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February 5, 2019

Another Fitness Success Story! IG Star Jean Titus

How Dedication Brought Him to His Next Chapter

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“Reinvent yourself” is a modern mantra for countless people 50+.

In the years since digital disruption and the economic recession, we still see proof all around us. So many of us are creating the next chapters of their lives in or near retirement, or to begin a new line of work or hobby. I did it when I opened ProActive Fitness!

If we all write the story of our lives, then sometimes we have to turn a page.

Jean Titus, 50, has experienced that in the last 10 years or so. The former investment adviser began developing his own business projects after the 2008 economic downturn. His mother passed away, after warning him about eating too much to fuel his overzealous bodybuilding. And a chance meeting with a former professional athlete made him realize he had let his physical performance fall below his expectations for himself.

Always athletic, Titus spent the ensuing years getting into spectacular condition and developing his personal brand and business in fitness training and education.

Along the way he became a social media sensation.

"I started getting serious about this when I realized I wasn't doing my best, and I wanted to do better," he recalls. "I saw loved ones die or get sick because they hadn't taken care of themselves and realized how easy it is to let that happen.

"I decided I was going to do better. I didn't know what that meant exactly, but I knew I could go out every day and just keep pushing it."

Writing Your Own Act 2

Most of us don't want to achieve Titus’s level of bodybuilding or be able to reach it. But that doesn't matter. Your personal fitness goals are just as important, no matter what they are. And, as Titus would say, those goals are not only possible but attainable.

If that means tweaking your fitness routine or reinventing yourself physically, come in and let’s talk about what you want.

Even after 50, many people want to have new experiences and gain different perspectives – and life sometimes guides us toward changes whether we want them or not, right?

Many good articles and resources are online for anyone wanting to write their own Act 2. Here are a few:

  • “Major life changes are never easy because your instincts and the urgent matters of the day work against you. But when you learn to focus on your future self, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve,” says a Psychology Today article.

  • From The Harvard Business Review: How to Reinvent Yourself After 50. “Understand you do have enough time.”

  • From Forbes: Five Steps to Reinventing Yourself Professionally.

It started on a family vacation

Titus and his family were at the beach when one of his daughters snapped a photo of him shirtless. She posted it on social media, and it unexpectedly went viral, gaining thousands of positive reactions.

“I don’t even like to have my picture taken,” he says. “But after that happened, I noticed that people were paying attention.”

He previously had been athletic and even pumped up. But in recent years, Titus educated himself on fitness and nutrition, changed his eating habits, and trimmed his 6'1" frame to his current 201 pounds.

He is dedicated to helping others learn like he did, that a healthy lifestyle involves more than lifting weights.

His Instagram feed, with almost 200,000 followers, reflects that. “It’s not just pictures of myself with my shirt off.”

He encourages clients and others to think about what’s possible, not perceived limitations. “I didn’t say, ‘I’m too old; that’s too difficult.’ Those things didn’t enter into my mind. I just have figured out how to do it. And that’s the approach I want people to have – especially people in their 50s.

“Once that wrench goes in, their thinking process has to stop and reboot. They come out with a whole new way of looking at what’s possible.”

We can help you get to your own “what’s possible” through exercise! Give us a call or stop in to see us.

Heart Month and the Powerful Benefits of Exercise, Eating Right

We usually think of February as the month of hearts for Valentine’s Day.

But February is also Heart Month in Canada, sponsored by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, to raise awareness and to help people lose weight, eat better, invigorate their exercise routines and more.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States, and the No. 2 killer in Canada. Every 12 minutes or so, someone with diagnosed heart disease in Canada dies.

The good news: Most types of heart disease can be prevented. Exercise and eating right are the top tools to improve our heart health and lower our risk for heart disease and heart attacks.

For people over 50, exercise, including strength training, is vital. As most people age, their hearts get smaller and weaker, and major arteries can stiffen. That reduces or slows blood flow through the body.

The best prevention is to exercise throughout life. But it’s never too late to start to gain some of the benefits. This New York Times article explained some of the latest research in detail.

Weightlifting among mature adults improves heart health by decreasing blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol, while improving “good” cholesterol. Exercising and eating right also fight obesity, which contributes to heart issues.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation has many initiatives to raise awareness and funds for heart health.

Visit their site to get involved and get some tips on improving your own!

Easy Lentil Soup

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There’s nothing like a bowl of homemade soup for instant comfort. Use this Easy Lentil Soup recipe for a light dinner or quick lunch. It’s easy to make, tastes delicious and is low in fat. What’s more it’s full of natural protein. And guess what? Lentils are packed with cholesterol-lowering fibre.

What you need

Serves 8

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion

  • ½ cup finely chopped carrot

  • ½ cup finely chopped celery

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed

  • 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes

  • 2 quarts chicken broth, fat free, reduced sodium

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • ½ teaspoon ground toasted cumin

  • Optional, spoonful of fat free cottage cheese

  • Optional, dried parsley

Instructions

  1. Put the olive oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven and place over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and salt. Sauté for 6 to 7 minutes.

  2. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander and cumin; stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.

  3. Using a stick blender, puree the soup to your desired consistency. Serve with cottage cheese and sprinkle with dried parsley if desired.

Nutrition

One serving equals 240 calories, 2g fat, 35g carbohydrate, 18g fibre, and 16g protein.


January 29, 2019

Where are YOU on the Fitness Spectrum?

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On the spectrum of physical ability, where do you rank?

More importantly, where do you want to rank?

Let’s look at a five-point scale. Most people over 50 fall into one of these categories.

  • Elite athlete

  • Fit

  • Independent

  • Frail

  • Dependent

We’ll look at each one in more detail below. But take a guess now as to which one applies to you. How does that make you feel? Surely no one wants to think of themselves as dependent or frail – and everyone’s fitness goals are different, ranging from healthy function to high-level sports competition.

That’s what’s so liberating about a healthy lifestyle: It lets you live the way you want to live, whatever that means to you. Come in and let us help you get to where you want to be or maintain your fitness level in fun, new ways. Exercise is the best medicine – and, no, it’s not too late to start!

From elite to dependent

Here’s how the Functional Aging Institute breaks down the stages, with broad direction on how people in each group can benefit from small group training. It’s a good structure to begin a discussion.

Elite

Description: These are the fittest and most functional folks, those who are regular exercisers and probably involved in competitive sports. They have advanced physical abilities, and they love working hard at their fitness.

Outlook: “Given their advanced physical abilities, there is really no limit on what they can do in a training session,” says FAI’s Dr. Cody Sipe.

Fit

Description: Most fit, mature adults are considered fit in the area they train but might be deficient in other areas. Maybe a strong runner has low strength, or a strong man has poor flexibility. There's such a big range here that FAI notes the distinction between "fully fit" and "semi-fit."

Outlook: “They need a heavier focus on the specific areas in which they are deficient,” Cody says.

Independent

Description: The average mature adult can perform daily tasks on their own, but they don’t participate in any vigorous activities. This is the largest category, and some mature adults get trapped in complacency here, thinking that their independence means they don't need to exercise. But that can lull them into a dangerous place, where one fall or injury can knock them down to "frail" or "dependent" status.

Outlook: Cody says, “This group needs a well-rounded mix with a focus on increasingly complex movements and those that challenge dynamic balance.”

Frail

Description: People at this stage have low functional abilities in most or all aspects – strength, poor balance, energy, etc. They need help performing everyday tasks.

Outlook: “They require an emphasis on basic strength and power exercises, as well as basic gait and mobility patterns. Balance movements should be more static and performed with caution because they have a high risk of falling", according to Dr. Sipe.

Dependent

Individuals in this group typically require specialized one-on-one assistance and are not candidates for small group training.

Everyone is different

We know that you’re an individual and not just a member of a demographic or even a subset on a scale like this.

Functional fitness doesn’t necessarily track with chronological age. If you don’t know a super-fit 80-year-old, you’ve seen examples of them in the media. And, sadly, it’s more likely that you know someone who is 60 and frail.

We are here to help you get or stay fit by your own definition, for your own purposes. Maybe you aspire to get to the level of independence, or fitness or maybe even elite athleticism! Remember, better is always possible!

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Glazed Pork Tenderloin

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This turns fresh apricots into a tangy-sweet sauce and glaze for meaty pork tenderloin. (You can make the sauce with plums if apricots aren’t available.) Serve with a simple vinaigrette-dressed spinach salad tossed with red onion, shaved pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, and pistachios.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots

  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 4 medium ripe apricots, pitted and chopped (about 12 oz.)

  • 1 (1-lb.) pork tenderloin, trimmed

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add shallots and rosemary; cook 1 minute or until lightly golden. Add brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and apricots; cook 12 minutes or until apricots are broken down and mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Place 3 tablespoons apricot mixture in a small bowl; set aside.

Step 3

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle pork with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Brush pork with half of remaining apricot mixture (about 6 tablespoons). Place pan in oven; bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Turn pork; brush with remaining half of apricot mixture. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into pork registers 145°. Place pork on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Cut across the grain into 12 slices. Serve with reserved 3 tablespoons apricot mixture.

Nutritional Information

Calories 293

Fat 8.1g

Protein 25g

Carbohydrate 30g

Fiber 2g

Cholesterol 74mg

Sodium 472mg

From Cooking Light


January 22, 2019

An Expert's Advice on Preventing Falls

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Dr. Christian Thompson and participants in his Always Active program in San Francisco

Are you afraid of falling?

You might know already that falls are a leading health hazard for people over 65.

But you might not realize that you need a well-rounded fitness approach to improve balance. It requires a focus on all the components of functional fitness, including mobility, muscular-skeletal, and cardio-respiratory.

“Falling is insidious among older adults and requires a more nuanced approach than training, say, just for strength,” says Dr. Christian Thompson, a leading expert in fall prevention and treatment for mature adults.

‘Moving and grooving is complicated’

Christian is a kinesiology professor at the University of San Francisco and owner of a fitness consulting company, Thompson Fitness Solutions. He also recently launched Mobility Matters to help active adults improve function, prevent falls, and move with confidence. He is an author and frequent speaker and serves on the International Advisory Board of the Functional Aging Institute (FAI).

Christian believes exercise is “top of the line, 100 percent necessary” for fall protection and healing.

Lisa Grace Wright, an FAI specialist and owner of Your Personal Best Training Studio in Corpus Christi, Texas, agrees.

“We like to say that moving and grooving is complicated,” Lisa says. “One form of moving only involves one aspect required for fitness that’s going to help people keep from falling.”

For instance, you might think it’s enough to practice exercise drills for mobility and agility but neglect the need to increase your speed – which is also essential to improve balance, says Jackie Bachmeier, owner/trainer at Evolution Fitness & Wellness in Houston.

Falling once doubles your chance of falling again, the Centers for Disease Control says. And that can lead to fear, says Sharan Tash, owner of TASH Wellness for Women in Chicago.

“Some people, once they’ve fallen, they let that fear stop them from living their full lives,” Sharan says.

Variety of exercise helps

People over 50 who haven’t had problems with falling still often worry about it. Even active adults can fall, despite their athleticism.

Christian encourages focusing on all aspects of fitness to take care of ourselves, rather than just one – like staying limber, for instance, or jogging regularly.

“You have to be a jack of all trades” to really treat the danger of falling, Christian says.

The upside of this? Your workouts should be designed for variety and fun. So you’re less likely to get bored and frustrated. Variety builds success.

Lisa, Jackie, Sharan and the rest of us in the Functional Aging Institute Mastermind group got to spend some quality time with "Dr. Chris" in Santa Clara two weeks ago. I borrowed him for this little video:

Come talk to us about your fitness and function goals – and, yes, whatever worries you have about falling or anything else. We’re here to guide you through the right kind of fitness program to keep you safe, fit and strong.

Fear of falling? Don’t let it hold you back.

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Lisa Leis is bringing another MELT workshop to ProActive Fitness this Saturday, January 26th from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

MELT: Relax and Roll

Designed to give you tools to unwind tension, melt away stress and thoroughly relax.

Suitable for absolutely anyone, especially the inflexible, the exhausted, those who need some quality time to unwind long-held patterns of tension and stress in body and mind.

Using soft MELT balls and rollers we will learn revolutionary MELT Method technique for restoring relation to your body. The class will close with the deep relaxation of shivasana, the ultimate in "Yoga naptime" to leave you feeling refreshed, rested and calm.

To register, please email simone@proactivefit.ca or call the studio at (306)374-3013. Cost is $40 + GST

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

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We all know that vegetables are good for us, and that we should eat more fresh veggies in order to increase the fibre and vitamin content of our diets. But, the truth is that most veggie side dishes don’t taste good enough to entice the whole family to dive in. This recipe is the answer. Broccoli and cauliflower are roasted in an outrageously tasty way that’s simple, quick and full of nutrition.

Serve this delicious veggie side dish with a piece of lean meat for a well-balanced, fitness approved meal.

What you need

Serves 4

  • 1 bunch broccoli

  • 1 bunch cauliflower

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • dash of sea salt

  • dash of pepper

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • juice from 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet with olive oil.

  2. Wash the broccoli and cauliflower heads and then pat dry. It’s important to dry thoroughly so that it will roast properly. Cut into small florets.

  3. In a medium bowl combine the florets, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic cloves. Toss until well combined and then spread over the prepared baking sheet.

  4. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven once the florets are tender with crispy bottoms.

  5. Drizzle the lemon juice over the cooked florets and serve immediately.

Nutrition

One serving equals 160 calories, 4g fat, 98mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 4g fibre, and 4g protein


January 15, 2019

19 Reasons to Stick with Your Fitness Commitment in ‘19

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We’re still in January, far too early to even think about giving up on healthy habits for the year. Whether you made a resolution to get fit or just renewed your commitment to exercise and eat right, we’re here to keep you going throughout the year with these 19 reasons to stick with it in ’19.

  1. You can look and feel good for your sweetheart or yourself on Valentine’s Day next month.

  2. You want to be part of the one-third of people over 50 who exercise regularly.

  3. You want to live longer and have more freedom to do what you want to do.

  4. About 70 percent of the disposable income in the US is in your generation’s hands, and you darn well intend to spend your share.

  5. If you’re retired or working less, you have the flexibility to work out when, how and where you want – and that’s a luxury you earned and should use.

  6. You still want to be the fun grandparent.

  7. You need to stay strong to help care for your own parents.

  8. Remember, exercise is the miracle drug. It’s good for your bones, muscles, balance, heart, breathing, mental health and sleep.

  9. It’s fun – even when you don’t feel like it.

  10. You said you would – and you know why.

  11. You’re not going to quit something important just because you’re having a tough day.

  12. Springtime is coming and you’ll want to garden, golf, or play tennis.

  13. Summer is coming and you have travel plans. In the US alone, people over 50 spend $160 billion a year on travel. You need strength, balance and stamina to go everywhere and do all that’s on your list.

  14. Your pals want you to join them in a new exercise class or small group training.

  15. Accountability: people will be expecting you to keep it up – friends and family, and the new buddies you’ve made while working out.

  16. Your doctor can’t stop smiling at you.

  17. When the holidays roll around, you will have earned that extra dressing and the slice of pumpkin pie.

  18. You want to avoid being overweight, falling, getting diabetes, and letting high blood pressure go unchecked.

  19. Exercise makes you feel good. Every time.

Over the year, be sure to stay up to date on activities here and throughout the community so you can make plans and set different goals. Maybe you’ll run a charity 5K or longer race and need time to get ready for it. Or you want to build up your stamina for a dancing event or summertime hike. Or maybe you’d like to slim down for a wedding or other big family gathering.

Whatever your motivation, we’re here to help you reach your goals – and have a good, safe, healthy time while you’re doing it.

Watch for news on our New Year's Resolution Re-boot later this week!

Hey, ’19? You got this.

Breakfast Protein Parfait

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Here’s a great recipe to make the night before for an easy grab-n-go breakfast straight out of the fridge. It’s packed with protein, vitamins and minerals for sustained energy all morning long. And it tastes great too.

What you need

Serves 1

  • ¼ cup Greek Yogurt, plain, fat free

  • ¼ cup low fat cottage cheese

  • 1 scoop high quality strawberry or vanilla protein powder

  • ¼ cup fresh berries

  • 1 Tablespoon pecan pieces, toasted

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl use a whisk to combine the yogurt, cottage cheese and protein powder. Mix until well incorporated.

  2. Place half of the yogurt mixture into a clear cup, top with the berries and then the remaining yogurt mixture. Top with pecans.

Nutrition

One serving equals 260 calories, 6g fat, 307mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 4g fibre, and 38g protein.


January 9, 2019

Forget the Myths - It's Not Too Late to Get Fit, Even REALLY FIT!

Have you ever heard the old sayings, “The horse is out of the barn” or "That train has left the station"?

They are folksy ways of telling someone it’s too late to make a change.

It’s also one of the myths about fitness after 50 that we love to bust every chance we get. And here’s a great example of someone who has done so, my fellow Functional Aging Specialist, Joe Robert Weaver.

Joe was almost 60 when his teenage son asked him for information about exercise. Since Joe had never much cared for training, he had a lot to learn – and he finally decided to get into shape along with his son.

Joe lifted weights and quickly packed on 30 pounds – muscle, yes, but fat, too, since he was eating so much after lifting heavy weights.

He changed his way of eating, switched to lighter weights, and adopted a nasal breathing technique that he says gave him more energy.

Excellence after 50?

And then something amazing happened for Joe, who is now 68.

“I got shredded!” he says.

Joe’s abs appeared for the first time in his life at 60, primarily from lowering his caloric intake and simply losing fat around his midsection.

“I didn’t even know they were there,” he says.

Joe entered a physique contest for men over 40 and took second place.

That busts yet another myth – that people over 50 can only maintain their previous fitness level or just hope to slow inevitable decline.

But a rippling torso -- for the first time -- at 60?

You bet.

Of course, that might not be your goal. Maybe you'd like to get stronger, improve your golf game, avoid falling or enjoy playing with the grandkids... The list goes on and on, but the point is the same.

Whatever your goal is, exercise can help you achieve it.

Joe’s Top 3 Tips for Getting Started

Like us, Joe has specialized training and expertise in helping people over 50. He operates his demographic-specific studio, Fit 50 Plus, in Asheville, North Carolina. Here are Joe’s top tips for anyone who is starting out, just as he did just a few years ago.

Make exercise fun. Otherwise, you won’t want to do it.

Be consistent. Stick with it, without expecting instant results.

Focus on functional fitness that will help you live the life you want to live, rather than, say, lifting heavy weights just for its own sake.

“Excessive strength and endurance aren’t that important for most people,” Joe says.

What matters most in building balance, strength and endurance after 50? For him, Joe says it’s moderation in the dining room and consistency in the gym.

“It shouldn’t be boring or too hard,” he found about working out. “I like my exercise to feel good during and after the workout. When I first started out, I wondered if people were going to think I was crazy.”

Now, Joe hopes his myth-busting success serves as an example: “You can accomplish whatever your goals are.”

Come talk to us about your own fitness goals and how to bust a myth or two you’ve heard about exercise. We don’t guarantee rippling abs like Joe’s, but we definitely will make it fun. Promise!

Joe before

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Joe, after!

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It's Soup Season!

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I know it can be difficult to get a healthy, homemade dinner on the table after a long, busy day of work. That’s why recipes like this one are so wonderful to have on hand – it only takes a few minutes and tastes fantastic.

By using flavorful ingredients, like roasted red bell peppers and white bean hummus, this soup tastes like you slaved over it all afternoon– but really takes less than 20 minutes to throw together. This recipe is a great way to fit some quinoa into your diet. Quinoa is a protein-packed seed that is considered a “super food”. It’s s a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids, and is gluten-free.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need Serves 5

  • 1 cup roasted red bell peppers (you can cheat and buy a jar!)

  • 3/4 cup white bean hummus

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa

  • 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken

  • dash salt and pepper

  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Take 1/4 cup of the roasted red peppers, slice into strips and set aside.

  2. Place the remaining red peppers in a blender along with the hummus and chicken stock. Blend until smooth.

  3. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa and chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Bring to a boil.

  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the slices of red pepper and chopped parsley.

Nutrition: One serving equals 248 calories, 11g fat, 644mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 20g protein


December 31, 2018

New Year's Party Survival Guide

Use these quick tips to avoid overeating at your holiday party:

  • A plate of appetizers is considered a meal. Don’t load up on appetizers and then sit down to a full meal.

  • Survey all of your food options before beginning to eat. Choose a few of your favourites and then fill the rest of your plate with greens.

  • Liquid calories count. Stick with only one calorie-filled drink and then switch to water.

  • Eat a sensible meal before you arrive at the party. This will cut down on party food calories.

New Year, New You? Instead of Making Resolutions, Try This!

It's New Year's Eve and many of us will be looking ahead to 2019 and going through the process of making resolutions.

Making a fresh start and resolving to improve is a good thing, but all too often, we fall off the rails by the end of January. We get sidetracked by life, decide it was too lofty a goal, give up and decide that maybe we should wait until conditions are better....often until December 31st NEXT year!

This New Year, instead of making resolutions and setting goals, do something different: make COMMITMENTS. Commit to better habits because this will get you closer to being the person you want to be in 2019.

Instead of setting a goal to lose 20 lbs., commit to exercising 4 days a week and planning 80% of your meals.

Rather than resolving to "stop being late", commit to setting an alarm to leave the house on time.

Instead of saying you will "be less busy" this year, commit to setting boundaries on your time.

Committing to the PROCESS rather than setting a vague, lofty goal will always get you further ahead.

Setting a goal/making a resolution sets you up for failure the second you fall off track. Our brains are wired to avoid hurt feelings and failure. As soon as we fail ourselves, we are more likely to give up altogether to avoid the future pain of failure.

When we break our commitment to the process - missing a workout, for example - we still have a chance to recover and it doesn't seem like such a big deal.

Want to increase your chances of success? Here's what to do:

Set commitments rather than goals

Stop setting goals that are so big that you don't even know how to begin. Commit to the habits that will take you to your desired end result. If you don't know what those are, reach out to a professional for advice, then map out a plan of daily or weekly actions.

Remember "A goal is just a wish until you have a plan."

Track your actions

Your chance of success goes up if you track your commitment. Use whatever method works for you, a high-tech app or a simple streak of "X"'s on a calendar. The method that you will use consistently is the best one.

There's nothing better than knowing you crushed all of your workouts, stuck to your healthy eating plan or saved the cash as planned this week!

Change the way you think about success and failure

Resist the urge to label your actions "good" or "bad". Slipping up occasionally is normal. Nobody is perfect!

You are not a bad person because you ate dessert! Don't say, "I blew it and had a cookie. Might as well finish the whole box and start again tomorrow." You can't change the past, but you DO have control over what you do at this moment and the next.

Hire a coach to keep you accountable

Having someone on your side with knowledge and expertise is the fastest way to ensure success. A coach can provide guidance and tools to help you avoid mistakes, keep you accountable and help you overcome self-defeating thoughts and patterns that have hindered you in the past.

As you consider making changes over the next few days, reframe your resolutions as commitments, create an action plan and commit to making it happen in 2019!

If you want some help with exercise and nutrition, we are here for you! Our "Transform in 4" Resolution Re-boot starts in early February. If you don't want to wait that long, email me or call the studio this week to get started with a FREE workout or consultation.


December 24, 2018

Your Holly Jolly Workout

Shopping, pageants, parties, family gatherings, and food, food, food. The holiday season is filled with good things, making it the holly-est, jolly-est time of year. And it's easy to get caught up in the tinsel, lights, eggnog, and chocolate and forget about barbells and running shoes. This is why people gain an average of one pound (overweight folks gain even more) during the winter holiday months. You may not think a pound is that big of a deal but pack them on year after year and they add up.

While a pound is the average, who wants to be average? Beat the statistics and avoid holiday weight gain by fitting in exercise this year. Here’s how.

A New Tradition

Along with stockings, trees, and carols, why not create new family traditions that include exercise? After your big family meals, plan to take a walk, go on a hike, or ride bikes together to burn off the extra calories. Spending time outdoors beats sitting around on the couch and you won't regret it.

Shed the Stress

In case you’ve not heard, stress can be a major contributing factor to overeating. Four many, the holidays can bring on all sorts of stress. The good news is that you don’t have to hang onto that stress and use it as an excuse to overeat. When going into a situation that you anticipate will be stressful, gear up beforehand with a run or quick trip to the gym. The good vibes coursing through your veins afterwards should help ward off negative stress and help you make better dinnertime decisions.

Lose Your Tunnel Vision

Ideally, you will be able to get in for a workout four to five times each week. However, the holidays often make this impossible. Not only are you on the road part of the time, you also have parties to prepare for and presents to wrap. Don’t let this cause you to fall into complacency. Wherever you are, you’re able to exercise. Remember: jumping jacks, push-ups, planks, lunges, stick-ups, and running require no special equipment. Just effort.

Shop Healthily

In today’s world, many people prefer to sit in their pyjamas and do all their holiday shopping online. Don’t be one of them. Appealing as it may be to shop online, you can burn off a few more calories if you’re willing to shop at stores. Sure, there will be loonies out who are willing to do whatever it takes to get the last toy or sweater available, but shopping at actual stores forces you to walk and get rid of calories while you’re doing one of your favourite things.

Be Useful

Across the world, the holidays are pictured as times of fun and relaxation. While they should be both, that doesn’t mean you should sit around doing nothing. No matter where you’re spending your holidays, someone still has to work to make sure everything goes off as planned. Have family coming over? Better grab a shovel and clear the snow off the sidewalk and driveway. Is your mom cooking up her famous recipes in the kitchen? Get in there and help by cleaning the dishes! It’ll give you a chance to burn a handful of calories while spending quality time with your loved ones. After all, that’s what makes these days so holly jolly.

A Gift for You!

This is the time of year that you focus in on getting something special for all the important people in your life. You put time and thought into finding that perfect gift that will make them feel loved.

But what about you?

With all that you do for others, it’s time to do something just for you.

How about the gift of a stronger, healthier body in 2019? You and I both know that you deserve it. It’s your time…embrace it.

Let us help you make that a reality. Call or email us to set up a free consultation or small group session!

South of the Border Chicken Soup

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A bowl of this homemade soup is a wonderful meal to enjoy during the holidays. It’s low carb and filled with protein and veggies to power your day and kerb your cravings. Best of all it’s made in the slow cooker, so preparation is quick and easy.

What you need Serves 8

  • 2 organic, free range chicken breasts

  • 1 (28oz) can diced, fire roasted tomatoes

  • 1 (4oz) can green chiles, chopped

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 head cauliflower, shredded

  • 32 oz organic, free range chicken broth

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • dash of sea salt and pepper

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 2 avocados

  • Tajin seasoning for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the cilantro, avocado and tajin, in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.

  2. Remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker. Shred with a fork and then return to the slow cooker.

  3. Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of cilantro, a few slices of avocado and a dash of tajin. Enjoy!

Nutrition One serving equals 178 calories, 11g fat, 414mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate, 6g fibre, and 25g protein.


December 18, 2018

Exercising with a group helps ensure success

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Some people prefer to exercise alone. Others are joiners – happiest when they’re exercising and playing with friends or other folks.

“Being in a group appeals to me – I like to sign up!”

That’s Diane Firmani, a 64-year-old multi-athlete who stays active outdoors all year long in Wasilla, Alaska.

In summer, she runs 5Ks and half-marathons. Year-round, she travels all over to compete in triathlons.

And in the winter, when she’s not out with friends riding fat-tire bikes over snow and frozen lakes, the retired school librarian is on the hockey rink, playing with her women’s team that includes five members over age 50.

All the physical fun took a serious, spiritual turn in the last year. Diane has been taking care of her husband since a debilitating stroke.

“It has been a challenging year,” Diane says. “And those girls have stood by me. They support me. They’re true blues.”

Diane’s experiences prove all kinds of points about staying fit after 50. It’s fun. It’s social. You can diversify your workouts no matter where you are.

Exercising with Others: It Works!

And by staying active in groups, Diane personifies what experts say: Exercising with a friend or group dramatically raises your chances of sticking to it.

That’s true across the board – among men and women, in the gym and fitness studio or outside doing anything, and taking it easy or going to such extremes as fat-tire snow-biking in Alaska. Studies show:

  • Working with a partner or on a team improves performance and double workout times, according to The Society of Behavioral Medicine

  • 95 percent of people who participated in a group weight-loss program finished it, compared to 76 percent who participated alone.

  • Working out with others is simply more fun, a University of Southern California study found.

That’s why we offer a range of options for people who want to exercise with other people. Come talk to us about the possibilities.

‘I don’t think of myself as old’

Diane’s team recently made it to the championship match of the C Cup Women’s Hockey Classic, which brings together women from across the state.

“Sometimes people say you’re too old, or women shouldn’t play hockey, but I don’t care,” Diane says. “I don’t think of myself as old. I don’t feel old.

“I used to have more of a grandma image in my head – white hair and a walker… But I’m nothing like that.”

Neither are the other women over 50 on her team, including Ironman triathlete Sammye Pokryfki, 58.

“Playing hockey on my women’s team expresses so man of my core values — staying active, being part of a team, challenging myself, and spending time with friends. But the most important thing that keeps me coming back? It’s just so much fun.”

Their advice to people over 50 who don’t know how to start getting fit?

Number 1: Just get moving.

“And my advice? Get a friend, get a buddy,” Diane says. “You keep each other motivated, and you keep each other committed.

“Since my husband’s stroke, there are days when it’s really hard, and it’s easier not to go play or workout. That’s where my friends come in. That’s my tribe. That’s who I count on.”

New Guidelines Say Exercising for Even Less than 10 Minutes Is Valuable

We might know that exercise is important for physical and mental health.

But how much exercise do we need?

US and Canadian government guidelines say adults should get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise – or at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity.

“If that’s more than you can do right now, do what you can,” says a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. “Even 5 minutes of physical activity has real health benefits.”

People over 50 also should participate in strength or resistance training (like with weights or bands) twice a week and work on flexibility, the Centers for Disease Control says.

The government issued guidelines recently that are slightly revised from the initial 2008 recommendations. The new report says exercise in bouts of even less than 10 minutes can go toward the 150-minute weekly goal.

“Research studies consistently show that activity performed on at least 3 days a week produces health benefits,” the CDC says. And more exercise means greater benefits for everyone, including people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. Exercise controls weight and blood pressure, reduces the risk for several cancers and falling, and helps stave off depression and dementia.

So, what exactly counts as “moderate” or “vigorous” intensity?

Moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking, jogging, biking, dancing, light swimming and general yard work.

Vigorous-intensity means: jogging or running, swimming laps, jumping rope, biking faster than 10 mph and high-intensity interval training.

“As a rule of thumb, a person doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity can talk, but not sing, during the activity,” the government says. “A person doing vigorous-intensity activity cannot say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.”

Healthy Recipe: Beef Stew with Fresh Mango

Fresh mango and cilantro add the perfect balance to this beef stew with its full-flavored complements of Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and just a bit of cinnamon. Serving it over whole-wheat couscous is an easy way to boost your fiber intake. From the American Heart Association.

Makes 6 servings: 1 cup stew ½ cup couscous

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 395; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 3g

Sodium: 224mg; Carbohydrate:50g;

Fibre: 8g; Sugars:15g; Protein: 30g

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds lean stew meat (1-inch cubes), all visible fat discarded

  • 2 14.5-ounce cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained

  • 1 medium onion (cut into 6 wedges)

  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into ½-inch strips

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (lowest sodium available)

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 2 medium garlic cloves (minced)

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup uncooked, whole-wheat couscous

  • 1½ cups fat-free, low-sodium beef broth (or)

  • 1 medium mango (cut into bite-size pieces)

  • ½ cup chopped, fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. In the slow cooker, stir together the beef, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, garlic, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Cook, covered, on low for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 5 to 5½ hours, or until the beef is tender.

  2. About 10 minutes before serving time, prepare the couscous using the package directions, omitting the salt and substituting the broth for the water. Spoon into bowls. Ladle the stew onto the couscous. Top with the mango and cilantro.


December 11, 2018

Your Focus this Season

This time of year is filled with special foods. From decorated cookies to mashed potatoes, it’s one food event after another. For most of us, it can become more about food than anything else…and you wonder why you gain weight!

This year shift your focus from food to the things that really matter most to you. The season will mean more to you and you’ll look and feel your best.

Here’s how to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

For most of us, the Christmas season is a time of mixed emotions. You’re excited and anxious to spend time with family, and you’re dreading the extra weight that you know you’re bound to gain. Are these holiday pounds inevitable?

Lean in close to catch these seven secret ways to help you fend off extra weight through Christmas and the New Year. And once you’re done, don’t keep it a secret. Go tell somebody!

Holiday Secret #1: Listen to Your Body

It may not speak quickly enough all the time, but you know your body is constantly telling you things. Sometimes it tells you to stop a certain activity before you get hurt. During the holiday season, it tells you to put the brakes on your eating before you go beyond the point of no return. When your body tells you it’s full, listen up! A single bite after you’re full will lead to extra calories and eventually, extra pounds.

Holiday Secret #2: Confine the Holidays

For some, holidays become weeks and even months of poor eating. Be careful to avoid this pitfall by digging into your holiday foods only on the actual holiday. Treat the other days like normal days—even if you’re off of work. And when the holiday is over, let someone else take the leftovers home and go to your own house without any pudding or gravy in tow.

Holiday Secret #3: Eat First, Party Second

You read right—it’s good to eat before heading out the door. Have a healthy, well-rounded meal at home with fruits, vegetables, and your protein source of choice. And drink a tall glass of water. Why? So when you get to that holiday party that is overflowing with cookies, cakes, candies, and calories, you’re not hungry for it. Your stomach is full of healthy goodness and has no room for the fattening stuff.

Holiday Secret #4: Plan Your Escape

Getting away from food isn’t easy. If you expect to be able to walk away from delicious thigh- and gut-growing foods without any forethought, think again. Before walking into a potentially fattening situation, plan out what you’re going to eat and take your own dish to share if necessary.

Holiday Secret #5: Exercise Everywhere

One of the most common excuses to gain weight is that you have to travel to visit family and don’t have access to your personal trainer. Well, guess what? Just because your trainer isn’t staying in the hotel with you doesn’t mean you aren’t accountable! Scope out the area where you’ll be travelling and take advantage of whatever exercise opportunities are available. There may be a gym or pool at your hotel, a pay-as-you-go gym, or a nice park nearby where you can walk or run with or without family members.

Holiday Secret #6: Pay Attention to People

Holidays are about family and friends…right? Then stop focusing on food! When you go to a party, there is no need to hang out by the food table when there are people all around you! Ignore the grub and go for the meaningful stuff that you’ll remember and cherish. Besides, it’s much easier to talk without munching and you even listen better when you’re not stuck thinking about how good the next bite is going to be.

Holiday Secret #7: Drink Instead

No, this isn’t a licence to drink as much alcohol as you can find. Doing that will add lots of empty calories to your waistline. Instead, do your best to make friends with a glass of water everywhere you go. As you mingle with your water glass, you’ll find it challenging to grab more than a couple of finger foods here and there, and the fact that it is water will help you remember to watch what else goes in your mouth!

Wouldn’t you love to make 2019 the year that you transform yourself?

Wouldn’t it feel great to look forward to swimsuit season? To be given a clean bill of health from your doctor? And to be showered with compliments by family, friends and that special someone?

It’s more possible than you think. But you’ll need to take massive action.

We have programs that can get you started on the right path - small group and private personal training that is fun and effective. And, come the New Year, we are holding our next six-week challenge that will help you to dial in your nutrition and feel better than you have in years!

If you are interested in trying a free session or sitting down for a consultation, call us today!

Festive Hummus

(Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil)

While the red and green speckles give this homemade hummus a jolly look, it’s the taste that makes it unforgettable. This dip makes the perfect party take-along. Serve it up with whole grain pita bread or fresh cut veggie sticks.

What you need

Serves 12

  • 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans

  • 1 Tablespoons tahini

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 Tablespoon water

  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and combine until smooth.

Nutrition

One serving equals 75 calories, 2g fat, 11g carbohydrate, 3g fibre, and 3g protein.


December 4, 2018

10 Great Ways to Give the Gift of Healthy Encouragement to Move, Move, Move

Let your holiday gifts this year encourage people you love (including yourself) to move their bodies and enjoy an active lifestyle. Whether they’re already on their fitness path or about to begin, these ideas are a good place to start and cover a broad price range for everyone on your list.

  • The Apple Watch 4 takes wearable tech into new territory as a valuable health-monitoring tool. Its FDA-approved heart health features alert the wearer to irregularities and can generate an EKG or ECG, an electrocardiogram. The watch can also detect falls and alert emergency services. The price starts at $399, but don’t worry. Other fitness monitors (like Fitbit) are less expensive and still fun and valuable.

  • Resistance bands fall on the opposite end of the high-tech spectrum. These are available from many retailers in rubber and in fabric, starting at around $10. They can provide a good workout at home and are super-simple to toss in a suitcase for travel. Here’s just one example, Fit Simplify, available on Amazon.com.

  • A new mat. Maybe it’s time to get a new one, or maybe it’ll be the first. Either way, it’s great to have a mat handy for home workouts or to take to yoga or Pilates class. Also affordable from countless retailers.

  • Locks that use words as combinations. For people who have trouble remembering numerical sequences, try this fun alternative for the gym locker or bicycle.

  • A headlamp. Walking is excellent exercise, even in winter when it’s colder and darker. Keep the outings safe with a headlamp or reflective materials on clothing.

  • Audiobooks. This is a great way to keep up on reading while engaging in some forms of exercise. At Audiobooks.com, the first one’s free, and then a monthly fee of $14.95 covers one title.

  • Proper footwear. Anyone exercising should wear the right shoes, whether while running, working out with weights, playing basketball or anything else. Talk to us for suggestions that will match the activities. A cheaper alternative for a stocking stuffer: good workout socks from any top brand of athletic wear, like Nike, or athleisure, like Lululemon, that give support and have “sweat-wicking” technology to keep feet dry.

  • Weighted blankets. Studies show that weighted blankets help us calm down, feel secure and rest better. And rest is one of the most essential elements of fitness.

  • Lessons, classes or private training sessions. Give the gift of a new experience or expert coaching. Talk to us about options. We have gift certificates!

  • Eat out – right. A local vegan restaurant has caught your eye. Or maybe that place with the quinoa burgers and organic salads. Whatever it is, make a reservation with the loved one on your list, and enjoy a new experience together.

Come see us or call to learn about our specific offerings - private or small group training, Tai Chi, Ageless Grace or yoga. It’s fun shopping for fitness for friends or family members. And what better way to show you care than to give the gift of better health!

3 Myths About Staying Fit as we Mature

Remember the old “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” commercial? It’s amazing how that image of a helpless, frail and frightened older woman has persisted. In fact, it reinforces one of the top myths about Baby Boomers, a marketing agency reports.

“Consumers 55 and over are actively pursuing a wide range of physical connections,” says Age of Majority, which helps brands pursue this segment of the population.

We can only say, “Tell us something we don’t know!” Our clients are living proof that people over 50 want to stay active and healthy while enjoying the quality of life that exercise brings.

A second myth the agency identified: People in this age group don’t care about their personal appearance. Tell that to the participants in our recent Little Black Dress Challenge! (Way to go, ladies and gents!)

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Regular exercise has many benefits, like improved blood pressure, balance and flexibility, just for starters. But you bet: Looking better is one of them. For some active adults, it’s even a top priority. And why shouldn’t it be?

As another 1980s ad used to say, “Looking good, and feeling great!”

The third myth? The classic: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

The Age of Majority agency counsels its clients against believing that active adults are stuck in their ways. Instead, the agency says, most are open to trying new things – products, services and experiences that will make them feel good, including travel.

What do you think – does this sound like you? Come show us how wrong these myths are. Nothing smashes all three like regular exercise.

Healthy Recipe: Turkey Bacon and Spinach Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

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Usually made with gobs of cheese, heavy cream, and eggs, quiche is normally a calorie-dense dish. Instead, this recipe (from the American Heart Association) slashes calories and fat with egg whites, fat-free cheese, turkey bacon and skim milk. The crust is made of grated sweet potatoes and is so tasty, you'll never miss traditional pastry dough. Served hot, cold, or at room temperature, quiche no longer needs to be an indulgence.

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato (washed)

  • 1 tsp canola oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion (finely diced)

  • 6 slices turkey bacon (thinly sliced)

  • 1, 10-oz packaged, frozen, chopped spinach (thawed)

  • ¾ tsp dried dill

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

  • 2 large eggs

  • 4 large egg whites

  • ¼ cup skim milk

  • 1 ½ Tbsp fat-free feta cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Place a box grater into a medium bowl. Grate the sweet potato until there are 2 cups grated sweet potato. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Gently press the sweet potato into the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides; the sweet potatoes will be loose but will hold together once cooked. Place in the oven and bake until sweet potato crust is cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and decrease oven temperate to 350°F.

  3. Meanwhile, in a medium pan, warm oil over medium-high heat. Finely dice the onion and add to the pan. Cook until almost translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add turkey bacon, continuing to stir and cook until onions and bacon begin to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in spinach, dill, salt, and pepper; cook until water from the spinach is released, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Use a spatula to transfer mixture from pan into the sweet potato pie shell.

  4. In a bowl, add eggs, egg whites, and milk. Using a fork, whisk to combine. Pour eggs over vegetable mixture in the pie shell. Dot the feta cheese over the top of quiche.

  5. Cook quiche in oven until eggs in the center are set, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool just a few minutes before slicing. Serve.

Quick Tips

Cooking Tip: A good way to test if the eggs in a quiche are set is to stick a toothpick or fork right in the center of the quiche. If it's clean when removed, the eggs are fully cooked.

Cooking Tip: Frozen and thawed greens tend to work better in quiches since a lot of the liquid has already been cooked out of it before freezing. To use fresh greens, make sure to sauté it well and squeeze out any liquid from it before adding to the quiche.

Keep it Healthy: Using a layer of grated sweet potatoes in place of a pastry crust not only slashes extra calories and saturated fat, it adds a touch of subtle sweetness to the quiche. Consider going this route for a few dessert pies as well, like pumpkin pie.

Tip: Serving Size 2 slices each

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 136 per Serving

Protein: 12g per Serving

Fiber: 3g per Serving


November 27, 2018

Strength Training Tops Cardio for Heart Health? New Study Says It Does

Conventional wisdom has long held that running is better for heart health than weightlifting.

But a new study says that’s not so.

Scientists looked at health records of 4,000 people. They concluded that, while both forms of exercise lower the risk of heart disease, weightlifting has a great effect than running, walking or cycling, according to the British Telegraph. 1 click (10% of total)

The study also supports earlier views that weightlifting is better for the circulatory system because the “oxygen expenditure” is more intense.

Any exercise is good, of course. And weightlifting (or resistance training) also has other health benefits for people over 50. For example, it helps improve functional independence. Here are some of those benefits, accumulated by RunRepeat, which reviews all kinds of athletic footwear.

  • Improved balance while still and while moving

  • Better neuromuscular functioning for control and balance

  • Protection from age-related declines in neuromuscular functioning

  • Improved flexibility and joint movement.

  • Improvement in front hip flexion

  • Better movement in step length, speed and balance

  • Less fear of falling

In day-to-day life, all this means that strength training helps us move easier and more gracefully. This improved strength shows up in daily functions like climbing stairs and getting out of chairs. All adults lose muscle mass as we get older – unless we train to minimize that loss.

“The science is clear,” RunRepeat says. “Weightlifting will help reduce tons of risk factors for falls, improve functional independence, functional capacity, and quality of life.”

In short, it’s a necessity for people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond. Come in and let us show you how easy and enjoyable it is to gain these functional benefits from resistance training.

Make the Right Investment in Your Health: Exercise for Fun, Function and Your Future

At 62, Jeff Lasater is dedicated to staying in shape.

He lifts weights three times a week, and he runs on the treadmill three times a week.

