August 31, 2009
August 29, 2009
I used to always set goals on New Years, and randomly throughout the year, but then I never followed through. Ever since I set the goal to lose 50lbs, and then did it, I've realized that goal planning helps to achieve whatever you want in life, whether it's a fitness, financial or personal accomplishments, by having a plan and following through.
August 27, 2009
August 25, 2009
August 24, 2009
"Diseases of the soul are more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body."
"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book."
"Just because you're not sick doesn't mean you're healthy."
"The part can never be well unless the whole is well."
August 22, 2009
Don't think of salads as "rabbit food!" A salad can be a hearty, refreshing summer entree. This black bean and avocado salad is filled with fresh veggies, fruit and has a healthy mix of carbohydrates and protein. Furthermore, it's really easy to make to keeps well for a few days!
Black Bean and Avocado Salad
250g (8oz) of canned or dried beans. If canned, rinse and drain.
1 red Spanish onion, chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can of corn kernels, drained
90g (3oz) fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 avocados, peeled and chopped
1 mango, peeled and chopped.
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small red chili, finely chopped
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 olive oil
1. Place all salad ingredients in a big bowl, toss to combine.
2. To make dressing: Whisk all ingredients in a separate bowl, pour over salad and toss.
Makes 4 servings.
If you cook for two, this meal makes a great lunch the next day. Stick it in a Tupperware and bring to work!
August 20, 2009
August 18, 2009
Most of us have heard the saying "use it, or lose it," in the context of brain health. There are many games and products on the market to improve the brain's functioning by keeping memory, and cognitive skills sharp. However, physical exercise has been proven again and again, to be essential for brain health.
August 17, 2009
"I still look at myself and want to improve."
"Hard work has made it easy. That is my secret. That is why I win."
"That's my gift. I let that negativity roll off me like water off a duck's back. If it's not positive, I didn't hear it. If you can overcome that, fights are easy."
"I can't imagine living and not running."
"You can always become better."
"When you lose, you're more motivated. When you win, you fail to see your mistakes and probably no one can tell you anything."
August 15, 2009
I recently picked up an interesting lifestyle changing diet book called, The Core Balance Diet, 4 Weeks to Boost your Metabolism and Lose Weight for Good" by Marcelle Pick. It's aimed toward women past the age of fourty, who have had trouble losing weight, despite multiple attempts at diet and exercise.
The book promotes a month long diet program, complete with meal plans. The first step is to try the two week general diet. The author claims that you don't have to go full force, at first. The initial two weeks are about easing yourself in to a major lifestyle change. You are encouraged to try the meals, but you can still eat your own sometimes as well.
The second part is the basis of the book. Women who have had trouble losing weight, may not know that there are underlying issues that need attention. For many people, cutting calories and exercise does not work. Usually a problem or imbalance can be found on one of the six systems: Digestive, hormonal, adrenal, inflammatory, neurotransmitter or by having a bad lifestyle (alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine etc) which is called "detox."
The book has six quizzes with a scoring system, to figure out which of your systems need the most work. Fortunately, none of mine do, but it was good to know what I need to pay more attention to.
Next, match your system in need, with the proper meal plans and instructions. Everyone is different. The best part, is that the recipes are included!
I thought this was a very interesting concept. I have not tried the diet, but I think it could work for many women out there struggling with losing a few pounds, even though they exercise, and eat healthy food.
My only complaint is that the ingredients are too varied. There may be an initial investment to get all of the ingredients for the meal plan. Also, there are a lot of eggs in the diet. They are always prepared in different, and delicious sounding ways, but if you have an aversion to eggs, you may want to look in to low fat, protein substitutions.
This book is definitely worth a look, if you are looking for a long term, healthy lifestyle solution to weight loss.
Check It Out!
August 13, 2009
A common obstacle to working out, and getting in to shape, is not having enough hours in the day! While it's definitely true that the average person works, and has responsibilities at home, it's still possible to get in great shape on a time budget.
August 11, 2009
When you live in Toronto, you dream of summer for eight months out of the year! Of course, being in colder weather a good part of the time, makes high heat, and humidity even more uncomfortable! With so many fitness enthusiasts in this city, it's guaranteed nobody is giving up their outdoor activities and workouts just because it's hot outside. It's amazing to be out on a beautiful day but it's crucial to stay safe.
August 10, 2009
“Never letting the competition define you. Instead, you have to define yourself based on a point of view you care deeply about.”
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
"What the lion cannot manage to do the fox can."
"It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else."
August 8, 2009
One of the many factors that makes working out on your own more difficult, is not being able to break through your own self-imposed barriers.
A good example of this would be in runners. If you jog everyday on the treadmill for 30 minutes, your body becomes accustomed to a thirty minute routine. Eventually, you will notice at 25 minutes, your body starts to feel tired, and by thirty, you simply have to stop.
This is of course, 100% psychological. You have trained your body to believe that you only have the endurance for a thirty minute run.
If you can trick your body in to thinking it can only complete a thirty minute routine, you can also "trick" yourself in to being pushed harder, and longer, while improving your level of fitness.
