Monday, December 24, 2007
the holiday but don't over-indulge.
Well, I am not going to do that this year.
I am sure that you have read about it in every magazine and health website you have been to in the the last month - "enjoy in moderation"and "stay away from processed treats". I am also sure that most of us will endulge anyway - have that extra piece of pie and one too many egg
Guess what? That's OK. That's right, it is OK dip into the Christmas cheer and the answer is simple...
If you follow the 80/20 rule, you can enjoy all the fruits of the holidays! How? Because you are being health conscious 80 percent of the time and throwing caution to the wind the other 20 percent.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that you should stuff your face with treats for 7 days straight. I am just trying to say that a few days of excess is not going to make or break you. Sharing a beautiful meal is what brings families together over the holidays - so enjoy it guilt free knowing that you spent 80 percent of the year consuming a nutritious and healthy diet.
Have a safe and happy holiday
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Have a great weekend
Monday, October 08, 2007
This week I am giving away some of my secrets! I would like to share some really useful wellness resources and why I love them. Hopefully they will help you in your quest for health!
5 Healthy Living Links
Spark People - This FREE online health site offer fitness and nutrition programs as well as tracking your progress.
iVillage - A great website with articles about sexual health, diet, exercise and parenting.
Truestar Health - This does require a registration fee but it offers great diet and exercise programs. It also offers top quality supplements all backed by world renown experts.
Natural Health Care - A great resource for holistic health as well as a directory of practitioners in your area.
Family Fun - Great activities for kids and families from holiday crafts to group activites.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
If you are in the Toronto Area and would like to learn more about me, my style and these classes, I would love to see you come to one of my FREE workshops!
Click here for more information.
Hope to see you there!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Which ones have you tried?
Did they work for you?
Why or why not?
What did you like/dislike about them?
Did you think the money/times investment was worth it?
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a calculation of the ratio between your
height and weight used as a guideline to determine good health. Note
the word "guideline", it is not 100% accurate and does not work for
everybody. For example, if you are very muscular, you will have a high
BMI which might classify you as "obese". This is obviously not the
case, so I have included some other measures that you can use
Calculating your BMI (Body Mass Index) is easy:
Your Weight (in kilograms)
Your Height (in metres) 2
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
Overweight = 25-29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
BMI is a great tool to gage overall body fat but it may overestimate
body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build and
underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost
The percentage to body fat should also be taken into consideration.
This can be measured through fitness testing. Here is an acceptable range for men & women:
Women = 21-31%
Men = 14-25%
The placement of your body fat is also important. Waist circumference
is another important tool for health as the risk of heart and other
diseases increases with a higher measurement. Here are the magic
numbers to stay heart healthy:
Women = <35 inches
Men = <40>
Monday, July 09, 2007
Hatha Yoga is a general term that encompasses many different styles of physical yoga. It includes postures, called asanas, breathing and stretching.
This is a fast paced, intense style of yoga with constant movement from one pose to the next. This is a more vigourous workout that builds strength and stamina. Power Yoga is based on Ashtanga.
Vinyasa Yoga involves Hatha-based movements that are matched to the breath. It often includes Sun Salutations (a set series of movements used to warm the body and prepare it for practice).
Based on the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, yoga poses are held over a long period of time with the primary focus on body alignment. Iyengar also uses props such as blocks, blankets and straps.
Pioneered by Bikram Choudhury, this style is usually referred to as "Hot Yoga" as it is performed in a room that is between 95 and 100 degrees. This promotes sweating which is a form of cleansing. There are 26 poses in the original practice.
This is spiritual form of yoga used to release Kundalini energy (found at the base of the spine). This is done through rapid and repetitive poses, chanting and intense breathing exercises.
Now say "Om".
This may seem like a simple task but keep in mind that manufacturers want you to buy their product and are trying to make it seem as nutritious as possible.
Be a savvy shopper and read before you buy!
Here is some labeling terms that you may run into:
- "Low Calorie " = Contains no more than 40 calories per serving.
- "Reduced Calorie" = Contains 25% fewer calories per serving than regular product
- "Calorie-Free" = Contains less than 5 calories per serving
- "Low Sodium" = Containing 140mg of sodium or less per serving
- "Very Low Sodium" = Containing 35mg of sodium or less per serving.
- "Fat-Free" = Contains no more than 0.5g of fat per serving.