“I don’t want to live to be 80 if I’m not healthy,” says Jeff, who still enjoys his job in sales and was introduced to fitness a few years ago by his grown daughter and son-in-law. “They were worried about me having all that idle time at night. And I feel good. I enjoy it.”

Jeff knows that every workout is an investment in his health – the best kind of investment we can make.

A Quick Review: Exercise Slows Aging

Time and again, polls show that we value our health more than anything. Or, at least, we say we do. People over 50 say they want to maintain their independence as long as possible, to enjoy the life they want to live for as long as they can.

But we all know about the obesity epidemic in our culture. We know the vast majority of Americans and Canadians do not get enough movement of any kind.

Studies prove beyond a doubt that exercise slows the aging process. It makes us stronger and more flexible, and it gives us better endurance. It’s good for heart health, brain function, depression and social interaction.

So, while aging is inevitable, becoming frail and immobile is not.

A Broader View

The phrase “functional fitness” provides a great way of approaching exercise and diet for active adults.

“Functional fitness is the term we use to describe fitness as it relates to our body’s ability to function, performing the tasks we ask of it,” according to the Functional Aging Institute, an Indiana-based organization that advocates for healthy living for people over 50. “And it’s so much more than what we traditionally think of when it comes to fitness.” It’s to help enjoy all the things you like, for as long as possible.

The FAI offers a handy self-assessment that encourages users to rate their ability to do such everyday tasks as:

  • Climb a flight of stairs without using a handrail for support

  • Go on a brisk 20-minute walk while talking with a friend

  • Pick up and carry a 20-pound toddler for five minutes

  • Play your favorite sport as well as you did five years ago

  • Get a good night’s sleep regularly

That’s a Sound Investment

This approach makes sense for a lot of people who want to invest in their health, whether they’ve been active their whole lives or not. Functional fitness is all about living better, by your own definition.

It requires some guidance and diversity of movement and, to a degree, thought. If you just keep doing the same few motions over and over, you’re not making a diversified investment in your health.

Come in and talk to us about your goals for fitness. Maybe they’re about hobbies, health, family, travel or appearance.

Regardless, your health really is your most important investment. It’s never too late to start or to refocus your efforts.

Jeff Lasater says he wants to prolong his quality of life as long as possible. “I’ve watched people who aged gracefully,” he says. “And they all did some kind of exercise regularly.”

Greek Yogurt Parfait

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This recipe makes a tasty breakfast or a high energy snack. Plain Greek yogurt is a fantastic filler that’s packed with protein and makes the perfect backdrop for ripe fruit and a sprinkle of crunchy, natural granola. To lighten this recipe up even more feel free to leave out the granola. Enjoy!

What you need

Serves 3

  • ¾ cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt

  • A few drops of stevia

  • 2 cups sliced mixed plums, peaches, nectarines, and sprinkle of cinnamon

  • ¾ cup granola

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the stevia.

  2. In another medium bowl, mix the sliced fruit with the cinnamon.

  3. In serving dishes, layer the yogurt, fruit, and granola.

Nutrition

One serving equals 146 calories, 16g fat, 34mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate, 7g fibre, and 15g protein


November 21, 2018

Top 10 Tips for Staying on the Fitness Track Amid Holiday Temptations

Consistency is key to getting and staying fit. Proper exercise and nutrition aren’t one-and-done ideas. They’re commitments that rightly bring long-term benefits, not just short-term fixes.

Active adults who work to stay fit know this. And they know not to worry about big interruptions to their exercise and eating routines. They know those interruptions are inevitable – and many times, they’re even welcome.

Like holidays, for instance.

So how do they stay on track while also enjoying the seasonal indulgences, the socializing and the travel that this time of year can bring? There wouldn’t be much point to leading a healthy lifestyle if it could fall apart after a few days’ break, right?

Here are our Top 10 Tips for Staying on the Fitness Track over the holidays.

  • Be active every day. Maintain your normal workout routine as much as possible. If you’re travelling, use the hotel gym or find one in the town your visiting. If necessary, do a little online research before you go.

  • Work out and eat right in the days leading up to your travel or other breaks in your regular schedule. That will balance out the inevitable calorie spikes you’re going to enjoy.

  • Remain flexible. When you can’t hit the gym, go for a walk or a jog. Try some bodyweight exercises. Play with the kids. Lead the family in an outing at a local park or toboggan hill.

  • Don’t let a single holiday become a week of gluttony and sloth. If you’re driving somewhere, pack a sensible lunch rather than rely on roadside fast food restaurants and diners. And plan to take 15-minute walking breaks every hour or two. … After the holiday, resist the temptation to keep eating leftovers. Get back to your fitness routine as soon as possible, even if you don’t quite feel like it yet.

  • Drink plenty of water every day. It will help keep you from feeling hungry.

  • Eat sensibly – vegetables first. Eat slowly. Stop when you feel 80 percent full because it takes a while for our tummies to tell our brains we’ve had enough.

  • Limit your alcohol. Too much easily becomes just empty calories that lower inhibition and lead to sloppy overeating.

  • Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough can lead to crankiness and other body disruptions that can lead to, yep, overeating and sloth.

  • Use smaller plates and glasses, and limit the empty carbohydrates to the treats you truly enjoy.

  • Calm down and enjoy yourself. Yes, it’s important to not go crazy with food and too much sitting around the house. But it’s also important to remember that consistency over the long term is key, and you’re not going to wreck your good habits with a second piece of pumpkin pie.

Breaks like holidays are meant to be enjoyed, and they don’t have to throw us too far off track – as long as we know when to get back on.

Consistency is vital over the long term. That’s what’s going to keep you strong and flexible, with a healthy sense of balance and the ability to enjoy the life you want to live.

Talk to us if you have any questions or need more suggestions about getting and staying fit. We are here to help!

Protein Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

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Here it is, my favourite recipe for fall! Enjoy these tasty pumpkin pancakes without guilt. Made with almond meal and packed with protein from eggs, these pancakes are sure to satisfy without shortchanging your results.

What you need

Serves 5

  • 4 large eggs

  • ¾ cup egg whites

  • 1 (15oz) can of pumpkin

  • 1 cup almond meal

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • dash of nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • cooking spray

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients together.

  2. Heat pancake griddle to medium heat and coat with cooking spray.

  3. Cook each side about 3 minutes until brown, then flip and cook remaining side. Enjoy!

Nutrition

One serving equals 255 calories, 15g fat, 112mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 5g fibre, and 19g protein.


November 13, 2018

How Snowbirds (and the rest of us) Can Stay Fit over the Winter

Snowbirds heading south for the winter have a lot to look forward to - the milder weather, the sunshine, seeing old friends.

And we know they will want to keep up their fitness routines – or take the change of scenery as a chance to start some.

And everyone staying put for the winter might want to refocus their efforts, too, so they’re sure to stay in the fitness groove during the colder months.

It’s not hard to see why countless Americans and Canadians over 50 like to spend these months somewhere warmer. In northern climates, wintertime can mean physical challenges for anyone. Sidewalks are slippery, driving can be dangerous, shovelling snow can be physically challenging. And all of that often makes us want to just stay inside, warm on the couch, until spring.

Tips for Snowbirds

To snowbirds, we say, good for you! Going south can be a rewarding and pleasant lifestyle at this stage. And snowbirds tend to have better health than mature people who spend all year in one location, according to a study in the Journals of Gerontology.

Here are some tips to make sure you manage the transition and stay on the healthy track.

  • Make plans before you go. If you’re returning somewhere and have a gym there, get in touch and let them know you’re coming back. If not, ask us for a recommendation and call or email them in advance for a tour and information about seasonal specials. We can probably find you someone who is FAS certified!

  • Set at least one goal. Maybe you want to keep your weight down – or get it down to start with. Maybe you’d like to run a 5K or do your first sprint triathlon. Having a goal, and letting people know about it, gives you focus and motivation.

  • Stay in touch with us. At ProActive Fitness, we care about you and want to know how you’re doing while away! So do other trainers. Some gyms/trainers will offer exercise plans, Skype check-ins and online coaching sessions. Ask about snowbird deals. At ProActive, you always have access to our members’ page where you can see the home workouts we post.

  • Take advantage of what’s new for you in your winter locale. Maybe this is a good time to start walking more outdoors with your spouse or friends. Or to try yoga, Pilates, Nordic walking (also known as “urban poling ”) or any number of other fresh activities – or recommit to strength training. Some RV communities in Arizona and Florida have Pickleball leagues. It’s an increasingly popular game that combines ping-pong, tennis and badminton.

  • Make new friends and renew existing relationships. The social aspect of fitness is one of the most rewarding. And it contributes to success, as well.

Tips If You’re Staying Put

And for those who are sticking around home, we offer some thoughts to help you stay on track, too.

  • Be mindful of the change in daylight. Some people find earlier darkness tends to make them want to stay home more. Being aware of why you’re feeling that way can help keep you moving.

  • Enjoy the holidays, but don’t overindulge too much. Be mindful of all the opportunities we have in November and December to eat and drink more than we should. Choose your priorities, and include moderation and exercise among them.

  • Try something different. Talk to us about individual or group training; we have a variety of sessions you might enjoy. Or maybe head outdoors and keep moving safely in the (very) fresh air.

Healthy Recipe: Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner

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This one-pan chicken dish is a whole meal in one skillet. But I would add a simple side salad to sneak in another serving of veggies. This calls for tender “haricots verts” because they're quick cooking; traditional green beans likely won't be tender enough after the brief cooking time at the end. If that's all you have, steam them first, and then add them to the pan for the final step.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces baby red potatoes, halved

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to ¾-inch thickness

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

  • ¼ cup whole milk

  • 5 teaspoons all-purpose flour

  • 1¾ cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)

  • 8 very thin lemon slices

  • 1 (8-ounce) package trimmed haricots verts (French green beans)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Instructions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 450°.

Step 2

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Step 3

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Sprinkle chicken with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and thyme sprigs to pan; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is browned. Turn chicken over. Place pan in oven; bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan.

Step 4

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add potatoes, cut sides down; mushrooms; and 1 tablespoon thyme; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring once. Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add remaining salt, remaining pepper, flour mixture, stock, lemon, and beans to pan; simmer 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Add chicken; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 342; Fat: 8.6g; Saturated Fat: 1.8g; Carbohydrates: 23g; Fibre: 45g; Sodium: 642 mg; Protein: 43g


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November 6, 2018

Flexibility Matters! Different Ways to Stay Limber

Study Shows the Benefits of Exercise Have No Age Limit

A massive study made headlines recently by concluding that not exercising is worse for your health than smoking and diabetes.

But many readers over 50 will be glad to know that the study 2 clicks (15.3% of total)

also has a huge age-related finding: The spectacular benefits of exercise have no age limit.

"Whether you're in your 40s or your 80s, you will benefit in the same way," said the study’s senior author, Dr. Wael Jaber, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

Sedentary people are almost four times as likely to die early as those who exercise regularly, says the study. It looked at 122,000 people who were tested on treadmills over 13 years.

"There actually is no ceiling for the benefit of exercise," he said. ""There's no age limit that doesn't benefit from being physically fit."

So, if you’re already exercising regularly, then keep it up.

But sadly, most Americans of all ages don’t get enough exercise. One bit of good news: People over age 70 are the fastest-growing segment of the population to use personal trainers, according to the Personal Training Development Center.

We believe what this study and the trend show – that exercise is right for everyone, regardless of age. Come see us, and let us show you how comfortable, safe and fun it is to stay healthy and live longer.

Stretching for Overall Health, Fun, and Fall Prevention – from Yoga to Tai Chi and more

Can you touch your toes?

Or stand on one foot for 30 seconds?

If you can’t, you’re not alone. But balance and flexibility are among the key facets of physical fitness. And just like cardiovascular endurance and strength, they diminish with age unless we work on them.

Working on balance and flexibility helps prevent falls, which can be disastrous later in life. And just like it’s never too late to start working on them, it’s also never too soon. Anyone engaged in fitness should include stretching in his or her routine, whether beginning or experienced.

There’s a reason people have always talked about being “strong enough to bend,” you know.

Plus, stretching feels good. It lowers stress, and improves posture and circulation. It helps us perform everyday activities, like bending over and turning our heads. You can work on it everyday around the house and at work.

Talk to us if you have any questions, and check our schedule of classes to see what might be right for you. Here are some of the offerings that are popular among active adults. They are safe, low impact and require mindfulness, in the best sense.

Yoga

Almost 40 million Americans enjoy yoga’s health benefits, according to the 2016 Yoga in America Study.

About one-fifth are in their 50s, and another one-fifth are over 60.

Yoga is great for balance, strength and bone density. It helps with back pain, blood pressure and anxiety. The focus on breathing is simple and profoundly beneficial for the mind, body and spirit. You don’t need any special equipment, and you can do it anywhere, although we recommend a few classes, at least, to start with.

And, super-important for people over 50: Yoga is highly adaptable to everyone’s physical needs and limitations. Let your instructor know about any aches, arthritis, surgeries, etc. – and he or she will guide you to a modification.

Pilates

Pilates focuses on the core muscles. It is somewhat similar to yoga, but it foregoes the meditative or metaphysical aspects. It provides a safe, low-impact workout that involves working on a mat on the floor (along with some minor props that are furnished in class).

Also like yoga, Pilates generally moves at a gentle, deliberate pace and focuses on proper form and breathing. And it can build strength, reduce back pain, and improve posture, coordination and balance.

Pilates focuses on building strength in the core muscles, or the “powerhouse” of the legs, abdominals, arms, hips and back.

It was created by Joseph Pilates, a circus performer and boxer, while he was in a World War I internment camp. He practiced it into his 80s.

Tai Chi

The slow, gentle movements of tai chi (pronounced TIE CHEE) have been practiced in China for thousands of years, and today by millions of people around the world.

The ancient martial art is sometimes called “meditation in motion.” And remembering the steps and their sequence is good for brain health and focus.

Studies show Tai Chi helps people with arthritis and Parkinson’s disease, as well as stress management, muscle tone, lower blood pressure and other aspects of good health. It has become somewhat trendy for medical and fitness providers who serve people over 50.

It’s also one of the best things we can do to improve our balance while standing still and also while moving. In other words, tai chi is great for preventing falls.

General tips for stretching

Falls are the leading cause of death for people over 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in three adults falls each year. Thousands of Americans die, and millions are hurt.

Whether here or at home with a book or video, please stretch – at least 15 minutes a day, three times a week. For a nice introduction to some basic movements, check out this from the National Institute on Aging.

Remember, also:

  • Before any stretching, take a 5-minute walk to warm up.

  • Keep breathing while you stretch.

  • Give time to your calves, front and back thighs, hips, lower and upper back, chest, shoulders and neck. If you’ve had surgery, talk to your doctor first.

Alton Brown's Lentil Soup

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The Food Network’s Alton Brown shares his lentil soup. Mmmm, so good – and just 372 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving. Cozy up with a bowl of this and a side salad for a well-rounded wintertime meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion

  • ½ cup finely chopped carrot

  • ½ cup finely chopped celery

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed

  • 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes

  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground coriander

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground grains of paradise

Instructions

  1. Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat.

  2. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes.

  3. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine.

  4. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil.

  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes.

  6. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency.

  7. Serve immediately.


October 30, 2018

Being Fit Makes You Stronger for Whatever Challenges May Come

You probably already know that exercise helps you stay strong, healthy and independent as you get older.

It also helps when life throws you a curve in the form of, say, a common injury or medical treatment.

Take it from Shebah Carfagna, who underwent hip replacement surgery five months ago and is almost back to being her old self completely. She credits her physical fitness with helping her relatively smooth recovery process.

“You have to take what life gives you and make it work and adjust,” says Shebah, 61.

Even fit people can face physical struggles, of course. But it’s also true that their fitness then helps them overcome those challenges.

Consider this evidence. Mature adults who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer a disability – and they are more likely to recover faster, according to one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers said the active participants in the study had been “built up” by exercise and had become “more resilient” than sedentary peers

And the National Institutes for Health concludes that exercise before and after surgery is important for ensuring its success in older Americans.

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Hip pain, and trouble with balance

Shebah is living proof.

When Shebah, 61, started losing her balance and feeling strong pain in her hip, she took it seriously. The studio owner and trainer went to her doctor, who told her she needed the procedure.

Shebah had questions, and she conducted research to find the answers, asking medical professionals and looking online to answer questions like, “How do you manage going forward with your life after a major surgery? How do you prepare for it, so it will be successful?”

First, she didn’t blame herself or her active lifestyle as a personal fitness trainer and gym owner. Normal wear and tear is a natural part of life, not necessarily something to be mystified about. It’s important, she learned, to consult with medical professionals, and to take care of herself.

She learned that “pre-hab” is just as important as the well-known “rehab” phase. So, even though she already was fit, Shebah worked with her doctors and partner to prepare for the surgery by eating properly and working on her core strength in advance.

‘You just can’t stop’

After surgery, her doctor had her walk a little right away, which was “painful but necessary” to healing.

In the coming days and weeks, she followed doctors’ and therapists’ directions, worked hard in therapy, and kept a positive attitude, even when she couldn’t snap back as quickly as she wanted.

“I still think I’m 30,” she says, adding, “No one is going to take better care of you than you are.”

She was soon back to training clients, going to boot camp classes -- even taking tennis lessons.

“I have to take it day by day, and work to get better every day,” she learned. “It’s important for the body to continue to move. You just can’t stop become something happens. You have to keep going.”

Lessons for everyone

If you experience illness, injury or a medical procedure, remember that it doesn’t have to end your commitment to physical fitness.

We can tell you plenty of stories about people we know like Shebah, who worked with their doctors and healthcare providers, as well as fitness professionals at their studio or gym – and emerged with a renewed commitment to healthy living.

Talk to your doctor, and come see us if you have any questions about strength training, cardio conditioning, stretching and more.

Being physically fit helps you face whatever challenges may come – in addition to making you feel better, look better, and enjoy every day more. We can help you find the answers you need to lead the life you want to live.

Easy Turkey Kebabs

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Here’s a great recipe for a busy weeknight dinner. Ground turkey breast is mixed Mediterranean spices to create flavourful, protein-packed kebabs. Serve with salad and vegetables and a side of plain Greek yogurt.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need

Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 pounds turkey breast, dae-boned, trimmed of skin and cut into thin strips

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup almond meal (more if needed)

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • dash of salt (optional)

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, blend the turkey strips until ground. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until well blended. Pre-heat your grill or grill pan.

  2. Lightly grease your hands, then press the meat into the wooden skewers until it covers about 3-4 inches in an elongated meatball shape. If the meat is not sticking then add some more almond meal.

  3. Grill for about 8 minutes per side.

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 254 calories, 8g fat, 156mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate, 1g fibre, and 47g protein


October 23, 2018

Nate's Success Story

How One Man Came Back from the Brink of Indulgence

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Nate Wilkins was living the good life.

He was travelling a lot for work, as a park and recreation administrator in Florida. He was eating out a lot, and indulging at business lunches and happy hours. Sure, he noticed he was packing on some pounds, but he was busy -- dealing with that would have to wait.

Then one day, it couldn’t wait any longer.

“I was at home and I felt pain in my chest,” recalls Nate, now 64, of Miami. “I went to the emergency room, just to make sure I was OK – and they kept me in there for two weeks. I said, ‘Lord if I ever get out of here, I’m going to change my life.’”

He did, and his heart health has returned. Now, a decade later, Nate’s 5’11” frame is down from 230 to a lean, muscular 185. He eats right, and no longer needs some of the medications he’d been using. He’s in a longterm relationship with a physical trainer. And he’s become a life coach and trainer, himself, billed as The Agelessworkout Guy on Instagram 2 clicks (25% of total).

“I look good. I smell good. I talk good,” he says with a laugh. “I’m a lean, mean fighting machine.”

Everyone is different

Nate’s story took a happy turn. So can anyone’s, regardless of age or physical condition. Simply put, it’s never too late to improve your health. We have plenty of clients, colleagues and success stories to prove it, and we’re here to help.

It’s important to recognize that everyone’s an individual. And for people over 50, what makes us unique can include past injuries, health issues, or physical limitations. And that’s OK.

As Nate puts it, although he’s in great shape, “I’m not a bodybuilder.”

And he keeps that in mind when creating a workout plan for each client.

“It depends on what each person actually needs.”

Balance, agility, strength and stamina are important to everyone’s health. And studies prove that adults can improve their health across the board by exercising, regardless of age.

He got his balance back

Don’t let a previous setback discourage you from doing what’s right to improve your health. A fitness studio, gym or trainer who is experienced working with people over 50 can help guide you. Call us, and we’ll help answer any questions you might have.

That’s true whether you’ve always been in perfect health, or if you’ve had a stroke or live with, say, Parkinson’s disease.

“It’s not a cookie-cutter model,” Nate says, and we agree. “Everybody’s an individual.”

The first step is making a decision to change.

Next, understand you’ve got to keep moving your body to stay healthy, Nate says.

Remember what’s important to you, and the kind of life you want to live.

For Nate, he felt he had lost his balance when he was “living the good life” and almost died from indulgence.

“If I can do this at 64 and feel like this, then I can encourage other people to do it, too,” he says. “It’s a progression they have to go through.

“It’s a mindset that you don’t have to be 64 years old. You get to be 64 years young.”

Hummus Tuna Lettuce Boats

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Today I have a brand new take on tuna salad for your tasting enjoyment. While most tuna salad recipes use mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt to create the desired creamy consistency, this recipe does something completely different. We are using hummus! And not just any hummus: white bean hummus.

Nutritionally these Creamy Tuna Lettuce Boats are exactly the type of meal that you should be eating in order to see noticeable improvements in your shape. Albacore tuna is a lean protein that provides essential macronutrients to help your muscles develop and recover from your workouts.

To boost the fibre content we are adding some finely chopped celery, red onion and parsley in addition to whole grain mustard. Resist the urge to spread this divine tuna salad over toast and give it a try over crunchy butter lettuce leaves instead. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need

Serves 6

  • 15oz canned albacore tuna, packed in water

  • ½ cup white bean hummus

  • ½ cup celery, finely minced

  • 2 Tablespoons red onion, finely minced

  • 2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard

  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced

  • 2 heads butter lettuce

Instructions

  1. Drain the tuna and flake into a large bowl. Mix in the hummus, celery, onion, mustard and parsley.

  2. Serve scoops of the tuna mixture on butter lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 144 calories, 4g fat, 8g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, 209mg sodium, 3g fibre, and 18g protein.


October 16, 2018

Your Guide to Healthy Dining Out

A woman sits at a restaurant studying the menu with a furrowed brow. She has recently started an exercise routine and knows that her frequent meals out could slow her weight loss results if she isn't careful.

When the waiter comes she is still deep in thought over what to order. “What can I get for you?” he asks with a smile. She looks up and frowns, no closer to arriving at a decision. On a whim she blurts out, “I’m trying to eat healthy but I have no idaea what to order. What do you think I should eat?”

The young waiter looks startled but quickly rattles off his idaea of a healthy meal. “The eggplant and roasted pepper pasta is filled with vegetables. You could get that with a salad.”

The woman smiles. Yes, vegetables do sound healthy. So she orders the veggie pasta with a side salad and a diet soda, then sits back to enjoy a few slices of bread.

That’s a true story. Not surprisingly, the woman was unable to lose weight even though she was exercising regularly.

It is said that 80% of your weight loss results are derived from diet, and the remaining 20% from exercise—so you can see how important it is for you to stick with a healthy eating plan.

Here’s Your Guide to Healthy Dining Out

Appetizers: Appetizers are a great way to start out a leisurely meal, but can also quickly derail your good intentions.

Don’t Order:

Anything fried. Fried foods are a favourite but will do damage that even the most intense workout won’t undo.

Creamy dips. These are filled with fat and usually come with something fried to dip in it.

Bread. It comes smothered in cheese or seeped in butter, and even when it’s plain it fills you up with more carbohydrates than your body needs.

Do Order:

Green salad. Ask for very light dressing (or order it "on the side") and no croutons.

Antipasto. A plate of thinly sliced meats, olives and cheese will start you off with some protein.

Lettuce wraps. These are delicious, protein-filled and low in carbs.

Beverages: Calories in drinks are sneaky because they don’t fill you up. This means that you end up taking in far more calories than you bargained for.

Don’t Order

Regular or diet soda. On one hand, you’re drinking corn syrup through a straw, on the other you’re drinking chemicals that cause you to crave sweets. It’s a no-win situation.

Sweet cocktails. Many restaurants are advertising sweet cocktails – resist the urge. Sugar plus alcohol equals loads of unneeded calories.

Sweetened tea. You may feel righteous for ordering iced tea, but if it’s sweetened then you may as well be drinking fully loaded soda.

Do Order

Water. Don’t laugh! Water is the best beverage of all.

Unsweetened iced tea. Don’t ruin it by adding that packet of sugar. Learn to enjoy the natural sweetness to the tea.

Red wine. Stick to one glass, and drink responsibly.

Entrees: This is where the real damage is done. When you order something carb-loaded you leave the restaurant feeling heavy and lethargic. You may not even realize this until you start eating better and experience the light, energetic way you’ll feel after eating a healthy meal.

Don’t Order

Pasta. I don’t care if it comes with red sauce or white sauce, meat or veggies. If you’re trying to lose weight and maintain a lean body, don’t order a plate of pasta.

Pizza. Another dish that has far more carbohydrates than you need. If you’re craving the pizza toppings then simply order those over a salad.

Burgers. If you really want a burger, ditch the bun and the fries, and have your patty wrapped in lettuce.

Do Order:

Lean meat with vegetables. Fish, steak, chicken....take your pick and pair it with green vegetables.

Salad with protein. Ask for very light dressing and make sure you have a nice piece of protein on it.

Soup and salad. Stick with broth-based soups that contain protein and pass on the breadsticks.

If you want to expedite your results, you should consider working with us on a fitness and nutrition plan that you can sustain for the long haul!

Our Little Black Dress Challenge is ideal for people who want to look and feel better, not just for a short time at the end of the six-weeks, but for a lifetime!

The deadline to register is this Wednesday, October 17th and the challenge kickoff is this Saturday, October 20th at 12:30 p.m.

Call the studio at (306)374-3013 to snag one of the last spots!

Egg White Muffins with Kabocha and Brussels Sprouts

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Had enough protein shakes for one day? How about filling up on these delicious Egg White Muffins? The inspiration for these muffins came from a fancy egg white frittata enjoyed at a swanky restaurant. This recipe gives you all the same gourmet flavor with the convenience of a handheld muffin. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch or snack time!

What makes these muffins so fancy? It has Kabocha squash and Brussels Sprouts giving stand-out flavor and texture to the egg whites. Be sure to dice your Kabocha very tiny and to shred the Brussels Sprouts quite thin. Also if you can’t find Kabocha squash then Butternut Squash works too.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need

Serves 12

  • Non-stick, olive oil cooking spray

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 cup Kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and finely diced

  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts, finely shredded

  • dash of sea salt and black pepper

  • 20 egg whites

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Lightly spray 12 muffins tins with non-stick olive oil spray.

  2. In a skillet place the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the squash and Brussels sprouts and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and cool.

  3. In a large bowl whisk the egg whites with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir in the tender veggies. Divide the egg mixture into the 12 prepared muffin tins.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until the eggs have set. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 49 calories, 1g fat, 2g carbohydrate, 88mg sodium, 1g sugar, 1g fibre, and 8g protein.


October 9, 2018

Here’s a new perspective…

Do you exercise with the hopes of reaching a specific number on the scale? Or are you wishing to fit into a certain size dress or jeans? While having a goal is great, it will NOT ensure your success.

Consider how many people you know who have had a specific weight that they wanted to reach. You are likely one of them. This number might have been posted up on a sticky note on the fridge, reminding you to watch what you eat and consistently make it to the gym. Maybe this number was updated and recorded everyday, to enforce accountability.

How long did that last? A week? Two weeks? Statistics dictate that it likely didn’t last longer than a few weeks until that “goal number” began to fade from your life. Then you took it down off the fridge, or you stared at it defiantly as you reached for the off-limits food. You began to look at your goal number as an adversary rather than something good.

I’m going to clue you in on a new perspective that may help you when it comes to fitness, fat loss, and achieving any goal. Read on, this one is worthwhile.

IT’S NOT ABOUT REACHING A SPECIFIC WEIGHT.

This may go against everything you’ve come to believe about achieving a goal, but has the old way of thinking worked for you? Likely not. The number that you’re hoping to magically be one day doesn’t matter one bit, and here’s why…

IT’S ACTUALLY ABOUT LIVING IN THE MOMENTUM.

Can you remember how it felt the last time that you ate clean, exercised hard and got adequate sleep for a few consecutive days? A feeling of momentum came over you, didn’t it? There was a buzzing in your cells and a rhythm in your pace. You felt alive, you felt sexy, and you felt empowered. Never mind that you weren’t yet at your goal number, you were headed there!

Getting down to your goal weight, and fitting into your goal size, is the direct result of living in that state of momentum for an extended period of time. You see, the momentum can be felt immediately, once you start eating clean, exercising hard and taking care of your health, whereas that “goal number” simply can’t be felt until it is achieved, and so it’s not as powerful a motivator.

My challenge and advice to you is to find the joy of living in the momentum, and keep that momentum going until your goal number is achieved. Focus only on the momentum, not on the number.

Fitness is a way of life. Being lean is a LIFESTYLE. Neither of which can be had by going about it halfheartedly. Forget the number on the scale and focus on getting that FEELING of momentum - that feeling of confidence and determination to live your best life!

We can help! Our third annual Little Black Dress Challenge starts on October 20th! We'll guide you through simple behaviour changes to get your nutrition on track through daily lessons and accountability while you work out in our small group training sessions 3x/week with our Certified Functional Aging Specialists.

The 6-week challenge culminates with a fabulous catered wind-up party at the Sheraton Cavalier on November 30th where we will celebrate YOU!

Cost for non-members is $299 + GST, includes small group training for six weeks, nutrition coaching, eligibility for prizes and the party!

Come join us! Deadline to register is Wednesday, October 17th and non-member spaces are limited to 20! Just call the studio at (306)374-3013 or email simone@proactivefit.ca to register.

Easy Green Bean, Egg and Quinoa Salad

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Here’s a tasty way to eat your green beans – tossed with quinoa, sliced plum and topped with hard boiled egg. This type of salad, where the base is a steamed vegetable and protein is added on top, makes a phenomenally fit meal that will help get you to your fitness goals faster than ever. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need

Serves 4

  • 1 cup cooked red quinoa

  • 2 cups green beans, steamed and cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 1 ripe plum, thinly sliced

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine the quinoa, beans, plum and egg in a large bowl.

  2. Drizzle with the sesame oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well and enjoy!

Nutrition

One serving equals 225 calories, 7g fat, 270mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate, 5g fibre, and 10g protein


October 2, 2018

Enjoying the Things You Love the Most – And How Fitness is Essential

Vince wanted to fulfill a lifelong dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Sheba wanted to participate with her son, a Special Olympian, and inspire other women to exercise.

Ari wanted to lose weight and get healthy enough to play with his grandkids.

What do these 60-somethings have in common? They all relied on exercise to help them enjoy their lives as fully as possible. From reaching “bucket list” goals to living their best lives every day, boomers and seniors are finding more and more that exercise isn’t really about fitness.

Exercise is really about living well, enjoying yourself, and staying healthy, even as you get older.

When someone starts telling you how great fitness is, it’s only natural for you to mentally check out of the conversation.

“Fitness? Who cares about fitness,” you might think. “I’m finally retired and I want to do what I want to do!”

But if your body isn’t functioning at its best, you won’t be able to do much at all!

Make the Most of Your Time

By retirement age, most North Americans have spent 90,000 hours working, 2,400 hours in traffic, and up to six months waiting in various lines.

If you’re like them, you’ve put off vacations and purchases, deferred pleasure and – in many cases – picked up some bad health habits over the decades.

Who can blame you? It’s the inevitable outcome of the Rat Race. During your working years, you were working.

You were working all the time, it seemed. Or picking up the kids, or taking care of the home.

And now… Now you’re retired, or getting close to that magic moment, and your time is more at your disposal.

Like you, most retired folks have no intention of sitting on the couch and pulling the blinds. You still want to travel, to play with the grandkids, to enjoy hobbies and sports, to keep your stress and blood pressure low, to manage chronic health conditions and avoid injuries.

You want health, longevity and more awesome life experiences, many of them with younger generations of your family.

In short, you want to enjoy this stage of life as much as possible.

Yes, of course, you might say – But what does that have to do with fitness?

It’s All About Function

Simply put, you need your body to function if you want to continue enjoying life as fully as possible.

As we age, we are more susceptible to falls, injuries, high blood pressure, pulled muscles and general lack of stamina.

Any of those can inhibit your ability to travel, golf, play with children or feel confident in social settings.

So, what does it mean to be fully functioning?

It means you’re strong, flexible and in good cardiovascular health. It means not carrying around too much extra weight. It means your sense of balance is good enough to keep you from falling, and your muscles are able to move you around safely.

Functional fitness doesn’t mean you have to live at the gym and become a body builder or aerobics fanatic.

It just means you respect your body enough to take care of it, so you can do what you want to do.

‘I’m Too Young for That’

That’s definitely the case for countless seniors who live a healthy lifestyle, including Vince, Sheba and Ari.

“The main thing is movement,” Sheba says. “It’s so important to just do some kind of movement.”

They’re not alone, or even that unusual.

We know Joanne, who hiked across Europe with her family in her 80s – and she has Parkinson’s disease.

Lance, 84, who uses the same workout as the Purdue University football team.

And Frank, 51, just ran the annual Fourth of July 10K in Atlanta for the 10th straight year, despite a recent ankle injury.

As for Ari, he lost the weight, retired, and relocated to be nearer his grandchildren. Sheba continues to coach women and accompany her son to events. And Vince made it all the way to the top of Africa’s tallest mountain.

“That really pushed my limits,” said Vince, who worked for 35 years in the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. “I’ve always been really active and competitive, but after I turned 55 or so, things got harder. But you know, I’m not going to let that stop me from living, man! I’m too young for that.”

Vince on Mt. Kilamanjaro:

Vince on Mt. Kilamanjaro:

Guilt-free cookie dough!

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Most of the time cookie dough is an off-limits indulgence that you may dip into on a Friday night while watching a movie at home…only to wake up feeling guilty the next day. Sure, you know you should resist, but sometimes you simply need a sweet, satisfying treat.

Enter this exciting new recipe for Guilt-Free Cookie Dough! Meant to be eaten raw, it has all of the creamy, cookie-dough goodness that you crave without the regrettable ingredients. Instead of butter, flour and sugar this cookie dough treat is made with creamed chickpeas, peanut butter (or almond butter), stevia and a touch of honey.

Just one creamy spoonful is all it will take to convince you that you can have your cookie dough…and eat it too :-)

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need

Serves 12

  • 1 (15oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • ¼ cup creamy, natural peanut butter or almond butter (no sugar added)

  • 1 Tablespoon honey

  • 20 drops liquid stevia

  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut milk

  • 2 cracks of fresh sea salt

  • ¼ cup Lily’s stevia-sweetened dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more coconut milk if needed.

  2. Transfer the dough to a bowl. Mix in the chocolate chips. Enjoy!

Nutrition

One serving equals 197 calories, 6g fat, 25g carbohydrate, 6g sugar, 12mg sodium, 7g fibre, and 10g protein


September 25, 2018

Easy Slim Down Tip

Do you want a smaller waist?

Try this easy slim down tip: Don’t eat carbohydrates after 4pm. Instead stick with lean protein and green veggies.

This will prevent late afternoon and evening snacking and will quickly result in a slimmer waist.

Try these 7 Fitness Habits

It takes a certain lifestyle to attain a fit, lean body…so what do fit people do in their “healthy lifestyle”?

Take a peek with the following 7 Habits of Highly Fit People…

Highly Fit Person Habit #1: They Don’t Buy Junk

Fit people know that if they keep junk food in the house, athey will eat it sooner or later. So they don’t buy any. Even buying junk food for your kids or spouse is not advised since 1) you’ll likely eat some of it eventually, and 2) your loved ones shouldn’t be eating that junk either. It’s called junk for a reason.

Rid your home of chips, cookies, candy, baked goods, pre-packaged snacks and anything else that belongs in a vending machine. Replace the above with fresh fruit, veggies, nuts and other healthy whole foods snacks.

Highly Fit Person Habit #2: They Have Priorities

Fit people make exercise a priority. Along with keeping a job, paying the bills and going to the doctor, exercise is an important part of their lives. What I’ve found is that fit people put exercise before leisure time. Sure, fit people enjoy leisure, but it is scheduled around their workout time.

Treat exercise time with the same importance that you would a business meeting or trip to the dentist.

Highly Fit Person Habit #3: They Stop When Full

Fit people stop eating when they feel full. Sound simple? It is, but how many times have you stuffed yourself simply to clear your plate? Or how many times have you eaten another piece of cake despite being stuffed?

The next time you feel full, take it as a sign to stop eating. Yes, even if your plate isn’t empty.

Highly Fit Person Habit #4: They Push Themselves

Not only do fit people make time to go to the gym, but they also challenge themselves during each workout. While it is easy to simply go through the motions while exercising, you’re cheating your body out of great results when you don’t push yourself. Exercise should make you sweat, make your muscles burn, and leave you with a feeling of accomplishment.

Find ways to make each workout more challenging. For competitive people, the best way to push yourself is to exercise with a friend of similar strength. Another great way to challenge yourself is to set small attainable goals. These goals could be to push heavier weight, to sprint longer, or to do cardio at a higher intensity setting.

Highly Fit Person Habit #5: They Don’t Eat and Watch

Fit people know that eating in front of the T.V. or computer is mindless eating. When your attention is on your entertainment and not on your food, you’ll be less tuned in to what and how much ends up in your mouth. Eating in front of the T.V. is also very habit forming. Ever notice how you crave munchies just as a reflex of sitting in front of the T.V.?

Eat before or after your entertainment and pay attention to what and how much goes into your mouth.

Highly Fit Person Habit #6: They Drink Water

Fit people drink lots of water. And not just in addition to other beverages, but instead of them. Water is their main drink, while other drinks are occasional treats. Calorie-filled drinks are one of the quickest ways to consume excess calories which quickly turn into fat.

Make water your beverage of choice! Drink plenty of it each day and drink other beverages only a few times each week.

Highly Fit Person Habit #7: They Are Supported

Fit people don’t leave their motivation to chance. They know that if their personal trainer, boot camp instructor or workout partner is waiting for them, then they are less likely to skip a workout. It is so easy to hit snooze or to talk yourself out of the gym as soon as your behind hits the couch after work. Fit people take the option of skipping out of the equation.

Want instant support? Call or email us at ProActive Fitness today to get started on your own fitness plan!

I hope that these habits have inspired you to make a change for the fitter in your own life.

If you already do some of these habits, congratulations – you are on your way to a better body! Make an effort to incorporate the rest of the habits to take your results to the next level.

If none, or very few, of these habits describe your lifestyle, I’ve got good news – you now have 7 effective new habits to start that will get you some great results, IF you do them consistently. Don’t try to tackle all 7 at once – pick one or two to add each week and gradually work up to all 7.

As always, feel free to call or email me with your questions!

Low Carb Southwestern Pizza

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Craving pizza? Here’s a quick pizza recipe that is sure to satisfy even the strongest of pizza cravings. But don’t worry, this pizza is low carb and guilt-free so you can work it into your weekly meal plan.

The simple technique used to reduce the carbs and the guilt of this pizza is to replace the traditional (flour-based) crust with a protein rich, egg-based crust. By cooking the egg crust in a skillet and then transferring it to the oven it’s possible to create a crust that results in strong-enough-to-hold slices that the whole family will love!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need

Serves 6

  • 8 eggs

  • 2 Tablespoons half and half

  • sea salt and black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • ½ cup chunky tomato salsa

  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella

  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, half and half, sea salt and black pepper.

  2. Over medium-high heat, generously grease a large oven-safe skillet with olive oil. Once the skillet is hot, pour in the egg mixture. Leave the eggs, untouched, for 3 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully lift one edge of the egg, then tilt the pan so that the remaining liquid egg on top runs under it. Do this in two places then allow the egg to sit for another 3 minutes.

  3. Place the skillet in the oven for 3 minutes. The egg crust will puff slightly and soft eggs on the top will firm. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven (the handle will be hot) and spread with the salsa. Top with the beans, bell pepper and cheese. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

  4. Remove the pizza from the oven, sprinkle with cilantro, slice and enjoy!

Nutrition

One serving equals 246 calories, 10g fat, 18g carbohydrate, 143mg sodium, 7g fibre, and 18g protein


September 18, 2018

Do You Love to Travel?

Getting Fit Gives You the Power to Travel Anywhere You Like

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Kay Willoughby turns 75 in November. In just the last decade, she’s been fishing in Alaska, scuba diving in the Florida Keys, and hiking through the great cities of Europe.

But on a recent river cruise in Russia, she was sad for some of her peers who lacked the stamina to go on walking tours through St. Petersburg and the fabled palace of Catherine the Great.

“That was really too bad for them, after they spent so much money to get there,” Kay says. “I didn’t have any trouble walking around and seeing everything – all the castles and the gold and how extravagant everything was back then.”

Her secret?

Fitness.

Kay walks almost every day, and also incorporates resistance training and balance exercises. I heard about Kay’s story from my friend Jackie, who trains Kay at Evolution Fitness & Wellness 1 click (16.6% of total)

in Houston. Just like we do at ProActive Fitness, Jackie helps people stay fit and healthy after 50, so they can enjoy the life they want to lead.

For millions of mature people, that desired lifestyle includes travel. And fitness is key to travelling well, whether you’re driving to play with grandkids, hiking in the tropics, or examining the Louvre’s masterpieces up close.

Active adults are doing it all, according to these statistics published by AARP.

Most (99 per cent) go on at least one leisure trip a year

The average Baby Boomer takes five trips annually

Most of that travel is domestic, but 43 per cent is international

Bucket-list trips are popular – and no one wants to be too hobbled to finally take that big trip they’ve been dreaming about for decades

And more and more active adults want “authentic experiences,” just like travellers in all demographics.

Stamina, strength and balance

Which brings us back to Kay.

Gritty determination and a sunny disposition characterize everything she does, Jackie tells me. Kay had polio as a youth, which required her to be physically active from a young age. One leg still gives her trouble, and she works hard to maintain good balance and avoid falls. Her husband died when she was young, leaving Kay to raise their children. And she still works in childcare services, often on the floor with babies and lifting them up.

“She has never entered the gym with anything less than a smile and ‘can-do’ attitude,” Jackie says. “She is always willing to try dynamic movements, knowing that she may not be able to pull them off -- but she's determined to give it a whirl anyway.”

We encourage that kind of behaviour for anyone wanting to regain their strength, balance and stamina, no matter what their age or goals.

And Kay tells people her age that they should be walking, lifting and working on balance regularly. That will help them travel safely and confidently, even if they’re not interested in Kay’s adventurous style.

“I like to travel – I’ve always been that way,” she says. “If I didn’t exercise regularly, I wouldn’t able to do everything you have to do when you’re travelling – just climbing stairs, running through the airport, carrying bags and all that stuff.”

And that applies no matter where you’re going or what you want to do when you get there. Come see us and tell us about your travel plans, and whatever concerns you have about your physical ability to follow through with them. We’ll get you on track to make your travel dreams come true!

For Kay, Portugal is next.

“That’s why I keep this up,” she says about exercising. “Because I want to keep going where I want to go and doing what I want to do.”

Chili-Roasted Salmon and Veggies

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What’s for dinner tonight? I have a delicious recipe for Chili-Roasted Salmon and Veggies to share with you that’s quick, satisfying and might be just the new dinner recipe you’ve been waiting for.

The best dinners to fuel your fitness results are a combination of fresh, fibre-rich vegetables and quality protein, like this salmon and veggie dish. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need

Serves 4

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, divided

  • 4 (5-oz) salmon fillets

  • 2 zucchini, sliced into half moons

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 1 poblano pepper, thinly sliced

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • sea salt

  • black pepper

For the Creamy Mustard Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut cream

  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chives, minced

  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt

  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 large rimmed baking pans with olive oil. Arrange the salmon fillets on one of the pans and generously season with salt and pepper.