Three Tips to Break Your Psychological Fitness Barriers
1. The extra mile/set
Perform your routine as usual. Whether it's that thirty minute run of a weight workout of 2 sets for each major muscle group. Now here's the trick:
You are going to put in an extra mile/set no matter how long it takes you. Walk the mile, or perform each set with five minutes in between, if you have to. However, I can guarantee you that once you know you have committed to the extra mile, you will do it quite easily. Chances are, you won't even have to stop running/lifting etc.
I use this one all of the time, and sometimes I end up working out even longer. It really works.
If you think an extra mile, or round of sets is too ambitious, try it out on a small scale with "the extra song," on your MP3 player!
2. The Rest Reward
We respond so well to rewards! With this "trick" you are going to work out extra hard, to earn yourself a day off, that would normally be spent exercising. Not only does this technique get you exercising harder, it changes up your routine for better results!
Example: You have cardio planned for today, and weights planned for tomorrow. Instead of sticking to this schedule, do a really tough circuit routine. Try intense cardio for 5 minutes, heavy weights 5 minutes and repeat for 45 minutes to an hour. Just try working out the next day:P
3. Self Hypnosis and Visualization
No, not swinging a pendulum in front of your face! I'm talking about positive self-talk and reinforcement.
Let's say you're almost finished your weight routine, and the last thing to work out is your abs. You want to quit so bad, you can already feel the cold shower water, and the tasty fruit blended protein shake waiting for you in the fridge. Before you let the tired, lazy side of you cave in, remember what motivates you to work on your abs. Is it the dream six-pack? Core stability? A flatter stomach? Take that motivation and now visualize your results. Picture buying a dress, a size smaller, or the reaction at that pool party next month.
Repeat this motivating force to yourself (in your head, especially if you're in public) and get yourself to the point where you can't think of anything else except finishing your workout. Even though people in general, have trouble pushing themselves, it's amazing how we don't want to let ourselves down. Nobody wants to be disappointed in themselves. Once we get something in our head, we'll do it. If you can convince yourself it has to be done, and for a good reason, it will be!
Being able to push past your fitness barriers is very important for breaking plateaus and seeing results. If you need coaching on this, or are interested in personal training for consistency, and exercise variety, contact me for more information.
August 6, 2009
You reached the stage in your diet plan, where you have eliminated fried, fatty, and processed food. Fantastic! Now the problem, is that you know how to make a few really healthy meals, and you're rotating them constantly. Boring!
August 4, 2009
Do you remember going back to school in September, and buying new binders, and pens for the first day back? Didn't it renew your motivation for learning, and help you look forward to getting back in to the classroom?
Buying fitness gear can have a similar effect. Trying a new piece of equipment, hiring a trainer, or buying new clothes, can rejuvenate a long time exerciser.
Check out this CNN Article called Gadgets, Web sites to make you a better runner
Not only is spoiling yourself with a new gadget fun, when its about improving your fitness levels, it can be considered a good investment.
I love my Ipod Touch for all of the calculations it can do for me. It can track distance, pace, calories and I can organize all of my fitness routines, and diet. I'm always hearing about the Nike+, and how motivated it keeps its users. Especially when you can upload your runs on to your computer, and compare results with friends. Consoles like the Wii, will have the whole family playing together, while being more active than watching TV.
With new gear coming out all of the time, and technology improving daily, it's not a bad idea to try something new. Some of the products out there are so impressive, you will even have couch potato friends asking to come along, on your next run.
August 3, 2009
"Action is the foundational key to all success."
"What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose."
"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed."
"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure."
"Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown."
August 1, 2009
Nutrition can seem complicated and can easily become overwhelming. While there is a lot to know about eating healthy, and a nutritionist is well advised, it's possible to have a great diet by simply, watching out for the basics.
Whether you want to lose weight, lower blood pressure or just feel energetic and fabulous, stick to these tips for healthy eating:
1. Buy Whole Grains
Whole Grain Products keep you fuller for longer, contain fiber, and provide more nutrition like protein and essential fatty acids. Switch white bread, rice, and pasta to brown.
2. Eat Fresh
Eating fresh means you know how the food was made, and what exactly is in it. Frozen and processed dinners are high in sodium and may contain preservatives. Look online to discover quick and easy recipes to replace frozen and processed meals.
3. Watch out for sugary drinks
Too much pop, juice and sports drinks are not only bad for your teeth, but they're bad for your health and physique! Drinking calories are wasted calories! It's possible to accumulate a whole day worth of calories from your beverages alone! Switch to water, and only have sugary drinks occasionally.
4. Use full fat products in moderation
It's a good idea to switch to low fat versions of your favourite foods. If you can't get used to the low fat taste, use the products you enjoy in moderation. Personally, I use butter, and prefer it over Becel. However, I'm only using a little at a time for cooking, and only when necessary. If I was making something that required say, a cup of butter, you can be sure I'd run out and buy some Becel. However, you won't ever see me putting Becel on my toast. Ugh!
5. Serve every meal with a vegetable and lean protein