- "Low Cholesterol" = Contains no more than 20g of cholesterol and less than 2g of saturated fat per serving
- "Low Fat" = Contains no more than 3g of fat per serving
- "Lean" = Contains no more than 10g of fat, no more than 4.5g of which is saturated fat, also contains less than 95mg of cholesterol per serving
- "Extra Lean" = Contains no more than 5g of fat, no more than 2g of which is saturated fat, also contains less than 95mg of cholesterol per serving
- "Free", "No", "Zero" = Containing no amount, or a trivial amount
- "Sugar-Free" = Containing less than 0.5g per serving
- "Good Source" = Provides 10%-19% of Daily Value per serving
- "Light" = Can mean one of three things:
- It provides 1/3 fewer calories or 1/2 the amount of fat as the regular product per serving
- If it's a "low fat", "low-calorie" food, it can be called "light" if it provides 1/2 the normal fat present
- It can be referring to the actual colour of the food itself
Monday, June 25, 2007
Instead of the dread your feel when you pull out your 2 piece for the first time since last year only to find a few extra lumps and bumps, I invite to you embrace your body and find something, just one thing, about your body that you truly love. You'll feel better, I promise.
1. Imperfections? What Imperfections?
With all of the beautiful bodies that lace the cover of every magazine,it is very easy for us to be our worst critics. Do yourself a favour -stop picking your body apart. OK, so you don't have legs like J-Lo or abs Jessica Biel but try to focus on what your DO like about your body.
Is it your button nose, or maybe your toned arms. Don't you feel better already?
2. Your Body Is A Wonderland
The way our body functions is a true miracle of nature. It works for us night and day without any complaints. Unfortunately, most of us take it for granted until something goes wrong. So be thankful for your health and stop worrying about your butt!
3. Reality Check
Models are not perfect. They have an entourage of professionals making them beautiful 24/7. Many magazine photos are airbrushed. Are you getting the idea? This is not the real world, don't use it to measure your own beauty.
4. Talk To Yourself
Try to think more positive thoughts toward body image. Repeat to yourself, "I am a beautiful, intelligent woman." You will be surprised how much better you will feel when you start to look at yourself differently.
5. Your Body Is A
Be good to your body, it is the only one you have. Stay active and eat healthy. I know it is simple but it is true. No diet, just balanced nutrition. Do whatever exercises that you love, that keep you motivated. Then, pamper yourself with a massage or a spa night with the girls - you deserve it.
6.Forget About It!
Contrary to what you think, the whole world is NOT looking at you. Forget about what other people think and worry more about how you feel on the inside.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
I am finally settled in
When in doubt about diet and exercise for weight loss, let common sense be your guide and listen to body signals, both positive and negative. Set yourself in the right direction by testing your weight loss know-how with the following true and false:
True or false: A good way to lose weight is to always limit snacks between meals.
False: The axiom "don’t snack between meals" really doesn’t apply if you are trying to manage your weight. In fact, the best way to keep extra pounds and inches at bay is to eat many small healthy meals throughout the day. Snacking has gotten a bad rap, being blamed for weight gain. This is simply not the case, especially if you make smarter choices about the types of foods you choose to eat. Examples of healthy snack foods are: fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, whole grains, and seeds and nuts. These foods are filling and satisfying, making it easy to naturally control portion sizes. They are also perfect for providing slowly released energy, which helps to keep you feeling great throughout the day. As these slowly released calories are ready for use, they are continually being burned off.
True or False: In order to burn optimal amounts of body fat you should exercise first thing in the morning without eating anything beforehand.
The answer is actually both true AND false: The rationale here is that if your carbohydrate stores are near depletion as they are after "fasting" all night, you will force your body to burn a higher amount of fat for fuel while exercising. Exercising first thing in the morning will kick-start your metabolism for the day. However, although it may be true that you are burning more body fat for energy, the rest of the story is that there is also a huge price to pay for engaging in this practice on an empty stomach. Deliberately exercising when blood sugar levels are low puts needless excess strain on your body. You may feel as though you’re getting a great workout, but if you’re "running on empty" it’s not possible to give 100% to your exercise routine. An often overlooked point is that any time you go for long periods without some sort of nourishment your body begins to break down, converting protein—including muscle—into the sugar needed to fuel the brain and other functions. So while you are indeed burning more fat for energy, you are also burning muscle at the same time. The question becomes: Is it worth it to burn 1 pound of body fat if you sacrifice 5 pounds of muscle in the process? The answer is no. Muscle is key to keeping your metabolism revved up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is active tissue that must have calories to survive. It is therefore highly counterproductive for both long term and healthy reduction of body fat to train while in "starvation" mode.