  2. In a small bowl combine the lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Pour half of the spice mixture over the tops of the salmon fillets.

  3. In a medium bowl toss the zucchini, bell peppers, poblano pepper and red onion with the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil and with the remaining spice mixture. Spread the veggies over the remaining pan and generously season with salt and pepper.

  4. Place both pans in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, until the salmon is flaky and the veggies are tender. Mix the mustard sauce ingredients in a small bowl and serve over the salmon. Enjoy!

Nutrition

One serving equals 572 calories, 26g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 8g sugar, 30mg sodium, 8g fibre, and 61g protein


September 11, 2018

Getting back on track

So you took a break from your fitness routine this summer. You ate, you drank, you relaxed, and ate some more.

Well, now it’s time to face the music.

As you look in the mirror after a summer of less-than-healthy eating… Your body is puffy and bloated. Your joints are achy. Your clothes feel tight.

Maybe you are feeling that way right now.

Here’s how to get you back on the fitness fast track.

1) Find Your Focus

Summer happened. You ate things from the “never eat these” list, you drank more that you should have…but now it’s over.

Draw a line in the sand. You’re back now so the "free for all" eating stops now. Plan those meals and stick to them!

If you’re serious about your fitness goals, then the past few weeks were the exception, and not the rule. Don’t beat yourself up for letting loose. Simply get back up, dust yourself off and get focused.

2) Get Hydrated

While summer days can take on many forms, the end result is most often dehydration and water retention. The only way to restore your balance is to get hydrated.

Your first priority in getting back on track is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Start with a tall glass of water in the morning, and carry a water bottle with you to sip throughout the day.

Don’t add any artificial sweeteners or stimulants to your water – these will sabotage your hydration efforts. For flavour, add sliced fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables to your water, just like at the spa.

3) Cleanse Your System

For your first few days getting back on track, you should be extra picky about what you eat. Stick with only whole, real foods like fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Whole, real foods will help to restore balance and block out cravings.

Don’t eat any packaged foods for the next few days. This means no snack foods, processed meat slices, dairy, baked goods or alcohol.

Try the recipe for Creole Chicken and Green Beans below – this is a wonderful, whole-food dish.

4) Get Some Rest

As relaxing as summer days are, most end with the feeling of exhaustion. Make catching up on sleep a priority over the next few days.

When your body is low on sleep, it becomes easier to make poor eating choices. You’re also less likely to get back into your workouts if you don’t give your body a chance to rest.

Aim for getting a full 8 hours of sleep each night.

5) Jump Back Into Your Exercise Routine

It’s time to get back to work! So lace up your shoes and put on your favourite gym clothes. When you start your first workout, ease in slowly. Take the time to warm up and stretch your muscles before powering up to a solid 30-minute routine.

If you're new to exercise or you'd like to change up your fitness routine, we can help with small group training (all levels), Bootcamp or Tai Chi! Simply call or email us today to set up your first session.Write here…

Exercise can overcome genetics to fight obesity in mature women, study finds

Here’s good news for mature women who think obesity is just part of their DNA.

It turns out that exercise lowers their risk of obesity, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed data from 8,200 women of European ancestry in their 70s. They determined that genetic influences on obesity are strongest in inactive women – and, get this, weakest in those who get plenty of physical activity.

"The choices we make in our life play a large role in our health," said study author Heather Ochs-Balcom of the University at Buffalo in New York.

"In older age, we can overcome our destiny for obesity -- given to us by our parents -- through exercise," Ochs-Balcom explained.

"For the elderly, exercise is important for preventing muscle loss, which helps reduce the risk of falls. Plus, there are many other benefits of exercise in older adults."

People over 65 should be as active as possible, the National Institutes of Health says. Anything is better than nothing. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Break that up in plenty of short sessions if you like.

Good examples of movement include walking, running, gardening, dancing or joining a gym or fitness studio.

Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns. And come talk to us to learn more about the positive effects of exercise on your weight and your ability to age well.

You don’t have to accept “That’s just the way I am” any more.

Creole Chicken and Green Beans

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Most comfort food dinners are packed with unhealthy fats, unnecessary calories and obscene levels of simple carbs…and flavour, lots of flavour. With this comforting Creole Chicken and Green Bean Dinner I’voe left the abundance of flavour, while removing the unhealthy fats, unnecessary calories and those pesky simple carbs. Win-win!

Enjoy this hearty, protein-rich comfort food dinner with a salad of dark leafy greens for the perfect fitness meal.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need

Serves 6

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 ½ lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 3 slices nitrate-free bacon, chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic

  • ½ cup white wine

  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes

  • ⅓ cup water

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce

  • ½ lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

Instructions

  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, bell pepper and onion. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a bowl.

  2. Add the chicken to the skillet and generously season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Add the bacon and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, water, bell pepper mixture, oregano, cumin, thyme and hot sauce. Bring to a boil.

  4. Add the green beans, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutrition

One serving equals 247 calories, 8g fat, 10g carbohydrate, 4g sugar, 327mg sodium, 4g fibre, and 29g protein


September 4, 2018

The Importance of Small Decisions

You become fit and lean by a culmination of small decisions.

What you eat for breakfast, whether or not you will exercise today, what you eat for lunch, whether you take the elevator or the stairs, what you eat for dinner, and whether or not you’ll eat that dessert.

Each and every small decision that you make throughout your day adds up to the shape and fitness level that you have. If 80+ percent of these small decisions are made with fitness in mind, then your body will show it in the most attractive way.

Don’t Let a Case of Nerves Keep You from Getting Fit

Does this sound familiar?

You’d like to join a gym, but you don’t think you’re fit enough yet.

You’re worried that everyone else there is already in great shape and a lot younger than you. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable or intimidated.

Well, the good news is: You’re not alone. Lots of people feel that way, no matter what age. Gym owners and trainers hear this all the time.

And the better news is: There’s nothing to worry about. We are here to help. And you are more likely to find friendly encouragement from others at a gym than any judgment.

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Consider Bill Hendricks. You’d never guess it by just looking at him, but Bill was nervous the first time he joined a gym just six years ago.

“I had every negative feeling you could imagine,” recalls the former Marine who, at 68, is lean and muscular. “All the machines looked like a forest of many great beasts who wanted to chew me up. I thought, ‘I’m gonna look like an idiot. Everybody’s gonna laugh at me.’ ”

But Bill stuck with it and soon found a welcoming community and a healthy routine that he wouldn’t abandon now for anything. He works out six days a week, but that isn’t necessary for anyone – he just loves it. Bill encourages everyone who’s nervous about joining a gym to pursue their own personal fitness goals, whatever those intentions might be.

We are here to enforce Bill’s message. Come on in, talk it through, and let us make you feel at home.

Why You Need Exercise

You already know some of the great reasons why people  50, 60, 70 or older should work out. Here are just a few of them as reminders.

  • Physical exercise is good for your heart health, balance and bone density.

  • It fights off dementia and Alzheimer’s.

  • It gets you out of the house and socializing with a supportive community.

  • Being strong, toned and limber is helpful for golf, tennis, gardening and other physical hobbies.

  • It helps you lose weight, look better – and perform everyday tasks with less risk of injury.

If you’re considering a new fitness experience, look for a place that’s right for you, and the time of day that works. Ask about discounts, group classes, equipment and trainers that are specifically geared toward your age group. Many Baby Boomers and other retirees enjoy working out during the day, when gyms tend to be less crowded. Others might thrive on a bustling scene.

At ProActive Fitness, we offer supportive staff and trainers who will give you a safe, helpful introduction to functional training. We will listen to your special health and diet needs, help you determine some appropriate goals, and do everything to give you the environment you need to succeed. 

A Safe Place to Start

But everyone will quickly learn that no one’s going to make fun or judge. Most gyms are full of all kinds of bodies – young and old, fit and fat, and everything in between, with all kinds of fitness goals. 

At ProActive Fitness, we just happen to specialize in the over 50 crowd, but it's still a diverse group with a variety of fitness levels represented. But our members are all here for the same general reason, to do something good for themselves and for their loved ones.

We would love to have you join us to see how fitness can change your life for the better!  

And, please, you have lived too much of life to let schoolhouse nerves keep you on the sidelines.

Take it from Bill.

“I just didn’t give up. I swallowed my pride,” he says.

“As time goes by, you can’t help but become more comfortable and familiar with your surroundings. If somebody looks at you, give them a smile and wave. People realize you’re just somebody who’s doing their thing. That’s when it gets really good.”

Cauliflower, Kale and Chicken Casserole

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Here is another healthy, homemade dinner that’s easy to get on the table after a long, busy day of work. That’s why recipes like this one are so wonderful to have on hand – it only takes a few minutes and tastes fantastic.

This casserole like comfort food, but without the guilt. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, filled with calcium, and numerous vitamins and minerals.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 6

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 cups kale, chopped

  • dash of salt and pepper

  • Pinch of each, dried: thyme, rosemary, tarragon, and parsley

  • 4 links nitrate-free, chicken sausage, sliced into half moons

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 cup fat free ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded and divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole dish with olive oil. Place a large pot of water to boil with a pinch of salt.

  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the olive oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, dried herbs and chicken sausage. Mix well, and then add kale. Cover for about 3 minutes, until kale gets bright green and wilted, then remove cover. Sauté for an additional 3 minutes until everything is tender. Set aside.

  3. Place the cauliflower florets in the pot of boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove from heat, drain, and return cauliflower to pot.

  4. Add the kale mixture to the pot as well as the chicken broth, lemon juice, ricotta cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese. Mix will over medium heat until all has been incorporated.

  5. Transfer to prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

  6. Remove from oven and serve.

Nutrition
One serving equals 238 calories, 10g fat, 584mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 4g fibre, and 18g protein


August 28, 2018

Want to live longer and enjoy daily life more?

Why strength training is so important if you're over 50

Weightlifting gets a bum rap sometimes.

Too many older people think it’s only for the young, athletes, and bodybuilders.

“I just want to enjoy my life in retirement – not look like Arnold Schwarzenegger,” they might say.

Fair enough. But let’s look at it from a quality-of-life point of view. Remember, we’re here to help you live your best life, however you define it.

Functional independence is the goal – not big muscles, per se (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

But did you know that resistance training or strength training, which includes weightlifting, is one of the best things mature folks can do for their health?

It’s true. Here are seven of the top reasons why older adults should include in their regimen regular resistance training – which also can include using elastic bands and even body weight to strengthen the muscles.

1. Resistance training adds years to your life

Did you know that we start losing muscle mass as early as our 30s? That loss gets greater as we age. By 80, most men have lost half the muscle they had when they were younger.

Without muscle, we are frail, have more trouble with basic mobility (like getting out of a chair) and become more likely to fall – and we all know how dangerous falls can be.

But resistance training does so much more to lower our risk of injury and death. In a study by the National Center for Health Statistics, older Americans who strength-trained at least twice a week were half as likely to die for any reason, compared with the older people who did not.

And it’s not too late. Studies show weightlifting actually adds muscle mass and strength regardless of age.

2. Stronger muscles = stronger bones

Many seniors struggle with bone health, like arthritis and osteoporosis – inflamed joints and weak bones. These not only hurt, but they also lower our ability to move in everyday tasks and, like muscle loss, can lead to dangerous falls.

Stronger muscles around affected joints keep them stronger and lubricated. Strength training slows bone loss and helps with swelling and pain.

It helps bones stay strong because it makes them produce more cells.

3. It works out the brain, too

You might know that aerobic exercise is good for your brain as well as your body.

Well, the same is true for strength training.

Many university studies and the Alzheimer’s Association report that resistance training can slow the cognitive decline we experience as we age.

Resistance training, as well as aerobic exercise, has demonstrated improvement in decision-making and memory, the Functional Aging Institute reports. Combining the two (say, walking and weightlifting) provides the biggest impact.

4. Less body fat, better skin tone

Strength training definitely tightens skin tone and reduces body fat, even among older people. Contrary to popular belief, you will not become a cartoonish super-hero – seriously, that takes a long time and a LOT of effort!

Less body fat is important to our health and ability to function.

Do you feel like a big belly is the inevitable outcome of being older? But you find it a bother when playing with the grandkids?

Those extra pounds are not inevitable. Weightlifting is incredibly helpful to lower that bothersome – and dangerous – belly fat because it increases your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories, even when you’re not at the gym.

5. Play better golf, tennis and more

Being on the far side of 50 doesn’t mean we have to give up everything we enjoy – this includes competitive sports like tennis and golf.

But if we’re not strong enough to play safely, we could injure ourselves or lose the confidence we need to enjoy the sport.

Resistance training to strengthen your back, arms, core and legs will improve your golf, tennis, swimming – just about any activity you still enjoy.

And again, it’s not just for senior athletes. For millions of adults, reaching for the high shelf can be a strain. Gardening can be exhausting, even dangerous.

It doesn’t have to be.

Summary: What to do now

OK, you’re convinced: Resistance training is important for your ongoing health.

And it won’t make you look like a goon.

What now?

Give us a call at ProActive Fitness and schedule a complimentary small group training session to see how fun strength training can be! If you're still nervous about it, we can book you for a free consultation first. 

We’ve just given five good reasons to start. Let us help you discover even more!

Breakfast Cookies

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Yes, these cookies make an acceptable, wholesome breakfast! You’ll notice that there is zero sugar added to these cookies – the sweetness comes from banana and applesauce.

Feel free to add a large scoop of vanilla protein powder to the dough, to increase the protein content of each cookie. While it does take some time to make a batch of these breakfast cookies, you’ll have instant breakfasts for days to come afterwards.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 20

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed

  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil

  • ⅓ cup golden raisins

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

  • ⅓ cup coconut flour

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • Optional, scoop of vanilla protein powder

  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

  • ¼ cup unsweetened, dried berries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a food processor, combine the bananas, applesauce, coconut oil, raisins, vanilla extract and vinegar. Pulse until smooth.

  3. In a medium bowl combine the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and protein powder. Add to the food processor and pulse until combined. Add the coconut flakes, almonds and dried berries. Pulse briefly until just incorporated.

  4. Use an ice cream scooper to place the dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until golden and baked through.

  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Nutrition
One serving equals 86 calories, 3g fat, 61mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 2g fibre, and 5g protein.


August 21, 2018

Get Up! Stand Up! Too Much Sitting Can Make You Old

The bad news about sitting just keeps coming in.

We’ve been told in recent years that too much sitting can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and a bunch of other problems.

In one study, scientists looked at 1,500 older women to compare sedentary seniors with more active peers. They found that the more sedentary group had cells that were eight years older than the more active women.

“Cells age faster with a sedentary lifestyle,” said the University of California San Diego’s School of Medicine 1 click (20% of total)
. “Chronological age doesn’t always match biological age.”

Since a more active body means a more active brain, sedentary seniors risk lower cognitive function, too.

Now the American Cancer Society lists among the dangers of too much sitting: cancer; heart disease; stroke; lung disease; Parkinson’s; Alzheimer’s and more. Sitting too much can hurt you even if you exercise regularly, the organization says.

Break up an hour of sitting with just two minutes of standing or light activity to improve cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure, the study says.

This is particularly important to older people, who spend more time sitting than they might have earlier in life.

So turn off the TV and the computer, stand and stretch, move around, go for a walk, or head to the gym.

At least do something like these recommendations from the cancer society:

  • Stand and fold laundry while watching TV

  • Exercise or stretch while watching

  • Stand up and walk around during commercials

  • Walk up the escalator or stairs instead of using the elevator

Step 1 is simple: Get up!

Welcome, Cathy!

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One of our wonderful members, Cathy S., recently joined ProActive Fitness as a part-time receptionist. She'll be helping out most Thursday nights and occasionally when someone else is away. We are happy to have her join the team!

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20 Minute Creamy Chicken Soup

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I know it can be difficult to get a healthy, homemade dinner on the table after a long, busy day of work. That’s why recipes like this one are so wonderful to have on hand – it only takes a few minutes and tastes fantastic.

By using flavorful ingredients, like roasted red bell peppers and white bean hummus, this soup tastes like you slaved over it all afternoon– but really takes less than 20 minutes to throw together. This recipe is a great way to fit some quinoa into your diet. Quinoa is a protein-packed seed that is considered a “super food”. It’s s a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids, and is gluten free.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 5

  • 1 cup roasted red bell peppers

  • 3/4 cup white bean hummus

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa

  • 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken

  • dash salt and pepper

  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Take 1/4 cup of the roasted red peppers, slice into strips and set aside.

  2. Place the remaining red peppers in a blender along with the hummus and chicken stock. Blend until smooth.

  3. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa and chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Bring to a boil.

  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the slices of red pepper and chopped parsley.

Nutrition
One serving equals 248 calories, 11g fat, 644mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 20g protein


August 14, 2018

Want to prevent Alzheimer’s, depression and more?

Wendy Suzuki was a successful scientist and academic.

But in her 50s, she was so immersed in work that she had no social life, and she was overweight due to lack of activity.

So she went back to the gym. After a short time, her mood was better. She had more energy and focus. And she lost the weight.

Since Suzuki’s field of expertise is the brain, she decided to examine her little self-experiment through the prism of neuroscience.

WendySuzuki_1.jpg

Wendy Suzuki, neuroscientist

Here’s why exercise is so important

What the New York University professor found is great news for anyone hoping to remain mentally sharp and avoid Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. And it fits a growing body of research that shows a powerful link between mental health and physical exercise.

The upshot of what she learned: Exercise is the most transformative thing you can do for your brain, she says. Suzuki, also an author and speaker, discusses the science behind the idea in a TED Talk that has more than 3.4 million views on YouTube.

“What if I told you there was something that you can do right now that would have an immediate, positive benefit for your brain, including your mood and your focus?” she says. “And what if I told you that same thing could actually last a long time and protect your brain from different conditions like depression, Alzheimer’s or dementia?

“I am talking about the powerful effects of physical activity – that is, simply moving your body has immediate, long-lasting and protective benefits for your brain that can last for the rest of your life.”

Lifestyle choices can delay disease

Suzuki is not alone in her findings.

Scientists have known for a long time that exercise is good for the body. In recent years, they are revealing how it is good for the brain, too, particularly in older people.

About 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, the sixth leading cause of death among all adults, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It is the most common type of dementia, which is a group of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain and cause memory loss and other types of brain malfunction.

Around the world, 50 million people have some kind of dementia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Researchers everywhere are looking for ways to help people avoid it.

A Swedish study suggests that stamina is tied to the risk for dementia. Women who were in better cardiovascular health had an 88 percent lower risk of getting dementia than other women, according to the report published in Neurology, a medical journal.

The Alzheimer’s Association says regular cardiovascular exercise can help reduce the risk of getting the disease. So can:

  • Stopping smoking

  • Eating right

  • Getting enough sleep

  • Staying engaged socially

  • Playing games to stimulate the mind

The same message comes from scientists at the University of Southern California. They found that up to a third of Alzheimer’s cases are preventable through lifestyle changes, including physical exercise.

And WHO issued these recommendations for people 65 and over:

  • 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week

  • Or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise

  • Or a combination of moderate and vigorous aerobic exercise combined with muscle-strengthening work.

Strength training has also been linked to cognitive health.

Exercise strengthens two key brain areas

Precise recommendations vary somewhat among experts, but the point is clear: exercise is good for our brains.

It immediately boosts body chemicals like dopamine and serotonin that lower stress and improve mood, focus and energy.

Those effects last a long time.

Exercise even builds up the capacity of parts of your brain associated with memory and learning, the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex.

“Exercise is not going to cure Alzheimer’s or dementia but it anatomically strengthens two of the key targets of both those diseases,” Suzuki says.

Mentally, three of the biggest benefits are better mood, memory and attention.

Make the moves

Fitness centres are a great way for boomers and seniors to enjoy the benefits of exercise.

At ProActive Fitness, we’re here to help you get the right amount of exercise, and the right kind of exercise. We care about your physical, mental and social well-being, and we have special training and expertise in the needs of the mature client.

So take that first step, like Wendy Suzuki did.

You don’t have to become a brain scientist.

Or a fitness fanatic.

Or anything you don’t want to be.

You just have to be willing to stay healthy -- in your brain, as well as your body.

Roasted Cauliflower Steak

roasted cauliflower steak.jpeg

This is such a simple recipe and yet it yields so much satisfaction! If you love salty foods like chips or crackers, then this Cauliflower recipe may be the guilt-free snack that you’ve been searching for.

I like to slice the cauliflower into large slabs, like steaks, however be aware that not all of the pieces will stick together. That’s perfectly fine! Smaller pieces of roasted, seasoned cauliflower taste just as delicious as the larger pieces.

Enjoy these Roasted Cauliflower Steaks as a side dish for your next meal or eat it as a delicious and guilt free snack!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 4

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into ¼ inch thick slices

  • olive oil spray

  • salt and pepper

  • all-purpose seasoning

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.

  2. Slice the cauliflower into ¼ inch slices. Lightly spray each side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and all-purpose seasoning. Lay the pieces out on the prepared baking sheet.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven, flipping the pieces after 15 minutes, for a total of 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals 18 calories, 0g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, 128mg sodium, 2g fibre, and 1g protein.


August 7, 2018

Pack Your Snack

How tempting will that vending machine or drive-thru be if you have a home-packed snack ready to go at the first sign of hunger? Not as tempting, that’s for sure.

Make it a habit to pack wholesome, energy-inducing snacks with you each day and watch how quickly your fitness results start to show.

Avoid these 7 foods

Are you eating these wrong foods?

I see it happen all the time…fat loss results that are trashed by eating the wrong foods. Please don’t let this be you. You exercise hard, so keep your results by avoiding these 7 foods:

1) Don’t Eat: White Pasta

White pasta will never be OK to eat when your goal is to look fit. Sorry, it’s filled with way too many simple carbs. These plentiful carbs have one singular goal: to be stored on your body as fat.

Eat This: Spaghetti Squash

On those nights when you really crave a big bowl of noodles, try this instead. Poke a spaghetti squash all over then bake at 400 degrees F for 45-60 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, scoop out the seeds and then scrape out the long, noodle-like strands of squash. Serve these healthy noodles with spaghetti sauce and meatballs.

2) Don’t Eat: Store Bought Salad Dressing

The nutritional benefit of your salad is all but undone by the questionable ingredients in store-bought salad dressing. From trans fats to preservatives, store-bought salad dressing is a landfill of unnatural ingredients that are best avoided.

Eat This: Simple Homemade Dressing

Making your own salad dressing is so simple, it literally takes less than five minutes, and it tastes so much better freshly made AND it's so much better for you! Here’s the equation to use when making your own dressing:

  • 3 parts high-quality oil – extra virgin olive oil, hemp seed oil, flax seed oil, or sesame seed oil.

  • 1 part something acidic – vinegar, lemon, lime

  • A dash of salt and fresh ground pepper

  • Some fresh or dried herbs

3) Don’t Eat: Packaged Granola Bars

Packaged bars have one thing going for them—the convenience factor. This convenience comes at a price, as each packaged bar contains more preservatives, carbs, calories and sugars than you should be eating.

Eat This: Raw Nuts

When you need a quick, energizing snack, look no further than a handful of raw nuts. This is a great way to cut down on the sugar and other harmful additives in granola bars while still enjoying a convenient energy boost.

4) Don’t Drink: Blended Coffee Drinks

Coffee chains have made it socially acceptable to sip on a large blended coffee drink topped with whipped cream, anytime and anyplace. Unfortunately, your body is going to respond to all that sugar in the only way that it knows how…by storing it as fat. These blended drinks are extremely addictive, so it’s best to avoid them completely.

Drink This: Unsweetened Iced Tea

The whole idea behind blended coffee drinks is to quench your thirst, but there are more health-friendly ways to do so. Double brew 4 cups of your favourite tea – try Chai Rooibos—then chill it in the fridge for a few hours. Serve over ice and sweeten with a sprinkle of Stevia if needed. Guilt-free refreshment.

5) Don’t Eat: Fast Food Breakfast Sandwiches

The drive-thru may be calling you, especially when you’ve left for work in such a hurry that you forgot to eat breakfast, but don’t give in. Fast food breakfast sandwiches are filled with loads of preservatives, trans fats and questionable ingredients. Not to mention these little breakfast bombs contain more calories and fat than you need in the morning.

Eat This: Grain-Free Mini Muffins

The recipe below Grain-Free Mini Muffins makes the perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack to keep you out of the drive-thru line. Make a batch on the weekend to stock the fridge and then grab as needed throughout your busy week.

6) Don’t Eat: Flavoured Yogurt

Little cups of fruit-flavoured yogurts are often marketed as the next best weight loss secret, but you know better. These ultra-sweet concoctions are filled with sugars, corn syrup and preservatives, which will derail your fitness results and send you on a sugar high.

Eat This: Plain Greek Yogurt with Fruit

Plain Greek yogurt has more protein and far less sugar than the cute little fruit-flavoured yogurt cups. Dress it up by adding your own, chopped fresh fruit.

7) Don’t Eat: Potato Chips

Around three o’clock in the afternoon, when that vending machine is calling out your name, remember this fact: Studies suggest that a potato chip habit caused subjects to gain weight even faster than an ice cream habit. This is likely due to all the preservatives, trans fats, empty calories and salt, and how hard it is to each just a few.

Eat This: Bake Kale Chips

Kale chips are crunchy and satisfying, just like potato chips, yet you’re able to crunch away guilt-free. Filled with fibre, protein and real food nutrients, this is one crunchy snack that won’t expand your waistline. Here’s how to make them at home: Wash and tear one bunch of kale into chip-sized pieces. Toss with a Tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.

The quickest and most permanent way to drop fat and feel amazing is through a combination of healthy eating and consistent, challenging workouts.

We are here to help you meet your fitness and weight loss goals! You deserve to look, move and FEEL better so you can make the second half of your life the BEST half! 

Call or email today and we will get you started with a complimentary workout! 

Grain-Free Mini Muffins

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Need a quick breakfast or snack item that won’t erase that awesome workout you just did this morning? Whip up a batch of these gluten and grain-free mini muffins and stock your fridge with the perfect on-the-go snack.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 24

  • ½ cup blanched almond flour

  • ½ cup flax meal

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 3 eggs

  • half of a ripe banana, mashed

  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup, grade b

  • ¼ cup coconut milk, canned, full fat

  • 2 Tablespoons almond butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted

  • ½ cup golden raisins

  • ½ cup raw pecans, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a mini muffin pan with coconut oil.

  2. In a medium bowl combine the almond flour, flax meal, coconut flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

  3. In another medium bowl combine the eggs, banana, coconut sugar, maple syrup, coconut milk, almond butter and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix well.

  4. Slowly add the melted coconut oil, mix until all the lumps disappear. Add the raisins and pecans and mix well.

  5. Divide the batter for 24 mini muffins. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden and fully set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Nutrition
One mini muffin equals: 88 calories, 6g fat, 65mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 1g fibre, and 3g protein


July 31, 2018

Are you Having Fun?

Everybody likes to have fun, right?

It doesn’t matter what age you are or even what you’re doing. If an activity is fun, then you’re more likely to continue doing it.

That’s certainly true for exercise and fitness.

But too many of us don’t see the fun to be had in exercise. We think it’s too much work, or not interesting – when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Never Quit Playing

Remember when we were kids? We loved to play and have fun.

And then, somewhere during adulthood, work and responsibilities took over. We had homes to manage, careers and children… Fun was largely forgotten.

As George Bernard Shaw famously said, “We don’t quit playing because we grow old; we grow old because we quit playing.”  And playing is always more fun with friends! The social aspect of their workouts is key for many mature exercisers.

You can find friendship and support among peers and coaches whether it’s at the country club, a running team, a yoga studio or a gym. You can increase the social interaction in lots of ways, such as:

Going with a friend
Taking a group exercise class
Using a trainer for solo or group sessions
Many fitness centers offer group sessions in everything from yoga to resistance training, Tai Chi to aerobics. And if you’re lucky, you can even find some focused on the 50+ age group ;)

Some other advice to consider:

Don’t compare yourself to anyone! Doing so will just make you feel intimidated. Compare yourself only to who you were yesterday and strive to get better!
Before committing, ask to do a trial session or two so you can determine if you and the trainer/instructor are a good fit for one another.
Don’t do something if you don’t like it. There are SO many ways to get fit. Try different activities and find a form of exercise that you love. If it’s fun, you won’t see exercise as a chore and you will look forward to it!


Activity Is Its Own Reward

A good gym owner, class instructor or personal trainer knows how to help you have a good time while working up a sweat. They want to make sure you feel comfortable and engaged, not intimidated by younger, firmer bodies or confusing jargon and equipment.

That doesn’t mean you aren’t working hard or pursuing your goals seriously. You know there is pleasure and reward to be found in challenging work, in reaching targets, and in being recognized for your efforts.

You did it when raising your family and working at your job. You can do it now, taking care of yourself.

As Shawn Achor, psychologist and author of The Happiness Advantage, says:

Focusing on the good isn’t just about overcoming our inner grump to see the glass half full. It’s about opening our minds to the ideas and opportunities that will help us be more productive, effective and successful at work and in life.

Be open to trying new experiences and meeting new people as you pursue your fitness and healthy lifestyle goals. You’ll have more fun and be much more likely to reach them!

At ProActive Fitness, we focus on creating a welcome, inclusive community. We'll welcome you by name, introduce you to our members and make sure you enjoy your workout! Call us today to try out a complimentary small group session! 

Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Quick Apple Chutney

Turkey Lettuce Wraps.jpeg

Reducing the starchy carbs in your dinner is a proven way to stimulate weight loss. This means making changes like using lettuce leaves instead of tortillas and swapping out rice for shredded cauliflower.

Dinners like these Turkey Lettuce Wraps will help you reach your fat loss goal. The shredded cauliflower, rice and onions in this recipe make an amazing substitution for grain-based pilaf. With the addition of lean, ground turkey and lettuce, this comfort-food tasting meal is actually quite lean and green.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com 

What you need
Serves 6

  • 12 large Romaine lettuce leaves

For the Cinnamon Ground Turkey Rice:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 carrots, shredded

  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced

  • dash of sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 lb ground turkey

  • 1 head cauliflower, shredded (to shred: cut into florets and run through a food processor with the grating attachment)

  • 1/3 cup golden raisins

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • dash of freshly ground pepper

For the Quick Apple Chutney:

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced

  • 2 green apples, chopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar (can sub regular)

  • 1/2 cup apple juice or apple cider

  • sprinkle of sea salt

Instructions

  1. For the Cinnamon Ground Turkey Rice: In a large skillet place the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots and onions, cook for 3 minutes, until soft. Add salt, cinnamon and ground turkey. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add the head of shredded cauliflower, raisins, broth and pepper. Cook for another 4 minutes, until heated through.

  2. For the Quick Apple Chutney: In a medium skillet place the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and apples. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover, add the cinnamon, coconut crystals, apple juice and salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for another 4 minutes until apples are tender.

  3. Assemble Your Lettuce Wraps: Spread a generous spoonful of the turkey mixture along the centre of a Romaine lettuce leaf, top with a spoonful of chutney - yummy!

Nutrition
One serving equals: 248 calories, 9g fat, 156mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate, 5g fibre, and 17g protein


July 24, 2018

When in Santorini...

The Greek island of Santorini, located in the southern Aegean Sea, is home to breathtaking sunsets and cliffside towns with narrow, cobbled streets. It is currently one of the top tourist destinations in the world, hosting millions of visitors each year, with only 15,000 permanent residents.

Those permanent residents are easily distinguished from tourists. Just look for the most agile and lean, moving swiftly through the hard-to-navigate, steep terrain. The people of Santorini are in phenomenal shape.

Living in a cliffside city means walking up hundreds, if not thousands, of stairs every single day. For many, it means pushing or carrying crates of water up steep inclines to homes and hotels, since the tap water is unsafe to drink.

Live in Santorini and you’ll quickly have a chiselled, beach-ready body.

It really goes to show that your lifestyle creates the body you have. And while I don’t expect you to drop everything to move to a cliffside town in order to achieve your fat loss goals, there is a valuable lesson here.

The truth is that regardless of where you live, your lifestyle is something that you control. If you want your body to look or feel differently, all you need to do is change the daily habits that make up your routine. 

For the people of Santorini that means fighting gravity by moving their bodies up and down cliffsides every day. For you, it could mean adding in that hour of exercise that you’ve been telling yourself you should do. Or cutting out that sugary snack you gravitate to after dinner each night.

Here are 5 lifestyle factors to consider…

1. TV Time: Many people are in the habit of sitting in front of the TV for hours on end after a stressful day at work. Yes, you may be worn out and need a break, but sitting on the couch, zoned out, watching TV is not the way to lose weight.

If you must watch the evening news or see your favourite show, use the time to work on your fitness. Stand up and do some squats or lunges to work your legs and buttocks. Get on the floor and do some planks or pushups. March on the spot while you watch. Make a change!

2. Sleep: Most adults need an average of eight hours of sleep each night. Is that a lot more than what you’re currently getting? Then you may be interested to know that if you’re not getting adequate amounts of rest, you’re more likely to be hungry, overeat, and gain weight.

How does this work? Something like this:

If you’re tired, you won’t feel like cooking a healthy meal, and you’ll opt for fast (fattening) food instead. This very same lack of energy will also likely cause you to skip a workout. On top of that, sleep deprivation causes your metabolism to slow down, which promotes fat storage.

3. Drink Choices: Lasting weight loss is about changes. Unfortunately, some of the changes one must make are difficult. If you’re one of the millions hooked on soda, alcohol, or other sweetened beverages, your weight goals may remain out of reach until you replace these drinks with water. You should also know that your brain often confuses thirst with hunger.

So at the first sign of hunger, don’t grab a snack or calorie-filled drinks. Instead, grab a glass of water.

4. Breakfast: Want to know a secret to successful weight loss? Eat breakfast! Try cutting calories by skipping breakfast, and you’ll be excessively hungry by mid-morning. As a result, the healthy calories you would have eaten at breakfast are replaced with calorie-filled snacks and an over-sized lunch.

Once again, fitting breakfast into your busy schedule may mean dramatic lifestyle changes. But research shows that the habit of eating a healthy breakfast is key to losing weight and keeping pounds off. Get to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual and set your alarm 10 minutes earlier to give yourself time to eat breakfast.

5. Physical Activity: Weight loss is about burning more calories than you consume. Remember the people of Santorini and their all-day exercise! Therefore, it should make sense to you that dieting and exercise must go hand in hand. If you want to speed up fat loss and keep it off, add or increase the amount and intensity of physical activity in your daily life.

For many people, this is the most difficult lifestyle change of all, but the benefits are well work it. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of intense exercise on most days of the week. When exercise is a normal part of your everyday routine, it’s more likely to stick, and your body will become slimmer and more toned.

The quickest and most permanent weight loss comes as a result of a combination of healthy eating and consistent, challenging workouts.

We're here to help you meet your fitness goals! Call the studio or email today to get started on your lifestyle change. 

Mango Chutney Chicken Salad

Mango Chicken Chutney Salad.jpeg

This summer salad is a refreshing way to serve chicken. Tender mango chutney, creamy Greek yogurt and fresh, crunchy greens make this one tasty meal. While typically creamy dishes contain loads of fat and extra calories, this one stays healthy with the use of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 5

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 inch ginger root, minced

  • 1 small red onion, chopped

  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped

  • 2 ripe mangoes, chopped

  • Juice from 2 limes

  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Dash of nutmeg

  • Dash of red pepper flakes

  • 1 ½ cups non-fat, plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • Dash of salt and pepper

  • 3 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped

  • 4 cups salad greens

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger root and sauté for a minute.

  2. Add the onion and bell peppers and sauté for a few minutes.

  3. Add the mango and spices. Continue to sauté for another 5 minutes, until everything has softened.

  4. Turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

  5. Combine the yogurt, mustard, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Place the chopped chicken in a medium sized bowl and mix in the yogurt blend.

  6. Prepare each plate with a pile of greens topped with a scoop of chicken and a spoonful of chutney.

Nutrition
One serving equals: 286 calories, 6 fat, 185mg sodium, 22g carbohydrates, 3g fibre, and 35g protein.


July 17, 2018

Guide to guilt-free desserts

Desserts are a delicious and fun part of life... that is until you start working towards a fat loss goal. Then dessert becomes the enemy that pops up at birthday parties and get-togethers in the form of cake, cookies, cupcakes and candy, tempting you to give in.

So what do you do? Give up desserts forever?

Taking a zero-dessert stance can be risky because it increases your chances that the large slice of cake that ends up taking you down will be followed by some ice cream, a handful of cookies and topped off with some chocolates for good measure.

I don’t want your fitness results to be forfeited over a slice of cake, so I’ve come up with the following 7 Steps to Guilt-Free Desserts. Use these steps as your guide to safely navigate sweet temptations and to quickly arrive at your fitness goal.

1. Fruit Is Best.

Fresh, organic, seasonal fruit is the ultimate guilt-free dessert. It’s filled with fibre, vitamins, minerals and delicious, natural sweetness. Don’t be afraid to include some fruit in your diet. Learn to savour and enjoy fruit just as you would a decadent slice of cake. Fruit should be your number one, go-to, favourite dessert. 

2. Choose Only Wholesome Sweeteners.

When fat loss is your goal, cane sugar and corn syrup have no place in your diet. Ever. Not even when you indulge in dessert. Lucky for you, there are plenty of more wholesome sweeteners available which will have less of an impact on your blood sugar. Try raw honey, pure maple syrup, coconut crystals or stevia.

3. Use Whole Food Flours.

So you have your wholesome sweetener and now you’re reaching for some white flour to bake a cake, right? Wrong. Just like sugar, wheat flour should be banned when fat loss is your goal. Try these whole food flours instead: almond flour, coconut flour, flax meal or oat flour.

4. Take Your Chocolate Dark.

If chocolate is your dessert-of-choice, then learn to love the dark stuff. 73% cocoa content is a good place to start, then as your sweet receptors become more sensitive you’ll start to like even darker chocolate. Dark chocolate is lower in sugar and higher in cocoa, which is where the actual benefit of chocolate lies: antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

5. Portion Size Matters.

Yes, this applies even to fruit. When you’re working towards a fat loss goal you do need to control the amount of sugar that enters your body, even when that sugar is wholesome and from a piece of fruit. Keep your desserts to no more than a few bites. Learn to savour and enjoy.

6. Remember Moderation.

If fat loss is your goal, dessert should not be an everyday occurrence. Lean meats and an abundance of fresh vegetables should make up the bulk of your diet. Wholesome, portion-controlled desserts are OK to include occasionally, but not regularly. When you’ve met your fitness goal, and are maintaining your results, you’ll be able to include wholesome desserts more often.

7. Exercise Hard.

I would never propose to use food as a reward for exercise, but I will say that working out should be a requirement before including wholesome desserts in your diet. If you’re not working out, even wholesome desserts in moderation could lead to pounds gained. Exercise is a huge part of the puzzle when it comes to losing fat and getting leaner.

If you're ready to take the first step to a healthier you, give us a call to arrange your first FREE small group training session at ProActive Fitness. A year from now, you'll be glad you started today! 

It Gets Easier

If you’re worried about giving up your favourite sugary treat, relax. Right now your taste buds are accustomed to those ultra-sweet treats but with time you will adjust. Soon fresh fruit and dark chocolate will taste perfectly sweet and your old favourites will lose their appeal. Stick with it!

Double Chocolate Mini Brownies

Double Chocolate Mini-Brownies.jpeg

Boxed brownie mixes are filled with refined sugars and grains, so make with this wholesome recipe instead. It’s always a good idea to make these brownies in a mini muffin pan since this really forces portion control. Just eat one brownie and you’ll be able to enjoy this wholesome treat guilt-free!

Also feel free to reduce the amount of honey used, or to replace the honey with stevia to taste, in order to reduce the total sugar in this dessert.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 24

  • 3.5 oz dark chocolate (72% cocoa or higher)

  • ½ cup coconut oil

  • 1/3 cup raw honey

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

  • ¾ cup blanched almond flour

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a mini muffin pan with coconut oil.

  2. In a double boiler, gently melt the chocolate, coconut oil and raw honey. Remove from heat, allow to cool, add the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts.

  3. In a medium bowl combine the almond flour and salt. Add the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.

  4. Fill the mini muffin tins nearly to the top. Bake for 15-25 minutes until golden and set.

  5. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan — if you don’t wait they will fall apart. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One mini muffin equals: 125 calories, 8g fat, 48mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 1g fibre, and 2g protein


July 10, 2018

These block fitness results

There are many complex reasons that make fat loss a challenge, reasons that go deeper than simply calories-in versus calories-out.

I’m talking about the life issues that get in the way of your success.

Here are 5 things that block fitness results along with the solutions to unlock your best body.

1. You are crazy busy.

Let’s face it, you work too much, commit yourself to too much and don’t even get enough sleep most of the time. The fast-paced way you live leaves you exhausted, stressed and hungry for comfort food. You even begin to feel too busy to take care of your health.

It’s time to reprioritize. Let go of your perfectionist standards and remove a few commitments from your schedule so that you are able to cook healthy meals, exercise and get a good night’s sleep. Remind yourself that taking care of your health is not a luxury—it’s a necessity.

2. You don’t want to wait for the good stuff.

Just as you wish to avoid pain, you are also an expert in seeking out pleasure—namely food. This served the cavemen well, but these days it ends up as extra pounds around your waist and thighs.

There is good news: extra calories are not your only option to stimulate the pleasure centre of your brain. Find an activity or two that make you smile and indulge in those regularly.

A walk outside
A good book
A night out to the movies or theatre
A spa day
You can also retrain your brain to crave the pleasure of exercise-induced endorphins. Talk about weight gain kryptonite!

3. You don’t want to be bothered.

It’s in your DNA to avoid pain and seek out pleasure. Unfortunately, this works against you when trying to get fit. In your mind, it’s painful (or at least uncomfortable) to deny yourself the tasty food that you crave and to exert yourself with exercise.

There’s a simple way to work around this obstacle: Find something painful about being out of shape to motivate yourself towards healthy eating and exercise. Focus on the negative impact your current shape has on your health, self-esteem and lifestyle. Convince yourself that the pain of being out of shape is much greater than the discomfort of losing the fat.

4. You don’t deserve it.

I don’t agree with it, but you sure act like you don’t deserve to live the good life in the body of your dreams. Take a moment to think back on all the times you have self-sabotaged your weight loss efforts. If you don’t believe deep down that you are worthy, then you’ll never give yourself a chance at a fit body.

I believe that you deserve to have a healthy body—and I urge you to dig deep down to uncover why you don’t. Once you conquer your feelings of unworthiness, getting on an exercise and healthy eating plan will be easy.

Take the time to take care of yourself. You DO deserve it.

5. You are afraid.

You’re afraid to start because you just might fail, and wouldn’t that be embarrassing? You’re also afraid to start because you just might succeed, and change makes you uncomfortable – even if it’s change in the right direction.

When you decide to get fit you will need to go through a bunch of changes:

  • New diet

  • New exercise routine

  • New friends at the gym

  • New clothes

  • New self-image

Focus on all of the ways that shaping up will make your life better. Envision that better life every day so that it goes from being new and scary to familiar and comfortable.

I want to personally help overcome every obstacle standing between you and your ideal body. Call or email us at ProActive Fitness to get started on a program that will change your life and body forever…in the best way!

Salmon Power Scramble

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It’s important to start your day off with a healthy serving of protein and veggies. This recipe delivers both as salmon, broccoli and egg whites combine for the perfect protein-packed breakfast. Add a side of avocado for healthy fats and a serving of fruit for a delicious start to your day.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 2

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1 cup fresh broccoli, cut into small pieces

  • 5 egg whites

  • 8oz grilled or smoked salmon, separated into small pieces

  • dash of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the broccoli, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until tender.

  2. In a small bowl combine the egg whites, salmon, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add to the skillet.

