A MUST READ! “10 things I want my daughter to know about working out.”

A MUST READ! “10 things I want my daughter to know about working out.”

Hello all! You must read this blog post. It is an amazing perspective that I will start living by right now! It is easy to get wound up in how our body looks but this often only leads to immense stress and disappointment! Give this a read, you’ll be glad you did! Click on the highlighted title above!

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Muffins Muffins Muffins! Healthy and delicious recipies

Muffins are a great breakfast, quick snack or replacement for dessert…however store bought muffins are full of fat, sugar and other nasty chemicals that I can’t even pronounce! I have heard rumors (although I haven’t investigated myself) that TIm Hortons muffins are just as bad, if not worse, than their donuts!! AHHHH!! Try these easy healthy recipes for pumpkin and banana muffins. All are gluten free, have no added junk, refined sugar or unhealthy oils. I made the pumpkin muffins yesterday and  can’t keep my hands off them! I forgot to add the pecan pieces on top but they still turned out great.

http://greenlitebites.com/2009/03/07/banana-oatmeal-cups-with-chocolate-chips/

http://fitandhealthywithdebbie.blogspot.ca/2012/10/banana-oatmeal-breakfast-muffins.html#.UpdyXdJqCm4

http://blog.jchongstudio.com/2013/10/pumpkin-muffins-with-chocolate-chips.html?crlt.pid=camp.81jZou0noji5

P.S. I use silicone baking Imagemuffin cups. They are AMAZING. No greasing (and adding calories) and no fighting with paper ones getting stuck to your muffin.

No Equipment Workout!

Want to squeeze in a workout anywhere?! Don’t have any equipment?! Well the truth is you can get a great workout without equipment!! Here’s what to do:
WARM UP
-Jog on the spot, don’t forget arm swings!
-hamstring curl (bum kick) with row
-jumping jacks
Perform each for 1 min, repeat!

WORKOUT
-15 push-ups, less intense=drop to knees, more intense = lift legs on a step or bench
-15 squats, do not let the knees pass the toes!
-12 tricep dips on a bed or step
-10 lunges each leg, more intense=jump lunges
-plank 30sec, alternate lifting each leg
-bridge with 10 hip lifts, more intense=lift one leg while lifting, then switch

Remember to always breathe, and keep your core TIGHT! Repeat the circuit 2-3 times.

Cool down: light walk 5-10 min and stretch. (I’ll be posting a stretching routine in the future!) .

Eat well, exercise often and love always 🙂

*Always check with your doctor that starting a new exercise program is right for you.

Homemade Hot Cocoa, perfect winter treat!

As the weather gets colder out, and the Christmas season is on its way a warm hot cocoa is just what you need! Most drinks from your local coffee shop can be full of calories and refined sugars which can do damage to any healthy diet plan. This is a recipe from my friend and roommate from university!

Ingredients:
-1 1/2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 1/2 tbsp of your favourite sweetener (I use honey, sucanat, stevia or cocoanut sugar)
-dash of vanilla
-dash of cinnamon
-1cup of milk (you could use almond or coconut milk if desired)

Simple put all of this is a pot and whisk continuously until starting to simmer!

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Yes you CAN be a runner!

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I have heard so many people say they can’t run. Although it is true that someone with any sort of joint injury or medical condition may have been advised not to run, anyone can throw on a pair of runners and reap the benefits of running. It is cheap, burns TONS of calories, provides a surge of “happy hormones” in the brain and can improve your overall health! There IS such a thing as a runners high! You feel great after! The trick when starting out is to set small, attainable goals! No one can go from couch to 5 km without working up to it. Here are some tips:

-Find a runner partner! Having someone there for motivation always helps.

-Plan out a running loop that is not too long. Choose somewhere you enjoy such as a park etc. that you could repeat as you get stronger. Running on gravel, packed dirt, sand or grass will give some cushioning to your joints.

-Download a free running app. I use RunKeeper or Run4Good to track my runs. Seeing your distance, times and pace will help to motivate you.

-Get a good pair of running shoes. There is no type/brand/store that sells the best shoe. Something that fits you best and feels comfortable will do!

-Remember that you are doing this for you! You don’t need to win any races (unless you want to of course!!) so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If you feel overwhelmed, scale back and start small!

