Tuesday, 12 May 2015

General Fitness Tips

1. Prepare Ahead
If you prepare all of your meals ahead of time you'll be less likely to reach for the unhealthy cravings with those pre-made nutritious meals all ready to go in your fridge.
Also, if you schedule exactly what you'll do to exercise the following day, whether it be a plan for the gym, or a certain distance you'll run outside, you're more likely to push yourself to stick to that plan, and less likely to back out of your plans to workout.

2. Eat More
Eating regularly throughout the day works to increase your metabolism, which thus aids in weight loss. Most people have this idea of eating less to lose weight, however instead of eating three meals throughout the day make those meals smaller and eat them in 5 sittings instead to more effectively shed the pounds.

3. Hydrate
Drinking enough water isn't just to avoid dehydration. It helps to ensure that your GI tract is healthy, which is the area where most nutrients are absorbed within the body. It's been shown that if you drink a large glass of ice cold water first things in the morning you can boost your metabolism by 24% for 90 minutes.

4. Avoid Discouragement
Find what works for you best and what you see improvements in, and then overload to grow off of that to further develop. Sometimes what you want to work for you doesn't, and you have to accept that. For example, running on an indoor track is easiest for me since it's at the gym, but the humidity prevents me from running very far. Whereas, if I take the time to run outside before or after the gym I can run over twice the distance as when in the gym, and this leaves me feeling more confident that I'm seeing progress.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Why Should You Eat Kale?

1 Cup of Kale:
- 206% DV of Vitamin A
- 134% DV of Vitamin C
- 684% DV of Vitamin K
...33 Calories

That's equivalent to eating...
...103 bananas for enough Vitamin A
...384 carrots for enough Vitamin K

Caloric Ratio:
- 72% Carbohydrate
- 16% Protein
- 12% Fat

It's also...
...an anti-inflammatory
...high in fibre
...a great source of antioxidants
...a digestion aid (due to the sulfur content)
...an anti-cancer agent (due to the ITC from glucosinolates)


Friday, 23 January 2015

Tilapia w. Honey & Lime

4 Tilapia Filets
1 Large Lime (Juice and Zest)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (Separate)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Honey
1 Garlic Clove (Minced)
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

- Mix together the lime juice and zest, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, honey, and garlic.

- Put the fish in a large ziploc bag, pour the marinade on top, press the air out of the bag, and seal it tight.

- Place the ziploc in the fridge for 1 to 4 hours, flipping the bag over once during this time.

- Put the flour in a shallow dish. Then place the leftover 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frypan and wait until it's hot.

- Coat the tilapia filets in the flour and cook in the frypan for 3 to 5 minutes per side (making sure not to touch the fish as it's cooking unless you're flipping it).

- Serve w. a vegetable side dish.


Sunday, 5 October 2014

Artichoke Pasta

12 Ounces Whole-Wheat Pasta
1 Cup Broccoli (Chopped/Cooked)
1 Cup Artichoke Hearts (Chopped)
1/4 Cup Walnuts (Oven Roasted/Chopped)
1 Cup Red Peppers (Chopped/Pan-Fried)
1/2 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Basil Pesto
1 Lemon (Zest)
1 Garlic Clove (Minced)
1/2 - 1 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese OR Grated Parmesan
Fresh Oregano OR Fresh Basil

- Set up the pasta to cook on the stove top according to the directions on the package.

- While the pasta is cooking mix together the broccoli, artichoke, walnuts, and red peppers. Set this mixture aside.

- In another bowl mix together the tomatoes, lemon zest, minced garlic, and pesto, then toss this mixture in with the vegetables you had previously set aside.

- Drain the pasta, mix in the vegetable mixture, then finish the dish off by topping it with feta cheese or grated parmesan and some fresh oregano or basil.


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Packing a Lunch 101...

Step 1: Starch & Protein!
- hummus w. pita
- beans w. wild rice
- chicken w. quinoa
- turkey w. pasta

Step 2: Fruit!
- apple
- orange
- peach
- grapes
- berries
- applesauce (unsweetened)

Step 3: Veggies!
- carrots
- celery
- cucumber
- salad

Step 4: Snack!
- granola bar (pay attention to the sugar content!)
- yogurt
- almonds

Step 5: Water!


Friday, 30 May 2014

Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen?

Dirty Dozen!
Here's a list of the produce that tend to have the highest level of residue from pesticides on them (after being washed and peeled). These are the produce you would want to spend a little extra money on buying organic.

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. Imported Nectarines
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry Tomatoes
  11. Imported Snap Peas
  12. Potatoes

Clean Fifteen!
These items are the ones that don't necessarily need to be bought organic, because they are found to have the least amount of pesticide contamination.