  3. Cook until egg whites are set, flipping at least once.

Nutrition
One mini muffin equals: 225 calories, 7g fat, 557mg sodium, 6.5g carbohydrate, 1g fibre, and 33g protein.


July 3, 2018

Here’s how to achieve that goal

Do you have unmet goals? If so, you aren’t alone. Most people live with unfulfilled aspirations.

Unfortunately, many widely used self-help techniques fail to deliver results.

Case in point: You’ve probably heard of the “Yale Goal Study” where researchers interviewed Yale’s 1953 graduating class, asking whether or not the students had written down specific goals that they wanted to achieve. Then twenty years down the road the researchers looked up each student and discovered that the 3% of the class who had written down their goals had accumulated more personal wealth than the other 97% combined.

Very compelling storey, but complete fiction.

The “Yale Goal Study” never happened, though motivational speakers and self-help books have quoted it for years.

Best-selling author and psychologist Richard Wiseman went on a mission to craft a no-nonsense response to the bogus self-help techniques. Using a diverse range of scientific data, he uncovered a proven approach to achieve any goal.

The following 5 successful techniques (Do This) and 5 unsuccessful techniques (Not That) are from Wiseman’s book, 59 Seconds Change Your Life in Under a Minute.

1) Do This: Make a Step-by-Step Plan.

If you are serious about achieving your goal, then you need to create a step-by-step plan on how to do it.

Successful goal-achievers break down their overall goal into sub-goals. Each sub-goal needs to be concrete, measurable and time-based.

  • Not That: Motivate yourself by focusing on someone that you admire.

Studies show that focusing on someone you admire is not a strong enough motivator to see you through your goal.

2) Do This: Tell Other People About Your Goal.

How badly do you want to achieve your goal? If you want it bad enough, you’ll tell your friends and family.

This technique works on two levels. First, you’ve put yourself on the spot by letting the world in on your goal, so it’s all-eyes-on-you. Failure would be public. Second, your friends and family are there to offer support and encouragement. Don’t underestimate the psychological power of having someone in your corner.

  • Not That: Think about the bad things.

When you focus on the negative it becomes your reality.

3) Do This: Focus on the Good Things When Achieving Your Goal.

Remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goal.

Make a checklist of how life will be better once you have achieved your aim. This gets your focus on a positive future, one that’s worth the effort.

  • Not That: Try to suppress unhelpful thoughts.

Rather than trying to erase that image of chocolate cake from your mind, learn to deal with the reality of temptation head-on.

4) Do This: Reward Your Progress.

Studies show that attaching rewards to each of your sub-goals encourages success.

Your rewards should never conflict with your major goal. When aiming to lose weight, never use food as a reward.

  • Not That: Rely on willpower.

Willpower alone rarely gets anyone to their goal.

5) Do This: Record Your Progress.

Make your plans, progress, benefits and rewards concrete by expressing them in writing.

Use a hand-written journal, your computer or a bulletin board to chart your progress. This process is priceless for maintaining motivation.

  • Not That: Just fantasize about life after achieving your goal.

Daydreaming is fun, but simply fantasizing about your new life will not make it a reality.
Are you ready to achieve your fitness and weight loss goal once and for all? Call or email me now to get started on your spectacular body transformation.

Now is your time to get into the best shape of your life!

Drink More Water

It’s very possible that you are partially dehydrated most of the time. This is problematic for your fitness goals.

You probably already knew that hydration is key to maintaining proper organ functions, however were you aware that it also influences your ability to shed fat and maintain muscle tone?

If you aren’t making a conscious effort to drink water throughout the day then you’re very likely not getting enough of it, and it’s having a negative impact on your fitness progress. Carry a water bottle to sip throughout the day and drink a glass of water with each meal in order to stay hydrated and on track with your fitness goals.

Egg White Bites

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Here is a recipe for powerhouse egg white bites that will get your day started off right! These protein-filled morsels are easy to pack with you for breakfast on-the-road and last most of the week in the fridge. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 16

  • 8 egg whites

  • ¼ cup nonfat cottage cheese

  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon coconut flour

  • ½ cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped

  • ¼ cup fresh spinach, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons fresh scallions, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 16 mini muffin tins with paper liners.

  2. In a blender combine the egg whites, cottage cheese, nutritional yeast, sea salt and coconut flour. Blend until smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

  3. Evenly fill each of the 16 mini muffin tins with the egg white mixture. Bake in the pre- heated oven for 15 minutes, until set.

Nutrition
One mini muffin equals: 32 calories, 1g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 1g fibre, 64 mg sodium, 1g sugar, and 4g protein.


June 26, 2018

How to Keep it Off (5 Better Body Secrets)

It takes dedicated hard work to drop a significant number of pounds. But afterwards it’s incredibly easy (and frustrating!) to find those pounds creeping back on.

Maintaining fat loss is certainly possible, however it does require that you remain vigilant with your healthy routine.

Here are 5 secrets to maintaining your amazing body transformation for life. Think of these as your own personal lifestyle rules and stick with them at least 90% of the time to keep your body healthy and hot.

Better Body Secret #1: Don’t Eat Just To Eat

There is no place in your healthy lifestyle for mindless snacking. I’m talking about a tub of popcorn at the movies or a bag of chips in front of the TV. All the calories ingested from mindless snacking have to end up somewhere…and that somewhere is around your waist or on your thighs.

Snacks are fine when you are aware of how much you’re eating in order to balance it with the rest of your meals for the day.

Better Body Secret #2: Stand (And Walk) When Possible

Have you heard the saying sitting is the new smoking? The idea is that a lifetime of sitting all-day-every-day is as harmful to your body as smoking. Think for a moment about how much of your day is spent sitting.

You wake up and sit down for breakfast. You sit on the drive to work. You take the elevator up. You sit for most of 8 hours at work. You take the elevator down. You sit on the drive home. You sit to eat dinner. You sit to watch TV.

That’s quite a bit of time spent sitting! Now imagine if you consciously stood for some of this time each day and took the stairs instead of the elevator. Over weeks, and months, it really adds up in calories burned, muscles engaged, and overall fitness and health. 

Better Body Secret #3: Avoid Sugar

I might sound like a broken record about this one, but that’s OK, I’ll keep harping on this point until more people listen. Our bodies weren’t designed to ingest large amounts of sugar on a daily basis. When you regularly take in excess sugar the results are always the same. You. Gain. Weight.

The tricky part is that sugar is all around us, so avoiding it takes real vigilance.

Start with your morning beverage of choice. Does it have sugar in it? Most of the beverages that are blended and brewed in coffee shops are simply vehicles for ingesting sugar. Find a beverage without added sugar that you enjoy and stick with the rule of not drinking sugary beverages throughout your day.

Better Body Secret #4: Keep Dinner Light

Who says that dinner should be the biggest and heartiest meal of the day? Instead, focus on enjoying light dinners that are centred around protein and veggies and avoid starches and carbs in the evening.

The recipe below for Beet and Grapefruit Salad is a great example. Add a grilled chicken breast to a serving of this vibrant, fibre-filled salad and you have a nutritious dinner that’s light and healthy.

Better Body Secret #5: Always Exercise

How often do you brush your teeth? Do you sometimes take a few weeks or months off brushing your teeth? Um, no. That’s gross. You brush your teeth everyday as an ongoing habit because you know that the benefits outweigh the slight inconvenience.

Can you see where I’m going with this? :)

Exercise only truly works when you do it as an ongoing habit because you know that the benefits outweigh the slight inconvenience. It’s part of keeping you healthy. It’s part of who you are.

At ProActive Fitness, we're here to make your daily exercise habit fun and effective. If you aren’t yet a member, call or email today and we'll get you started on YOUR better body!

Keep it Tight

Better Body Secret #2 above described how standing and walking when possible will help your overall health and shape. But what about those hours when you have no choice but to sit? In those moments, keep it tight!

When sitting, practice good posture by keeping your shoulders back, head up, and contract your core muscles by pulling your belly button in towards your spine.

This simple move will keep your core muscles engaged and will contribute to your overall fitness.

Beet and Grapefruit Salad

beet and grapefruit salad.jpeg

How often does your dinner mostly consist of fresh, vibrant produce? The nutrients and fibre found in greens and veggies are vital and delicious! Give this salad a try and add some sliced, grilled chicken breast for added protein.

Hopefully this recipe will inspire you to include more veggies and greens in every meal!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 6

  • 3 red beets

  • 3 yellow beets

  • 3 grapefruits

  • 3 mandarin oranges

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • ⅛ teaspoon liquid stevia

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 6 cups baby arugula, fresh

  • ¼ cup pistachios, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Trim the beets, wash and place in an 8x8 casserole pan with ¼ cup of water. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for an hour, until tender. Remove from the oven, uncover and cool completely. Peel the beets and slice into wedges.

  2. Cut the ends off the grapefruits, and slice off the peel and the white pith. Remove cut into segments and peel the membrane off each slice. Reserve ¼ cup of grapefruit juice.

  3. Whisk together the olive oil, stevia, vinegar, sea salt, black pepper and reserved grapefruit juice. Toss the dressing with the beets and grapefruit wedges.

  4. Arrange the arugula on a platter. Top with the beet and grapefruit mixture and sprinkle with pistachios.

Nutrition
One serving equals 142 calories, 6g fat, 15g carbohydrate, 4g fibre, and 2g protein.


June 19, 2018

Just A Few Minutes

Do you put off doing your daily exercise? Research shows that by spending just a few minutes doing the dreaded task you’ll feel an urge to see it through completion. These initial few minutes of activity is all you need to get into the swing of it. Before you realize it, you’ll be sweating, smiling, and feeling great!

Want your kids to eat healthy?

Our kids are eating too much junk. And who can blame them? Junk food tastes great.

The good news is that healthy food also tastes great. Here are simple ways to help your kids eat healthier:

1)    Choose Whole Foods

Processed foods are the biggest problem with our modern diet. Packaged and refined food products are devitalised and filled with empty calories that quickly lead to weight gain. Unfortunately, processed foods make up a large portion of the diet of many children.

Offer your kids whole foods, rather than packaged ones. Whole foods are foods that are in their natural state. An apple. A piece of sprouted grain bread spread with natural peanut butter. A piece of hormone-free chicken. A bowl of beans. You get the idaea.

2)    Add Colour

Adding bright and colourful fruits and veggies to your child’s plate will get their diet on the fast track to health. Fresh fruits and veggies are filled with fibre, vitamins and minerals that are essential to good health.

Make it fun! Serve veggies with salad dressing as a dip. Cut fresh fruit in the colours of the rainbow and place them on a skewer. Serve a colour themed meal – all green, all red or all orange. Use your imagination and you’ll come up with an endless number of ways to make fruits and veggies fun to eat.

3)    Make Smart Substitutions

Kids love pizza and pasta and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and that’s not going to change any time soon. Rather than fight your kids on their favourites, try making smart substitutions to make their favourites more nutritious.

  • Pizza: Up the nutritional content of your pizza by opting for wheat crust over white, adding veggies to the toppings and sticking with lean meat toppings. You could even make “Pizza Eggs” by adding marinara sauce, cheese and pepperoni to an omelet and avoid the crust altogether.

  • Pasta: Make spaghetti with veggie noodles – see the recipe below!

  • PB&J: A PB&J, made with white bread using sugar-filled peanut butter and corn syrup-filled jelly, is fairly void of any real nutritional value. Instead make a PB&J with sprouted grain bread, pure peanut butter (with only peanuts and sea salt), and fruit-only jelly. This will provide real wholesome fuel for your child’s day.

4)    Ban Sugary Drinks

One of the best things that you can do for your child’s good health is to instill in them a love for water rather than sugary drinks. Soda pop, juices, smoothies, and blended coffee drinks are filled with empty calories that cause weight gain.

The easiest way to do this is to stock your house with lots of pure, filtered water. Don’t have fruit drinks or soda pop readily available so that they grow accustom to drinking only water.

While I presented these tips as improvements to be made to your child’s diets, these tips will also do wonders for your diet. Practise these tips for 30 days and I guarantee you’ll look and feel better.

Parents all want good things for their children. Now how about doing something good for yourself as well? You are your child’s biggest role model on how to live, for better or worse.

Treat yourself right by calling or emailing today to get started on an exercise programme that will change your life for the best.

Call or email now to reserve your spot.

One Pan Spaghetti

one pan spaghetti.jpeg

You’ll never make traditional spaghetti and meatballs again. This lightened recipe combines butternut squash noodles with tender meatballs and savoury red sauce for a healthy meal that tastes downright naughty. Every family needs a reliable spaghetti and meatball recipe, and it’s a happy bonus that this one is light and lean.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 6

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • ¾ cup grain-free bread crumbs

  • ⅓ cup Basil pesto

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

  • 6 cups Butternut squash noodles

  • 1 (24 ounce) jar of marinara sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with olive oil.

  2. Use your hands to combine the beef, bread crumbs, pesto, sea salt and black pepper. Roll the mixture into about fifteen 1-inch meatballs. Place the meatballs in the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove the meatballs, setting aside on a pan, and drain off any liquids from the pan.

  3. Spread the noodles in the pan. Pour the marinara sauce over the noodles and toss gently with tongs to coat. Add the meatballs back to the pan, gently nestling throughout the noodles. Cover the pan tightly with aluminium foil and bake for 7 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 3-5 minutes.

  4. Remove the pan from oven. Toss to coat the noodles and meatballs with the sauce. Season generously with sea salt and black pepper and garnish with fresh basil.

Nutrition
One serving equals 289 calories, 10g fat, 23g carbohydrate, 4g fibre, and 26g protein.


June 12, 2018

The POWER of Habit

John Dryden famously said, “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

Confucius said, “Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”

And Aristotle noticed that, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

It’s pretty clear that the habits you adopt will shape who you are.

What are your habits?

Do you eat the same thing for lunch, go through the same exercise routine, and fall into bed at the same time each night?

Or maybe you've made a habit out of eating something sweet before bed, avoiding the gym, and staying up as late as possible.

When it comes to your fitness, the two habits that define you are your eating and exercise habits. In fact, everyone that you know who is in great shape has dialled in these two important habits.

If you aren’t happy with your body, then simply adjust your eating and exercise habits.

Here’s how to adopt a habit:

1) Decide on the ONE habit that you would like to develop. It’s tempting to pick up 3 or 4 healthy habits but choosing just one new habit is realistic and doable.

Here are some healthy habit ideas:

  • Do not eat after 7pm each night.

  • Bring your lunch to work instead of eating fast food.

  • Exercise 4 times a week after work for 45 minutes each time.

  • Only eat fruits and veggies as your afternoon snack.

  • Get up early and exercise for an hour each morning.

  • Work out at ProActive Fitness 3 times a week.

2) Write your new habit down on paper. Also include your 3 main motivators for developing this new habit, the obstacles you’ll face, and your strategies for overcoming these obstacles.

Here’s an example:

  • My new habit is to work with a personal trainer 3 times each week.

  • My 3 main motivators are 1) to feel confident in my bathing suit this summer, 2) to have more energy, and 3) to fit into my skinny jeans.

  • The obstacles I will face are 1) not having the energy to go to my session after work, 2) not having enough money to pay for sessions, and 3) not having my spouse’s support.

  • I will overcome these obstacles by 1) doing my workouts before work instead of after work, so I have more energy, 2) cutting down on frivolous spending to ensure that I can afford it, and 3) asking my spouse to join me so we can get in shape together.

3) Commit fully to your new habit, in a public way. This could mean posting it on social media, or simply announcing it at the dinner table. Put yourself in a position where you’ll be embarrassed to give up on your new habit.

4) Keep track of your progress. You could keep a detailed journal or simply make a check mark on each calendar day that you successfully exercise your new habit.

Once your new habit becomes second nature, usually in about 66 days (and not 21, as is so often referenced), feel free to add a second habit by going through the same steps.

I’d love for our ProActive fitness program to become your new healthy habit! Call or email now to book your complimentary first small group training session!

Favorite Sesame Salmon

favourite sesame salmon.jpeg


Salmon is filled with healthy omega 3 essential fatty acids, protein, and vitamin B12. This recipe is quick and tastes amazing. Serve it with a side of steamed veggies.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 4

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil

  • ¼ cup lemon juice

  • ¼ cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 4 (6oz) salmon steaks

Instructions

  1. In a large re-sealable plastic bag combine the first six ingredients; mix well.

  2. Set aside 1/2 cup of marinade and refrigerate.

  3. Add salmon to remaining marinade, cover and refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours, turning once. Drain and discard marinade.

  4. Place the salmon on a broiler pan. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 5 minutes. Brush with reserved marinade; turn and broil for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Brush with remaining marinade.

Nutrition
One serving equals 392 calories, 19g fat, 2g carbohydrate, 1g fibre, and 38g protein.


June 5, 2018

Shape Up for Summer Wraps Up!

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Our latest six-week challenge, Shape Up for Summer, wrapped up last Saturday with lunch and games held at the gym, as the weather didn't cooperate with our original picnic plan. We enjoyed delicious REAL food (for the most part) and played a little ladder ball and spike ball. Avery and Stephane kept things interesting with their commentary and antics :)

Congrats to all the challengers on a job well done! Many of them are now committed to making exercise a part of their regular routine, as well as being mindful of the food they eat and how that impacts how they look and feel. 

Our next six-week challenge will begin in October. Watch for details on The Little Black Dress Challenge! 

The Bad Week

Once in a while you are going to have a bad week. Your nutrition will be off, your workouts will be weak, and your head will not be in the game.

That’s OK.

Remember that you are human and that sometimes your body needs a little break. The key is to take care of yourself in that moment, to not let yourself stray too far off your fitness plan during the time of rest, and to then get yourself back on track next week.

Many people allow a bad week to spiral into a bad month or even a bad year. My hope for you is that you’re able to give yourself time to rest and then quickly get back to your program in full force, rested and ready to get at it!

Oh, the dreaded plateau…

You’ve been working hard on your fitness game and it has paid off - the pounds started to drop! And then one day your results stopped. You've been putting in the same effort without any sign of improvement.

You’ve hit a frustrating plateau.

Or have you? Before you blame a fitness plateau for your lack of results, let’s critically consider the following:

1. Your Diet: It’s human nature to begin to slip on your nutrition after a few weeks of strict diligence. A small treat here, and a bite of something there, and before you know it you’ve fallen back into old eating habits. If your results have stopped, take the next few weeks to track your nutrition and hold yourself accountable for every bite.

2. Your Workouts: If your nutrition has truly stayed on point then your workouts could be the problem. Are you slacking on the final few reps? Have you reduced your overall intensity in the gym? Did you skip a few sessions last week? Before you blame a plateau for your reduced results take a really hard look at your effort in the gym. Rededicate yourself to pushing as hard as you can.

3. Your Sleep: This is a tough one for so many people, but you simply must get adequate sleep in order to lose fat and develop muscle. Your body needs seven to eight hours of sleep each night in order to recover from your workouts and to maintain balanced hormone levels. Getting to bed on time is vitally important to your fitness results.

If you have tackled the three steps above and STILL don’t see the number on your scale moving in the right direction, move on to these next plateau-busting steps…

4. Track Your Efforts: It’s time to get meticulous with tracking your fitness efforts, from exactly what your workouts consist of, to exactly what and when you eat in order to constantly improve. Make it your goal to outdo yourself every day. If you’re constantly performing better today than you were yesterday, your plateau will quickly become a distant memory.

5. Track Your Results: Simply checking your weight on the scale is not a thorough enough measurement of your progress. I would argue that tracking other metrics of change are MORE important than the scale! 

Take your measurements. Have your bodyfat tested. Take pictures of yourself weekly. It’s important to be fully aware of how your body is changing as a whole unit, not just the number on the scale. You may be surprised to find that your body fat has been dropping while your weight has stayed the same.

If you need help with getting unstuck, let us know! Our knowledgeable trainers can help. 

Easy Beef Brisket

easy beef brisket.jpeg

It’s important to enjoy whole food protein sources like this Easy Beef Brisket in your fitness meal plan. In addition to being one of the most delicious dishes you’ll ever make, you may be surprised to find it is one of the easiest.

Don’t let the lengthy cook time deter you. It’s as simple as mixing up a marinade, letting it sit overnight, and then popping it in the oven to slow cook for half of the day. Make it on the weekend and enjoy the delightful aroma as it cooks.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 12

  • 1 Lemon

  • 5 cloves garlic

  • 4 cups beef broth

  • 1 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke

  • 5 pounds beef brisket

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the brisket, in a bowl. Mix well.

  2. Place the brisket in a large roasting pan, fat side up. Cover with the marinade. Cover the roasting pan tightly with foil. Marinate in the fridge for 24–48 hours. Let those juices do their flavourful magic!

  3. Roast at 300 ̊F for 4 hours, or 40 minutes per pound. Remove the foil after 4 hours, place under the high broil for a few minutes to lightly char the top. Transfer to a cutting board and slice. Put the slices back in the juices. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals 310 calories, 9g fat, 321mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 0g fibre, and 47g protein


May 29, 2018

Time for bed…

If you’re not getting adequate rest (close to 8 hours each night) then you’re more likely to be hungry, overeat, and put on fat.

How does this work? Something like this…

If you’re tired, you won’t feel like cooking a healthy meal, and you’ll opt for fast (fattening) food instead. This very same lack of energy will also likely cause you to skip the gym. On top of that, sleep deprivation causes your metabolism to slow down....bad news all around! 

Get your zzzz's in!

How to get those abs!

You probably know that crunches and sit-ups alone won’t give you sculpted abs. Only a drop in overall body fat will uncover your stomach muscles.

It is fully possible for you to do this with an effective combination of fat burning cardio, resistance training and clean eating. It's not easy, but it IS achievable with some sacrifice and hard work. Only you can decide if it's worth it!

If you are ready to do the work, here's what's involved:

1) Exercise a minimum of 4 times per week. It is important to dedicate yourself to working out a minimum of 4 times a week if you want to transform your abs. Anything less than this won’t make a large enough impact on your progress.

2) Make sure your workouts are effective. What makes a workout effective? It includes intense cardiovascular training coupled with effective resistance training. 

Walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes isn’t a fat blasting routine. Neither is a leisurely 20 minutes on the elliptical machine or a 1 km dog walk each day. 

The truth is that you can dramatically increase your results while investing less time when your workouts are effective.

Cardio exercise is all about maintaining an effective level of intensity. This doesn’t mean that you should be gasping for air, but it does mean that you need to push yourself.

Resistance training is the second key part of a fat burning workout. This means working your major muscle groups against resistance in a way that stimulates your metabolism. Again, the key here is to find the right intensity!

3) Eat a clean diet. Diet is a big stumbling block for most people. If your diet is out of control then your abs will be too. You can’t trim your waist without trimming the junk out of your diet, regardless of how intensely you exercise.

Keep calories in check. Do you know how many calories you eat? The best way to find out is to record everything you eat for a few days. Tally the number of calories that you eat each day and do an evaluation—using an app like Lose It or My Fitness Pal can help you with this step.

Just say “No” to junk food. While this may seem obvious, your definition of “junk food” may need an alteration. Refined sugar is one of the biggest culprits in the junk food world—it is found in soft drinks, blended coffee drinks, cookies, cakes, packaged snacks, and other sinfully sweet treats. Processed fat is another monster. As a rule of thumb, you can safely view all processed or refined items as junk food.

Eat more frequently. The key here is to never let your blood sugar “crash” by going hours without eating. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to skip breakfast—as this is the meal that ‘breaks the fast’ that your body goes into each night. 

You've heard that "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?" I would change that to "Breakfast is the most important meal to get RIGHT each day!" It sets the tone for all your waking hours. Start with some lean protein and veggies or fruit and avoid the refined sugary carbs. 

You'll be better equipped to handle your day, less likely to crash and reach for a sugar or caffeine hit and less likely to derail your fat loss efforts.  

If you need help with your exercise program, ProActive Fitness can help! Our small group sessions like Bootcamp and HIIT will help you burn fat and our trainers can help you to 

Call or email me today to get started. Let’s do this!

Quick & Creamy Chicken Soup

chicken soup.jpeg

By using flavourful ingredients, like roasted red bell peppers and white bean hummus, this soup tastes like you slaved over it all afternoon– but really takes less than 20 minutes to throw together. This recipe is a great way to fit some quinoa into your diet. Quinoa is a protein-packed seed that is considered a “super food”. It’s s a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids, and is gluten free.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 5

  • 1 cup roasted red bell peppers

  • 3/4 cup white bean hummus

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa

  • 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken

  • dash salt and pepper

  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Take 1/4 cup of the roasted red peppers, slice into strips and set aside.

  2. Place the remaining red peppers in a blender along with the hummus and chicken stock. Blend until smooth.

  3. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa and chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Bring to a boil.

  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the slices of red pepper and chopped parsley.

Nutrition
One serving equals 248 calories, 11g fat, 644mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 3g fibre, and 20g protein


May 22, 2018

3 Steps to Overcome Overeating

Let's face it, the extra pounds you're carrying around are due to overeating - plain and simple. 

Why do you overeat? Here are a few likely reasons:

  1. Habit: Whether you realize it or not, you eat in a learned pattern, rather than out of need. You clean your plate because that's what your mother taught. You eat what is served without stopping to check if you are full. You butter two pieces of toast for breakfast rather than questioning if one piece would do the job.

  2. Absent Mindedness: You forget to pay attention when you eat. Mindless munching while watching a movie, snacking while driving, or picking at food while cooking - these absentminded calories really add up.

  3. Something Deeper: Sometimes you use food for recreation or to change your mood. These calories may lend you a temporary sense of comfort or pleasure, but ultimately your body suffers from the indulgence.

Here are 3 Steps To Overcome Overeating - read these, and apply them to your life.

Step #1: Pay Attention

Be aware of what and how much you eat. This simple concept will save you from hundreds upon hundreds of calories each week.

To apply this rule, don't eat while your attention is distracted by another activity. Only put food in your mouth when you are hungry and conscious of it. This means turn off the T.V., get out of your car, and no matter what you do, don't graze in the kitchen while cooking. 

Better yet, resolve to eat all of your meals at the table and at least once a day with family or friends around you.

Step #2: Practice Balance

Be aware of the types of food that you eat during each meal, and make sure that it's balanced. When you eat a balanced diet filled with lean protein, whole grains, lots of veggies, a few daily servings of fruit and limited fat and sweets, your body will be satisfied and you'll eventually lose the urge to overeat.

This means you shouldn't always eat carb-based meals, and you also shouldn't always eat high-fat meals. Make a mental checklist of the food groups that you've eaten each day. Did you eat lean protein? Did you have plenty of vegetables? Did you refrain from eating more than one or two primarily carb-based meals? This mental checklist will save you from making food decisions that you'd later regret. 

Step #3: Be Tuned In

Your body will always tell you when its hunger has been satisfied - you've just gotten so good at ignoring the signs that you barrel through your meal only to feel like you've been hit by a ton of bricks once all that food hits your stomach. It's time to take a deep breath and listen to your body.

An important part of being tuned in is to eat slowly. Once you start to pay attention you'll notice a point when each bite becomes less and less satisfying. That is your body's way of letting you know that you've had enough and that each continued bite is simply overkill (yes, even if you're only halfway through that plate of pasta).

By learning how to control your eating habits, you'll find weight loss will come simply and naturally. 

Want to make weight loss permanent, and shape your body at the same time? You've gotta add exercise to the equation. I've got what it takes to get you there! No guess work, no fad diets, and no super long workouts. 

Call or email today to learn more about the program at ProActive Fitness that will put you on the path to a healthier you.

Try this Simple Mind Shift

Want to eat less without feeling deprived? This simple mind shift will help you do just that: 

Instead of eating until you feel full, stop eating as soon as you are no longer hungry.

Wine Poached Chicken Salad

wine poached chicken salad.jpeg

Here’s a delicious new take on chicken salad. The chicken is poached in white wine to be tender and flavorful. Find fresh greens and an assortment of colorful veggies to add to your salad, don’t limit yourself to the ingredients listed below.

Something magical happens when you poach chicken in wine and the serve it over a bed of vibrant produce...try it and see!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 6

For the Wine-Poached Chicken

  • 2 quarts low sodium chicken broth

  • 4 cups white wine

  • 2 yellow onions, halved

  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the Pomegranate Mixed Greens Salad

  • 6 cups mixed greens

  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds (arils)

  • 3 tablespoons roasted, salted pepitas

  • ½ cup jicama, peeled and chopped

  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped

  • Balsamic dressing

Instructions

  1. Place the broth, wine, onions, garlic and thyme in a large pot over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then gently add the chicken breasts one at a time. The chicken should be fully covered by the liquid, add more broth if needed. Return to a boil.

  2. Once the liquid boils, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Allow the chicken to poach for 30 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken and onions from the liquid. Once cool enough to handle, shred the chicken and slice the onions. Combine the chicken and onion in a bowl and generously season with freshly cracked sea salt and black pepper.

  3. On each salad plate arrange a bed of mixed greens and top with pomegranate seeds, pepitas, jicama, avocado and a scoop of the chicken. Drizzle with Classic Balsamic Dressing and serve immediately. The chicken will keep up to 3 days in the fridge. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals 394 calories, 18g fat, 143mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate, 5g fibre, 4g sugar, and 44g protein


May 15, 2018

Your sweet tooth has gotten you into trouble.

Just think of the clean eating streaks that you’ve abandoned for a slice of cake, and all of the extra calories you’ve eaten just to have a taste of something sweet before bed.

Where’s that sweet tooth gotten you?

Into trousers that are another size larger. Into your doctor’s office for another lecture. Into a body that you no longer enjoy.

Yes, sweets are delicious and tempting, but the life-long repercussions far outweigh the momentary pleasure.

To help you conquer your sugar craving once and for all, I’ve identified 5 sweets you should ditch, and a healthy substitute for each.

1) Ditch this Sweet: Candy

Nothing gets refined sugar circulating through your body quicker than a fistful of candy—and if you’re in the habit of eating candy daily then your body will crave it.

Candy has virtually no nutritional value, other than caloric energy, and will quickly end up stored on your body in the form of unwanted, annoying fat.

Do This: Swap candy out for a handful of unsalted nuts, a few pieces of unsweetened, dried fruit, or a small square of very dark chocolate (at least 72% cocoa content).

2) Ditch this Sweet: Baked Goods

Cake, cookies, brownies, pastries, donuts, and pies are filled with sugar. While these may not taste as sweet as candy, the combination of refined sugar and white flour will spike your blood sugar just the same.

Very much like candy, regularly eating baked goods may become a habit. Break yourself of this and you’ll find the number on your scale going down rather than up.

Do This: Put down the cookie and reach for a piece of fresh, seasonal fruit. Fruit is nature’s candy and is every bit as blissful as a slice of cake. Serving a beautiful fruit platter to guests can be as delightful as any baked treat.

3) Ditch this Sweet: Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt

Nothing makes you feel as happy and carefree as a bowl of creamy ice cream…until that ice cream makes its permanent home on your waist. Very much like candy, ice cream has few nutritional benefits.

Do This: Mix unsweetened, nonfat Greek yogurt with a scoop of vanilla protein powder and mix in some chopped, fresh fruit. This creamy delight is much lower in sugar than ice cream and tastes amazing!

4) Ditch this Sweet: Soft Drinks

A regular can of soda pop contains the equivalent of 10 packets of sugar. That’s more sugar than you should consume in a full week!

It's really easy to get into the habit of drinking and then do it without thinking. The good news is that a habit can be broken and then replaced with something healthier.

Do This: Take soda pop out of your diet. Period. There are plenty of other, healthier, beverages available to you. Try the recipes for Spa Water below.

5) Ditch this Sweet: Blended Drinks

Smoothies, blended coffee drinks and milkshakes are all tempting treats, especially in hot summer months. Don’t give in to the temptation!

These items are even more problematic than most treats since they are consumed through a straw and don’t make you feel full. Let me assure you that even though you don’t feel full like you would after a piece of cake, you’re still taking in a bunch of sugary calories.

Do This: Make your own healthy blended drinks at home by using natural sweeteners like stevia, or simply by using fruit. Blend a delicious protein shake with ice, milk and protein powder.

A great thing to remember is that once you’ve fallen out of the habit of eating sugar, your body will no longer crave it.

This means that each day spent in the discipline will bring you closer to the day that sugar no longer has a hold over you. Imagine how much happier and healthier you will be!

Eating healthy is half of the battle when it comes to fitness and wellness. The other, equally important side is maintaining a regular, challenging exercise program.

At ProActive Fitness, It’s our goal to get you into the best shape of your life. Call or email today to begin your transformation!

Beyond Soft Drinks

You know that soft drinks aren’t good for you…and yet you still drink them. I understand that plain water gets boring – especially when you’re having a party or gathering, so I’ve come up with the simple Spa Water recipes below and quickly turn plain water into an exciting and refreshing treat without added sugar or chemicals:

Citrus: Slice an orange, lemon, and lime into a large pitcher of water. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.
Raspberry Lime: Slice a lime into a large pitcher of water, add a handful of raspberries. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.
Strawberry Basil: Slice 10 strawberries into a large pitcher of water, add 5 leaves of basil. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.
Watermelon Rosemary: Place ½ cup of small watermelon chunks into a large pitcher of water, add two sprigs of rosemary. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.
Pineapple Mint: Place ½ cup of small pineapple chunks into a large pitcher of water, add 15 mint leaves. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.

Summer Salad with Chicken, Rocket and Mango

summer salad wth chicken rocket and mango.jpeg

Here’s an exciting salad that takes the concept of chicken and veggies to a whole new level! There is so much going on in the flavour department like sweet mango, savory chicken, tender asparagus, tangy rocket, and creamy goat cheese. The herb marinade for the chicken is a total winner – don’t be surprised to find yourself using it often!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 4

For the Herb marinade:

  • Juice from 1 lemon

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

For the Salad:

  • 1 lb skinless, boneless, thin chicken breasts

  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 8 cups organic rocket

  • 2 small organic mangoes, peeled and sliced

  • 6 oz crumbled goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Combine the herb marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Place 1 Tablespoon of the marinade in a large Ziploc bag with the asparagus pieces, and the rest in another large Ziploc bag with the chicken breasts. Make sure the chicken and asparagus are fully coated with the marinade, and then place in the refrigerator for an hour.

  2. Heat a grill pan and another medium pan. Place the chicken breasts on the grill pan, and cook 4 minutes each side, until there is no longer any pink in the middle. Sauté the asparagus in the medium pan, stirring often while the chicken cooks. Remove both pans from heat.

  3. Once the chicken has cooled, slice each breast into even strips.

  4. In a large bowl combine the rocket, mango slices and crumbled goat cheese. Add the cooked asparagus and the chicken. Mix and serve.

Nutrition
One serving equals 332 calories, 13g fat, 740mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate, 4g fibre, and 34g protein


May 8, 2018

Want to shape up for summer? Eat at home.

In today’s fast paced world we consume over 30% of our daily calories away from home. These less-than-wholesome calories are accumulating around our waists and draining our bank accounts.

So why do we eat out and shun the kitchen? Simple: convenience. We don’t have the time to toil away over a hot stove. However, evidence is mounting that we are paying big for the so-called convenience of outside food.

Obesity-related diseases are on the rise, as are the number of folks who are just plain unhappy with how their bodies look and feel. Cooking at home seems to be the first step on the road to healthier bodies.

Here are the top 5 reasons that you should start cooking and eating at home…

Reason #1: It’s Good For You

Highly processed foods are harmful to our health, and that’s exactly where you’ve been getting the bulk of your calories if you eat out a lot. Most of us are eating less than half of the recommended amount of fibre, fruit, and vegetables, which could be fixed easily by eating at home.

Simple meals made at home with fresh produce and organic meats or eggs are nutritionally superior to over-flavoured, over-processed restaurant food. Not to mention the high-calorie beverages and starters that so often accompany a restaurant meal. When you eat at home you take in more nutrient-dense calories that are higher in fibre.

Reason #2: It’s Far Easier Than You Think

Eating out so often has conditioned our concept of a meal to be one with complicated flavors and accompaniments. This misconception has made us fear the kitchen. But I urge you to reconsider.

Meals made at home need not mirror those ordered in restaurants. On the contrary, simple is better when it comes to home cooking. Plan your entire meal around a couple of pieces of fresh produce and a wholesome, lean protein. No need for complicated sauces or sides – these are where the harmful calories hide anyway.

Reason #3: It Costs Less

Fresh, simple ingredients need not cost a lot, especially when compared to the cost of prepared meals.

Shopping the perimeter of the store is always a good plan. Here you’ll find the fresh produce, meats, dairy, and seafood. Venture into the aisles for oils and spices to compliment the fresh ingredients.

Reason #4: It Is Preventative Medicine

In the US the annual health care expenses related to obesity is $150 billion, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Worldwide this number is over $1 trillion annually. These numbers are staggering, and sobering when you think of all the individual lives that are being negatively impacted by obesity.

Rather than waiting for you and your family members to experience the health risks related to obesity, start your own mission to cook simple meals at home and redirect your future. Remember the words of Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Reason #5: It Reduces Body Fat

Eating at home is also one of the best ways to reduce your body fat. Meals eaten at home contain an average of 200 calories less than meals eaten out. Let me tell you, a reduction in 200+ calories per meal will quickly translate to pounds lost!

Start today, and don’t be afraid to start small.

Pick one meal that you’ll make at home either today or tomorrow, and write down your simple menu and grocery list. You could start with the Savory Greek Waffle recipe below or check out one of my favourite food blogs for ideas. My go-to's include Natasha's Kitchen and Budget Bytes..

And let’s not forget the place that a challenging, consistent exercise program has in your quest for good health and a fit physique.

Savory Greek Waffles

savoury greek waffles.jpeg

Here’s a fun way to eat your eggs – cooked in a waffle maker! In this recipe the subtle flavors of Greek omelet are served up in a convenient waffle shape – complete with Kalamata olives, feta cheese, roasted red bell peppers, chicken sausage and broccoli. This is the perfect recipe to enjoy for brunch or to make on the weekend and portion out for a week of quick on-the-go breakfasts to grab and enjoy on your way to work.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 4

  • Olive oil spray

  • 6 eggs

  • ¼ cup milk

  • ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled

  • ½ cup roasted red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, seeded and chopped

  • ½ cup fresh broccoli, chopped

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 links chicken sausage, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat your waffle griddle on medium-low heat. Spray generously with olive oil.

  2. In a large bowl combine the eggs, milk, feta, bell pepper, olives, broccoli, sea salt, black pepper and chicken sausage. Mix well until fully combined.

  3. Transfer ½ cup of the omelet batter into the waffle iron, close, and cook until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and continue cooking the remaining batter in ½ cup scoops. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals 279 calories, 18g fat, 6g carbohydrate, 1g fibre, and 18g protein.


May 1, 2018

Free Workshop from our Friends at

Physioyoga-logo (1).png

Attention Back Pain and Sciatica Sufferers!

Do you suffer from back pain or leg pain when you stand or walk?

Do you have pain when you sit for long periods or drive?

Do you experience pain, numbness or tingling in your backside, groin or down your leg?

Does your back ever “go out” if you move the wrong way?

Are you afraid your pain will get worse if you don’t do anything about it?

If you have answered YES to any of the above questions (or have a stubborn spouse who is in denial) – the Back Pain and Sciatica Workshop may be a life-changing event for you…

Our friends at Saskatoon PhysioYoga have helped many people who have suffered needlessly with lower back pain and sciatica…

Linda Boryski, owner at PhysioYoga, has graciously offered to provide a Sciatica and Lower Back Pain Workshop at ProActive Fitness on May 12th starting at 12:30 PM.

If you’re confused about what to do and looking for answers, here’s some of what you’ll learn:

  • The Single Biggest #1 Mistake back pain and sciatica sufferers make which actually stops them from healing…

  • The 3 Most Common Causes of Lower Back Pain and Sciatica…

  • How a problem in your back can cause pain, numbness or tingling in your leg…

  • What successful treatment and lasting relief look like without the side effects of medications, injections or surgery.

Space is limited to 30 people. You'll need to register with PhysioYoga at the link below!

Register for this FREE workshop! 

Get the most out of your workout (5 tips)

It sure would be great if any time spent in the gym delivered results, but the truth is that all workouts were not created equally. There are techniques for getting the most out of each exercise and by utilising these techniques you’ll achieve quicker and more noticeable results.

Check out the following 5 Smart Workout Tips to avoid danger and to get fit fast:

Smart Workout Tip 1: Use Challenging Resistance

In order to get the most from each rep it’s important to challenge your muscles, and not to simply go through the motions. If you are able to complete 15 repetitions easily, then the weight is too light. On the flip side, if you aren’t able to perform an exercise through its full range of motion, and find yourself cheating on form, then the weight is too heavy.

The correct weights will feel challenging by your last few repetitions but won’t force you to sacrifice form.

Smart Workout Tip 2: Change Up Your Routine

You may have noticed that most people do the same exercises each time they visit the gym. Maybe you’ve been doing the same exercise routine as long as you can remember—if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it, right?

The truth is those exercise routines have expiration dates, and that is the date that they begin to lose their effectiveness. As a rule of thumb never use the same routine for more than 6 weeks.

Smart Workout Tip 3: Always Warm Up

Most people consider warm-up time to be wasted time—they’d rather jump right into the heart of the routine. What they don’t realize is that a good warm-up will allow you to perform at a higher intensity, which means greater results.

The point of a warm-up is to increase your muscle temperature. This increases blood flow, muscle contraction and reduces muscle resistance. Your warm- up should last 5-10 minutes.

Smart Workout Tip 4: Use Proper Form

Gyms are filled with people performing exercises with bad form. The two biggest reasons are that you aren’t concentrating on the exercise, or you’re trying to lift a weight that is too heavy. Lifting with improper form almost always results in injury.

Take the time to achieve proper form, by doing so you’ll avoid injury and will reap the full benefit from each exercise.

Smart Workout Tip 5: Never Work Out Alone

People who exercise alone are less challenged, less accountable and typically see fewer results. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Why rush to the gym if no one is there waiting for you? Why push yourself if no one is watching? Exercising alone can be a recipe for disaster.

The best way to avoid injury and to see results is to work with a fitness pro. At ProActive Fitness, we are passionate about seeing our clients achieve results by working out wisely and without wasting time, energy and effort on mistakes.

Don’t know where to start when it comes to exercise? Let us help you!

Mediterranean Salad with Arugula and Quinoa

mediterranean salad with quinoa.jpeg

Here’s a salad recipe that serves as an entire meal. It’s filled with fresh ingredients that increase your fibre count for the day. The simple dressing tastes fantastic. Add a grilled chicken breast to increase the protein in the dish and enjoy leftover for lunch the next day. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 8

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

For the Salad:

  • 8 cups Baby Rocket

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 heirloom tomato, finely chopped

  • ½ cup celery, minced

  • ¼ cup fresh scallions, thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar. Close the lid and shake until fully combined.

  2. Combine the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals 196 calories, 8g fat, 25g carbohydrate, 262mg sodium, 1g sugar, 4g bre, and 7g protein.



April 24, 2018

This is what changes with your health when you exercise

Sometimes I feel like a broken record.

You’re constantly hearing from me how important exercise is to your health and how so many of your health problems will improve or even disappear as the result of a consistent exercise program.

Why do I continue to give you the same lecture?

Because I’ve seen exercise change lives. I’ve even seen exercise save lives.

Here are the Top 4 Health Improvement Factors that come as a result of challenging, consistent exercise:

1. Your energy level goes up and you feel great.

I have noticed that most people don’t realize how bad they feel. They get used to feeling bad. Then when they start exercising they feel so much better. Your energy levels soar and you feel excited about life again.

2. Your muscles and joints feel better than ever.

You’ll notice a reduction in aches and pains once you’ve been sticking with an exercise program for a few weeks. That chronic muscle joint pain that you’ve lived with for years may begin to fade. For some, joint replacement surgery is postponed. For others, arthritis pain is reduced.