-Start out with a walk:run ratio that pushes you to work hard but doesn’t over do it. I would suggest starting with a 5 min jog, 3 min walk. Increase the jog about 1 min and decrease the rest 30 sec every 4 or 5 runs. Then start increasing your distance. I run my 8km runs now at 10 min jog to 1 min rest. You can actually set RunKeeper to your preferred ratio and it will tell you when to walk or run.

-Warm up thoroughly before each run. A brisk walk, ankle rolls, high knees and bum kicks will get your muscles moving! Always finish a run with a full cool down. Walk for 5-10 min until your heart rate has slowed (for those of you with heart rate monitors it should come back down around 100 bpm). Stretch all major muscle groups and REHYDRATE! You are probably pretty sweaty…so that means you need water water water!

Running is a great way to stay fit, de-stress and enjoy the outdoors! Give it a try, and maybe you will be signing up for your first 5km, 10km, or even a marathon someday!!

Watch for future posts on what to eat before and after runs.

*Please check with your doctor before starting a running program to be sure it is right for you.

Health Check Controversy

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It has come to my attention that “healthier” options in processed foods are popping up everywhere. It seems most companies are coming out with an updated healthy version of a product they sell, on some of which you will find the Heart and Stroke’s Health Check symbol. I am a big advocate of heart and stroke research; however this health check program can be misleading. The Health Check program was put into place to try and help Canadians make healthier choices in grocery stores and restaurants. Each product was to be evaluated and if the product met certain criteria it was given the iconic healthy check symbol. Although, after some research, I found a blog written by a Canadian doctor points out many products that have the health check that are just not healthy. Often products are still full of sugar, sodium and strange chemicals we can’t even pronounce! Here is the link to his blog if you are interested:

http://www.weightymatters.ca/2013/02/the-heart-and-stroke-foundations-once.html

Now I am sure some of you are thinking “Well now what do we do? How do we know what to buy?”. The answer is simple.

1)Buy fresh. Fresh veggies, fruit, meat, etc. and use these ingredients to make your own snacks and meals. Something as simple as a banana/apple with 2 tbsp of natural peanut butter will give you way more nutrients than a store bought granola bar.

2)Read the ingredients and health information. Anything with sugar,glucose-fructose, palm oil, and any ingredients you can’t pronounce…put it down!! Here are a couple tips when reading labels:

  • The less ingredients the better- 5 or less is ideal!
  • Limit the amounts of bad fats. Trans fats should be ZERO.
  • Sodium should be less than 5% of the DV.
  • Watch the serving size…the nutrition information may only be for a portion of the package.
  • The more vitamins and minerals the better…but doesn’t necessarily mean the food is healthy.
  • Some labels will say “high fibre” when in reality the food only contains 2g. Aim for 4g or higher.

Here is a link to some very delicious muffins, granola bars and other snacks! These don’t take much time and are much healthier than anything store bought, lets not forget they are very delicious!

http://www.cookincanuck.com/2012/01/low-fat-granola-bars-with-bananas-cranberries-pecans-recipe/

http://fitandhealthywithdebbie.blogspot.ca/2012/10/banana-oatmeal-breakfast-muffins.html#.UnKqiXBqCm4

http://blog.jchongstudio.com/2013/10/pumpkin-muffins-with-chocolate-chips.html?crlt.pid=camp.81jZou0noji5

http://www.dailybitesblog.com/2012/10/04/almond-chai-breakfast-clusters/

http://onceamonthmeals.com/skinny-monkey-cookies/

Enjoy and love always 🙂

Sunday Workout: Toned Arms…and a treat for after!!

Sundays aren’t just for lazing around…don’t get me wrong I slept in, watched a movie and rested BUT I enjoyed having lots of free time for a workout. This is a workout for strong, toned arms, using only weights/kettle bell and a theraband. I also had some time for baking! I can never get sick of pumpkin treats…pumpkin is actually very good for you! These bright orange halloween decorations have lots of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and a bit of protein. This link will take you to Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog, she lists a ton of yummy, healthier pumpkin treats. I have made the pumpkin pie muffins and pumpkin snack bars…both were delicious!! I used Sucanat (dried, organic cane sugar) and applesauce (unsweetened of course!) and they turned out amazing. So start your week off right, eat well and keep moving! You will love yourself for it!

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/11/20/35-favorite-healthy-pumpkin-recipes/

Warm Up: Skipping or brisk walk or jog, 5-10 minutes.

