friday, July 2, 2010
I hope you've been doing well.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Blend and enjoy!