3. Your risk of heart attack or stroke is reduced.

I like to remind my clients of this one, since it’s not something they can physically feel, but it’s the one that saves lives! Exercise has the power to remove two of the major risk factors that lead to heart disease: 1) physical inactivity and 2) obesity. Exercise also increases your good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers your blood pressure.

4. Your blood sugar levels are better controlled.

People with type 2 diabetes see substantial benefits from exercise. Exercise improves the body’s use of insulin, and the related weight loss improves insulin sensitivity. For many, exercise becomes the natural, permanent antidote to their type 2 diabetes.

There are SO MANY benefits to exercise, why would anyone avoid doing it?! Typically it comes down to excuses.

If you’re tired…exercise gives you energy.
If you’re in pain…exercise alleviates your muscle and joint pain.
If you don't sleep well…exercise makes your sleep more restful.
If you’re pressed for time…exercise improves your efficiency and extends your life.
If you don’t know where to start…that’s where we come in.
Call or email me today and I’ll show you the fastest and safest way to reap all of the benefits of exercise. We have many different options: private training, small group training, Tai Chi and yoga classes and now seated exercise called Ageless Grace! 

If you'd like to try us out, you can call the studio to sign up for a free session of any of our group offerings or a complimentary consultation. See the studio number on the green sidebar >>>.

It’s time you start enjoying all the benefits of exercise. Let’s do this!

Chicken Spaghetti Skillet

chicken spaghetti skillet.jpeg

Here’s a skillet dinner recipe that combines spaghetti squash and marinara with tender chicken breast. It feels like you’re enjoying a traditional spaghetti dinner, but you’re really eating veggies and protein. It’s comforting and craveable without any guilt. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 4

  • 1 spaghetti Squash

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 3 zucchini, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

  • 1 (25 oz) jar marinara sauce

  • 2 cups roasted, chopped chicken breast

  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

  2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise, and scrape out and discard the seeds. Spray the cut side with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the cut side down on the foil lined baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until tender. Once cooled, scoop the tender noodles out of the skins and set aside in a bowl.

  3. Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, garlic and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, until the onion is tender.

  4. Add the chopped zucchini and Italian seasoning and continue to cook for another 3 minutes, until the zucchini is tender.

  5. Add the marinara sauce, roasted chicken and tender spaghetti squash. Mix well and cook until for 4 minutes.

  6. Remove from heat and garnish with basil. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals 371 calories, 12g fat, 34g carbohydrate, 7g fibre, and 27g protein.


April 17, 2018

Degrees Of Change

True change happens in degrees, not in one fell swoop. This is a relief when you realize that you have miles to go on your goals. There is no need to attempt all of the change at once – simply nudge yourself in the right direction each and every day and maintain the small changes as you go.

Did you eat a big bowl of spaghetti noodles with your favourite sauce for dinner last night? Tonight eat a smaller bowl. Next week eat zucchini noodles and your favourite sauce. The following week eat zucchini noodles with the protein-filled sauce recipe below.

Small changes in the right direction, maintained over time, will make all of the difference as you strive toward the body and lifestyle that you desire.

Let’s get fired up!

An authentic surge of motivation will change your life immediately.

The best part of our day as trainers is seeing clients just like you achieve amazing results. Whether you drop a few sizes, get off your blood pressure meds, get off the floor when you couldn't a few months ago... the excitement is always contagious.

It’s hard to describe that euphoria that settles in once you’ve achieved your fitness goal. It’s one of those things that you have to experience to understand.

All of our clients who have achieved massive results have ONE THING IN COMMON…

They are all highly motivated.

We are in a unique position. We know how to get you (or anyone else who walks through our door) into great shape. The process is simple, really, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

You’ll need to be motivated.

Just saying, or even just thinking, that you want to get into great shape isn’t enough. You need motivation—and that’s just half of the equation. The other part (and the most important) is ACTION.

Nothing happens until you take action.

You can want it, think about it, mull it over, ponder it, plan it, and then re-plan it. But nothing happens until you take action.

While we may not know your story—it’s probably safe to assume that you want to drop fat and tone up. You want to look better, to have more energy, to experience fewer aches and pains, and to enjoy sweet satisfaction as you achieve your goals once and for all.

I know that all of our successful clients were once in your shoes. They wanted to change their bodies. They felt the urgency. And then they did what most fail to do. They took action.

But there is more to it than that. They then committed to a program, put in the exercise, stuck to the nutrition plan and met their goals. There’s nothing more gratifying than getting back into those jeans that now sit in the back of your closet.

People who take massive action get massive rewards. And those that simply talk about losing weight will continue to put weight on, pound after pound. I hate to put it that way, but it’s the truth.

So what do you want?

To drop 20 pounds
To feel younger
To look better in your birthday suit
To become healthier
How bad do you want it? How much motivation do you have? Enough to take MASSIVE ACTION?

The rewards are great IF you do.

Take the first step and call us. We have a great six-week challenge that starts this weekend. The Shape Up for Summer Challenge might be right for you! Deadline for registration is Tuesday, TODAY, April 17th. 

Details:

- 3x/week small group training (members train according to their contract)

- Accountability and nutrition coaching through our My Coach app

- Initial and final assessments

- Wind-up party and prizes

- $270 + GST (non-member price)

- Kickoff event is Saturday, April 21st at 1:00 p.m. 

- Call the studio at (306) 374-3013 or email simone@proactivefit.ca to register!

Beef Ragu and Zucchini Noodles

Beef Ragu and Zucchini Noodles.jpeg

Yes, it is possible to enjoy Spaghetti night while living a fit and lean lifestyle. This is accomplished with noodles made from fresh zucchini and a sauce that is simply made and packed with protein. Feel free to sub in ground beef for the minced beef if desired.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com 

What you need
Serves 6

  • 1000 grams minced, grass-fed beef

  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste

  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon chili sauce

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • 4 zucchini

  • ¼ cup fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, brown the beef over medium-high heat. Drain the skillet and turn down to medium heat.

  2. Add in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, chili, cherry tomatoes and sea salt. Mix to combine. Sauté until the cherry tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes.

  3. Peel the green skins from the zucchini, the run through a spiral slicer to create long, thin spaghetti noodles.

  4. Plate a handful of zucchini noodles topped with the beef sauce and a sprinkle of parsley.

Nutrition
One serving equals 255 calories, 7g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 2g fibre, and 33g protein.


April 10, 2018

In Saskatchewan, "six degrees of separation" is more like "one degree of separation". We are a close-knit community and when tragedy strikes, as it did last Friday, it affects all of us. 

Some of you who read this newsletter aren't local and don't know....Humboldt is an hour down the road from Saskatoon. It is the hometown of our trainer, Stephane. My own parents live there. Everyone in Saskatchewan will have some connection to the people lost in the accident that took 15 lives. 

I want to extend sincere condolences on behalf of ProActive Fitness staff to all who lost loved ones. We mourn with you.

Yoga

YOGA starts up again tonight. All levels are welcome in this class where a mixture of flowing movements, standing poses and longer held stretches will be practiced. Yoga helps with balance, flexibility, and core strength and promotes relaxation. 

These classes run April 10 through until May 15, 7:00 - 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday evenings.

Space still available! Contact shelley@proactivefit.ca to reserve your spot for all six weeks ($72 + GST) or just one night to try it out. ($16 + GST). 

The only trend that matters

Do you keep up with new trends in the world of fitness? There always seems to be a headline proclaiming the latest and greatest trend, each promising to be the solution that you’ve always needed.

Of course, these trends pass with the seasons, quickly being replaced with something newer and more popular.

Today I’d like you to consider the only trend that really matters to your health and fitness progress: the trend of your own behaviour.

Here’s what I mean: Have you ever noticed how easy it is to do the same thing today as you did yesterday? This applies to both your activity level and your diet.

  • If you got up at 5am yesterday to get in a workout, then getting up at 5am again today is going to be pretty easy. However, if you slept in until 7am yesterday then getting up at 5am today is going to be much more difficult.

  • If you ate pizza and beer for dinner last night, then eating pizza and beer (or a burger and fries) is going to feel pretty natural. However, if you ate grilled chicken and broccoli for dinner last night, then eating a salad and grilled fish for dinner is going to feel easy.

Remember learning about inertia in school? Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion. This has incredible application to your fitness journey.

The longer you can maintain a healthy fitness trend in your own behaviour, the easier it will become to maintain that trend. Isn’t that great?!

This simple concept, of maintaining your own daily fitness trend, is the way to continue towards your goal, to avoid setbacks, and to maintain your forward momentum.

So the next time that you see a flashy headline about the latest fitness trend, simply smile to yourself and focus on keeping your own daily fitness progress on track.

Want accountability? We can help! Our next 6-week challenge, Shape Up for Summer, begins April 21st. 

Assessments, daily accountability, 3x/week workouts at ProActive Fitness, an outdoor group workout and wind-up party are all included! Cost is $270 + GST for non-members, $79 + GST for members.

Email simone@proactivefit.ca to register!

Mediterranean Turkey Roulade

mediterranean turkey roulade.jpeg

A roulade is a dish that’s been rolled with a filling, and in this case we are rolling turkey breast and filling it with a spinach and garbanzo bean mixture. Super healthy, super tasty and super impressive!

Serve this Mediterranean Turkey Roulade up with roasted veggies and salad for a lovely meal. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 6

For The Sauce

  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped

  • ¾ cup pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped

  • 1 fennel bulb, halved and sliced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon capers

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced

  • black pepper, to taste

For the Stuffing

  • 2 cups frozen spinach, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • sea salt and black pepper

  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed, roughly chopped

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced

For the Turkey

  • 2.25kg pounds boneless turkey breast, butterflied and flattened

For the Basting Ingredients

  • ¼ cup lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9”x13” casserole pan with olive oil.

  2. For the Sauce: In a medium bowl, combine the sauce ingredients together. Spread over the bottom of the prepared casserole pan.

  3. For the Stuffing: In a medium sized skillet, sauté the spinach, lemon zest and red pepper flakes for 3 minutes. Use a paper towel to squeeze out any remaining liquid. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the remaining stuffing ingredients.

  4. For the Turkey: Lay the turkey breast flat and season with salt and pepper. Spread the stuffing in an even layer, then tightly roll the turkey. Tie the roll with kitchen twine, spaced about every 4 inches. Place the roulade in the casserole pan, on top of the sauce.

  5. For the Basting Vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together.

  6. Roast the roulade in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, basting with vinaigrette every 10 minutes. The turkey is done with an instant read thermometer inserted into the centre registers at 165 degrees F.

  7. Let the roulade rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve with the sauce. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals 374 calories, 12g fat, 19g carbohydrate, 976mg sodium, 5g fibre, and 51g protein.


April 3, 2018

FREE Ageless Grace Class this Friday!

Barb Kunz, the instructor for the Ageless Grace certification and Personal Practice workshop this weekend, is coming early and has graciously offered to give a preview of Ageless Grace classes that we will begin offering later this month (after WE get certified!)

The free class is Friday, April 6th at 1:00 p.m. at ProActive Fitness and will be one hour. Space is limited to 20 participants. To register, please email simone@proactivefit.ca .

Flow Yoga Starts April 10th

Florence just wrapped another 6-week round of yoga and after a week off, she will start back up again NEXT Tuesday, April 10th at 7 p.m. This is slow flow, suitable for all levels, with focus on basic yoga poses, relaxation, and breathing. 

Cost for the six weeks is $72 + GST. Classes are 45 mins. Class is capped at eight participants. 

Email simone@proactivefit.ca to register.

The one thing you’re missing

There is one reason why most people haven’t yet reached their goals, and it’s a simple one. It’s something that I’ve struggled in the past, and it just may be the one thing that’s holding you back from your big breakthrough.

That one thing is consistency.

Think about it. The difference that separates a fitness star from a couch potato is the consistency with which the former applies to their diet and exercise routine. That’s it!

Look, I know you can exercise and eat right. You’ve probably done it before! But a fitness plan only works when you consistently stay with it. You start, stop, start again, take a few days off, then get back on track. This haphazard effort will never lead to a dramatic body transformation!

What if I told you that you’re 5 feet from gold? That if you simply dug in a little deeper, and stuck with the program with consistency, you’d finally achieve the results that you’ve been hoping for all along.

You are 5 feet from gold; don’t stop now!

The fact is that anyone can stick with a fitness and diet plan for a little while. Anyone can follow a meal plan for a few weeks. Anyone can finish a 30-day program. Anyone can put in 2 weeks of solid effort.

It’s those who click into the consistency LONG-TERM that see the big changes and experience the joy and triumph of real accomplishment. I want this for you.

I know that you want to do it, BUT you get off track time and time again - vacations, busy times at work, family commitments - life gets in the way. How do you tap into the consistency you need to make a real improvement in your life? Use these three steps…

See it: Define exactly what it is you want to be consistent on. For example, instead of saying that “I’ll start exercising,” say “I’ll do the 9:30 am session on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.” And instead of, “I’ll start eating healthy,” say that, “I’ll drink 8 glasses of water and eat 8 servings of vegetables and fruits per day. 

Keep in mind that you are defining your ACTIONS – not your outcome. Don’t use this step to determine what size jeans you want to fit into. That outcome is a byproduct of you consistently doing the actions. Just clearly define the actions that you need to be consistent on.

Feel it: Now that you’ve determined the actions needed, let’s think about that outcome and clearly define it. Be specific! What will you look like? What will you feel like? How will your friends and family respond to the new you?

It’s time to get your emotions all tied up in your quest. Daydream about getting to that outcome, feel it, emotionally take ownership of the idea.

Do it: You’re clear about what you want. You feel invested in getting the results. Now go about the business of taking consistent action toward your goal.

Yes, this sounds simple, and it is simple. Be consistent and you’ll strike gold.

Having regularly scheduled workouts has helped our clients create a fitness habit that they can stick with. Give us a call at the studio to set up your complimentary first session. 

And if you're interested in improving nutrition habits, too - because combining fitness with better eating is where the REAL magic happens - consider signing up for our next 6-week challenge. Shape Up for Summer starts April 21st! Watch for details later this week.

Slow Cooker Turkey and Kale Soup

Slow cooker turkey and kale soup.jpeg

A warm bowl of soup like this is a fantastic way to eat a low calorie, high protein dinner.

There’s bone broth that’s rich in soothing, immune system supporting minerals. There’s fresh kale with magical healing properties. There’s tender meat for usable protein. There’s quinoa with wholesome complex carbs. And it’s finished off with fresh lemon juice for a shot of vitamin C.

Paired with a green salad, this meal is light, full of fibre and will help you towards your best body yet!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 16

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1300 grams bone-in breast, turkey or chicken, skin removed

  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 3 celery stalks, chopped

  • 2 parsnips, chopped

  • 3 carrots, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 8 cups bone broth

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa

  • 3 cups lacinato kale, chopped

  • 2 lemons, juiced

  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey breast; cook until well browned on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to slow cooker.

  2. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and return to high heat. Add the garlic, onion, celery, parsnips, carrots, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden, about 8 minutes.

  3. Transfer the cooked veggies to the slow cooker and stir in the broth. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.

  4. Transfer the turkey breast from the slow cooker to a plate, remove the meat from the bones and shred. Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir in the quinoa and kale. Cover and cook on low for an hour, until the quinoa is tender.

  5. Generously season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in lemon juice and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals 305 calories, 6g fat, 18g carbohydrate, 952mg sodium, 4g fibre, and 47g protein.


March 27, 2018

Pay Attention

When you are eating, pay attention.

Sounds simple, but how often do you snack in front of the T.V. or eat your dinner while in rush hour traffic?

Paying attention means eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. It means never eating just to eat, but rather because your body needs it.

Do this and you will quickly reach your ideal weight.

Seriously?! Don’t fall for this

The madness has to stop.

I’m here to warn you about 5 fat loss myths that most people fall for. This might come across as a soapbox rant, and for that I apologise, but trust me when I say that this is a message that needs to be spread.

Your fat loss depends on it.

Don’t waste your time on these:

This is a Myth: Diet pills will help you lose fat.

It’s so tempting! The commercials make compelling claims about the power of diet pills, but don’t fall for it. The ‘magic pill’ has yet to be discovered (it has been discovered – exercise. It’s just not in pill form…). Diet pills are more likely to damage your health and burn your pocketbook than to slim you down.

Don’t pop a pill—instead burn calories with exercise.

This is a Myth: You should starve yourself to lose fat.

Attempting to lose weight by starving yourself is not only ineffective, it’s also dangerous. It may seem that severe calorie restriction would deliver the quickest weight loss, but your body is complex and by doing so you’ll disrupt your metabolism and slow your results.

Don’t starve yourself—instead eat healthy small meals throughout the day.

This is a Myth: Lots of crunches will flatten your abs.

We all want our midsection to look toned as we stroll down the beach, but excessive crunches aren’t the answer for tight abs. In order to achieve a lean look you’ll have to focus on burning off the layer of fat that is covering up your abs.

Don’t obsess about crunches—instead focus on fat burning.

This is a Myth: Eat packaged diet foods for speedy results.

It is amazing to see the kinds of foods that are packaged as ‘diet’ or ‘weight loss’ aids. More often than not these products are packed with refined sugar and other artificial ingredients that your body doesn’t need.

Don’t eat packaged diet foods—instead stick with nutritious whole foods.

This is a Myth: You have to avoid carbs to lose fat.

Carbohydrates have been given a bad rap, which is unfortunate because you can (and should) eat carbs while losing weight. The key is to stick with whole grains, oatmeal and brown rice while avoiding processed and refined flours and sugars.

Don’t swear off all carbohydrates—instead stick with wholesome carbs.

Now that you know what not to do in order to look great this summer, it’s time to go over your beach ready game plan.

Here’s what you need to know in 3 simple steps:

DO THIS FIRST: Cut out the junk.

The best way to do this is to start by purging your kitchen. Get rid of sugary, processed and fat-filled foods. Once the junk has been cleared out don’t buy any more of it. Remember that your beach ready abs depend on what you eat – don’t eat junk!

DO THIS SECOND: Focus on whole foods.

Replace the junk food in your life with plenty of the following: cooked and raw vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, moderate amounts of seeds and nuts, lean meats and low fat dairy. Clean eating really is that simple.

DO THIS THIRD: Come train with me.

This is the most obvious step. You’re ready to get into great shape and I’m in a unique position to make that happen for you.

Want more guidance as you take your body from flab to fab? I’d love to help you! Give me a call or shoot me an email and let’s get you on track to shed some major fat before summer!

Let’s do this together.

Simple Tuna Salad

tuna salad.jpeg

Here’s a simple and light version of tuna salad. It cuts out high-calorie mayonnaise and adds some chopped fruit and vegetables to really liven it up. This is a great recipe to enjoy as you journey towards your fitness goal.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 4

  • 1 green apple, chopped

  • 2 green onions, tops only, chopped

  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • 2 cans albacore tuna, in drained

  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted

  • ¼ cup red grapes, halved

  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and serve immediately. I like to serve this salad in large butter lettuce leaves or scooped onto avocado halves. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals 314 calories, 15g fat, 12g carbohydrate, 183mg sodium, 2g fibre, and 33g protein.


March 20, 2018

Stressed Out?

Regular exercise is a simple solution to get you feeling good fast.

This is because every time you exercise your body increases its production of endorphins, which are responsible for that feel-good euphoria you get after a great workout or while chomping down on a piece of chocolate.

However, before you turn to chocolate and skip the gym, remember the end result of each and choose which one will help you reduce stress in the long run. (Hint: It’s not the chocolate!)

How to eat for best results

The foods that you eat make a huge impact on your fat loss results. But it’s not just about what you are eating, it’s also about how much and how frequently you eat.

All of these factors make the topic of how to eat for best results a hot one with my clients! So let’s dive into the most popular eating strategies…

A quick online search produces two popular eat-for-fat-loss strategies: Intermittent Fasting versus Six Small Meals.

Which strategy works best? And, more importantly, which strategy would work best for YOU? Let’s find out…

Intermittent Fasting

This eating strategy cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting. The content of your meals during eating periods is not a factor. Some cycle between eating and fasting each day, creating a small window for eating and fasting for at least 16 hours, while others cycle eating and fasting across several days, taking as much as 48 hours at a time to fast.

Pros: Humans have been fasting for thousands of years. Our bodies are well equipped to handle periods of fasting. Research shows that fasting produces benefits for disease prevention, metabolic health, weight loss and even life extension. Some find it less work to fast rather than to plan for several small meals. During eating periods you get to eat whatever you want.

Cons: Abstaining from nourishment for long periods of time can be challenging, especially when food is all around you. Socially it can be awkward to skip meals while your friends and family break bread together. Some find themselves overeating during eating cycles, and some find the ongoing absence of food to aggravate food obsession and to produce an unbalanced focus on food.

Six Small Meals

This eating strategy, of breaking the traditional 3 square meals into 6 smaller meals that are spaced 2-3 hours apart, has been used by body builders and fitness competitors for years. The content and size of each meal is an important factor of this eating plan. Meals early in the day contain lean protein, fibre-filled veggies and a small portion of complex carbs, while meals later in the day are smaller and do not contain any complex carbs. All meals are low in fat.

Pros: You never feel hungry. By feuelling up every 2-3 hours you never get the feeling of deprivation that comes with fasting. Energy levels are steady and high due to the constant supply of wholesome calories. Fat loss results are steady, and, when done with an exercise plan, muscle is maintained.

Cons: You have to plan ahead. Every. Single. Day. Get used to carrying around a small cooler filled with containers of chicken, broccoli, brown rice and sweet potatoes. Each meal is small, so restraint is required. Unless you are including the occasional cheat meal, or cheat day, there is no room in this diet for empty calories or comfort foods.

Conclusion

The facts are out there to prove that both of these eat-for-fat-loss strategies work. There are photos of real, actual people who have subscribed to each of these methods and have gone from flabby to lean. Both methods irrefutably work.

But why? How can two methods that utilise opposing strategies both produce fat loss results? And which one is better? Let’s dive deeper into what makes these eating strategies work…

1. Meal Timing

When you eat is a factor with both of these eating plans. This means that subscribers to both plans are required to wait until the appointed time to eat. So mindless snacking, or grabbing a muffin just because it’s there, is out of the question. This reduces overall calories, which is key to weight loss, and explains why both plans produce results.

2. Meal Content

The Six-Small-Meals plan focuses on the content of each of your small meals in great detail. Your meals contain lean proteins, fibre-filled veggies, and limited complex carbs. This detailed control of calorie content is largely why this plan is a sure bet for fat loss, not just weight loss.

Intermittent Fasting does not consider the content of your meals during eating periods.

3. Meal Size

The Six-Small-Meals plan also focuses on the exact size of your meals, which makes sense since you are eating six times each day, and excess calories would quickly add up. Typically this is done by weight, so as you pack your meals for the day you’ll be using a food scale to ensure that you have exactly the right amount of lean protein and complex carbs. Veggies are often measured rather than weighed.

Intermittent Fasting does not consider the size of your meals during eating periods.

So What’s the BEST Eating Strategy for FAST Results? As we’ve discussed, both of the eating strategies above are capable of producing results. This is due to the fact that both plans result in a lowered caloric intake.

When it’s all said and done, weight loss comes from caloric balance.

Remember the junk food diet where the professor lost weight eating restricted calories of only vending machine food? As long as you are taking in fewer calories that you are burning, you will end up losing weight.

While both of the strategies above end up curbing your calories, only the Six-Small-Meals plan encourages wholesome calories that are ideal for burning fat and building muscle, which is why this is the plan most used by body builders and fitness competitors.

When it comes down to you choosing your own eating strategy it’s important to determine what will work best with your lifestyle. If carrying a cooler with you and making time to stop every 3 hours to eat a meal is simply not something you can see yourself doing, then Intermittent Fasting may produce better results for you. The key is to figure out a plan for restricting calories that you would realistically be motivated to stick with. And the more wholesome the content of those restricted calories, the better and quicker your results will come!

Want more guidance as you take your body from flab to fab? I’d love to help you! Give me a call or shoot me an email and let’s get you on track to shed some major fat before summer!

Let’s do this together.

Comfort Soup with

Sausage and Cabbage

Comfort Soup with Sausage and Cabbage.jpeg

Homemade soup is a wonderful way to enjoy healthy, quick meals at home. This recipe for Sausage and Cabbage Comfort Soup is packed with wholesome fibre from fresh vegetables and protein from sausage.

Make a big pot on the weekend and then reheat bowls throughout the week for fast, nutritious meals that will keep you on track with your fitness goals.  

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Serves 20

What you need

  • 700 grams mild Italian sausage, loose

  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons garlic, chopped

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼” rounds

  • 1 head green cabbage, core removed and shredded

  • 3 large tomatoes, diced

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (plus more as needed)

  • fresh ground black pepper (about 5 cracks)

  • 1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika

Instructions

  1. Brown the sausage at the bottom of a large soup pot over medium high heat, breaking it into small pieces as it browns. Remove the cooked sausage from the pot and set aside in a bowl, leaving the oil from the sausage in the pot.

  2. Add the onions, garlic and carrots to the pot with the hot oil. Continue to cook over medium high heat, stirring often as the veggies become tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and tomatoes, and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Mix in the remaining ingredients and bring the soup to a low simmer for 20 minutes.

  3. Add more salt and pepper to taste and serve hot. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals 116 calories, 7g fat, 7g carbohydrate, 2g fibre, and 6g protein.


March 13, 2018

Keep Dementia at Bay!

Changing Your Aging Brain can be as Simple as Child's Play!

The number one concern that people have about their health as they age is that they will develop Alzheimer's, dementia, or some form of cognitive decline. But there is good news! You CAN do something to keep these diseases at bay. 

Watch the video above with Denise Medved, as she explains the science and the methods of Ageless Grace, the brain health program that she founded. 

Ageless Grace is coming to Western Canada for the first time April 7th and 8th! Barb Kunz, one of only a handful of Ageless Grace Trainers in Canada, will visit Saskatoon to certify three of our ProActive trainers. Barb has room for 10 students in the certification, and we have room for 5 more right now. 

The certification is two days, April 7th and 8th and will be held in two locations. On Saturday from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., at the Saskatoon Fieldhouse with the Personal Practice participants. Then we move over to ProActive Fitness from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. Saturday and meet again Sunday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Included in the $465 cost for certification is DVD's, manual and flashcards. 

Barb will also be teaching a Personal Practice workshop for members of the public who want to learn the 21 Simple Tools for Lifelong Comfort and Ease to use in their own home. Saturday, April 7th at the Saskatoon Fieldhouse from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 

Cost for the Personal Practice Workshop is $65. Optional materials will be available for purchase. Space is limited to 15 participants.

If you are interested in learning to lead Ageless Grace classes in the community or just want to learn for yourself, I invite you to come learn with us in April! 

Email shelley@proactivefit.ca for details on date/time/location. 

If you have questions about the program, or want to register, please contact Barb Kunz directly at:

barbarakunz@rogers.com            www.barbarakunz.org
519-852-3252     

Shelley with DM.jpg

I got to meet Ageless Grace creator Denise Medved at the FAI Summit last June!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

slow cooker chicken tacos.jpeg

Slow cooker recipes like this one are fantastic for two reasons. First, it’s a nearly effortless meal. Throw everything into the slow cooker in the morning, and then come home to a hot meal in the evening. Isn’t that pretty much like having a personal chef?

Second, there’s a lot of flexibility in the ingredients you can use in a recipe like this. Don’t have butternut squash? Use pretty much any other type of winter squash or even sweet potato. Don’t have chicken thighs? Sub in beef or pork. No onions but have a bunch of bell peppers? Chop ’em up and throw ’em in!

Planning ahead by making dinner in the slow cooker is a fantastic way to stay on track with your healthy eating plan. 

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 8

  • 1 kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 3 bell peppers (any colour), thinly sliced

  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 (4oz) can green chiles, chopped (I use mild!)

  • 1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 (16oz) jar green salsa

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped plus more for garnish

  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 Tablespoon fajita seasoning

  • 2 teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • Large lettuce leaves

  • Avocado, sliced

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the lettuce leaves and avocado, in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

  2. Remove the chicken thighs, shred with a fork, and mix back in. Serve, using a slotted spoon, on the lettuce leaves. Garnish with sliced avocado, chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of fajita seasoning. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals 202 calories, 6g fat, 589mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 5g fibre, and 20g protein.


March 6, 2018

Get Inspired! Here’s how they did it..

There’s nothing quite as inspiring as a truly jaw-dropping before and after picture. I’m talking about a 50+ pound weight loss where they look like an entirely new person.

It’s striking how much younger people look when the extra fat comes off. An attractive, happy, energetic person was inside of them all along.

Many popular magazines showcase transformation success stories like this at the beginning of a new year. Flip through the pages of before and after photos and it’s hard not to feel inspired to make healthy changes in your own life.

It’s also interesting to read how each person managed to lose all the weight. What was their exercise routine? What diet plan did they follow? The truth is that there are many routines and plans that bring success.

The key is to choose your plan and stick with it.

Of course, this is where things get tricky, during the stick with it period. This is when life tempts you to lose your focus and get lazy. This is when even the best intentions don’t help you win.

Below I have compiled a list of Best Transformation Tips that came from the mouths of those who have actually done it. Every tip below is from a fat loss champion who lost 50+ pounds and some even half of their body weight.

  • Fat loss is 80% mental and only 20% physical. Get your mind right if you want to succeed.

  • Focus on non-scale victories like how your clothes fit, how you feel, and how much healthier you are.

  • Fix what’s going on inside before you attempt to fix what’s going on outside. The mind is a powerful part of your transformation.

  • Find a workout routine that you won’t be bored with, so that you’ll stick with it.

  • Stick to your workout plan no matter how tired you’re feeling that day. Push your body to do what it can on those days. Being consistent matters most.

  • Don’t be afraid to make healthy changes. You have nothing to lose and so much life to gain.

  • Use a slow cooker to have healthy meals on hand to avoid unhealthy meals. (See the recipe below!)

  • Use a fitness app to log your meals, workouts and water consumption. This helps to stay on track on those days when you aren’t feeling it.

  • Try eating leafy vegetables and protein throughout the day to increase your energy. As a bonus this also increases the speed of your results.

  • Find a plan and stick with it. Jumping from diet to diet never works in the long run.

  • Get creative with your healthy eating by trying out new recipes. This helps prevent boredom from creeping in.

  • Find an accountability partner who will keep you going strong with temptation hits.

  • Make healthy changes gradually. If you ate a whole pizza yesterday then don’t swear pizza off completely. Just eat one slice today.

  • Don’t give yourself the option of giving up. If you messed up, pick yourself back up and keep moving forward.

  • Remember that the best part of getting in shape: It’s about improvements to your self-confidence and overall outlook on life.

  • Be willing to ask for help. Seeking the help of a knowledgeable fitness professional is to ensure that your efforts are safe, effective and successful.

Are you ready to unleash that attractive, happy, energetic person that’s hiding inside of you? We are here to help you do it. Call or email today and we will get your own transformation started!

Taste of Italy Slow Cooker Chicken

Taste of Italy Slow Cooker Chicken.jpeg

Slow cooker recipes like this one are fantastic for two reasons. First, it’s a nearly effortless meal. Throw everything into the slow cooker in the morning, and then come home to a hot meal in the evening. Isn’t that pretty much like having a personal chef?

Second, there’s a lot of flexibility in the ingredients you can use in a recipe like this. Don’t have butternut squash? Use pretty much any other type of winter squash or even sweet potato. Don’t have chicken thighs? Sub in beef or pork. No onions but have a bunch of bell peppers? Chop ’em up and throw ’em in!

Planning ahead by making dinner in the slow cooker is a fantastic way to stay on track with your healthy eating plan. 

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained

  • ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

  • ¼ cup dry white wine

  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • ¼ cup tomato paste

  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the parsley and naan in a slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve hot. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 315 calories, 11g fat, 695mg sodium, 7g sugar, 22g carbohydrate, 5g fibre, and 33g protein


February 28, 2018

Have a goal? Here’s how to meet it.

MELT for Happy Hips and Hamstrings is coming back to ProActive in March. 

Check out the ProActive Facebook page in upcoming weeks to learn more about this MELT workshop.

Space is limited! Call or email if you'd like to register.

Do you eat your feelings? Read this.

It happens with most of us.

You have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day… and at the end of it you turn to food.

There’s a reason that it’s called comfort food. While you’re eating it you feel better.

And when you’re done eating it you feel worse.

Keep this in mind next time you are tempted to turn to food for comfort:

Emotional eating temporarily relieves distress and then makes it impossible to attain what you really want.

Have a goal? Here’s how to meet it.

Do you have a specific fitness goal that you are hoping to achieve? This goal could be a number on the scale, or a clothing size. Or maybe you are hoping to wear a certain cut or style of clothes like strappy tank tops, shorts, or a bathing suit.

While having this goal is great, it will NOT guarantee success.

You knew that, though, because this isn’t the first time that you’ve had a fitness goal. A goal that you didn’t meet. In fact, you probably know dozens of other people who also have struggled to meet their fitness goals.

Here’s the typical scenario: you get all pumped up to lose weight and get into shape by starting out completely gung-ho. Your enthusiasm lasts about two weeks, before old habits and routine slide back into place, cutting your results off before reaching your goal. Then your goal begins to fade from your mind, and life goes on.

The problem, my friend, was your initial focus on the result rather than a sustained focus on the process. Let me break this down for you…

Fitness success is not about focusing on your goal. It’s about making the fit lifestyle stick.

Of course, once you’ve gotten a fit lifestyle to stick you’ll end up meeting that goal!

This may go against everything you’ve come to believe about achieving a goal, but then, your techniques haven’t exactly been working. The number that you’re hoping to magically be one day doesn’t matter one bit, and here’s why…

IT’S ABOUT LIVING IN THE MOMENTUM.

Can you remember how it felt the last time that you ate clean, exercised hard and got adequate sleep for a few consecutive days? A feeling of momentum came over you, didn’t it?

There was a buzzing in your cells and a rhythm in your pace. You felt alive, you felt sexy, and you felt empowered. Never mind that you weren’t yet at your goal number, you were headed there!

Getting down to your goal weight, and fitting into your goal size, is the direct result of living in that state of momentum for an extended period of time. You see, the momentum can be felt immediately, once you start eating clean, exercising hard and taking care of your health, whereas that “goal number” simply can’t be felt until it is achieved, and so it’s not as powerful a motivator.

My challenge and advice to you is to find the joy of living in the momentum, and keep that momentum going until your goal number is achieved. Focus only on the momentum, not on the number.

Fitness is a way of life. Being lean is a lifestyle. Neither of which can be had by going about it halfheartedly. Live in the momentum.

Call or email me today and let's get that momentum started!

Green Bean, Egg and Quinoa Salad

green bean egg and quinoa salad.jpeg

Here’s a tasty way to eat your green beans – tossed with quinoa, sliced plum and topped with hard boiled egg. This type of salad, where the base is a steamed vegetable and protein is added on top, makes a phenomenally fit meal that will help get you to your fitness goals faster than ever. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

  • 1 cup cooked red quinoa

  • 2 cups green beans, steamed and cut into 3cm pieces

  • 1 ripe plum, thinly sliced

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine the quinoa, beans, plum and egg in a large bowl.

  2. Drizzle with the sesame oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well and enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 225 calories, 7g fat, 270mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate, 5g fibre, and 10g protein


February 20, 2018

Today is a big deal

Just a few spots left for Yoga!

The next six-week session of Vinyasa Flow Yoga starts tonight at ProActive at 7:00 p.m. and we have a couple of spots still open. All levels welcome! Just $72 + GST for all six weeks. 

If Yin is more your style (long holds and stretches), we have a couple of spots available on Thursday nights at 7:00 p.m. Cost is the same. 

Email shelley@proactivefit.ca if you would like to join Florence for yoga!

Do This At Bedtime

The best way to ensure that you will make stellar choices tomorrow is to plan for it tonight. Before you go to sleep, jot out your plan for the next day.

What will you eat? What is your exercise plan? What food traps will you avoid? How much time will you spend watching TV?

Write down your ideal day and then sleep on it. When you wake up take that list with you as a guide to making great choices all day long.

Make this a before-bed ritual and watch how quickly you see the results!

Today is a big deal

You woke up this morning and began making choices.

You chose whether or not to exercise, to eat a healthy breakfast, or to do something productive. You chose whether or not to eat that donut, to sleep in, or to watch an extra hour of TV.

At the end of each day the sum of your choices pushes you in a direction.

It could be pushing you in the direction of fitness and health, if your choices were predominantly wholesome.

Or the sum of your choices could be pushing you in the direction of weight gain, health issues and problems.

I find this perspective to be helpful when it comes to making a major body transformation. It’s tempting to feel helpless in changing your body when you have so many pounds to lose and so much work to do, since you aren’t able to do it all in one day.

However, by capturing the power of each day by making wholesome choices, you will be pushed in the direction of weight loss and health day after day, week after week.

Until one day you’ll look in the mirror and see that you’ve arrived at your ultimate destination: a lean, healthy and vibrant you.

So embrace the power of each choice that you make today, and allow a momentum of good choices to push you through to your goal.

Today is a big deal. Today is all you have.

Make the most of today.

If you’re not yet one of my prized clients then make the excellent choice to call or email me today to get started on a programme that will supercharge your momentum towards the best version of yourself.

Let’s do this!

Rainbow Roasted Veggies

rainbow roasted veggies.jpeg

Eating plenty of fresh vegetables is an excellent, healthy choice. The fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants contained within will do wonders for your energy levels and overall health.

Here’s a simple recipe for roasting vegetables that’s a wonderful side dish for dinner. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand, or seek out the full spectrum of colours for a natural vitamin boost.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into ½ inch strips

  • 2 orange beets, peeled and cubed

  • 16 Pattypan squashes

  • 6 mini green zucchini

  • 1 purple onion, cut into wedges

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.

  2. Arrange the veggies on the prepared pan in the order of the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue/Purple. Drizzle the olive oil over the veggies and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

  3. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until browned and tender.

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 130 calories, 5g fat, 20g carbohydrate, 13g sugar, 189mg sodium, 6g fibre, and 5g protein.


February 13, 2018

No Excuses

Are you coming up with a myriad of reasons why you aren’t able to exercise with intensity today? Don’t let the feeling of being tired keep you from an invigourating workout. Just think of how fantastic you’ll feel afterwards with all the feel good endorphins flowing through your body.

No excuses! Get going! You’ve got this!

You’re getting out what you put in

Have you ever noticed how two people can do the exact same fitness routine for a period of time and one will have breathtaking results while the other looks the same as when they started?

Why is that?

It’s frustrating when you are the person going through a fitness routine without seeing dramatic results. Might make you look for a reason outside of yourself to blame, such as genetics.

In reality, the thing holding you back is something that you have complete control over: it’s the intensity with which you exercise.

Intensity is something that’s difficult for the outside observer to measure but is felt within your body as you go through the motions of an exercise.

  • It’s how hard you push yourself to go as heavy and as quickly as possible.

  • It’s picking up a weight that feels hard to handle.

  • It’s putting a boost behind each stride as you run.

  • It’s resisting the urge to simply go through the motions.

  • It’s outdoing your efforts from last time.

Now I understand the urge to put out token effort in your workout, going through the motions while cutting corners along the way. We all have days when the weights feel extra heavy and our energy stores feel depleted, and those days will naturally be less intense.

However, when low intensity workouts are your norm, you simply won’t ever achieve the results that you’re hoping for. And this is something that you completely control.

So, as you go into your next workout, think about the intensity that you’re bringing. Are you pushing yourself with each rep? Could you go heavier? Could you be faster?

Fight the urge to be comfortable while you exercise. There’s plenty of time throughout your day to feel comfortable, just not while you’re working out.

Does this make sense?

Attack your next workout with 100% intensity and set a new standard for yourself to continuously push to become stronger, faster, leaner and more fit.

You’ve got this!

And if you’re not yet one of my awesome clients then call or email today to join the family. Together we will get you into your best shape yet!

Salmon and Lentil Packets

salmon and lentil packets.jpeg

Here’s a recipe for all of you who tell me that you don’t know how to cook. With this simple technique of folding ingredients in a parchment paper packet and baking it in the oven, anyone can make this delicious, nutritious, fitness meal.

This recipe combines tender salmon fillets with fresh kale, savoury lentils, tangy cherry tomatoes in a refreshing cilantro dressing. It’s refreshingly delicious, especially considering how healthy all of the ingredients are. Give it a try and let me know what you think…

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry (or white grape juice)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro

  • 1 lemon, tested and juiced

  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced

  • 4 (6 oz) salmon fillets

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 8 ounces cooked lentils

  • 4 cups kale, steamed and chopped

  • 20 cherry tomatoes (various colours, halved)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. In a blender combine the olive oil, wine, cumin, paprika, cilantro, lemon juice, lemon zest and garlic.

  3. Season the salmon fillets with ½ teaspoon sea salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.

  4. Cut four 12-by-16-inch pieces of parchment paper and fold each in half. Open the parchment paper and arrange ¼ of the lentils and of the chopped kale in the centre of the top half of each parchment. Top with a salmon fillet, 10 tomato halves and ¼ of the cilantro dressing.

  5. Fold the bottom half of the parchment paper over the salmon and veggies. Start folding and crimping the parchment paper ends together from one end all the way around to the other end, creating a sealed envelope. Fold the end under the packet. The packet should be fully encased, with no breaks in the parchment paper for steam to escape – we need that steam as part of the cooking process! Place the packets on a pan.

  6. Bake the salmon packets for 25 minutes and remove from the oven. Serve the packets on plates, tearing them open just before serving. If desired, garnish with fresh cilantro, lemon zest and more cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 535 calories, 26g fat, 25g carbohydrate, 5g sugar, 389mg sodium, 7g fibre, and 46g protein.


February 6, 2018

Larry's ProActive Success Story

Larry-200-club.jpg

Our client, Larry, has been with us almost two years. He is very committed to his workouts, having completed over 270 workouts, has a great attitude and a wicked sense of humour that keeps us all on our toes!

Yesterday on Facebook, Larry shared this memory that he wrote and posted last year:

"I've been going to the gym for almost a year now and tho I've only lost a few pounds I've noticed a huge difference. Reminded the trainer of a tough workout we were supposed to do and it left me wiped out as expected, but I woke up this morning with only a bit of soreness and some mild stretching and it was gone. Last year I would have had trouble getting out of bed and been moving like an old man all day. Definitely making progress."

hen he added this update:

"Now I'm down twenty pounds and can work out five or six days a week without too much soreness. Slow and steady wins the race."

Congrats on your consistent effort and impressive results, Larry! You are an inspiration to many!

If you'd like to start looking, moving and feeling better (like Larry), give us a call and get started with a complimentary small group training session.

Teriyaki Meatballs

teriyaki meatballs.jpeg

Teriyaki is traditionally a sweet sauce that is made with refined sugars or corn syrup, sneaky ingredients that contribute to obesity and disease. It has a very pleasing flavour, with a wonderful balance of savoury and sweet, and so it's easy to consume a surprising amount of sugar grams when enjoying a meal flavoured with teriyaki.

In this recipe we are making a healthier, low sugar version of teriyaki.

If you are a lover of teriyaki then these subtly sweet meatballs are right up your alley! The recipe calls for a small amount of honey, however, feel free to use liquid stevia rather than the honey if you are looking for an extremely low sugar dish. For most of us, this small amount of healthful, raw honey is perfectly A-OK and beneficial.

Serve these tasty meatballs up as an appetiser or serve over arugula or spaghetti squash for a small, fitness-minded meal. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced

  • ¼ cup scallions, minced, plus more for garnish

  • 450g ground beef

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos (sub w/soya sauce)

  • 1 tablespoon raw honey

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

  • ½ teaspoon arrowroot starch

  • 3 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Combine the garlic, ginger and scallions in a food processor. Pulse until well combined and finely minced.

  2. Transfer the garlic mixture to a large bowl and add the ground beef and sea salt. Use your hands to mix until well combined. Form the mixture into 20 meatballs, about an inch in diameter.

  3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the sesame oil. Add the meatballs and cook, shaking often, until browned on all sides and cooked through. Remove the meatballs and set aside on a plate.