True or false: If body fat loss is your goal, you should weigh yourself every day
False: First of all, because of individual differences, it is difficult at best to determine what "ideal," "normal," or "healthy" body weight is. Scale weight is a very poor indicator of body fat levels and tells you nothing about your health or true degree of progress. After all, muscle cells are denser than fat cells. Remember that the scale tells you the weight of your entire body: muscles, bones, organs, blood and water. When you are trying to lose "weight" think in terms of body composition (ratio of muscle to fat) instead of the number on the scale. Without keeping this in mind, you may become frustrated with your weight loss efforts.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Thanks for all of your great comments and feedback and I will see you next week!
Monday, May 14, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
You keep asking so I keep answering :) Please feel free to contact
me anytime with your questions and comments!
Q: I love desserts - especially chocolate. I am trying to eat healthier but don't want to give up my treat. Can you give a lower fat recipe that includes chocolate?
A: I sure can. These muffins are so good, you won't even miss the fat!
Chocolate Banana Muffin
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 bananas
1 cup coffee (regular or decaffeinated)
1 cup nonfat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Spray non-stick muffin pan with vegetable oil and set aside.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Sift cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda together.
3. Puree the sugar, bananas and eggs.
4. Mix the sifted ingredients with the remaining dry ingredients.
5. Combine coffee, milk and vanilla extract with the banana mixture.
6. Add the wet and dry mixtures together.
7. Bake at 300 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.
8. Muffins are done when you push on the top of muffin and it springs
back. Cool for twenty minutes.
Optional: Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
Yield: Makes 22, 1/2 ounce muffins.
Per Serving: Calories 240; Fat 2.5 gm; Saturated Fat 0.9 gm;
Cholesterol 36 mg; Sodium 452 mg; Carbohydrate 54 gm; Dietary fiber 4
gm; Sugars 35 gm; Protein 5 gm.
Q: I try to work out regularly and would like to start racking my
progress. Do you know of any free online programs that can help me?
A: There quite a few programs out there but here are my 3 favourite:
www.sparkpeople.com - a free site with exercise and diet information
www.fitday.com - a great daily calorie and exercise tracking system
www.freetrainer.com - helps you get started with a basic program
Sunday, March 25, 2007
How do I look?
How do I feel about myself?
Has my body changed shape?
Do I have more energy?
Are daily tasks becoming easier?
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Oh yes, you know what word I mean - DIET! How many times have you been on a "diet"? How many times have you told yourself that you would "diet" tomorrow? If you are like me, you are so tired of that word - lets get rid of it - forever. Read on to learn how to remove it from you life and be happier for it!
We have all been sucker in by diet ads that sounds so appealing "Watch the Pounds Melt Off" or "It Works Like Magic!". And when the diet fails (90-95% of them do) we blame ourselves for not having enough will power.
The truth is that many "diets" are designed to fail but setting us up for eventual weight game and personal failure. Many diets are often low in calories and nutrients. WE do lose weight but once you are off the "diet", you gain the weight back - sometimes with a vengeance! Well, no more. Here are 5 tips to help you remove the dreaded 4 letter word "diet" from your vocabulary - forever!
Stop listening to the diet hype and expecting immediate results. If there was a magic bullet - the diet industry would not pull in over $30 billion every year. Good health in a lifelong process, not a one pill fix.
Eat regular meals and snacks, starting with breakfast. Choose from a variety of food (
Find fun ways to add more activity into your life. Go for a walk, take up a new sport, try a dance class - whatever interests you and will get you to move! You don't need to invest tons of many to stay healthy
The bathroom scale, that is! Stop focusing on you weight and start focusing on taking care of of yourself - body and mind. Make slow changes, simple ones that are easy to stick too.
So you have no idea where to being? Ask a personal trainer and have them design a program for you. Any good professional will not succumb to gimmicks and will send you in the right direction.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
When your hit a plateau (mental or physical) sometimes finding reasons to continue with your diet and exercise program can be difficult. But never fear, there are ways to ignite your passion for staying fit and living healthy so read on!
1. Re-assess Your Reasons
Think about the reasons why you decided to get fit in the first place. Were your clothes too tight? Did you dislike the way you looked? Then, think if these reasons are able to help you sustain a lifelong commitment to health. Once you fit into you new jeans will you still be motivated to exercise? If the answer is no, you may want to re-think your priorities. What is going to keep you moving?
2. Set Mini Goals
Long term goals (like losing 60 lbs) are much more difficult to achieve. Set some smaller goals as well so you can celebrate immediate successes (such as adding more fibre into your diet or going to the gym 3 times a week) to help you stay motivated to reach your long term goals.
3. Track Your Steps
Keep an exercise journal and food diary. This will help you measure your progress and recognize your strengths and weaknesses.
4. Say Goodbye To Failure
Remove that word from your vocabulary. There is no such thing as failure. When you hit a plateau, look at what is happening in your life around you and consider it feedback - something that you can learn from.