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Frozen Sweet Peas
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangos
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwis
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet Potatoes


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

1 Spaghetti Squash
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
2 1/2 Tablespoons Flour
1 1/2 Cup Milk (Skim)
1 Tablespoon Cream Cheese
1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Parsley (Optional)

- Preheat your oven to 350 F.

- Take your spaghetti squash and cut it in half using a (large) knife. After it's halved, scoop out the seeds and put the squash cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet that has a layer of water on it. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately one hour.

- Once baked, use a fork to scrape the strands (spaghetti-like) into the centre.

- To make the sauce, melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Whisk in the flour and stir for approximately 1 minute.

- Whisk in the milk until clump-free, and once the milk is hot add the cream cheese and stir until smooth.

- Take the pan off of the burner and stir in the parmesan cheese.

- Spoon your sauce into each half of the squash, and pull up the spaghetti-like strands to coat them with the sauce.

- You can add some more parmesan on top and place it in your oven to broil for a couple of minutes, and then top with parsley if desired.


Saturday, 24 May 2014

Running Benefits!

1. Overall Mental Health...
...causes the body to release endorphins, which make you more happy

2. Reduces Asthma...
...strengthens your lungs and the connecting respiratory passages to help you breath better long term

3. Prevent High Blood Pressure...
...the arteries grow wider in diameter and contract while running to help them stay "fit", which maintains a healthy blood pressure

4. Stronger Immune System...
...you'll experience less minor illnesses

5. Lose Weight...
...the up and down movement of fat helps to break it down

6. Physical Strength...
...builds lower body strength (especially tendons and ligaments)

7. Higher Bone Density...
...when you place stress on your bones your body relocates essential minerals to them, so as you run there's an additional batch of minerals sent to your bones, which increases the density over time

8. Joint Strength & Balance...
...running strengthens your tendons and ligaments to help increase the strength in your joints


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Simple Kale & Quinoa Casserole

1 Cup Quinoa (Cooked)
1 Bunch Kale
1 Onion (Diced)
1-3 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
2 Eggs
1 Cup Greek Yogurt (Low Fat)
1 Cup Mozzarella (Light)

- Preheat your oven to 350-375 F.

- Grease a 9x13 baking pan with your choice of either olive oil or butter.

- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and place the (washed) kale in the pot. Leave the kale to cook for around 10 minutes.

- While the kale is cooking, lightly oil a large fry pan and fry the diced onion for 5 minutes (until golden brown), then add the minced garlic and continue to stir/cook for about 30 seconds more.

- Drain the kale in a sieve, and add it to the pan of onions and garlic. Stir the mixture occasionally while cooking for another five minutes.

- Mix the eggs, yogurt, and cheese in a bowl and set aside.

- Take the pan of kale and onions off of the burner and set aside to cool. Once it has cooled down slightly, mix the egg mixture, cooked quinoa, and kale mixture together in a large bowl.

- Pour your dish into your baking pan and smooth the top of it with a spoon. Sprinkle some extra cheese on top if you wish and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes.


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Lifestyle Advice?

It's a process that becomes a way of life...
...fad diets/yo-yo dieting aren't going to help you to lead a healthy lifestyle. They may help you temporarily lose a few pounds, but if you don't consistently make healthy choices long term, you'll soon gain those pounds back. It's important to ease into a healthy lifestyle and to realize that it has to be a permanent, consistent change!

Plan out a time to workout before hand, and pack your gym bag the night before...
...it's really easy to convince yourself that you'll work out tomorrow, but then tomorrow comes and you get distracted. Before long the day is over and you've yet to get to the gym. What helps is to plan out the chunk of time you'll use to workout the night before. Don't just say you'll go to the gym tomorrow, but plan that you'll go from a certain time to a certain time so you avoid putting it off. It's also helpful to have your bag packed the night before, or to have your workout clothes sitting in a pile by your bedroom door. When you wake up in the morning you'll be reminded, and will have all of your stuff ready to go!

Don't depend on vitamins or supplements...
...I'm not saying that they're bad for you by any means. I believe that we should aim to consume all of the required daily vitamins and nutrients through our own diet, and to not learn to depend on daily vitamins or supplements! It encourages you to eat healthier and make healthier decisions throughout the day if you know you haven't consumed an adequate amount of a certain vitamin!

Have fun, and laugh...
...don't work out by doing something you don't like to do. If running hurts your body and doesn't feel good, try biking instead. It's important to enjoy what you're doing to not add additional stressors to your lifestyle. Also going with a friend or two can not only encourage you to work harder, but it also initiates conversation and laughter which also help to reduce stress.