  4. Add the coconut aminos, honey and vinegar to the skillet. In a small bowl whisk the arrowroot starch and water together until fully dissolved. Add to the skillet, mix and simmer until the mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Return the meatballs to the skillet and cover in the sauce. Serve immediately, garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 319 calories, 6g fat, 12g carbohydrate, 7g sugar, 451mg sodium, 4g fiber, and 56g protein.


January 30, 2018

Don’t forget liquid sugar

One of the biggest sources of unnecessary sugar are beverages from your local coffee shop. As you make is a practice to eat low sugar, always check the sugar grams of coffee drinks before you order. You may be shocked to find out how much sugar you’ve been drinking each morning!

Do yourself a favour and wean yourself from sugary drinks!

The most important healthy eating tip

There’s a lot of talk today about the importance of eating healthy.

You hear it from your doctor, on the news, in magazines and online. The consensus is clear: in order to have your best body in good health, you must eat healthy.

Unfortunately for most, healthy eating is a confusing concept.

There’s so much contradicting information out there about what is or isn’t healthy that even the most well informed dieter becomes overwhelmed.

Should you eat a grain free diet? What about dairy? Is it OK to include fruit? What about rice? How about these granola bars that are labelled as heart healthy?

It’s enough to drive you crazy!

The most common reaction to this confusion is to give up. Why continue to strive for a healthy diet when a granola bar that’s mostly made with refined sugar is marketed as healthy?

I’m going to clear up some of the confusion for you with this very simple, very effective healthy eating tip: Eat low sugar.

By eating low sugar I mean check the sugar grams on each thing that you eat throughout the day, and only eat items that contain low single digit or zero sugar grams.

This single strategy will cut out a majority of the confusion surrounding healthy eating. Since eating items that are high in sugar is the biggest downfall of most dieters, by honing in on sugar grams you can avoid many bad food choices.

Are there other aspects to eating healthy, such as including enough lean protein and fibre-filled veggies in your diet? You bet! And once you have grown accustomed to eating low sugar then you should work on increasing your fibre and protein, but for now simply work on cutting out sugar.

Remember that participating in a consistent, challenging exercise programme is vital to getting into amazing shape. I’m here to help you do just that.

Call or email me today to get started on the most effective exercise programme around!

Ground Turkey Spaghetti Sauce

ground turkey spaghetti sauce.jpeg

Making a big pot of rustic spaghetti sauce is one of the most gratifying things you can do as a home cook. The welcoming aroma rising from the pot makes coming home a heartwarming experience.

To make this Ground Turkey Spaghetti Sauce as good-for-you as it is good-smelling, I've packed it with ground turkey, loads of chopped veggies and mouthwatering Italian flavours.

Serve it up over veggie noodles or braised cabbage for a fitness meal at its finest!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 16

Here’s what you need

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced

  • 1 yellow onion, minced

  • 1 fennel bulb, minced

  • 3 zucchini, diced

  • around 900g lean ground turkey

  • 1 800g can crushed tomatoes

  • 2 (170g) cans tomato paste

  • 1 (400g) can tomato sauce

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place an extra-large nonstick skillet or medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and warm for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, onion and fennel bulb. Sauté, mixing often, for 5 minutes, until the onion is tender. Add the zucchini and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

  2. Add the ground turkey and cook, stirring and breaking the turkey apart with your spoon or spatula, until all the pink is gone. Drain the pan, then return to medium heat.

  3. Add the crushed tomato, tomato paste, and tomato sauce to the pan and mix until well combined. Add the water, coconut sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

  4. Serve this hearty sauce warm over braised cabbage, veggie noodles, baked sweet potato or whatever else your heart desires. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 319 calories, 6g fat, 12g carbohydrate, 7g sugar, 451mg sodium, 4g fibre, and 56g protein.


January 23, 2018

Easiest fitness hack that you’re not doing

It’s the time of year for focusing on fitness, health, and self-improvement; and, as to be expected, we are busy with clients looking to shed pounds and to take the New Year by storm.

I love seeing this renewed enthusiasm for fitness and the surge of motivation in the air! I hope that you’re feeling it too.

What’s not as awesome is the struggle that I see so many  endure when it comes to shedding pounds and transforming your body to firm and toned. 

Let’s start with the easiest fitness hack of all, something that I can almost guarantee you’re not doing. By making this small change to your daily routine you’ll quickly find those unwanted pounds coming off quickly and easily.

***Warning: This fitness hack is going to sound so easy that you may be inclined to simply dismiss it. My advice is to try it out before writing it off as too easy.***

The easiest fitness hack that you’re not doing is to drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water. That's 8 one-cup servings. 

Now I know that sounds boring, but take a moment to reflect on your water intake over the past few days. Did you even get close to the minimum of 64 ounces? Really, for optimal fat loss, you want to be drinking closer to a gallon of water each day.

Why is water such a big deal? Here are 3 compelling reasons as to why drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water a day will help you drop pounds and achieve a stunning transformation…

#1) Water Aids Fat Metabolism in the Liver

When it comes down to the technical process of losing fat, your liver is where the action is. The key to having a highly functional liver, one that quickly removes metabolic waste and built up toxins, is to be properly hydrated by drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day.

Your liver is a filter for your body. When you aren’t drinking enough water, your liver accumulates a build up of waste product that slows the process of fat metabolism down.

#2) Water Helps Balance Hormones

Without getting too technical about the science of fat loss, it’s important that you understand that your hormones play an important role in your body’s ability to lose fat. When your body enters a state of dehydration, your organ and digestive functions are compromised, which in turn negatively impacts hormonal balance.

This stress, brought on by dehydration, impacts your adrenal glands, signaling the need for an increase in cortisol, which encourages your body to begin storing fat, rather than burning it.

#3) Water Reduces Calorie Intake

By drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water daily, your desire for high calorie, sugary drinks like soda and high fructose juices will diminish. This decrease in fattening calories really adds up!

In addition to weight loss, drinking water has a large number of benefits – including improved skin complexion, boosted immune system, cleansing toxins from the body, etc.

While it’s important to drink plenty of water in general, be sure you’re increasing your amount before and after your workouts. The more you sweat, the more water you lose, and it’s important to replace that lost water to avoid dehydration.

Does this make sense? Remember: Drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day.

I hope that you find this simple fitness hack to be helpful in your quest for a new and improved you this year! Remember that participating in a challenging and consistent exercise program is absolutely vital when it comes to improving your health!

ProActive Fitness is here to help you on your fitness journey. Call or email us today to get started!

Faux Fried Chicken Apple Skillet

faux fried chicken apple skillet.jpeg

Is there anything better than single skillet dinners? I wish every meal only required a single pot, pan or skillet! That would sure save us some clean up time. This recipe, for Skillet Fried Chicken with Apple, is everything that a comforting, cold weather dinner should be. The chicken is lightly coated in coconut flour, giving it the feel of fried chicken without the extra fat, calories and guilt. Apple cider and fresh apples along with fresh sage bring seasonal flavours and great taste.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com 

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 2 pounds chicken tenders

  • sea salt and black pepper

  • ¼ cup coconut flour

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced

  • ¾ cup broth (chicken or bone)

  • ¾ cup apple cider

  • 2 apples, seeded and diced

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, minced (use the smallest leaves intact as garnish)

Instructions

  1. Season the chicken tenders on both sides with salt and pepper. Set 1 Tablespoon of the coconut flour aside, and dredge the chicken through the remaining coconut flour, shaking off the excess.

  2. In a 12-inch skillet place 2 Tablespoons of the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil.

  3. Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil to the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 Tablespoon of coconut flour and cook for another 2 minutes.

  4. Deglaze the skillet with the broth and cider and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until it thickens, about 5 minutes.

  5. Add the apples, vinegar and sage. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer until the apples soften, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken back to the skillet, and cover with the sauce. Garnish with fresh sage leaves. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 216 calories, 12g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 12g sugar, 265mg sodium, 3g fibre, and 29g protein.


January 16, 2018

That feels good…

It's the Saddest Time of the Year...but there's something you can do about it!

As I type this, I'm listening to the morning radio show and the host is talking about "Blue Monday". Apparently, today is the saddest day of the year! 

The Christmas bills have started arriving, people have already abandoned their New Years' Resolutions and beating themselves up for it, the weather is frigid, it's dark for hours and we're stuck indoors. No wonder people are sad and grumpy!

But there is something you can do about it! 

Most of the time, when encouraging you to exercise, I focus on health, mobility and sometimes fat loss. Important yes, but there's another side effect of exercise that's hugely important.....how you feel after doing it!

Every workout has an immediate impact on your energy, mood, body chemistry, and even mental functioning. The endorphins released are specifically designed to make you feel good.

All of these factors combined create your overall feeling of wellbeing.

Don’t you want to feel good?

The tricky part is that most of us are habit driven, and so our activity level (or lack thereof) is fairly consistent day-to-day and week-to-week. This makes the impact of each sedentary day less noticeable, since another similar day causes no obvious change. It simply perpetuates your current state of un-wellbeing, with a slow decline.

Why this matters: You could begin feeling a lot better than you do today by starting to exercise.

This could come as a surprise, especially if you believe that the way you feel today is a given, and not something that can be improved.

By maintaining a consistent, challenging exercise plan:

Your aches and pains can disappear.
You can feel light and your energy levels can soar.
Your mood can naturally become more optimistic.
You can avoid illness and disease.
You can think and process information quicker and with more clarity.
And then, once you’re in the groove of exercising regularly, you’ll forget about the pain, the sluggishness, and the discomfort that you used to live with.

Making regular exercise part of your routine is a foolproof method for improving your overall wellbeing. It’s a gift that you give to yourself with each workout.

Ready to start feeling good? We have a variety of great options at ProActive Fitness, from small group personal training to yoga to Tai Chi. Call or email today to get started!

Simple Roasted Vegetables

simple roasted vegetables.jpeg

Vegetables are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. You won’t find a recipe that is as simple and delicious as this one for roasted vegetables. It’s a classic!

I like to leave the root veggies undisturbed when adding the green beans, so that they have one really nicely charred side to them at the end of the cook time. The onions become mouthwateringly tender.

Feel free to use other veggies, such as sweet potato, beets, cauliflower, or bell peppers.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com 

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks

  • 8 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks

  • 1 red onion, cut into thick wedges

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • sea salt and black pepper

  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.

  2. In a large bowl, toss the parsnips, carrots and onion with the olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

  3. After 30 minutes, add the green beans on top of the roasting veggies and place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes. Mix the veggies together and serve. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 95 calories, 3g fat, 18g carbohydrate, 7g sugar, 138mg sodium, 5g fibre, and 2g protein.


January 9, 2018

Jerry Seinfeld’s magical fitness tip

o you ever struggle with sticking to your exercise and diet routine?

One skipped workout leads to another, and another, and another. Then, before you know it, your fitness progress grinds to a halt.

This frustrating cycle is all too common.

Many of my clients have asked for a magical tip to stick with their exercise plan, and I found the solution in an unlikely place: from the mind of Jerry Seinfeld.

The story goes like this…

A few decades ago, when he was a touring comedian and the Seinfeld show was new to TV, a young man approached him behind stage at a comedy club to ask for advice. How can I become a better comic?

He told the young comic that to become better he should write better jokes. And to write better jokes, he must write every single day.

Seinfeld went on to describe his Chain Method for staying consistent. He hangs a big calendar of a whole year on the wall. On every day that he writes, he marks that box with an X. After a few days you have a chain that continues to grow longer. Now your job is to simply never break the chain.

Don’t break the chain!

While Seinfeld used this brilliant technique for writing jokes, we can use it for fitness. Every day that finds you in the gym or moving INTENTIONALLY gets a big, satisfying, red X. How gratifying to see your fitness chain grow on your wall calendar!

If your goal is to drop body fat and build muscle then consistency is key. Stick to your program every single day.

Build the chain; see the results.

If you aren’t yet one of my prized clients then let’s do something about that. Feel free to reach out to me via email or phone to get started on an effective exercise program.

BBQ Chicken En Papillote

BBQ Chicken En Papillote.jpeg

This quick and easy recipe combines chicken, sweet potato, butter beans, green beans and tangy BBQ sauce. It’s simple, the meat turns out tender, and there’s virtually no clean up!

Be sure to slice the sweet potato very thin, as you want it to be tender at the end of the 30-minute baking time. This is also why we are using thin sliced chicken breast, in order to make sure that the meat is cook through.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced into half moons

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons

  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 1 (16 ounce) can butter beans

  • ½ cup natural BBQ sauce (avoid ones with added sugars)

  • 4 chicken breast, thin sliced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400º F.

  2. In a large bowl toss the shallots, sweet potatoes, green beans and butter beans with half of the BBQ sauce. Rub the remaining sauce over the chicken breasts.

  3. Cut four 12-by-16-inch pieces of parchment paper and fold each in half. Open the parchment paper and arrange ¼ of the sweet potato and green beans and a chicken breast in the centre of the top half of each parchment. Generously season with salt and pepper. Top with a sprinkle of chives.

  4. Fold the bottom half of the parchment paper over the chicken and veggies. Start folding and crimping the parchment paper ends together from one end all the way around to the other end, creating a sealed envelope. Fold the end under the packet. The packet should be fully encased, with no breaks in the parchment paper for steam to escape – we need that steam as part of the cooking process! Place the packets on a pan.

  5. Bake the chicken and veggie packets for 30 minutes and remove from the oven. Serve the packets on plates, tearing them open just before serving. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 268 calories, 4g fat, 22g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, 625mg sodium, 5g fibre, and 35g protein.


January 2, 2018


The Snap-Back Effect

According to popular statistics, only 8% of New Year’s Resolutions are successfully kept. This means that 92% of us that are brave enough to set out for self-improvement will fail.

Those aren’t very good odds.

Thankfully there is science that explains this curious “Snap-Back Effect” and offers us tools to make the effect work in our favour.

Snap-Back Effect: A term coined by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, the author of Psycho-Cybernetics to describe the rampant self-sabotage of personal improvement goals. Maltz noted that you can stretch a rubber band only to a certain length and hold it only for a certain time until you get weak or get distracted and the rubber band will then snap back to its true shape.

This is essentially what happens when you attempt to achieve a new level of self-improvement. Sooner or later you sabotage yourself and get back to your normal level of achievement.

What sort of person do you believe yourself to be? This mental image of yourself is your self-image.

All of your actions, feelings, habits, and even your abilities, will always be consistent with your self-image. Always. You will “act like” the sort of person that you believe yourself to be. This means that you literally will not be able to act against your self-image for any length of time, despite making a New Year’s Resolution about it, and despite deploying grit, conscious effort and willpower.

Sooner or later you will snap-back to the sort of person that you believe yourself to be.

If you have a "fat" self-image, if you believe that you are the sort of person who "can't resist sweets," if you "are unable to enjoy exercise," then you will not be able to reduce your body fat and keep it off no matter how many times you attempt to turn over a new leaf. Maltz proved that we can’t escape our self-image. You may be able to do so in the short term, but sooner than later you'll be "snapped-back," like a rubber band.

The answer is Self-Image Management

According to Maltz, your self-image is a “premise,” or a foundation upon which your entire personality, behaviour, and even your circumstances are built. As such, your experiences will verify and strengthen your self-image, and either a destructive or beneficial cycle, is set up.

In other words, you will seek out evidence that supports your opinion about yourself, even going so far as to create the circumstances for proof to be had.

For example, as a dieter who sees herself as a “failure”-type dieter, or one who is “thick in the waist,” will invariably find that the number on her scale continues to go up. She then has “proof.”

Whatever seems just out of your reach, whatever frustrations you have in your life, are likely reinforcing something ingrained in your self-image like a groove in a record.

Maltz goes on to say, “Obviously it’s not enough to say, “it’s all in your head.” In fact, that’s insulting. It is more productive to explain that “it” is based on certain ingrained and possibly hidden patterns of thought that, if altered, will free you to tap more of your potential and experience vastly difference results.

This brings me to the most important truth about the self-image: it can be changed.”

Take time this New Year’s to revise the sort of person that you consider yourself to be. The possibilities are endless!

Honey Mustard Salmon & Kale

honey mustard salmon.jpeg

Here’s a new fitness dinner to add into your meal rotation. It’s quick and easy enough to make on a busy weeknight, and leftovers are wonderful packed for small meals the next day.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

  • ¼ cup grainy Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon raw honey

  • 1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and chopped

  • 2 shallots, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 4 salmon fillets

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Combine the mustard and honey in small bowl.

  2. Salt and pepper the salmon and spread the tops with mustard mixture.

  3. In baking pan mix the kale and shallots with sesame oil, salt and pepper. Top with the fillets and roast for 15-20 minutes, until flaky. Drizzle with lemon juice.

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 208 calories, 6g fat, 8g carbohydrate, 4g sugar, 212mg sodium, 2g fibre, and 20g protein.


December 26, 2017

This ever happen to you?

You realize that you want to lose the weight and to get into phenomenal shape. You believe that your health is important to you, and that you want to improve the quality of your life through diet and exercise. You feel that this time it will be different, that this time the changes will stick and you’ll become the best version of yourself.

Starting out with great intentions and high expectations, the first few days go well. You’re making the time to exercise. You’re eating vegetables and proteins. You’re avoiding sugar, packaged snacks, and soda.

After day 3, you step on the scale and find that the number has gone down! You’re making progress towards your goal and that feels good.

The next day something unexpected happens. You catch a cold. It would only aggravate your illness to exercise in this condition, so you wisely take the day off. That night you find yourself eating comfort food for dinner. You are feeling sick, so it seems justified.

A week later you think about returning to the gym, but your cousin is graduating from the police academy and there’s a family celebration. A slice of graduation cake later, and you’re in no condition to exercise. As your insulin levels soar and your energy dips, you tell yourself that tomorrow is the day that you get back on track.

Tomorrow brings with it more unexpected turns, pushing your healthy lifestyle just out of reach.

There’s a very simple reason for this phenomenon: If you’re looking for an excuse the universe will provide you with one. Every. Single. Time.

But I’m not looking for an excuse. Those things were out of my control. I wanted to stick with the program, but I caught a cold and then life got busy.

If someone offered you a million dollars to stick with your diet and exercise program for 6 months could you do it?

You bet you could! And you’d probably even do it for 100 thousand dollars.

This means that if you had a great enough incentive then you’d stick with your program and get results. So right now the incentive, the motive, the desire just isn’t great enough to protect you against all of the excuses that the universe has to throw at you.

Find your incentive. Results will follow.

Easy Breakfast Skillet

easy breakfast skillet.jpeg

There are endless combinations of flavours and ingredients that you could put into a savoury breakfast skillet, so don’t feel that you must follow my suggestions below. Use your favourite breakfast meat, veggies, spices and herbs to create a breakfast skillet that is uniquely suited to your taste.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

  • 1 (12.8 oz) package chicken apple sausage, chopped

  • 12 eggs

  • ½ cup nutritional yeast

  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chives, minced

  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

  2. Melt the coconut oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often, until browned. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Leave the drippings in the pan.

  3. Whisk the eggs, nutritional yeast, garlic, parsley, chives, sea salt and black pepper in a large bowl until frothy.

  4. Pour half of the egg mixture into the skillet. Sprinkle the sausage over the eggs. Cover with the remaining egg mixture. Sprinkle with the red pepper.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until puffed and set. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 326 calories, 16g fat, 15g carbohydrate, 2g sugar, 843mg sodium, 4g fibre, and 31g protein.


December 19, 2017

Make a bowl of fitness soup

Don’t Add These Ingredients

While making a light, fibre and protein packed soup is quite possible, as outline above, it’s also possible to create a soup that is high in calories, carbs, and unhealthy fats.

Here are the ingredients to NOT add to your soup, in order to stay on track with your fat loss goals:

  • Noodles

  • White Potato

  • Cream

  • Rice

  • Cheese

  • Butter

Make a bowl of fitness soup

During cold winter months, soup is quite possibly the perfect dinner. It’s comforting, simple, and easily modified to fit your taste and the contents of your fridge. Making soup from scratch is simple and easy, once you know how to do it.

What’s also great about making soup from scratch is that you can use healthy ingredients that support your fitness goals – while leaving out ingredients that would increase the carb and calorie count of the meal.

When craving homemade soup, most of us seek out a specific soup recipe that fits into a neat category. There’s chicken noodle, minestrone, split pea, clam chowder and so on. What’s less common is the brave cook who approaches the idea of soup with an open mind, a big soup pot, and whatever ingredients they have on hand.

Today I challenge you to be this brave cook.

You’ll find that making up your own soup as you go along is one of the most rewarding and wonderful dishes you’ll ever make. Let go of the urge to measure soup ingredients out or to overthink the process. Let your hair down, get really un-technical, and have some fun.

And don’t worry, there’s a method to this madness…

1)    Start with a Little Healthy Fat

First off you’ll need to find a healthy form of fat to sauté the soup ingredients in. Olive oil and coconut oil are my go-to choices. Put a couple of tablespoons in the bottom of a large soup pot and place it over medium-high heat. Don’t you dare measure. Just scoop or pour.

2)    Add Aromatic Veggies

Now add some minced, aromatic veggies to the warmed oil. Choose from onions, garlic, ginger, carrots and celery. This is the perfect chance to use up that starting-to-shrivel onion at the bottom of the produce drawer in your fridge. Sauté until the veggies become tender. If you have any fresh herbs on hand, such as rosemary, thyme, sage, or marjoram feel free to mix these in now.

3)    Brown Some Protein

I like a hearty serving of protein in my soup, to keep us full and fuelled, so my next move is to add some protein. Ground or chopped meat needs to be nicely browned and cooked through. If you’re going for a lighter fare, then feel free to continue without adding meat.

4)    Add in Liquid

Sometimes at this stage I’ll pour in a little bit of white wine into the pot to deglaze the little browned bits that tend to stick to the bottom. The wine adds another dimension of flavour, but I only do it if there’s already a bottle opened. Once the pot is deglazed, add in stock, broth, or pureed tomato in any combination you’d like.

5)    Something Extra

Now’s the time to add in those extra veggies that you have on hand – ones like squash, cauliflower or sweet potatoes. You could also add in cooked beans or quinoa.

6)    Season to the Max

Start with a generous grinding of sea salt and black pepper, then christen your soup with more daring spices. Give these spices a try:

  • Celery seed

  • Chili powder

  • Cumin

  • Basil

  • Oregano

  • Parsley

  • Fennel

  • Rosemary

  • Thyme

  • Sage

  • Paprika

  • White pepper

  • Garlic powder

  • Red pepper

  • Onion powder

  • Turmeric Root

  • Cardamon

  • Cinnamon (tastes wonderful with ground beef)

  • Dill

Taste and adjust. Be brave. More flavour is always better.

7)    Let it Simmer

Bring your tasty and unique soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about an hour. Sit back and bask in the satisfaction of your amazing soup creation. Ladle a bowl for yourself and your loved ones and enjoy.

A bowl of your unique and flavourful fitness soup makes for a light and lean dinner that will go a long way toward reaching your fat loss goals. Resist the urge to serve bread with your soup and instead opt for a leafy, green salad.

Remember that an effective exercise plan is vital to getting and staying in phenomenal shape – and I’m here to help you do just that. Call or email me now to get started on my best fitness plan.

Let’s get you into the best shape of your life!

Classic Chicken Soup

classic chicken soup.jpeg

Not feeling creative? No need to make up your own fitness soup recipe, I’ve got the perfect one for you here. Enjoy this lightened version of classic chicken soup with a leafy, green salad.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thigh cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 2 yellow onions, diced

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic

  • 2 teaspoons minced thyme

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour

  • 8 cups broth

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

  • 1 ½ cups celery root, peeled and diced

  • 1 cup small green squash, chopped

  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch slices

  • 1 bay leaf

  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and move a rack to the lowest position. Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper.

  2. Place 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Brown half of the chicken and transfer to a plate. Repeat with another Tablespoon of olive oil and the other half of the chicken. Once browned transfer the rest of the chicken to a plate.

  3. Add the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil to the pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and salt. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 3 minutes. Add the coconut flour and brown for 2 minutes.

  4. Stir in the broth and the wine. Add the sweet potato, celery root, squash, carrots and bay leaf. Add the chicken to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer to the preheated oven for an hour. Remove the bay leaf, garnish with fresh parsley and serve warm.

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 249, Fat: 10g, Sodium: 513mg, Carbs: 8g, Fibre: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 28g


December 12, 2017

Think Positive and Get Fit

Your mindset plays a big role when it comes to getting and staying fit.

In the same way that an app on your phone is limited by the functions that have been programmed into it, your body is limited by the messages sent by your mind.

If you have the goal of changing your body for the better by dropping pounds and increasing your muscle tone, the first thing to do is to begin with your mindset. It’s a step that far too many well-meaning folks skip in their quest for a healthier, better body.

My experience has led me to observe that the successful clients who experience the most amazing body transformation results are the ones that abide by the following Positive Mindset Habits…

1) Positive Mindset Habit #1: Stop Beating Yourself Up

Most of us compare where we are today with where we ultimately want to be.

If you’re a size 18 with the goal of one day being a size 6, what runs through your mind when you look in the mirror?

With a positive mindset you would look in the mirror and notice the improvements and progress that you’ve made towards your ultimate goal, no matter how subtle.

With a negative mindset you would look in the mirror and only see the gap between what you are today and what you ultimately want to be, and you’d beat yourself up about it.

To be successful with your body transformation, focus on positive improvements and every small step towards your bigger goal.

2) Positive Mindset Habit #2: Do not EVER consider what others think of You

The most successful "transformationists" don’t give one hoot what others think of them. They are focused on their own journey and realize that the only opinion that matters about them is their own.

This small mental shift makes a huge difference when it comes to getting results.

Maintain your focus and energy on your daily fitness goals and resist the urge to compare your progress with others. Do not attempt to decipher what others are thinking about you, because the only opinion about you that really matters is your own.

3) Positive Mindset Habit #3: ONLY Think Positive Thoughts About Yourself

Nothing good ever comes from thinking poorly of yourself. I simply can’t emphasize this point enough: Negative self-talk is one of the reasons that most attempts at weight loss fail.

On the flip side, those who make a daily practice of positive self-talk, by encouraging themselves and focusing on every small step made towards their goal, see incredible results.

Keeping a positive attitude about yourself will not only help you lose the weight, it also helps you to keep it off in the long run.

Remember that an effective exercise plan is vital to getting and staying in phenomenal shape – and I’m here to help you do just that. Call or email me now to get started on my best fitness plan.

Let’s get you into the best shape of your life!

Dijon Maple Chicken and Veggie Roast

Dijon Maple Chicken and Veggie Roast.jpeg

Here’s a one-pan dinner roast that makes healthy eating simple and delicious. Fitness dinners simply don’t get easier to prepare than this. Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand that are seasonal and fresh.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

  • 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash

  • 3 large shallots, peeled and quartered

  • ½ acorn squash, seeded and cut crosswise into slices

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

Instructions

  1. Place a rimmed baking sheet into the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.

  2. Combine the thyme, Dijon and syrup in a small bowl; brush over the chicken. Remove the pan from the oven, place the chicken on the pan and bake for 20 minutes.

  3. Add the squashes and Brussels sprouts to the pan with the chicken. Top the veggies with the coconut oil, olive oil, ¾ teaspoon sea salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 464 calories, 11g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 5g sugar, 399mg sodium, 4g fibre, and 35g protein.


December 5, 2017

Fight Holiday Pounds

The holidays have arrived with all the high-calorie food and drinks of the season. It’s really no wonder why most of us gain weight during the next five weeks.

Sweet temptations are everywhere. Holiday cookies, gingerbread houses, pumpkin pies, and more. Even healthy foods like sweet potatoes and green beans are somehow transformed into high-calorie dishes that will make you want to do nothing but fall asleep.

And don’t forget the drinks. Eggnog and alcoholic beverages are loaded with calories.

Want to fight these holiday pounds?

#1) Remember the Reason for the Season

Sure, the holidays bring indulgent foods and drinks, but friends, gatherings, and family traditions aren’t only about food. Before a party remind yourself what the holiday season is all about—friends, family, giving, and religious traditions. Then stay focused on the reason for the season rather than the plate full of hors d'oeuvres in front of you.

Also, stay focused on your fat loss goals. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come and where you’re headed. Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. And don't think "I can do some extra cardio to burn it off...." You cannot out-train a bad diet and you shouldn't use exercise as punishment! 

Remember that the holidays can be a time of emotional eating. For many people, the holidays bring stress, family conflict, or depression. If these issues start to wear down your will power, find the courage to address the root of your problems with solutions other than food or drink.

#2) Implement Strategies

If you want to keep your diet on track during this season of parties, you’ll need to pace yourself. Try the following strategies:

Don’t go to parties hungry, be sure to eat a small low-calorie snack ahead of time. Otherwise, you’ll overeat.
Wear tight-fitting clothes around your waist so there isn’t room for expansion.
Before and after a meal chew gum so you won’t be tempted to overindulge in appetizers and desserts.
During a party, don’t stand right next to the food table, but keep a safe distance.
Choose your plate wisely. Go with a small plate instead of a large dinner plate and don’t go back for seconds!
Another important strategy is figuring out how to get in a workout between parties. Leaving room in your busy holiday schedule for exercise will help you fight off the extra weight trying to attach itself to your midsection and rear.

#3) Make Wise Choices

Enjoy the goodness of the season, but in moderation. Trim calories where you can by limiting your trimmings-cheeses, gravy, sauces, creams, and nuts. Be smart about what you choose to eat. Don’t deprive yourself of all the foods you love or you’ll likely spurge and ruin all your good intentions.

The holidays offer many food choices not available the rest of the year. Because of this, you may want to overindulge before they’re gone. Instead of doing this, survey what foods are available and make your choices. Indulge in your favourites and leave the everyday dishes for another time. Only eat what you love, and don’t just eat something because it’s on the buffet.

Also, be sure to limit the amount of alcoholic beverages you drink. As you likely know, they’re filled with calories, too. Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink (best choice: water or club soda).

Follow these simple tips, and you will avoid holiday weight gain this season and start the New Year off right!

We are passionate about seeing our clients achieve results—without wasting time, energy and effort on mistakes.

Call or email ProActive Fitness today and we will get you started on the exercise program that is right for you.

Meaty Comfort Chili

Meaty chile.jpeg

Cold days call for warm, hearty comfort food and, today I have the perfect recipe for you. This Meaty Comfort Chili has all of the warmth, flavour and comfort that you could ask for in a healthy dinner. This recipe tastes even better the next day!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com 

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need

  • 6 oz. hot turkey Italian sausage, loose

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper

  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeded

  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar OR honey

  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin

  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 ¼ cups Merlot or other fruity red wine

  • 1 (28oz) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped

  • 2 (15oz) cans no-salt-added kidney beans, drained

  • Sour cream (optional garnish)

  • Shredded cheese (optional garnish)

  • Green onion (optional garnish)

  • Diced tomatoes (optional garnish)

Instructions

  1. Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, garlic, ground beef and jalapeno to pan; cook 8 minutes or until sausage and beef are browned, stirring to crumble.

  2. Add chili powder, coconut sugar, cumin, tomato paste, oregano, black pepper, salt and bay leaves and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, tomatoes, and kidney beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

  3. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaves. Sprinkle each serving with the garnishes.

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 284 calories, 1g fat, 79mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate, 12g fibre, and 16g protein


November 28, 2017

Be a Picky Eater

Judge the food that you eat based on how nutritious it is. How full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein is it? Does it contain vital nutrients in each bite?

Be picky about what you eat – and avoid those items that aren’t crammed with nutritional purpose. This is another reason that veggie noodles are superior to traditional noodles – simply compare the nutritional content of the two!

4 veggie noodle recipes

Veggie noodles?! Yes, you read that correctly.

While it’s hard to find a dinner more satisfying than a steaming plate of flavourful pasta, by now you’re well aware of just how fattening traditional pasta is.

I say let’s not give up on our favourite pasta dishes…let’s make these dishes lighter, healthier and just as delicious by using noodles made from vegetables, rather than traditional, carb-laden pasta.

If you’re new to cooking with veggie noodles, you’re in for a treat! It’s simple and satisfying to create comforting guilt-free pasta dinners, and I’m going to show you how…

Veggie Noodle Recipe #1: Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is the easiest of all the veggie noodles to prepare since the noodles are already formed in nature. Cut a spaghetti squash in half and you’ll find a mess of seeds and stings in the centre of thick, firm, yellow flesh. The seeds and strings are discarded, and that thick, firm, yellow flesh is cooked until tender and scraped off the skin, into a neat pile of soft spaghetti-like noodles. Pretty cool, right?!

Make Spaghetti Squash Noodles:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

  2. Rub the inside of each spaghetti squash half with coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Place, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender.

  3. Serve with your favourite spaghetti sauce and meatballs. Enjoy!

Veggie Noodle Recipe #2: Zucchini

Zucchini is such a tender squash that it really doesn’t require cooking, and in fact cooking zucchini noodles quickly turns them to mush. I’ve found that pouring hot spaghetti sauce over a pile of zucchini noodles is all that it needs to heat it up without causing it to get mushy. You’ll need a spiral slicer –a little kitchen contraption that spirals zucchini through grating holes to create long, spaghetti-like noodles.

Make Zucchini Noodles:

Wash the zucchini and remove the green skin with a veggie peeler. Run the peeled zucchini through a spiral slicer to create long, thin noodles. Top with warm spaghetti sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Veggie Noodle Recipe #3: Butternut Squash

While zucchini and spaghetti squash noodles are light and soft, noodles made from butternut squash are a bit heartier. Not only does this translate into a more filling meal, it also means that need to be cooked on their own, before applying the spaghetti sauce, in order to achieve a tender consistency.

Now there’s a little bit of technique involved with cutting your butternut squash in the best way to run it through a spiral slicer. I’ve found that the narrow part of the squash, that’s completely solid, is the piece that works really well with a spiral slicer. Slice off the skin and then simply run it through the slicer. The part of the squash that’s hollow in the middle is trickier to use with the spiral slicer, since those pieces are pretty thin. A quick option is to simply chop those pieces thinly and use that along with the long noodle strands.

Make Butternut Squash Noodles:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the narrow part of both squash off and peel off the skin. You should have 2 nice solid pieces of squash (no hollow section). Run this through a spiral slicer to create long, thin noodles.

  2. Toss the noodles with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread over a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until tender.

  3. Serve immediately with the spaghetti sauce of your choosing. Enjoy!

Veggie Noodle Recipe #4: Asparagus

Talk about truly guilt-free pasta – one made from asparagus spears! Rather than serve this one with traditional spaghetti sauce (although you could) I’ve included a dressing to toss the noodles with and I’d recommend serving it with meatballs for some added protein.

Make Asparagus Noodles:

  1. Wash one bunch of asparagus spears. Resist the urge to chop off the tough stalks, these are your handles! Cut off the asparagus tips and save. Hold onto the tough stalks and use a vegetable peeler to peel long asparagus noodle strands into a large bowl. Mix in a Tablespoon of fresh dill.

  2. In a small bowl combine 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon honey and a dash of sea salt and black pepper.

  3. Heat a Tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the asparagus noodles. Sauté for 2 minutes then remove from heat. If you’d like, sauté the asparagus heads by throwing them in the pan after 1 minute. Toss with the dressing.

  4. Serve the noodles warm and garnish with fresh dill. Enjoy!

Eating healthy, low carb meals like these are what it takes to have that lean, sexy body that you want.

But don’t forget that a fit body also requires a consistent, challenging exercise programme.

Call or email me today and get you started on the fitness plan that’s custom designed for you. Let’s do this!

Cheesy Flat Zucchini Noodles

cheesy flat zuchinni noodles.jpeg

Here’s another guilt-free pasta recipe for you! You won’t need a spiral slicer for this one, simply use a regular veggie peeler – like the kind you would use to peel the skin from a potato – to create long, flat zucchini noodles. This recipe has a scrumptious, nutty flavour that will make you forget all about traditional noodles. Feel free to serve with some sliced chicken breast, sliced hard-boiled eggs or steak for added protein. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 Tablespoon almond flour

  • 4 large zucchinis, peeled with a veggie peeler

  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

  • 1 Tablespoon minced parsley

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, about two minutes. Add the coconut oil, and once it’s melted, add the almond flour and a pinch of salt.

  2. Stir often with a wooden spoon, until it’s toasty brown, about two minutes. Remove crumbs from the pan and save for garnish.

  3. In the same skillet, add the peeled zucchini noodles. Sauté them until just tender, about one to two minutes. Turn heat to low.

  4. In a new pan on low heat, combine olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring with a spoon until fragrant, about 20 seconds.

  5. Transfer the zucchini noodles to garlic and oil mixture. Toss and stir until they’re coated.

  6. Turn off the heat and add parsley, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle with almond flour crumbs before serving. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 165 calories, 12g fat, 72mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 5g fibre, and 6g protein


November 21, 2017

Holiday Survival

For most of us, preparations for the holidays are underwa and with it, all the busy-ness and stress of planning, decorating, cooking/baking and shopping that ensues.

Don't fall into the trap of trying to do it all! Many of us, moms/grandmas especially, take it upon ourselves to try and create the "perfect" holiday for our families and run ourselves ragged in the process. 

This year, consider lowering your expectations of what this holiday should be. Simplify. Refuse to get caught up in the commercial hype and the notion that your house, meals and gifts must be magazine cover-worthy. Your family doesn't care.

Think "good enough". Consider delegating or hiring out some of the tasks that overwhelm and exhaust yo and spend the time you've saved taking care of you. Because ultimately, that's the best gift you can give to your loved ones - the happiest, healthiest version of you. 

If you need some help with taking care of yourself, we have just the thing - our Holiday Survival promo! 

You can train with us from Dec 2 to Dec 22, 2x/week in our small group training, PLUS come 1x/week to Beginner Tai Chi. (Tuesday at noon or Thursday at 7p.m.) It's perfect for beating that holiday stress AND kickstarting your fitness well before the January rush. This training is just $89. 

Call the studio at (306)374-3013 or email shelley@proactivefit.ca to get in on it! 

Eat More Protein = Burn More Fat

Want even more fat loss? Studies continue to prove that diets high in protein encourage more fat loss than diets high in carbohydrates. Each of your snacks and meals should be built around a centrepiece of high quality, lean protein.

Look Your Best for the Holiday Season

With holiday parties and gatherings quickly approaching, most of us are now thinking about looking our best while dressed in our finest. Too bad that losing body fat is a slow and steady process, rather than an instantaneous fix.

However…I do have an extremely effective 2-step method for losing belly fat faster than ever, and I’d like to share it with you today so that you can utilize it to look and feel your best this holiday season.

Look Your Best for the Holidays. This fat-incinerating method fights fat simultaneously on two separate fronts for maximum effectiveness: your sugar intake and your high intensity workouts.

First: This step requires zero extra effort on your part! In fact all you have to do is NOT do something that you’re currently doing! You stop consuming refined sugar, in all its forms. This means no sodas, no desserts, no packaged snacks, no candy, no mocha lattes, NO SUGAR AT ALL!

When you stop to evaluate your diet, it may be shocking to find out how much refined sugar has crept in. Nothing will contribute to fat gains as swiftly as consuming sugar, so it makes sense that cutting sugar out is the top must-do for shedding those unwanted pounds.

It’s not necessary, or beneficial, to starve yourself during this time of rapid fat loss – you should fill in your diet with lean meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds as you cut out the refined sugar. Keep your metabolism high by feuelling up on high protein, high fibre, low carb, and zero sugar foods whenever hunger strikes.

Second: Here’s the step that requires some effort, but trust me when I say it’s worth it. You crank up the intensity of your workouts to a whole new level.

Most people take exercise on with the slow and steady mentality – moving, pushing and pulling as little as possible while still “getting the job done”. I’ve got some news for you…if you still have belly fat to lose then the job wasn’t getting done.

If you can comfortably hold a conversation, hardly break a sweat, or feel the same when it’s over as you did when it began, then you’re simply not pushing yourself hard enough while you exercise.

Increasing the intensity of your workouts requires focused intent. You must go into the session with the goal of pushing HARD.  Remember, it’s a contained time frame that will be over shortly, so bear down and deal with the discomfort. With practice you will learn to embrace the burn.

The safest and most effective way to crank up the intensity and effectiveness of your exercise time is to work with a qualified fitness professional, such as the trainers at ProActive Fitness. We would love to work with you!

Call or email me today and together we will get you started on a plan for fat loss before the holiday season brings on more unwanted pounds.

Chicken Lettuce Boats

chicken lettuce boats.jpeg

I love recipes like this, where the flavour and enjoyment outshine the health benefit. One bite of these Chicken Lettuce Boats and you’ll see what I mean – the crunch, the collision of flavours and the creamy enjoyment will push all thoughts of calories and fat grams out of your mind…but rest assured that this recipe is highly healthy and will keep you on track towards your fat loss goal. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com 

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 2 small apples, cored and chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice

  • 3 cups roasted chicken, chopped

  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped

  • ¼ cup black raisins

  • 1 (4oz) can mild diced green chiles

  • ½ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

  • ¼ cup light, balsamic dressing

  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

  • 1 head butter lettuce

  • red grapes – optional for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine the chopped apples and orange juice. Mix to combine.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients (save for the lettuce and grapes) and mix well. Chill, covered, for 15 minutes or until ready to serve. Use an ice cream scoop to place the chicken salad on each lettuce leaf. Garnish the plate with red grapes and Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 224 calories, 8g fat, 140mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 2g fibre, and 23g protein


November 14, 2017

How to quit junk food

Junk food tastes annoyingly good. There’s a reason for this – the food companies actually formulate each bite for maximum "craveability" with a specialized balance of sugar, fat and salt.

But while junk food tastes good…it’s VERY detrimental to your fat loss results.

Wondering what exactly classifies as junk food? You’re in good company, especially these days as many junk foods are being deceptively marketed and packaged as healthy choices.

Here’s the rundown on what classifies as junk food:

  • Junk food has little to zero nutritional value

  • Junk food is processed and packaged

  • Junk food is high in sugar, fat and salt

  • Junk food is high in calories

  • Junk food is rarely eaten out of hunger

  • Soda pop, convenience foods, packaged snacks, frozen treats…

4 Steps to Quit Junk Food

Imagine being 100 % free of junk food for the next 30 days. How would your weight improve? How would you feel? How many empty calories would you save yourself from? Now let’s take some action!

Step #1: Get Rid of It

Step one is simple: get rid of all the junk food that currently resides in your home, office and car. Go through with a big rubbish bag and toss anything that remotely resembles junk food. Remember, junk food is stuff that is high in empty calories.

Step #2: Stock Up on the Healthy Stuff

Don’t worry, you aren’t going to starve now that your junk food has been cleared out. Step two is where you go to the store and stock up on delicious, nutritious foods that will take the place of the junk food. Nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies, hard boiled eggs, meatballs, and hearty salads or burrito bowls (like the recipe below) are great items to have on hand. You’ll eat less of these healthy snacks, since these aren’t empty calories, but rather nutrient-filled calories that satiate.

Step #3: HALT!

When the next craving strikes you, tell yourself to HALT! This word is actually a handy acronym. Ask yourself, “Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?” If you’re hungry then reach for one of the healthy snacks from step two. If you’re angry, then explore the issue and seek resolution. If you are lonely, then reach out to a friend, instead of reaching for junk food. And if you are tired then make the time to grab a nap or get to bed early to catch up on sleep.

Step #4: Stick With It

The first day that you go without junk food will be the hardest day. The second day will be a smidge easier. The third day will be even easier than the second…and so on.

The fact is that your taste buds adjust to the foods that you exist on. When your diet is filled with junk foods then that is what your taste buds will crave, but as you shift to a diet that is filled with fresh, nutritious foods then your taste buds will forget all about that old junk food. Stick with it, one day at a time, and you will break free from the grip of junk food addiction.


November 7, 2017

Stock Those Ingredients

When your kitchen is stocked with fresh, seasonal produce and lean meats, as well as an array of fresh and dried herbs, it’s easy to throw together quick and nutritious meals. Keep your grocery shopping to the outskirts of the store – the produce section, meat department, eggs and dairy fridges.