5. Talk About It
Sometimes it helps to talk to a close friend or family member to express your frustration and get their support and feedback. Maybe they might even join you on your journey.
So, what fuels your fire?
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Yuck! It is that time of year: it is cold, it is dark, it is depressing. The last thing you want to do is exercise. I hear you, that is why I am giving you these great tips to shake the winter blues. Give them a try and I guarantee that you will have a spring in your step.
1. Get Into The Light
The sun does shine in the winter - enjoy it! When we are deprived of light we can get irritable and depressed (many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder) so get out into the sun and enjoy a winter activity like skating or skiing. You body will thank you for the vitamin D. Too dark where you live? Try light therapy. There are many classes and products available to bring the light back into your life.
2. Get Active
OK, so I had to plug this one but exercising really does make you feel better. Your body releases feel-good endorphins to make even the darkest days seem bright. Hit the local gym or grab a friend and take a winter walk. It will also help you feel less fatigued and release stress
3. Bring The Outside In!
Wish you could see the green grass? No problem! Fill your house will plants and flowers to make you feel like your are in a springtime meadow. If you don't have a green thumb, choose low maintenance plants that you can enjoy all year round.
4. Play "Catch Up"
If it is too miserable to go outside, it is a perfect time to catch up on an projects or correspondences. Jump on the computer and gossip with some friends, finish that scrapbook that you started last year or read that book you have been meaning to get too. Take advantage of the "me" time.
We all have to once in a while. Take a long bath with soothing essential oils and light lots of candles. Go shopping and buy something that you have always wanted or bite into a great piece of dark chocolate (the antioxidant are great for your too)
Monday, January 22, 2007
You keep on asking so I keep on answering! I love getting your questions so here are a few of the most popular Fitness FAQ's. Keep the questions coming!
Q: I have heard that the best cardio is running on a treadmill. Is this true?
A: Running on the treadmill does provide a great cardiovascular workout but it is not your only option. The "best cardio" is the exercise that you are going to do at maximum intensity. If you don't like running, chances are that you are not going to work very hard on a treadmill. The reason that running is often noted as the best workout is that it is a very high output activity. High output equals more calories burned. However, if you work with that same intensity on a cross trainer or a bicycle, you will get similar results. Here is what you do: Find the activity that you most like to do, invest in a heart rate monitor and try to perform that activity between 65% -85% intensity. (the HR monitor will do this for you)
Q: I am 45 years old and have never worked out a day in my life! I would like to get active but I have absolutely no idea where to begin. Help Me!
A: Congratulations on your choice to start getting healthy! The first that you need to do is visit your doctor to make sure that it is safe for you to begin an exercise program. Then next thing is to ask yourself the following questions: What are my fitness goals? Do I need help in achieving these goals? Would I like to work out at home or at a gym? Who do I have that will support me in my journey? Take your questions and answers to a fitness professional. Even if you any invest in one session, they can show you exercise techniques and design a program tailored to your needs. In the meantime, take small steps. Gradually start adding activity into your day - take the stairs at work, go for a walk with a friend after dinner. All of these steps add up to make big changes.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had a good holiday and are ready to make 2007 the best year ever! I know you have all made new years resolutions and I am sure the #1 on your list is "To lose weight or start exercising" and for some of you it has been on your list for many years. I am going to share some tips with you to help you actually keep your vow to a healthier 2007 and you will have fun doing it! You make this resolution every year and by February you have fizzled out! Not this time! Here are some easy tips to help you make fitness your lifestyle, not a resolution
1. Take Small Steps
If you make too many resolutions it can be very overwhelming and even more disappointing if you don't reach your goals. Make a list of 2-3 simple tasks that you can work on right away (start eating breakfast, taking a walk after dinner, drinking more water). Once you have done them consistently for a week, add 2 more things to your list (take a tour of the local gym, make a healthy shopping list) Making your resolutions more manageable with make you feel more successful
2. Don't Do It Alone
Make becoming healthy a priority for your whole family. Ask you kids to help you when you are preparing healthy meals and plan activities that you can do together. You can also ask a friend to be your workout partner at the gym or your walking buddy!
3. Ask For Help
If you are beginning an exercise program - talk to a professional! A dietitian and personal trainer can help you set goals, give you a healthy meal plan and help you manage your time so you can fit in fitness. Working with a trainer will put you on the right track and keep you motivated
4. Celebrate Your Successes
Did you reach one of the goals on your list? That's great! Now, how are you going to celebrate? It is important to recognize your achievements even if it just means sharing your story with your friends and family
5. Don't Be Too Hard On Yourself
We all slip up and fall into a rut. If you miss a day of exercise or have fast food for lunch, forgive yourself and move on.