Exercise Reps Description Variations
Squat Shoulder Press 15 Using weights (something you are able to lift), squat with the weights hanging by your sides, on the extension press arms overhead.  Maintain tight core throughout. Increase weight for increased intensity.
Row Kickback 10 each Using weight or kettle bell, lean onto a chair, spine should be neutral. Lift elbow up to side then extend straight behind. Increase weight for increased intensity.
Push-Up Plank 5-10 In a plank position, arms fully extended and on hands, lower body with control onto forearms, one arm at a time. Reverse, pressing onto hands. Put knees down on a mat for less intense, pull feet on a stability ball or BOSU for more intensity.
Lunge-Bicep Curl 10 each side Using weights or kettle bell. Step forward first, then as lowering into lunge, curl arms up. Return to standing as arms lower. If coordination of the move is difficult, perform full curl and then lunge separately.
Bent-Over Arm Extension 12 each Using desired theraband, bend torso forward ~45°. With one side of theraband under the foot, other end in hand, lift arm to the side fully extended. Could use weights instead of theraband.
External/Internal Rotation 15 each Tie theraband to a solid structure at about shoulder height. With theraband in hand, step away from the tied end, pulling elbow into side and elbow bent to 90°. Pull hand away from the side and back in. Could use weights instead of theraband. Facing the same direction, switch arms for internal rotation.
 

Workout of the day- TRX circuit (non-TRX variations included)

I LOVE my TRX! You can work pretty well every muscle group, anywhere with a solid door or structure to hang it on, anytime! It is expensive however (about $200…) but I justified it because I will not be needing a gym membership. For those of you who do not have a TRX, I included a variation exercise. If the exercise description does not make sense to you, be sure to comment or try Youtube… it is difficult to get across without an actual demo. Remember…It is not about having time to work out- it’s about making time for you, your health and your happiness! Here’s an inspiration to get you going:Image

Exercise Reps Description Variation
Single Leg Squat 12 each leg 1 leg extended out in front, come down into squat while holding TRX straps, arms extended Could do without equipment or with weights in each hand.
Clutch Curl 20 Leaning back on TRX straps, arms straight, then cross arms in front of body Could do with weights, or other shoulder drill such as lateral lifts
Resisted Torso Rotation 10 each side Leaning to the side, both TRX straps are held into chest, then extend out in front without rotation Could use a cable machine or theraband to hold arms extended out, weight pulling laterally
Cycle Jump 10 each leg Power jump lunges, always landing with knee behind toes TRX not needed
Stiff-legged Deadlift 12 With kettlebells, bend at hips, return to standing using gluts and hamstrings Barbell could be used as well
Chest Press 12 Push-ups on TRX- come forward or backward depending on intensity level Could do regular chest press with weights or push-ups
Side Plank 30 sec each side Feet in TRX straps, on hand or forearm. Regular side plank or feet on a BOSU/stability ball
Low Row 15 Leaning back on TRX straps, arms straight, pull arms into hips, keeping elbows into sides. Could perform bent-over row with weights or low row with theraband
Skipping 100 jumps or 1 min Rope not needed-could do with “imaginary rope”

Craving something sweet? Try these healthy cookies!

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Gooey, chocolaty peanut butter goodness. On a rainy, dreary Sunday afternoon this was exactly what I was craving!! These cookies have no flour, no white or brown sugar, no added oils and they are AMAZING. How is it possible you ask? CHICKPEAS!! Now I know you are probably already scrunching up your nose BUT…my boyfriend, who repeatedly made his disgust known for what I was making, was later found sneaking not 1 but 3 of these cookies! Click the link below to give this recipe a try! IT is worth it 🙂

http://www.texanerin.com/2012/04/grain-free-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-bites.html

TGIF! Pizza Fridays!

It’s Friday! If you are like me, a nice cheesy slice of pizza is just what you are craving to start off the weekend. Before you pick up the phone to order… Try this healthier, cheaper and just as satisfying recipe!
You’ll need:
-1 whole wheat pita (I use the thinnest ones available because they get crispier!)
-any veggies you like (I used mushrooms, tomatoes from the garden, zucchini, red pepper and olives)
-low fat mozzarella cheese and/or Parmesan
-1 chicken breast
-low sodium tomato sauce (less “junk” than what’s in the canned pizza sauce)
-fresh basil if desired

Directions:
1) Grill the chicken breast until cooked through
2) sauté all veggies except the tomatoes and olives
3) spread tomato sauce on the pita and add all toppings (go LIGHT on the cheese, you’ll be surprised how little you need)
4) Broil on medium high for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!

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