Buy fresh ingredients that work as building blocks for wholesome meals.

3 Dinners You Can Throw Together After Work

Having a busy day with work and errands and meetings? You aren’t alone. Most of my clients complain of simply not having enough time at the end of their day to cook a healthy dinner.

This I’m-too-busy-to-cook mentality leads to unhealthy dinner choices from restaurants and fast food chains. And like I’ve told you before, you can exercise every day but if you eat too many calories then you won’t achieve the results that you want.

Today I have 3 quick dinner solutions for you to use on those busy weeknights when you’re tempted to grab a less-than-healthy dinner from a to-go joint. These dinners are both tasty and fitness friendly, so you can stay on track with your results.

Go-To Quick Dinner #1: Honey Mustard Chicken

  • 4 large bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed

  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard

  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic

  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram

  • 1 Tablespoon honey

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse the chicken and pat dry.

  2. Combine the mustard, garlic, marjoram and honey together and evenly spread the mixture over each chicken thigh. Place the chicken in a glass casserole pan.

  3. Bake for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Enjoy!

Go-To Quick Dinner #2: Leftovers Frittata

  • 4 eggs

  • ¼ cup milk or broth

  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 cup chopped and cooked meat and/or veggies (use leftovers!)

  • Olive oil spray

  1. In a large bowl beat the eggs, milk, thyme, and meat and/or veggies.

  2. Place an 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot and coat with the olive oil spray. Pour in the egg mixture.

  3. Cook over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes until the eggs are set. Place under a broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the top is golden. Cut into wedges and serve. Enjoy!

Go-To Quick Dinner #3: Pan Fried Salmon

  • 4 (6 oz) skin-on salmon fillets

  • sea salt and black pepper

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  1. Dry the salmon fillets with paper towels and season on all sides with salt and pepper.

  2. Place the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Reduce the heat to medium-low and press the salmon fillets in the pan, skin down. Press down firmly for 10 seconds on each fillet.

  3. Cook for about 7 minutes, until it lifts easily out of the pan without sticking. Flip and sear the other side for 20 seconds. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these quick-n-healthy dinner recipes that are designed to keep you on track and eating healthy even on the busiest of days.

Remember that exercise is vital to getting and staying in phenomenal shape – and I’m here to help you do just that. Call or email me now to get started on my best fitness plan.

Let’s get you into the best shape of your life!

Taco Roasted Cauliflower

taco roasted cauliflower.jpeg

Wondering what side dish to serve with your speedy dinner? Roasting cauliflower (or broccoli) is a phenomenal veggie side dish that’s quick and tasty. The classic way is to roast with simply olive oil, minced garlic and sea salt. It only takes a few moments of prep work and then roasts in the oven for 20 or so minutes while you pull dinner together. The florets come out crispy and savoury, which is a nice change from soft and soggy that we often encounter.

This version below uses taco spices to amp up the flavour and excitement of this classic cauliflower dish. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 8

Here’s what you need

  • 3 heads cauliflower

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon fajita seasoning

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Wash the cauliflower heads and remove the stem and leaves. Cut into florets and then slice the florets into thin, flat pieces.

  3. Place the florets in a large bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients. Spread over two large rimmed baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 86 calories, 6g fat, 6g carbohydrate, 2g sugar, 292mg sodium, 3g fibre, and 3g protein.


October 31, 2017

Quick Fast Food Guide

Let’s face it, there will always be those nights when cooking is simply out of the question. Here’s my quick guide to making smart choices when you’re stuck eating a fast food dinner…

  • Choose Grilled: many fast food restaurants serve grilled chicken – choose this as often as you can.

  • Ditch the Bun: If a sandwich or burger is the only option then lighten it up by asking to have it lettuce wrapped or simply ditching half (or all) of the bun.

  • Dressing on the Side: Salads are a great choice, but don’t ever let the restaurant drench it in dressing. Get the dressing on the side and simply dip a little bit to taste. Also avoid croutons or any other high-calories add-ons.

  • Skip the Fries: Most fast food places now carry more side options than just fries. Avoid all of the fried sides and stick with steamed vegetables or fruit.

  • Don’t drink Calories: Just because you’re eating out doesn't give you license to drink a few hundred calories. Stick with water or unsweetened iced tea to easily avoid unnecessary sugar and calories.

  • Fruit for Dessert: That package of cookies or brownie that comes with your meal may look tasty, but you’re not eating it. You have a fitness goal, remember? Stick with fruit and you’ll be leaner and happier for it.

7 EASY Dinner Recipes

If you have stubborn weight to lose that won’t seem to come off, no matter how hard you exercise, then it’s time to closely examine the meals that you eat. When I go through this process with a client it’s nearly always high calorie dinners that are the reason that their results have slowed or stopped.

This is a tough one for most of us. Life, work and family are hectic and time consuming, so the concept of eating a healthy, simply prepared dinner may seem completely out of reach.

I believe that we overcomplicate the idea of a healthy dinner. This is because we are so used to eating out at restaurants where entrees are accompanied by sides, sauces and garnishes.

Here are 7 truly healthy dinners that are quick and simple to make…

  1. Roasted Broccoli & Poached Eggs: Toss chopped broccoli with a little olive oil, sea salt and minced garlic and roast on a baking sheet at 425F for 25 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve with poached eggs.

  2. Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs & Sautéed Kale: Brown 8 beef short ribs in a skillet with coconut oil. Place in a slow cooker with ½ cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce), 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1 Tablespoon crushed garlic, 1 Tablespoon crushed ginger and ½ teaspoon ground red pepper. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours. Serve with sautéed kale.

  3. Super Greens Salad & Roasted Chicken: Combine a mixture of super greens in a large bowl: baby spinach, beet leaves, rocket and kale. Top with sliced, grilled chicken and drizzle with balsamic vinegar glaze.

  4. Baked Catfish & Shredded Cabbage: Grease a casserole dish with olive oil and scatter 1 cup of chopped cilantro over the bottom of the dish. Wash and pat dry 4 catfish fillets. Rub the fillets with curry powder, sea salt and sweet paprika. Lay the fillets evenly in the dish, over the cilantro. Drizzle the fillets with lemon juice and sprinkle with chopped garlic. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F. Serve with shredded cabbage.

  5. Stir Fried Chicken & Veggies on Cauliflower Rice: Sauté chicken breast, sliced onions and sliced bell peppers in a skillet with olive oil. Season with sea salt, black pepper and fajita seasoning. Set aside. Cut a head of cauliflower into small pieces and run through a food processor with the shredding attachment. Sauté the shredded cauliflower for 5 minutes in a skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil. Serve the chicken and veggies on top of the cauliflower rice with a side of coconut aminos or soy sauce.

  6. Smoked Salmon Omelet & Sliced Tomatoes: Whisk together 3 eggs with a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. Cook in a heated skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil. Line the egg with smoked salmon and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Fold the egg over the salmon and cheese, and serve with sliced tomatoes.

  7. One Pot Chicken & Veggies: In a large skillet, brown a pound of chicken tenders in olive oil. Season with sea salt, black pepper, dried basil, crushed rosemary, sweet paprika, dried thyme, dried parsley and cumin. Add 4 cups of chopped veggies (zucchini, onion, tomatoes) and 4 cloves of chopped garlic. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until tender and fully cooked.

You see, healthy dinners can be quite simple to prepare. Don’t get too hung up on the exact measurements of ingredients and instead focus on combining a handful of quality ingredients together in a delicious way. There’s no such thing as a dinner that’s too simple when nutritious, wholesome ingredients are used.

Don’t forget that a consistent, challenging exercise programme is the key to getting and staying fit and lean. If you’ve been dragging your feet about joining one of my programme then today is the day.

Call or email to get started. Let’s do this!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

chicken pot pie soup.jpeg

Who doesn’t love Chicken Pot Pie? Creamy, hearty chicken soup wrapped up in a warm flaky crust…it sounds dreamy, but it’s actually a nutritional nightmare! Not only are there far too many carbs and calories in the crust, but the soup itself is often filled with heavy dairy products and noodles that make weight gain automatic.

I have a lightened up this recipe for Chicken Pot Pie Soup that gives you the same flavours and comfort of Chicken Pot Pie, while keeping you on track with your fitness and fat loss goals. Enjoy this warming recipe on chilly day!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 16

Here’s what you need

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 2 yellow onions, diced

  • 3 stalks celery, sliced

  • 2 teaspoons Garlic, minced

  • ¼ cup coconut flour

  • ½ cup white wine

  • 6 cups chicken broth

  • 2 cups Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed

  • 2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cubed

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 3 cups roasted chicken, chopped

  • 2 (14 oz.) cans coconut milk, full fat

  • 1 cup Pearl Onions, halved

  • 1 Green Zucchini, diced

  • ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, celery and garlic. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in the coconut flour and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until evaporated. Stir in the broth, butternut squash, thyme, poultry seasoning and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce to medium. Simmer the soup until the butternut squash and sweet potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes. Discard the thyme and bay leaf.

  3. Add the chicken, coconut milk, pearl onions, diced zucchini, parsley and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 227 calories, 15g fat, 11g carbohydrate ,4g sugar, 329mg sodium, 3g fibre, and 12g protein.


October 24, 2017

Lose Fat While You Sleep

One of the easiest ways to speed up your metabolism, and increase your fat burning, is to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. I know that it’s not always easy to get a full night’s sleep, but the benefits are quite worth it. While you sleep your body works to restore itself, a very important process that assists with your fat loss efforts.

Now go to bed already!

5 Things to do NOW to feel better before Christmas

We are officially on the verge of Christmas season…and with it a myriad of food temptations and weight gain traps. Don’t fret, if you act now there’s still time to tighten up before putting on your finest.

Do these 5 things NOW to start shaping up…

1. Eat more Veggies: Your mum was right, eating vegetables really is a good idea, especially when aiming to drop pounds. Why? There are a couple of reasons. First, veggies are low in calories and high in fibre, which means that you’re filling up without packing on pounds. Second, the vitamins and minerals in fresh vegetables nourish your body and cut down on cravings.

2.Add five Minutes: Each week, between now New Years, I want you to add 5 minutes to your workouts. Just five more minutes. The slight increase from week to week will hardly be noticeable, but the extra fat burn will pay off nicely. Use these extra five minutes to do intense burst of exercise, such as burpees, squat to presses and walking lunges.

3. Double up on Water: Not only will staying extra hydrated help your skin to have a healthy glow, it will also speed up your fat loss efforts. Many of us are walking around in a state of chronic dehydration, which contributes to fatigue, stubborn weight gain and constipation. By drinking more water throughout the day, and by limiting your intake of caffeinated beverages, you’ll become healthier and more radiant.

4. Eat low Carb (after 4pm): One of the easiest ways to drop a few inches around your waist before the holidays is to eat low carb after 4pm each day. This means eating dinners that are centered around salads and vegetables rather than breads and pastas. If you simply must have your oatmeal or whole grain bread each day, then eat it for breakfast or lunch and give low carb dinners a try – starting with the recipe for Greek Stew below. Don’t forget that sugar counts as carbs, so skip that sugary dessert and try a grapefruit for dessert.

5. Train with Us: If you’re not yet one of our valued ProActive Fitness clients, now is the time! I’d love to get you into a workout routine before New Years, and to give you the foundation that will keep you active and healthy for life!

Call or email today and we will get you started this week on an exercise program that will get you back in control of your health. 

Greek Stew

greek stew.jpeg

Butter beans and Kalamata olives make this hearty stew a memorable one. It’s important to season the pork well before browning it, so get don't hold back with the seasoning. Remember that it’s going into a big pot of soup so the flavour won’t be overwhelming once it’s swimming in broth with the other ingredients.

You could certainly play around with the protein used in this stew – next time I plan on using good ’ol chicken breast. And it’s also possible to omit the meat if you’d prefer.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 8

Here’s what you need

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced

  • 8 ounces pork tenderloin, trimmed, cubed and seasoned with sea salt, black pepper and dried oregano ¼ cup white wine

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 1 vine-ripened tomato, seeded and diced

  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach

  • 1 (15 ounce) can butter beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt

  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the pork and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.

  2. Deglaze the pot with wine, scraping up any browned bits. Cook until the wine is nearly evaporated. Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, tomato, and olives. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

  3. Stir in the spinach and beans until the spinach is wilted and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 123 calories, 4g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, 1134mg sodium, 3g fibre, and 12g protein.


October 17, 2017

The Monday Paradox

Skipping out on exercise on Monday in order to make yourself feel better? Think again.

Research shows that the endorphins (happy hormones!) released during exercise makes you feel better, increases your self-esteem, and reduces anxiety.

So if you’d like to walk into work on Monday feeling good, with increased self-esteem, and reduced anxiety, grab an early morning workout instead of another hour of sleep!

Never miss a Monday. Here’s why…

Mondays matter more than any other day of the week.

This is because your actions on Monday set the tone for your entire week. Start out on the wrong foot and it could take days to get back on track.

Mondays are like mornings. If you win your mornings, you're usually going to win your day.

Starting out with a healthy, balanced breakfast that avoids sugar and is full of fibre and protein gets you primed to eat healthy again at lunch, and again at dinner.

Likewise, when you exercise on Monday, you're going to set yourself up to have an active and fit week. When you show up prepared and rested on a Monday, the rest of the week flows with successes and wins.

Fact: When you get that Monday workout in, you're 4 times more likely to get in a Tuesday workout... and that Tuesday workout leads to getting workouts in the rest of the week.

On the flip side, when you don't show up on a Monday with your A-game, you're left chasing the rest of the week and playing a game of catch-up.

This is true for your fitness, health, mindset and work.

When you choose to skip your workout Monday morning, and eat whatever is quick and available rather than what’s healthy, then you’ve started the week on the wrong foot, and you will spend the next several days backsliding away from your goals.

The fastest way to the top in fitness and health is to show up Mondays rested, prepared, and ready to dominate. Never miss a Monday again. Embrace Monday with enthusiasm and vigour!

Call or email me now to get started with our results-driven fitness program.

Squash and Fennel Salad

This salad wins the award of the most refreshing side dish ever! The combined essence of fennel and lemon give ordinary zucchini extraordinary flavour in this simple, invigourating salad. Consider it your new go-to side dish to enjoy with grilled steak or chicken.

Here’s another flavourful reason to ask more from your side dishes. Do you really need traditional, grain-filled noodle salads when it’s possible to create a veggie noodle salad like this instead? This one tastes better and is better for you…one bite and you’ll see what I mean.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

For the Squash and Fennel Salad

  • 2 green zucchini

  • 1 yellow squash

  • 1 fennel bulb and fronds

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

For the Lemony Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest

  • ½ teaspoon garlic, minced

  • 2 Tablespoons fennel fronds, minced

  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Use a veggie peeler to turn the zucchini and squash into long, flat noodles. Cut the fennel bulb in half, and then slice into thin half moons.

  2. Throw the squash noodles and fennel slices into a large colander and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Mix the salt into the veggies and let sit for 20 minutes over a plate. Squeeze the veggies gently to release excess water and transfer to a salad bowl.

  3. In a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients. Toss the dressing with the veggies and chill until serving. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 81 calories, 7g fat, 5g carbohydrate, 2g sugar, 489mg sodium, 2g fiber, and 1g protein.


October 10, 2017

Another Round of Yoga!

Yoga with Florence has been going very well and we are pleased to announce that she will be offering a six-week series from November 14th to December 19th. 

Classes will be held on Tuesday evenings, 7:00 - 7:45 p.m.

Cost is $72 for the entire six-week session. 

Limit of 10 participants. 

These spots will fill quickly! Call the studio or email simone@proactivefit.ca to reserve yours.

Stop Drinking Calories

Here’s an easy way to drop weight: don’t drink calories.

Liquid calories are sneaky. You don’t get that full feeling like with solid foods, but you’re still taking in tons of calories. Avoid drinks like: regular sodas, smoothies, juices, sweet coffee drinks, hot chocolate, milk shakes, and alcoholic beverages.

Drink plenty of water instead.

Don’t be fooled

Yesterday morning I was in line for coffee with a friend when I noticed the “healthy” pop tarts on display. The packaging was deceptive to give it a wholesome look that would make you believe the snack was a healthy one.

I flipped it over and read the ingredients: Refined flour. Refined sugar. Additives. Loads of simple carbs and sugars.
There was nothing remotely healthy about it!

A snack like that causes weight gain and further poor food choices…and yet people are being fooled into thinking that it’s healthy and good for them.

Looking around the coffee shop I realised that the new trend is to present processed snack foods in packaging that suggests that it’s healthy. The one or two benefits of the product are displayed prominently so that we forget to check the rest of the ingredients…

“Gluten Free!” (but filled with other refined grains AND sugar)

“Organic!” (but filled with refined sugar)

“Vegan!” (but filled with unhealthy fats and refined sugars)

“Sugar Free!” (but filled with artificial sweeteners)

What really upsets me about this deceptive marketing is that good people who truly want to make healthy choices are being duped. They are eating these packaged foods with the misconception that it’s healthy and beneficial, when in reality they may as well be eating the cheaper packaged snacks from a gas station. The weight gain and nutritional hazards are the same.

Big food knows that we want to eat healthier, so their marketing is getting more clever than ever to keep us coming back to purchase their packaged, processed, toxic foods. And we pay the price in pounds gained, and in health diminished.

Let’s fight back.

Pass by the packaged snack foods, no matter how enticing and comforting the words on it may be.
ALWAYS read the ingredient list of foods you purchase.
Stick with real, whole foods instead of processed foods.
Join my life-changing fitness programme to bring your results to the next level.
Call or email me today to get started on the path to being healthy and fit!

Oregano and Lemon Roasted Chicken Thighs

Oregano and Lemon Roasted Chicken Thighs.jpeg

Here's a chicken dish that is great to make on busy weeknights. It’s quite simple, yet yields tremendous flavour with very little effort on your part. While many chicken dishes turn out dry, these bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs come out moist and tender every single time!

For the olive mixture, feel free to use a combination of whatever olives and roasted peppers and garlic that you like. If your market has an olive bar, then that’s the perfect place to put together a nice sampling of flavours to use for this recipe. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • 1 cup combination of roughly chopped pimento stuffed green olives, kalamata olives, pimentos and roasted garlic (or whatever looks good at your local olive bar!)

  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Combine the coconut oil, olive oil, fresh oregano, garlic, sea salt, paprika and pepper. Place the chicken thighs skin side up in a casserole pan, and spread the flavour mixture over the skin. Roast for 30 minutes.

  3. Sprinkle the olive mixture and lemon wedges over the chicken and return to the oven to roast the thighs until the skin is crisp and a thermometer registers at 165 degrees F in this thickest part of the thigh, about 20 more minutes. Switch the oven to high broil for 2 to 3 minutes at the very end of the cook time to crisp up the chicken skins. Garnish with fresh oregano. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 353 calories, 22g fat, 4g carbohydrate, 0g sugar, 625mg sodium, 3g fibre, and 34g protein.


October 3, 2017

Remember to FEEL it!

Emotionally, that is. If you can connect emotionally to your goal then your chances for success increase exponentially. The idea of getting into shape is nice, but if you aren’t feeling the desire for change in your gut then it won’t go anywhere. Feel it. Feel it. Feel it.

And then achieve it.

This helped my clients

I have a message for you today that has the potential to help you break through to your fitness goal. It’s something that I like to share with my most dedicated clients…

There’s a struggle happening in you between two very different sides.

One side of you wants to turn over a new leaf.

To stop trashing your diet with processed foods and sugary treats. To wake up earlier. To make exercise a bigger priority. To eat healthier foods. To fill your diet with real, wholesome food. To drop the weight once and for all to feel confident and energised. To have friends and family notice your inspiring transformation. To be the best version of yourself.

Then there’s the other side…

The other side is content with your bad habits and doesn’t care about the consequences of daily indulgences.

It tells you to sleep in. It gives you permission to skip the gym. You’re too tired, it says, you’ll do it tomorrow. It tells you that healthy diets are boring and take too much time to prepare. It wants you to remain as you are, to fade into the background, and to resist change. It is afraid of you becoming the best version of yourself.

All day long struggles between these two sides are fought, won, and lost leaving you to wonder: Which side will come out on top?

The answer is obvious. The side that wins is the side that you give the most attention to. It’s the side that you identify with. It’s the side that you think is the most comfortable.

The struggle isn’t over unless you give up. So don’t give up! If your dark side has been winning lately then maybe it’s time for that to change.

Never give up on your fitness goals. Strive for it with laser-like focus, and call in for backup as you need it.

I’m here to help you win the struggle…once and for all!

Call or email me today to get started.

You can do this!

Curried Cauliflower

Curried Cauliflower.jpeg

This dish is filled with tender cauliflower, nutrient-dense spinach, sweet pickled pimento peppers, and plump garbanzo beans all swimming in a creamy, dreamy curry sauce. With a flavour this deep and satisfying, you may forget that it's filled with all wholesome ingredients. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com 

Servings: 16

Here’s what you need

  • 2 heads cauliflower, chopped into florets

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced

  • 3 Tablespoons curry powder

  • 1 (15oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

  • ½ cup chicken broth or vegetable broth

  • 5 oz bag of fresh baby spinach

  • 1 (13.66oz) can coconut milk, full fat

  • ½ cup pickled sweet pimento peppers, chopped

  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the cauliflower florets and boil for 8 minutes, until fork tender. Drain and set aside. Wipe out the pot.

  2. Return the pot to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cauliflower florets and continue to cook for 2 minutes.

  3. Add the garbanzo beans, chicken broth, spinach, coconut milk, pimentos, lime juice, salt and red pepper flakes. Mix well and reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 185 calories, 8g fat, 17g carbohydrate, 4gg sugar, 169mg sodium, 7g fibre, and 8g protein.


September 26, 2017

LBD-logo.png

Members, ask a friend to join you on the Little Black Dress Project! Extra incentive...

Our next 6-week challenge starts on October 14th and runs until November 25th. 

Since everything is more fun with a friend, we thought some members might like to ask someone to join them at ProActive for the six weeks. We'd love to meet more people like our amazing members! 

You can train together at the gym, keep one another accountable in the nutrition challenges, burn some extra calories and enjoy some fall walks together....and then celebrate at the LBD party at the end of November!

To provide a little extra incentive, members who bring a new* friend to the LBD Project will get their own 6-week challenge for just $39! That's 50% off!  (*Friend must be brand new to ProActive Fitness. They must not have done any previous promotions or free sessions with us.) 

Here's a reminder of the details for the Little Black Dress Project:

- Kickoff day and initial assessments: Saturday, October 14th 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

- Early bird price of $270 for non-members until Oct. 6. Price goes up to $320 on Oct. 7.

- Member price is $79 (Only $39 if you bring a friend as mentioned above!) 

- Includes: initial and final assessments, accountability meetings and check-ins, access to our private Facebook group, nutrition coaching from Precision Nutrition certified coach, catered wrap-up party, and the opportunity to win some great prizes! 

- Also, non-members get 3x/week small group training. Members train according to their existing contracts. Twice/week members may purchase additional sessions at just $10 each for the duration of the challenge.

- Only 20 non-member spots (some are already gone), so call or email shelley@proactivefit.ca to register soon!

This is life changing…

A dose of motivation can inspire you to change your life! 

The best part of what I do is seeing clients achieve amazing results. Whether they drop a few sizes, lose the baby weight, get off their blood pressure meds, or finally get up off the floor without using their hands, the excitement is always contagious.

There really isn’t a clear way to describe the euphoria that settles in once you’ve realized your fitness goal. You have to experience it to understand. Though each successful client is unique with different goals, one element unites them: They are all highly motivated.

As trainers, we are in a unique position. we know how to get you into great shape. We can coach you through a 50-pound weight loss. We can guide you to a healthier body. 

But there is one catch…

You’ll need to be motivated. We can't provide that for you. 

Saying that you want to get into great shape isn’t enough. You need motivation—and honestly, that’s just half of the equation. The other (and the most important) part is ACTION.

Nothing happens until you take action. Consistent action is required for progress! Motivation will probably wane as real life takes its toll on those bad days, but the action HAS to happen anyway, if you want those results!

You can want it, think about it, mull it over, ponder it, plan it, and then re-plan it. But nothing happens until you take action.

While I may not know your story—it’s probably safe to assume that you are dissatisfied with your body and know that you can improve your fitness level. You want to look better, to have more energy, to experience fewer aches and pains, and to enjoy sweet satisfaction as you achieve your goals once and for all.

All of our successful clients were once in your shoes. They wanted to change. They felt urgency. And then they did what most fail to do. They took action and contacted us at ProActive Fitness.

But there is more to it than that. They then COMMITTED to the program, put in the exercise, stuck to their diet and met their goals. There’s nothing more gratifying than getting into those jeans again or being able to race up a hill with your grandkids when you could hardly walk a block before .

People who take consistent action reap massive rewards. And those who simply talk about changing will continue to lose fitness and health and slowly deteriorate. I hate to put it that way, but it’s the truth.

So what do you want?

To drop 20 pounds
To feel younger and move better
To be able to golf 18 holes again
To become healthier and get off medications
How bad do you want it? How much motivation do you have? Enough to take MASSIVE ACTION?

The rewards are great IF you do.

(Your first step is to call or email us now to get started.)

Hearty Spiced Turkey Soup

Hearty Spiced Turkey Soup.jpeg

Calling all turkey lovers! Now here’s a turkey soup that’s worth getting excited about. Not only do we jazz it up with a bunch of spices, the addition of baked sweet potato takes the comfort and heartiness of this soup to a new level.

The flavours of this dish are so tasty that it’s worth adding this in to your regular dinner rotation using whatever leftover roasted meat you may have on hand. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons Garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground chili

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano

  • 6 cups chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 baked sweet potatoes, roughly chopped (skins on)

  • 2-3 cups roasted turkey, roughly chopped (or any roasted meat)

  • sea salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot, place the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and bell peppers. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until tender.

  2. Add in the cumin, chili powder, paprika and oregano. Cook for 4 minutes. Add in the chicken stock and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer.

  3. Add the sweet potato and turkey, and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 109 calories, 3g fat, 10g carbohydrate, 2g sugar, 413mg sodium, 2g fibre, and 8g protein.


September 19, 2017

You've let yourself go

Little Black Dress Project

Our next six-week challenge is coming soon! The Little Black Dress Project was a big hit last year and we're making it even better than before! 

You get six weeks of 3x/week workouts in our small group training sessions, nutrition coaching from our Precision Nutrition-certified coach and support from our ProActive trainers and other participants (through a private FB group and support meetings) all capped off with a party to celebrate the new, healthier, fabulous YOU! And all just in time for the holiday party season!

We are opening only 20 spots for non-members, so act fast. Sign up at the early-bird price of $270 before October 6th. After that, cost jumps to $320. Current ProActive Members can join for $79. (Extra sessions can be purchased at a discounted price for those currently on 2x/week contract, if desired.)

Kickoff is Saturday, October 14 with our orientation and assessment session. Final party date TBD, likely Nov. 24 or 25.

Get that party dress out and start dreaming about how amazing you're going to look and feel in it this year!

Call the studio or email Shelley at shelley@proactivefit.ca to register or get more info!

Stressed Out?

Regular exercise is a simple solution to get you feeling good fast.

This is because every time you exercise your body increases its production of endorphins, which are responsible for that feel-good euphoria you get after a great workout or while chomping down on a piece of chocolate.

However, before you turn to chocolate and skip the gym, remember the end result of each and choose which one will help you reduce stress in the long run. (Hint: It’s not the chocolate!)

While benefits like fat loss and strength increases take some time to manifest, you'll FEEL better after your very first workout! 

You've let yourself go

It happens to the best of us. That moment when you realize that you’ve let yourself go, and you need to get back on track.

It may happen when you’re looking in the mirror or when you glance at yourself in a recent photo.

Your first thought is to go on a ‘diet’ but as quickly as that enters your mind the ghosts of a hundred diets past return…along with all the frustration.

Then you wonder, why bother?

The weight will come back, as it always has. Then you’ll be back in front of the mirror as discouraged as ever.

The answer is not to go on another diet.

The answer is to change your lifestyle.

Making the Change.

It’s time to lose your ‘all or nothing’ mentality. Embrace simple, small changes that will add up to big improvements in your lifestyle. An ongoing healthy lifestyle that supports your ideal body weight.

These are your 2 areas to change:

What You Eat. Let’s face it, most of the foods you eat aren’t the healthiest. Some are downright terrible (the burger and fries you had last week). While others are simply excessive (the snacks you eat while watching TV).

The solution to cleaning up your daily diet is NOT to go back on a ‘diet’. In fact, I never want you to go on a ‘diet’ again. (Yes, you heard me right!) Instead I want you to make permanent healthy changes to your eating habits.

Here are some practical examples:

  • Choose salad over chips or fries

  • Don’t add butter to your food

  • Eat fresh produce with every meal

  • Roast your meat instead of frying it

  • Limit desserts to one or two per week

  • Cut out mindless snacking

  • Drink water, not soda

I don’t expect you to eat a perfect diet every day of the week – that’d be ludicrous. You should, however, make MORE healthy choices every day than unhealthy ones.

How You Move. Exercise is a huge component to a healthy lifestyle, and quite frankly you’re not getting enough of it. How often does an entire week go by without you ever lacing up your workout shoes? Don’t disregard the importance and power of a good workout.

Your new healthy lifestyle means exercising a few days of the week and MOVING every day! This may seem tough, but I have the perfect solution – our training program were created for busy people just like you who only have so much time to dedicate to exercise.

I understand how hard it is to find the motivation to stay consistent and to push yourself. Make exercise a no-brainer—contact ProActive Fitness to get started on a lifestyle enhancing program today.

Here are simple ways to move more:

  • Watch less TV. If you must, do planks during commercials!

  • Stretch stiff muscles every day

  • Play at the park with the kids

  • Go for a brisk walk

  • Do some pushups every morning

While none of the above are meant as substitutes for a solid exercise routine, they are great ways to become more active and to improve your lifestyle.

Your lifestyle is the balance of all the choices that you make regarding your body. Swing the balance in your favour—make a majority of your choices health conscious.

So the next time you’re in front of the mirror you won’t worry about your weight.

You’ll relish it.

Are you ready to transform your lifestyle and body? No more beating around the bush. The time is now.

Call or email today to get started. Let’s do this!

Italian Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad.jpeg

This isn’t your mama’s pasta salad recipe! Welcome to a whole new pasta salad, one that has ditched the chewy pasta for crisp, fresh veggies, and contains all of the Italian flavours that you love.

It’s a salad worth getting excited about! It’s hard to argue with fresh ingredients, and this salad is bursting with ‘em!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need

For the Italian Vinaigrette

  • ⅓ cup white wine vinegar

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • ⅛ teaspoon liquid stevia

For the Salad

  • 4 zucchini, peeled and cut into thin, 1-inch pieces

  • 2 English cucumbers, seeded and chopped

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered

  • 1 cup green olives, quartered

  • ⅓ cup red onion, finely minced

Instructions

  1. Whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.

  2. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette and chill before serving. Keeps in the fridge for several days. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 81 calories, 4g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, 504mg sodium, 3g fibre, and 2g protein


September 12, 2017

Do you feel guilty about this?

Time Just For You

I understand that it can feel impossible to find the time to carve out of your day to get in a good workout – even after you’ve decided that this is something you want to do. Many of my busiest clients make the choice to wake up extra early, before their family is up, to get their workout in. This strategy is great for those who feel that once the family is up that their day is no longer theirs.

Having an hour or two to yourself in the morning to grab a great workout and do some relaxation breathing may be just what you need in your life!

Do you feel guilty about this?

You have so many demands on you. Your family relies on you for money, food, transportation, permission slips (or perhaps babysitting if you are beyond those), bills and paperwork. You hardly get a moment to yourself at the end of each day, and even less now that school is back in session. It’s hard not to feel guilty about taking a moment to care for yourself.

From the moment that your day starts, with making meals, getting ready for work, and getting the kids (or grandkids) to school and yourself to work on time, you have demands on you minute-by-minute. It’s easy to start feeling like there’s nothing left for yourself, even though the benefits of self-care are well known.

How important is self-care?

Every time that we board an airplane to jet to another city, we are reminded of the importance of caring for ourselves before attempting to care for others.

“In case of emergency, air masks will drop the ceiling. If you are travelling with someone who requires assistance, please put on your own mask before helping another person.”

The reasoning is simple: if you are not in good working condition (i.e. gasping for air) then you will not be as effective when attempting to assist others around you in getting their air secured.

This concept applies to everyday life, not just while soaring at 37,000 feet. Everyday you have the ability to put your air mask on first before assisting others. Now it’s easy to feel like putting your air mask on first isn’t even an option – since the dependents in your life are so good at making their needs known, and your own needs are quieter and easier to shove aside.

Let’s take this moment to assess what your self-care needs are…

Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is essential for good health, and doubly essential when you lead a busy, demanding life. Unfortunately, sleep is one of the easiest things to skip out on, as you attempt to get everything done each day.

A normal, healthy adult needs at least seven hours of consistent sleep each night in order to function well. And while allowing yourself time to sleep may feel like a luxury, remind yourself that it is a necessity.

Nutrition: Keeping your body well fed with nutritious meals throughout the day is another key component to functioning as your best self. Most of us tend to let meal-planning slide, in order to meet the immediate demands in front of us, and end up scrambling to piece together less-than-nutritious meals.

Making the habit to pack a few meals that are rich in protein and veggies doesn’t actually take that much time out of your morning, and the benefit is extreme. The funny thing about meal planning is that it ends up saving you time in the long run, since it removes the need to scramble around for food throughout the day. And the steady energy that you’ll experience once your body is being consistently fuelled with good nutrition is priceless.

Hydration: The number of adults that are suffering from chronic dehydration is staggering. Part of the problem is that we are drinking fluids throughout the day that are filled with caffeine and calories rather than plain old water.

That plain old water is what your body really needs to thrive, so remind yourself that proper self-care includes making hydration a priority. You could jazz it up by adding in a few slices of lemon, some fresh herbs or a piece of fruit.

Relaxation: Relaxation!?! Have I gone mad? Here is where you may feel the urge to tune out of my little talk on self-care. How in the world are you going to find the time to relax with everything that you have going on in your life?

I know it’s not popular to talk about giving yourself time off to relax, but the benefits of reducing your stress levels are too huge to ignore. I want to suggest that you try the technique of relaxing throughout your day by giving yourself a mental break. This doesn’t mean that you walk away from your desk at work or skip out on your responsibilities, just that you consciously take moments throughout your day to focus on deep breathing and to clear any cluttered or stressful thoughts from your mind.

There is also something to be said for making a practice of relaxing when you do have time off from work. Rather than trying to do a million things on your day off, make the effort to take some of the time to simply be. Deep breathing and calming thoughts will do plenty to help reduce your stress level.  If you're a ProActive member, you know 4-7-8 breathing. Try it at home on your own a few times a day!

Exercise: I walked you right into this one! Yes, exercise is self-care. Exercise is NOT indulgent, or optional, rather it’s absolutely necessary for taking good care of yourself. Some of our clients will tell you that their exercise time is also their relaxation time, which might not make sense when you first hear it. But when you walk into your workout with the worries of your day on your mind, and you walk out with a clear mind and the incredible rush of endorphins then you’ll understand perfectly what they’re talking about!

I’m here to help you make the most of your exercise time, and also to support you as you begin to consciously practice better self-care. Remember all of your loved ones who rely on you and your stamina every single day. You’re needed, and you owe it to them to keep yourself in the best shape possible.

Call or email us now if you’d like help getting there.

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower with Kale

garlic mashed cauliflower with kale.jpeg

This recipe is a really lightened up replacement for mashed potatoes, with the enhanced flavours of garlic and kale. It’s incredibly quick and simple to throw this side dish together, and there are many ways in which the flavour could be tweaked and adjusted to your liking.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 1 head cauliflower

  • 1 bunch curly kale

  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 3 Tablespoons coconut cream

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • black pepper to taste

  • 2 Tablespoons chives, snipped

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

  2. Separate the cauliflower into florets and chop the stem. Stem the kale and chop the leaves.

  3. Add the cauliflower and garlic to the boiling water for 8 minutes. Stir in the kale and continue to boil for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

  4. Place the drained cauliflower, kale and garlic in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients. Pulse until a creamy consistency is reached. Taste for salt and add more as needed. Enjoy

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 76 calories, 5g fat, 8g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, 112mg sodium, 3g fibre, and 3g protein.


September 5, 2017

Once fat, always fat?

Less than 1% of the formerly obese will maintain weight loss for more than a year, according to a study conducted in the UK in 2015. Specifically this broke down to just 1 man out of 210 and 1 woman out of 124.

Does this mean that once fat we are all doomed to stay fat?
Participants in the study were told to eat less and move more, a method that failed to deliver long-term results. Clearly this sound bite advice wasn’t enough.

Now I could launch into a debate over whether or not this study practiced sound research and whether or not the participants really did eat less and exercise more, but instead I’d rather share with you what I know to be true about lasting weight loss.

Make no mistake about it, long-term fat loss results are very possible – in stark contrast to the UK study results! I've seen it in several of my clients over the years. 

Since there’s more to it than simply eating less and moving more, how does one go about losing fat and then keeping it off for the long haul? Here are 5 Steps to Lose it For Good…

Step #1 to Lose it For Good - The Right Mindset

There are only two mindsets to choose from when you approach your quest for weight loss:

1. This is a temporary change in my behaviour.

2. This is a new way of life.

There’s no middle ground, you either see it as temporary change or you see it as permanent change. It’s pretty obvious which mindset produces permanent results.

Step #2 to Lose it For Good - New Habits

Understanding how to put new habits in place is the second step to losing the weight and keeping it lost.

As we just saw in step one, looking at your weight loss behaviour as a new lifestyle is the only way to ensure permanent results and this means adopting healthy new habits.

Habits are best taken on in gradual steps. This has been proven to be the most effective way to make the new habits stick. Approach building new habits with baby steps instead of grand leaps.

If one of your current, fattening, habits is that you drink sugary soda then first switch to drinking diet soda. Once the habit of drinking diet soda has completely replaced your sugary soda habit then you can start replacing some of the diet soda with water. You didn’t jump straight from drinking flavourful, fizzy soda to just drinking water, that’s too extreme and will make success unlikely.

Step #3 to Lose it For Good - Your Environment

In order to permanently change your body you must permanently change your environment. It makes sense that you won’t maintain a lean body in the same environment where you gained the weight.

The term “environment” sounds vague, so let’s break it down. Your environment is the world that you create around yourself. These are the foods that you see, smell and have easy access to. This is the ease or difficulty you have in consistently accessing exercise. This is the lifestyle of the people closest to you that casts an influence on your own lifestyle whether you realise it or not.

I’ll bet you could draw out the ideal environment for permanent weight loss. You know the path. Now put in the effort to walk the path.

Step #4 to Lose it For Good - Good Nutrition

The problem with the advice of eat less and move more is that it doesn’t make a distinction between calories. When total calorie count is your only goal you’ll end up consuming lower quality calories than you should, which leads to mindless eating and malnutrition.

Educate yourself on healthy calories versus nutritionally void calories. A great rule of thumb is that calories that are created in nature are always superior to calories created in a factory. Stick with real food over anything from a package.

Step #5 to Lose it For Good - Your Support System

If you just did the first 4 steps then you’d be well on your way to successfully transforming your body from fat to fit, and keeping it that way for the long haul. However, in order to fully ensure that you make the switch from where you are to where you want to be it’s important to put a support system in place.

Nothing is more powerful than social accountability. Instinctively you don’t want to let people down, and so you’ll work harder and more consistently in a support group than you would when working on your own. It’s hard to sleep in when you know someone is at the gym waiting for you!

This fifth and most important step is where we come into your life. Our mission at ProActive Fitness is to not only provide you with the action steps to getting into the best shape of your life, We are also here to provide you with the support that you need to make it happen.

On that note, our next six-week challenge is the Little Black Dress Challenge, starting on October 14th. We are pre-selling non-member spots for $270 + GST up until Friday, October 6th. After that, the regular price of $320 will apply. Member price is $79 + GST and members wishing to do one extra session per week (during the challenge) can do so for $60 + GST. 

articipants get our small group training workouts, nutrition education, accountability from trainers and each other with our private Facebook group and two accountability meetings. 

Space is limited to 20 non-members and 15 members! Call the studio at (306)374-3013 or email info@proactivefit.ca for more info or to register. 

Asian Shrimp and Noodles

asian shrimp and noodles.jpeg

There is no need for take-out with this quick-n-tasty recipe for Asian Shrimp and Noodles! This dish has all of the Asian flavours that you love, with a fraction of the carbs and calories of traditional take-out.

All of the flavours, none of the guilt!

This dish is pretty epic: plump shrimp and tender veggies combine with savoury sauce and satisfying veggie noodles. Yes, please!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

For the Coconut Amino Sauce

  • ⅓ cup coconut aminos

  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon liquid stevia

  • 1 Tablespoon chili paste (sambal oelek)

  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

For the Noodles

  • 1 butternut squash

  • 1 sweet potato

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • sea salt and black pepper

For the Shrimp and Veggies

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 12 oz large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 2 cups (5oz) white cremini mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

  • 2 zucchini, diced

  • 1 carrot, grated

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced

Instructions

For the Coconut Amino Sauce

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the sauce ingredients together. Whisk until fully combined.

For the Noodles

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Peel the sweet potato and peel and seed the butternut squash and run both through a spiral slicer to create long, thin noodles. Toss with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Set aside.

For the Shrimp and Veggies

  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 2 Tablespoons of the coconut amino sauce and the shrimp. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until fully cooked. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside.

  2. Add the mushroom, bell pepper, zucchini and carrot to the skillet. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.

  3. Add the shrimp, noodles and remaining coconut amino sauce back into the skillet and stir until fully combined.

  4. Remove from heat, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 193 calories, 4g fat, 20g carbohydrate, 6g sugar, 429mg sodium, 3g fibre, and 19g protein.


August 29, 2017

Two Forms of Kinder, Gentler Exercise at ProActive

Many of our clients that have been with us since the very beginning have tried to get family and friends to join them at the gym and some have succeeded! There are those friends, though, that resist anything that has to do with "strength training" and "workouts". 

Even though we're not like the typical gym, the fact that we still use dumbbells and have our clients do squats can be off-putting to some. 

If that describes your friends, why not tell them about our two newest offerings, starting in September? 

You've all heard about Tai Chi by now, starting Sept. 5th. I won't go into details, as they are all in last week's email. Do check out the Tai Chi article below! If you haven't yet tried a class, you are still welcome to come and do one for FREE and you're welcome to bring a friend.

The other form of gentle exercise coming soon is YOGA with Florence. This will be a progressive class, so sign ups are required. Here are the details:

  • Tuesday nights 7:00 - 7:45 p.m.

  • Start Sept. 12, go to Oct. 31 (8 weeks)

  • 45 min sessions

  • Slow flow + Hatha: beginner level

  • 8 people max sign up

  • 2 people may do drop in, if there isn't a full class (TBD)

  • $96 for all 8 weeks, $16 per drop in

f you need more information, or if you would like to sign up for either Tai Chi or Yoga, please reply to info@proactivefit.ca.

Tai Chi as Exercise

From the creator of Open the Door to Tai Chi, Dianne Bailey

Are you the kind of person who sees Tai Chi as a viable form of exercise, but the mysterious, "woo-woo" talk gets in the way of you actually wanting to learn it?

I get it. There are a lot of Tai Chi Masters and other martial artists who want you to believe that it will take you years to learn Tai Chi and a lifetime to understand it.

And then there are others who want you to believe that the benefits of Tai Chi can be accomplished by simply waving your arms gently in the air in whatever pattern nature is calling out to you.

I just watched a video of a well known "health coach" and he stated that he doesn't recommend traditional Tai Chi because that "requires a lot of memorization," and "doing that merely diverts the attention of most folks away from their bodies and into their heads, thus defeating the purpose of doing it."

Wow. The benefits of improving mental capacity and focus are proven with Tai Chi . . . but not if you strip away the need to memorize and do the individual movements properly and in the correct sequence.

If you missed my interview on the Female Brain Summit about the amazing benefitTs Tai Chi provides for your brain, watch it here.

Tai Chi as a form of exercise is critical to our aging population. It provides a gentle-on-the-joints workout that encourages the body to improve in strength, balance and flexibility. It is easily accessible because it doesn't require any equipment. And the memorization piece is also an extremely beneficial effect of learning Tai Chi!

The Functional Aging Institute recently posted an article about the need for dual task training for fall prevention for older adults. See it here. Tai Chi is the perfect dual task training protocol!

In Tai Chi, you must be able to step a certain way, shift your weight and move your arms and upper body in a separate manner with each movement. It is always interesting to me when I do a Tai Chi consultation with a prospective client how difficult it is for them to coordinate their upper body movement and their lower body movement. Dual task training for sure!!

But if you are just waving your hands and moving in circles as you feel in the moment . . . you are not providing your body these same mental and physical benefits that traditional Tai Chi has been proven to provide.

Don't be put off by the "woo-woo" talk. Don't disregard Tai Chi as an excellent form of exercise. 

The instructors of The Open the Door to Tai Chi system can help you understand Tai Chi as an exercise. It helps you with balance, stress relief, improved sleep quality and increased vitality!

Dianne Bailey, CSCS, FAS, CTCI 


August 22, 2017

Daily Quota and Big Goals

You have some BIG GOALS in that brain of yours! Good for you! Big Goals give us the purpose and meaning that we need to live a fulfilling life.

The way to reach your Big Goal is to put daily quotas in place. These are the little steps that add up to the achievement of your Big Goal.

In writing a book, the daily quota is typing a minimum number of words per day. In fitness, your daily quota is the workout and clean eating that you’ll do.

Put your own daily quotas in place, and each day you’ll travel closer to the achievement of your Big Goal. Go get ‘em!

Try these Anti-aging Foods!

Wish you looked a few years younger? Look no further than your dinner plate. The foods that you regularly eat noticeably contribute to how you look and feel. Read on for the anti-aging foods that really make a difference…

More Meat, Please

Like getting your protein fix from meats? If you’re in the market for young-looking skin that doesn’t disclose your age, you’ll be pleased to know that eating meat can help you do just that. Just be careful, because not all meats are created equal.

For increased collagen that keeps your skin tight across your face, lean meats are the way to go. More into fish? Then get your fill of salmon. Full of the amazing omega-3 fatty acids that has been the talk of the medical community for years, salmon helps ward off cancers and improve your circulation, all while giving your skin that healthy glow you want and keeping your skin from getting dry. 

Fruits & Veggies, Too

Beside your meats (or in lieu of them if you’re not a meat-eater), you’ll want a healthy helping of fruits and vegetables - especially if you want skin that makes people wonder if you and your children are brothers and sisters.

What kind of fruits and vegetables can help you out? When it comes to your skin’s health, any fruit or vegetable is useful. Just remember that the more colour a fruit has, the more nutrients it holds. The more nutrients, the better it is for your skin! 

A few of the best include the following:

  • avocados—they provide healthy, monounsaturated fats that help your skin stay well hydrated

  • oranges—full of cell-hydrating water, vitamin C does double duty by helping create collagen, which keeps your skin plump and smooth

  • grapes—a particular chemical called resveratrol comes from grape skins and is remarkably efficient at fighting inflammation and bringing the aging process to a nice, slow pace

  • pomegranates—on top of fighting free radicals, they help preserve the collagen you’ve worked so hard to get in the first place

  • blueberries—they’re small and full of antioxidants that fight the damage to your skin caused by free radicals, sun damage, and stress

  • kale and spinach—these and other leafy greens serve to protect against damage done to your skin by the sun, improve your skin’s elasticity (which helps you look younger), and keep your skin as hydrated as possible

  • cauliflower and Brussels sprouts—they may not look like much, but they’re loaded with antioxidants and reduce your risk of cancer and give your immune system a boost, while cauliflower even works to keep your teeth whiter

Add a Little Grain 

It’s hard to eat meal after meal without getting a little bit of grain in your diet. Fortunately for you, there is a way to make your grain intake lend your skin a helping hand. How? By eating oats. Oats - steel cut and large flake preferred - are made up of complex carbohydrates and are low on the glycemic scale. Eating oats is particularly helpful for looking younger, as they help you feel full longer and avoid putting on age-increasing pounds. Additionally, oats are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant compounds that are responsible for preventing skin cell damage. When you have healthier skin, you look younger, healthier and happier!

To look even younger, a challenging and consistent exercise program is a must. Here’s why…

Exercise is the only proven way to drastically combat aging and to regain your youthful body. In fact, most people are able to regain up to 1/3 of their muscle strength and mass after participating in an exercise program for just a few months. Many studies have also shown that seniors who exercise regularly live longer than those who don’t. Isn’t that amazing! 

Call or email me today and I’ll get you started on an exercise plan that’s designed to get you looking and feeling younger than you have in decades!

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

slow cooker pulled chicken.jpeg

Having healthfully prepared protein on hand for on-the-go meals is a MUST when it comes to packing healthy meals to eat throughout your day. Put 4 to 6 ounces of protein (like this amazing pulled chicken!), a handful of cooked veggies and a handful of fresh arugula in a small container and drizzle on a bit of homemade balsamic dressing for a simple, quick, get-lean meal.

Eating small meals every few hours consisting of protein and veggies is the most reliable way that I know of to drop body fat and maintain a steady flow of energy throughout the day. It’s pretty darn tasty too, when you make the meals yourself!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

  • 2 ½ lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

  • 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste

  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Rinse the chicken breast and pat dry. Season with the salt and pepper on all sides.

  2. In a slow cooker, whisk the chicken broth, tomato paste, paprika and garlic. Add the seasoned chicken breast and the bay leaves. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, flipping the chicken after 1 hour.

  3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let cool for 20 minutes. Strain the broth. Use two forks to gently shred the chicken, discarding skin, fat, cartilage and bones. Store the chicken and broth separately in the fridge to use for up to 4 days. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 191 calories, 5g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, 960mg sodium, 0g fibre, and 34g protein.


August 15, 2017

7 Fat Loss Myths Debunked

Everywhere you turn there’s another headline about how to lose weight and shave off fat. Many of these eye-catching headlines are myths, plain and simple. And if you’re not careful, they can suck you in and spit you out, without helping you lose any weight at all. 

What myths are out there waiting to trick you? Here are seven that you’re most likely to come up against.

Fat Loss Myth #1: You Need to Work Out Every Day

A little bit of working out will help you lose a little bit of weight, so a lot will help a lot…right? Possibly. If your “little bit” of working out involves taking a walk from your living room to your mailbox, ramping up to a jog around the neighbourhood, then everyday is a good thing. However, if you’re pushing it hard at the gym 5 days a week, adding another two days isn’t a great idea. Not only do you increase your chance for overuse injury, but you don’t give your body time to recover. If your body can’t recover, you can’t get your peak performance every day, making it harder to burn fat.

Fat Loss Myth #2: No Coffee!

For many people, having to drop coffee is unbearable. Fortunately, if you’re a coffee lover and you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t have to give up your hot caffeinated goodness altogether. What you will need to do is cut the sugar and creamer. Once you get used to the taste of black coffee, you may find that drinking a cup half an hour before your workout will actually propel you to your best sessions ever.

Fat Loss Myth #3: Slow Is Better

Slow-moving folks rejoiced at the idea that a slower pace could mean more fat burned. And while moving slower—walking instead of running—may seem more appealing, there is a problem. Because moving at a faster pace and pushing yourself harder will always burn more calories in less time. Of course, if you plan to walk at a moderate pace for three hours, you will burn more than if you sprint 100 yards and call it quits. But if you can sprint 100 yards, walk 20 yards, and then sprint again, repeating the process for 20-30 minutes, you will easily shed more calories, fat, and pounds, than just going for a walk. AND by doing intervals, you activate the EPOC or "afterburn" phenomenon, which enables you to continue to burn calories at a higher rate for the next 24-36 hours. BONUS!

Fat Loss Myth #4: Cardio Is All You Need

Want to lose weight? Good. You’ll need to get some cardiovascular exercise. But don’t buy into the idea that cardio is all you need to lose weight. If you don’t lift weights or do some sort of strength training, your aerobic workouts will eventually work to burn off your muscle as well as fat. In the end, this means less strength and a lower metabolism—not good!

Fat Loss Myth #5: Your Workout Should Be Killer

Ever feel your workout didn’t work you hard enough? If you’re improving and increasing, don’t sweat it. That’s just a sign that your body is growing stronger and better able to handle whatever you throw at it. While many think a workout isn’t good unless it leaves you unable to stand up straight or lift a book, don’t believe the hype. Pushing your body so hard that you can’t function after a workout may give you mental assurance that you’re working hard, but it’s putting you at extreme risk for extreme injury. 

Fat Loss Myth #6: Heat Burns More

Slide this one under the heading “Stranger Than Fiction,” but according to research, those hot yoga classes may not be paying off like you expect. Strangely, they found that people who slept in a colder environment increased their weight loss ability substantially more than those who slept in a warmer temperature. Granted, the study involved sleeping and not exercising, but the chill should transfer to your workouts. Get the temp turned down a notch for a month or two and see if there are any changes!

Fat Loss Myth #7: There Are Negative-Calorie Foods

Whether you’ve bought into the myth or not, you’ve likely heard that certain foods—celery is a favourite—burn more calories via digestion than they contain. So if you eat nothing but celery, you’ll burn more calories than you consume, which catapults your weight-loss ability into the heavens. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Celery is low in calories, but you could survive on it if there was no other food available.

Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that will reshape your body and shed that fat once and for all!

Simple Tuna Salad

Here's a simple and light version of tuna salad. It cuts out high-calorie mayonnaise and adds some chopped fruit and vegetables to really liven it up. This is a great recipe to enjoy as you journey towards your fitness goal.

Servings: 4  

Here's what you need...

  • 1 green apple, chopped

  • 2 green onions, tops only, chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • 2 cans albacore tuna, in drained

  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 1/4 cup red grapes, halved

  • sea salt and pepper to taste

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and serve immediately. I like to serve this salad in large butter lettuce leaves, or scooped onto avocado halves. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 222 calories, 16g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 194g fiber, and 14g protein. 


August 8, 2017

Something to Look Forward To

Have you ever stopped to consider what your life would be like today if one year ago you had become one of my clients and had started your body transformation journey? Wouldn’t it be great if you could snap your fingers make that a reality? While you can’t turn back the hands of time, you CAN begin TODAY, and in 12 months the future you will thank yourself for it.

Get Fit Fast in 5 Easy Steps

Most people think way too much about how to lose the weight. Maybe you do this too. You spend hours gathering information about the latest trends and the quickest way to get in shape, and then become completely overwhelmed by all that you learn.

There are thousands of ways to exercise and eat healthy, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it all, and end up doing nothing. The good news is that all effective fitness programs contain the same core elements, which I outlined for you below as 5 Easy Steps to Get Fit Fast:

Get Fit Step #1: Consistency is KEY

If you want a fit body, exercise MUST be a consistent part of your life. You can’t exercise hard this week and then take the next two weeks off and expect to see results. Results come from consistency.

Don’t overthink exercise. Focus showing up for your workouts and being consistent.

Get Fit Step #2: Set ATTAINABLE goals

Let’s be realistic here, you aren’t going to lose 20 pounds in a week. That’s not an attainable goal! Those who achieve the most amazing body transformations do so by reaching a series of progressive, attainable goals. If you would like help in determining what an appropriate, attainable goal would be for yourself then simply reach out to me, I’d be happy to help.

Don’t give up too quickly. Keep striving and the results will come.

Get Fit Step #3: Make it CONVENIENT

Are you straining to include your chosen exercise routine into your life? If your exercise time isn’t a seamless part of your daily life, if it causes too much of a strain and headache to accomplish, then you won’t stick with it. Find a time, a place and a modality of exercise that is as convenient to your real life as possible, so that you can be faithful to Get Fit Step #1 by staying consistent.

Make exercise part of your routine. Don’t stray back to your old habits.

Get Fit Step #4: Find something you LOVE

Similar to Get Fit Step #3, finding a modality of exercise that you LOVE is key to making this a permanent part of your life. You may never love swimming because you hate getting your ears wet, or you may never love biking because you’ve always struggled with balance (we can help with that....)

 If you’re straining to get through a form of exercise that you loathe, you won’t stick with it. It’s best to move on to something different that you would enjoy more.

**Note for exercise-haters: If deep down you consider yourself an exercise hater, then DO NOT take this as a free pass to forego exercise altogether under the guise of not loving it.

Part of becoming fit for life is learning to find a type of exercise that you can learn to love. There is something for everyone!

Get Fit Step #5: Work with a PRO

This is my favourite step because this is where I get to work with you! My passion and focus is in helping folks like yourself integrate fun, challenging, health-promoting exercise into your daily routine so that you reach your body and health transformation goals.

Don’t wait another minute! Call or email me today to get started on your personal body transformation.

Roasted Cauliflower "Steak"

This is such a simple recipe and yet it yields so much satisfaction! If you love salty foods like chips or crackers then this Cauliflower recipe may be the guilt-free snack that you’ve been searching for.

I like to slice the cauliflower into large slabs, like steaks, however be aware that not all of the pieces will stick together. That’s perfectly fine! Smaller pieces of roasted, seasoned cauliflower taste just as delicious as the larger pieces.

Enjoy these Roasted Cauliflower Steaks as a side dish for your next meal or eat it as a delicious and guilt free snack!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 30

Here’s what you need

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into ¼ inch thick slices

  • olive oil spray

  • salt and pepper

  • seasoning to your taste (I like to use chili powder, cumin, garlic or lemon juice with paremesan - experiment!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.

  2. Slice the cauliflower into ¼ inch slices. Lightly spray each side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and seasoning. Lay the pieces out on the prepared baking sheet.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven, flipping the pieces after 15 minutes, for a total of 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 18 calories, 0g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, 128mg sodium, 2g fibre, and 1g protein.


August 1, 2017

What’s the big secret, anyway?

Sure, you do your best to eat healthy and live a fit and active lifestyle, but you’re still not satisfied with your body. Day after day of eating salads and hitting the gym and your body isn’t changing.

It’s frustrating.

And yet there are people, whom you know personally, with phenomenal bodies and very little body fat. What are they doing differently than you? You work out and eat healthy too! Why doesn’t your body look like theirs?

What’s the big secret that they know about losing fat, getting lean, and looking amazing?

The answer is as simple as it is difficult: Avoid Sugar.

While you do your best to eat healthy, do you know how much sugar you are actually consuming everyday? The answer will surprise you.

The average American consumes over 80 grams of sugar everyday, an amount that’s easily three times more than is safe and healthful. How much sugar do you eat? Write down the sugar count on everything you eat for the next few days and then find your average sugar gram intake. Now work on slashing this number.

Part of the problem is that food items are often sneaky about how much sugar is really hiding within. Deceiving messages on the packaging imply that the contents are beneficial, causing us to ignore the high sugar content. In the end whatever supposed benefits being advertised are overshadowed by the negative effect of the sugar.

What’s the big deal about taking in a lot of sugar? Well, you won’t achieve a lean body while consuming a lot of sugar. So if you choose to indulge in sugar you can forget about losing that extra "fluff" that causes you to avoid the mirror when you're naked.

Aesthetics aside, a high sugar intake is detrimental to your health as it causes your cells and organs to become acidic and a breeding ground for disease.

Going back to that guy or gal that you know who is perpetually lean…you can bet that their diet is low in sugar. A low sugar diet is the key to keeping lean and it’s not had by simply avoiding the high sugar items, like candy and cake, it’s had by avoiding items with even low amounts of added sugars.

Take the next week to cut out all added sugars from your diet. Check in with your weight and your energy levels at the end of seven days and note any difference. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly you’ll see results in both your weight and energy levels by making this simple, conscious move to avoid sugar.

Diet is only half of the equation when it comes to having a healthy, fit body. Exercise is the other side of the coin, and that’s where I come in.

Call or email us today to get started on an exercise program that can help you to transform your body and your health!

Thumbprint Cookies

Wait, an article about giving up sugar and then a recipe for cookies? Have I lost my mind? This recipe for Thumbprint Cookies is made exclusively using stevia, so you can avoid sugar and eat a cookie too!

Stevia is a natural sweetener (derived from a leaf that you can grow in your own garden) that has zero calories and zero sugar content. The benefits are huge to using stevia as a sweetener of choice.

If we can make cookies that have zero sugar content but still taste sweet and satisfying then shouldn’t we? It makes us healthier, leaner and more energetic. All without sacrificing the joy of having a delicious cookie.

Sure, if you’ve never used stevia then there will be an adjustment period. A time to get your taste buds accustomed to the absence of sugars. But once you adjust then you’ll wonder how you ever handled all that sugar in the first place. Give these low sugar cookies a try!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 30

Here’s what you need

  • ⅔ cup blanched almond flour

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour

  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch

  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt

  • 6 Tablespoons coconut oil, softened

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut cream

  • 2 teaspoons liquid stevia

  • 1 egg yolk

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

  • 4oz lily’s stevia sweetened chocolate (chips or bar)

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

  • ⅔ cup natural peanut butter (or another nut butter or berries)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a medium bowl combine the blanched almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot starch, and sea salt. Whisk to remove any lumps.

  3. In an electric mixing bowl combine the coconut oil, cream and stevia until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and almond extract on low speed until fully incorporated.

  4. Add the dry ingredients on low speed by spoonful until creamed into the coconut oil mixture.

  5. Shape cookies with a heaping teaspoon of dough, making an indention with your thumb. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool for 5 minutes on the pan before removing.

  6. While the cookies bake, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler, mixing until smooth. Dip the base of the cookies and pour a little chocolate into the indentions, topping with a teaspoon of peanut butter. Transfer to a parchment paper lined pan that fits in your freezer. Place the cookies in the freezer for 5 minutes until the chocolate has set. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 90 calories, 7g fat, 4g carbohydrate, 10mg sodium, 1g sugar, 2g fibre, and 2g protein.


July 25, 2017

More Free Tai Chi!

We are introducing Tai Chi as a regular offering at ProActive Fitness in mid-August. I am currently in the midst of becoming a certified instructor, so I'm practicing on members and non-members alike for FREE until that happens. 

Here are the days/times for the next 8 free sessions:

Friday, July 28 and August 4, 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. 

Saturday, July 29, 12:00 - 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 1 and August 8, 12:00 - 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 2 and August 9, 7:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 10, 7:00 - 7:30 p.m. 

Classes are limited to 10 participants. Members can use the app to register. Non-members, please call the studio or email me (reply to this message). 

There are 4 Beginner classes in the series. They are in no particular order, so feel free to sign up for any or all of them. 

Vacation Proof Your Diet

You don’t need another article that’s going to tell you the same old advice about eating healthy on vacation. “Watch your portions!” “Pack some snacks!” “Pick a cheat day!”

You’ve heard it all before.

And yet every year you go away for a fun vacation, get carried away at the buffet, and come back 3 to 5 pounds heavier than when you left.

It sure would be nice to find a diet plan that would work 365 days per year. A plan that would have you at your ideal weight, happy with your body, and not deprived of the foods that you love. Even while on vacation.

Such a plan does exist, and it’s really simple.

It’s so simple that it’s not even a plan; it’s a mindset.

If you want a lean, hot body 365 days a year then you must become unreasonable.

Unreasonable, that is, by society’s standards.

Society today says that it is reasonable to…

  • Binge eat on vacation.

  • Consume large quantities of sugar on a regular basis.

  • Frequent fast food restaurants.

  • Exercise at a slow pace once or twice a week.

  • Slack off on keeping your body properly hydrated.

  • Live a sedentary life while consuming extra large portions of food.

  • Eat processed and industrialized “foods”.

  • Reduce your standards for health and quality of life.

  • Put your goals and dreams on hold.

  • Let your goals and dreams slowly die.

If you’re living a “reasonable” life by society’s standards then you are out of shape, tired and dehydrated. You go away on vacation and come home heavier and more uncomfortable.

Nothing else could result from abiding by society’s rules.

If you want different results, if you want to achieve a body that’s lean, healthy, sexy and energetic, then you must become UNREASONABLE.

The UNREASONABLE FIT PERSON will…

  • Eat sensibly on vacation, balancing indulgences with activity and calorie control.

  • Restrict sugar for only rare and special occasions.

  • Stick with simple, wholesome meals made at home (like the recipe for Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken below)

  • Exercise at a high intensity 4 to 5 times per week, always pushing themselves to lift more and go harder.

  • Make the conscious effort to drink water throughout the day to maintain proper hydration.

  • Live an active life where food is consumed sensibly as fuel.

  • Fill their diet with fresh, real, unadulterated foods.

  • Refuse to peak physically or mentally; always strives to raise the bar.

  • Actively pursue their goals and dreams.

  • Routinely achieve their goals and dreams…and go on to set new ones.

So there you have it, the way to vacation proof your diet is to adopt the mindset of an UNREASONABLE FIT PERSON.

This mindset will carry over into your entire year, not just that week of vacation, and by the time next summer rolls around you’ll be living in a very unreasonably fit and attractive body!

If you’re not yet one of our fit and active ProActive clients, call to try a complimentary small group session!  We would love to get you started on your transformation!

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

There are many ways to prepare chicken breast. You could grill it, bake it, sauté it or fry it. You could eat it cold or hot, spicy or mild. You could season it generously or leave it plain. You could spend lots of time and effort, or barely any at all.

This Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken tops my list of favourite ways to prepare chicken breast. It requires minimal time and effort and results in moist, tender, flavourful chicken that could compete with just about any fancy chicken dish. All while providing superb nutrition to keep you fit, lean and in control of your health.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need

  • 3 yellow or red onions, quartered and sliced

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • Sea salt and black pepper

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar

  • ½ cup chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon liquid stevia

  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Thyme, minced

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Oregano, minced

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Rosemary, minced

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Parsley, minced for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker and top with the chicken. Season generously with salt and pepper.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, broth, stevia, both mustards, thyme, oregano, rosemary and red pepper flakes.

  3. Pour the mixture over the chicken and sprinkle with the garlic.

  4. Cover and cook on high, until the chicken is tender, for 4-5 hours. Garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 130 calories, 2g fat, 4g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, 350mg sodium, 1g fibre, and 26g protein.


July 17, 2017

Free Tai Chi Beginner Sessions

Have you heard about the health benefits of Tai Chi? There are a myriad of studies proving its effectiveness in improving balance, mobility, muscular strength and flexibility. It is also great for lowering stress and anxiety and helping to improve mental focus and mood! What's not to like? 

I have been practicing myself in an attempt to get certified (should happen on July 24th, if all goes well) because I want to bring this amazing gentle form of exercise to ProActive Fitness. This week, it begins!

There are currently four free Beginner trial sessions on the schedule, open to members and non-members alike, with more to come before mid-August. Each session is limited to 10 participants, so if you want a spot, either sign up using your ProActive app (members) or email me at shelley@proactivefit.c

Choose from:

Friday, July 21st 8:00-8:30 a.m.

Saturday, July 22nd 12:00-12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 25th 12:00-12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 26th 7:00-7:30 p.m.

I anticipate that these will fill quickly, so if you're curious, don't delay! shelley@proactivefit.c

Undo the Weekend (48 hour recovery)

What a weekend that was! You went out, you ate and drank and had a blast! And now the fun is over and the consequences are setting in…you feel terrible. You woke up with a headache, an overall feeling of bloating and a sluggishness that you can’t shake.

It’s time to undo the damage brought on from that epic weekend. Here’s how…

1. No More Junk! It may sound obvious, but the first step to recovering from all that fun you had is to stop the damage. No more naughty foods. No more alcohol.

When you are vacationing or partying it’s easy to remove your mindful eating and drinking mechanism, and to replace it with the anything-goes mindset. This makes sense for party-mode, but once you come back home and get back to real life it’s important to firmly put an end to the junk food and calorie-laden beverages. If you don’t, your weekend diet may continue into your week, resulting in tons of extra calories that quickly add up in unwanted pounds.

2. Flush Your System. For the next 48 hours your main mission is to drink as much water as possible.

All of those poor food and drink choices result in dehydration, which manifests in a pounding headache and a feeling of sluggishness. Plan to sip on water throughout the next two days, adding in fresh sliced fruit, cucumbers, mint or basil to add a refreshing and rewarding flavour.

3. Get Some Rest. End the party or vaycay Sunday afternoon so that you can get into bed early in preparation for the week ahead.

It may not sound super exciting to plan an early-to-bed night at the end of your weekend but, come Monday morning, you will be functioning much better with a little rest under your belt. Plan to get to bed early the next couple of days as well, and fit in a nap if possible.

4. Eat Cleansing Foods. You’ve stopped eating junk, now fill your diet with small light meals consisting of fibre and a serving of protein. Stick with only whole foods for the next 48 hours.

Fruits and fresh veggies should make up the bulk of your calories as you recover. Asparagus, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and raw veggies are all wonderful items to enjoy in addition to high quality, low fat protein.

5. Avoid Going Extreme. Yes, you ate and drank a LOT this weekend, but swinging the pendulum too far in the other direction isn’t actually going to help. Overcompensation is rarely a winning idea.

Fight the urge to skip meals or to over-exercise in response to your indulgences. Going from one extreme to the other creates a bad cycle that leaves you feeling even more tired. In addition, taking your body from feast to famine will actually make you more prone for fat storage.

Getting and staying in great shape will not only help you bounce back from the weekend faster, it will also help you achieve healthy habits that will stick with you even as you party and vacation.

Our program is designed with your overall lifestyle in mind and we're here to get you (and keep you) in your best shape ever!

Call or email me now to get started on a non-intimidating, manageable program that you'll actually enjoy!

Consider MODERATION (Yes, even on weekends!)

I’m not suggesting that you skip the next party or vacation, instead use these 3 Moderation Techniques to get all the fun without the regret or bloating…

1. Employ the 1:1 Water-to-Drink Ratio. In between every calorie-based drink that you enjoy, drink a full glass of water. This method slows down your liquid calorie and alcohol consumption, which means that you end up lighter, more hydrated, and less hung over.

2. Choose One Indulgence Per Meal. Instead of getting the burger, fries and milkshake choose one indulgence per party-vacation meal, keeping the bulk of your meal wholesome. Focus on enjoying that one indulgence to the fullest!

3. Secure the Perimeter. A party, a vacation, a cheat day. These are all wonderful concepts…when you keep it contained to a predetermined amount of time. Put a firm start and end time to your food and drink shenanigans and keep with the schedule to contain the caloric damage


July 11, 2017

When diet and exercise don’t work

How to LOVE Exercise

Here’s how to turn something that you’ve dreaded into something you enjoy…

1. Block the Negative: Your thoughts play a big part in determining your favourite things. Block out any negative thoughts you may have about exercise. Focus your energy on creating a positive attitude that will get you excited about hitting the gym, rather than dreading it.

2. Focus on the Benefits: With exercise you have so much to gain and nothing to lose. Exercise makes you stronger, sexier, happier, and gives you more energy. Pick the benefit that moves you the most and fixate on it.

3. Get Guidance: The easiest way to put exercise on your list of favourite things is to experience it at its best. Get onboard with one of my fitness programmes and I’ll show you the most effective and enjoyable techniques that will get you into the best shape of your life.

When diet and exercise don’t work

I saw an infomercial the other day for a weight loss solution targeting the frustrated people who, “fail to see results from diet and exercise.” Had to scratch my head on that one.

When does diet and exercise fail?

This, of course, is a trick question. Diet and exercise don’t fail.

The only way for diet and exercise not to work is if you fail to stick with it long enough for the results to show.

Plain and simple. End of story.

I’ve seen clients transform their bodies through the power of diet and exercise. Without surgery. Without gadgets. Without pills.

The real question to ask, when you’re not making progress towards your fat loss goal, is not why diet and exercise has failed you, but rather why have you not stuck with it?

How to stick with a diet and exercise plan…

I will not downplay the hard work that goes into sticking with a diet and exercise plan, day-after-day, week-after-week, in order to achieve a life-changing body transformation.

It takes dedication, focus, energy, determination and a stubborn refusal to quit.

Make no mistake about it: losing fat is hard work!

Which is precisely why so many give up before experiencing the body that they really want to have.

So, you wonder, why are some people able to stick with the process long enough to transform their bodies while others jump ship after a few weeks?

Here are the four steps to sticking with diet and exercise for the long haul…

1. Mentally and emotionally lock on to the idea of the new, fitter, healthiera, you.

You can’t causally date the idea of transforming your body. This isn’t a noncommittal, no-strings-attached relationship – you’ve got to go all in, both mentally and emotionally.

Attach yourself to the idea of a brand new you; focus on how you will feel, what you will wear and how life will improve once you achieve your fat loss goal. The stronger your feelings and mental image become, the more likely you are to succeed.

2. Keep the game plan as simple as possible.

There is no need for fancy diet plans or complicated exercise movements when it comes to dropping pant sizes. Keep your game plan as simple as possible, even eating the same meals everyday (if that works for you) and exercising at the same time for the same length (with varying intensity), until your big fat loss goal has been met.

Until your big fat loss leap has been made, just stick with an uncomplicated game plan that works.

3. Plan for the resistance.

It’s naïve to think that your body transformation journey will be all smooth sailing. Realistically, you will run into resistance time and time again.

This resistance will come in the form of tempting cheat meals, tired muscles, lazy friends and waning motivation. But, most powerfully, the resistance will come from inside of you. It’s natural to resist change, and transforming the shape of your body is big change. Plan for the waves of resistance. See it coming before it crashes over you, and you’ll be able to stand strong long enough for it to recede without hampering your progress.

4. Build in accountability.

This is the most important step by far. It is essential to build accountability into your fail-proof fat loss plan. A friend, a coach, or a mentor who has a vested interest in seeing you succeed will save you from throwing in the towel when things get tough.

The role that we fill for our clients is the accountability to keep them on their path to health and fitness with my support, instruction and encouragement. I celebrate every inch lost and every ounce of new confidence gained.

If you’re not yet a ProActive client, today is the perfect day to begin!

Call or email me now to get started on your true body transformation story – and let’s show the world how diet and exercise DO work!

Beef Stuffed Squash

Who needs tortillas or burger buns when we can stuff ground beef right into squash? It’s an awesome, healthy way to eat your veggies and feel good about what you're eating!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 3 squash (Butternut, Acorn or other similarly sized squash work great.)

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon allspice

  • ¼ cup tomato sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos or soy sauce

  • 1 (4oz) can mild green chiles, chopped

  • fresh chives, chopped (optional as garnish)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash the squash and slice each in half, lengthwise. Scoop out all of the seeds. Place the squash halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until tender. The roasting time will vary depending on the size of your squash — the bigger and thicker the squash the longer the roasting time will be.

  2. Place a large skillet over medium high heat and brown the ground beef. Drain the pan.

  3. Place the pan back over medium heat and add in the garlic, onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, until soft. Add in the remaining ingredients and continue to cook for 8 minutes.

  4. Fill each squash with a generous serving of the ground beef mixture. Top with fresh chopped chives if desired. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 245 calories, 13g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 299mg sodium, 3g sugar, 2g fibre, and 22g protein.


July 4, 2017

Out With The Junk

Today is a great day for going through your kitchen and removing any and all junk food. If you don’t have junk food in the kitchen then you won’t eat it! Instead stock your fridge with healthy and vibrant whole foods that will support your fitness goals and your health.

Forget your weight! Focus on this instead.

How would you like to get rid of your bathroom scale? To never again subject yourself to the angst and humiliation of stepping on and waiting for the number-that-will-determine-your-self-esteem to light up the screen.

Sounds awesome, right?!

It’s been ingrained in us from an early age to worry about our weight, however today I’d like to show you how the number on your bathroom scale is an unreliable measurement of your progress that should really be thrown out the window.

Bathroom scales are unreliable.

Take that number with a grain of salt. Your typical bathroom scale is a digital gadget with serious limitations, attempting to measure your gravitational force.

Digital scales must be recalibrated after every move. This means that if you pick up your scale and the place it down again you must press on the scale for a reading, wait for the numbers to clear, and then proceed with weighing yourself. Most people miss this step and end up with inaccurate readings.

Digital scales must be placed on a hard, flat surface. Since the reading is coming from gravitational force, the slightest inconsistency with the weight distribution into the floor could skew the reading.

Accurate scales only tell part of the story.

At the doctor’s office you’ll encounter the more accurate balance beam scale. This scale directly compares your weight (gravitational force) to counterweights. The readings from balance beam scales are more consistent and accurate than digital scales.

However…

Even an accurate reading of your weight only tells part of the story. Your weight (gravitational force) naturally fluctuates throughout every day due to in the intake and excretion of fluids and food.

A pound gained from drinking a large glass of water has no distinction from a pound gained as a result of fat storage on your body when measured on a balance beam scale. However these two weight sources will lead to two very different bodies!

Body composition is what you’re after.

Your body is composed of three things: fat, lean mass and water. An attractive, fit body is composed of a low amount of fat, ample lean mass, and healthy water levels. When you walk into the gym and tell me that you want to lose weight, what you’re really telling me is that you want to lower your percentage of body fat.

When you begin the process of fat loss, the initial drop that you see on your scale is mostly water weight. This happens as your controlled diet empties out stored energy that releases the water that is held with it. This initial drop in weight makes you feel good…

Until you get back on the scale the following week to see that your weight has barely even budged. This normal ebb and flow of body transformation nearly always brings discouragement. You feel like somehow you’re failing since that initial weight loss has now slowed to a crawl.

What’s crazy about the psychological mind game that the scale plays is that during the third week of a body transformation, when the scale shows the least impressive change, your body composition is actually cranking up to very impressive levels. So while you saw half a pound lost on the scale, behind the scenes you lost three pounds of fat.

Remember that all weight is not bad. What you don’t like to see and feel on your body is fat. As noted above, fat is not the only thing measured by your weight. Those toned muscles that you want to have will bring up the number on your scale, but as long as fat is declining and lean mass is increasing, the result is a stunning body transformation.

Pictures are more powerful than numbers!

It’s possible to measure your body fat levels using different tools. These readings will give you a clearer picture of what is taking place beneath your skin, as your body composition shifts to a lower percentage of body fat.

However, pictures are what I have found to be the most powerful measure of body transformation. A picture is truly worth a thousand body composition number readings!

When you see two images of yourself, side-by-side, and your eyes take in the differences in the shape and appearance of your arms, legs and stomach it is truly a magical moment; a moment when you understand how silly the number on the scale really is in the face of your undeniable, stunning body transformation.

If you’re ready to begin your own stunning body transformation, with the goal of lowering your body fat, feel free to reach out to me. I’m here to get you into the most spectacular shape of your life!

Call or email me today. Let’s do this!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This is a truly guilt free meal! It’s fun to assemble and devour these lettuce wraps. Stick with simple meals like this that are comprised of lean meats and vegetables in order to favourably convert your body composition.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com 

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 4 chicken breasts, chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 2 cups white mushrooms, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ⅓ cup pine nuts

  • 1 Tablespoon ginger root, minced

  • 3 green onions, chopped

  • Sea salt and black pepper

  • ¼ cup coconut aminos (or light soy sauce)

  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar

  • 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 head butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce

Instructions

  1. Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the sesame oil and the chopped chicken. Cook until the pink is gone, then drain the skillet.

  2. Add the chopped mushrooms, garlic, pine nuts, ginger, green onions, salt and pepper. Sauté for 8 minutes.

  3. Combine the coconut aminos, coconut palm sugar and vinegar in a small bowl. Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture in the skillet. Mix well and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  4. Serve with large lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 219 calories, 10g fat, 13g carbohydrate, 80mg sodium, 8g sugar, 1g fibre, and 20g protein.


June 27, 2017

The 3rd Annual Functional Aging Summit

I recently spent four packed days in Orlando at the Functional Aging Summit with about 175 other Functional Aging Specialists learning from an amazing lineup of speakers!

Marc Middleton gave us examples of many people who are not just growing older, but are "Growing Bolder". Denise Medved challenged us to challenge our brains with the different movements in her "Ageless Grace" program. Dr. Evan Osar talked about helping our mature clients change their movement "habits" with corrective exercise. And I spent the day after the summit at a Tai Chi workshop led by my friend and Tai Chi master, Dianne Bailey from Denver.

hanks so much to Kirstie, Jason, Florence, Simone and Collette for holding down the fort so I could attend this great event!

peaking of Tai Chi...I'm excited to bring Tai Chi to ProActive Fitness! Just a few more weeks until I'm certified and ready to go. Watch for some free sessions the last two weeks in July, with regular Tai Chi starting in August.

7 reasons you aren’t losing weight

Weight loss is often a frustrating pursuit, eluding even those who eat healthy and exercise. So what gives? Why won’t the scale budge even as you put out tremendous effort?

Read on for the 7 reasons that most fitness and health food lovers don’t lose the pounds that they want to…

1. You Don’t Sleep Enough

Let’s start with the most rampant problem standing in the way of your fat loss. Most adults simply do not get adequate sleep to support weight loss. There is a scientific reason for this, and it has everything to do with hormone levels. While you sleep, your cortisol levels decline while your growth hormone levels increase. This balance is essential for fat loss to occur.

So skipping on Zzzz’s will throw your hormones into fat storing mode, while simultaneously causing you to feel hungrier and encouraging you to eat more calories.

2. You Eat TOO MUCH Healthy Food

Yes, my friend, there is such thing as TOO MUCH healthy food. When it comes to weight gain, extra calories can come from just about anywhere before landing on your waistline – even from healthy foods. Sure, it will take you longer to gain weight by overeating roasted chicken and sweet potato than it would ice cream and chips, but the extra pounds will still add up.

Control your portions, even of healthy foods, in order to make strides in your body transformation journey.

3. You Don’t Drink Enough Water

Most of us are walking around in a state of partial dehydration everyday. In addition to being less-than-optimal for all of your major body organs, dehydration is perilous for fat loss. Not only does water serve as an appetite suppressant to fill your stomach and prevent you from overeating, thirst is often mistaken for hunger pangs, leading to extra calories consumed and stored as fat.

By sipping on water throughout the day you’ll avoid dehydration and will find it easier to move the number on your scale in a favourable direction.

4. You Eat Out Too Much

Restaurant meals are higher in calories than meals prepared and eaten at home – across the board. There is simply no way around it, and even if you consciously attempted to eat small portions while eating out it would be quite difficult to do. Restaurant food is created with consumer satisfaction in mind, and this means adding fats and sugars and salt to many of the menu items in order to produce the tastiest food possible! Unfortunately the tastiest is also quite often the most fattening.

Want more fat loss? Make simple, wholesome meals at home and eat with portion control.

5. You Don’t Get Enough Protein or Fibre

Protein and fibre are the golden tickets to fat loss, but sadly your diet doesn’t contain nearly enough of it. It’s natural to enjoy the flavours of sugar, fat and carbs more than protein and fiber, and that’s why your diet is filled with more of these than it should be. While sugar, fat and carbs taste better than protein and fiber, these lead to dreaded weight gain.

Consciously plan your meals around a base of protein and fibre, and then add in just enough complex carbs and healthy fats to keep it well rounded. Save the bulk of your sugar, fat and simple carb consumption for planned treat meals in order to prevent ongoing weight gain.

6. Your Diet is Filled with Packaged Foods

I’m not talking about cookies and candies, because you know better than that. I’m talking about packaged protein bars, granola, crackers, rice cakes, protein cookies, and the plethora of packaged health foods that you have in your pantry. Sure, these packaged foods may be healthier than snacks from a vending machine, but in the grand scheme of your fat loss, the fewer packaged items the better when it comes to shedding pounds. Even the healthiest of packaged foods contain ingredients that are modified or processed, in order to preserve the shelf life, and these ingredients have a negative impact on your waistline.

Real, natural and whole always beats packaged. Take inventory of your daily diet and eliminate the packaged foods so that it’s no longer an everyday occurrence.

7. Your Workouts are Too Easy

Going through the motions at the gym simply doesn’t cut it when you want to transform your body. Most people want to stay as comfortable as possible at all times, and this usually means treading lightly through their workout, rather than going all in. And while putting your body through the motions of exercise is better than sitting on the couch, it certainly won’t result in a sculpted body.

Rate your perceived exertion in your last workout from 1 to 10. If it falls below an 8 then your workout is in need of a serious revamp. I can help you with that! Call or email today to get started on my fat blasting exercise program.

THE MOST IMPORTANT reason you aren’t losing weight
You aren’t consistent.

Ouch, yes that might hurt, but you know it’s true. One week you start eating healthy and exercising daily, but then by day 4 you’ve found a myriad of reasons to quit. A few weeks go by, a few pounds creep on, and then you give it another try…for 8 days this time before you quit. And the frustrating cycle continues.

The body transformation that you want will only come by changing your lifestyle as it relates to how you eat and how you exercise. Half-hearted attempts to change will only result in half-hearted results.

If you really want it, you'll have to fully commit yourself to the process. That's the only way things change!

Stuffed Summer Squash

Meatless Monday is a concept that has been gaining popularity over the past decade. The idea is that skipping meat on Mondays will improve our health and the health of the planet. This Stuffed Summer Squash is hearty, flavourful and satisfying…even without the meat!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 3

Here’s what you need

  • 3 yellow summer squash

  • sea salt

  • black pepper

  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 leek, diced

  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme

  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste

  • ¼ cup dry white wine

  • ½ cup quinoa, cooked

  • ¼ cup fresh basil, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Halve the squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Lightly rub both sides of each squash half with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Place, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Gently remove the tender center of each squash, leaving the skins intact. Chop the removed squash flesh and set aside. Line the squash halves, hollow side up, back onto the baking sheet.

  2. Place a skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and diced leek. Cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes. Add the diced mushroom, fresh thyme and tomato paste. Cook for another 4 minutes. Deglaze the skillet with the wine, cooking for an additional 3 minutes.

  3. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the cooked quinoa, fresh basil and reserved, chopped squash flesh. Fill the squash skins with the quinoa mixture. Place back in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 163 calories, 3g fat, 25g carbohydrate, 15mg sodium, 2g sugar, 3g fibre, and 6g protein.


June 20, 2017

Welcome, Florence!

We have a new trainer at ProActive - welcome to Florence Scheepers! Florence has a B.A. (hon) in Psychology, just finished her third year of Kinesiology at the U of S, is a CanFitpro Certified Personal Trainer and a 200 hour Yoga Alliance certified instructor. She's currently working towards her Functional Aging Specialist certification. 

Florence brings with her several years' experience as a group fitness instructor, yoga instructor and personal trainer, having taught a wide variety of classes and clients. She loves to learn and is passionate about fitness as a way of life. We're glad to have her on board!

Imagine That

What are you not doing today because of your body? Do you avoid going to the beach or to pool parties because you don't want to wear a swimsuit? Or perhaps you go, but refuse to put on the swimsuit and sit, fully clothed, while the rest of your family enjoys the water? 

Sadly, you're not alone. So many women (mostly) miss out on so much enjoyment simply because they worry that they are being judged on their bodies. That's no way to live! Your kids/grand kids just want to enjoy your company. Don't let your insecurities about your body keep you from making memories. 

Everyone has a right to enjoy the beach — even in a bathing suit. Discriminating against others is wrong, but it's also wrong to discriminate against ourselves. Why don't you have a right to enjoy the beach just like everyone else?

We should strive for health and fitness while enjoying the present moments of life instead of waiting to enjoy life at some nebulous time in the future when we think things will be perfect. Besides, if you let yourself be happy now, this summer, at this beach, in this bathing suit, the joy will encourage you to accomplish even more.

Lean for life: 5 ways to lose it for good

It’s easy enough to lose a few pounds for a short period of time, only to gain it back. How many times have you done that? It’s much harder to achieve long-term fat loss.

However, you know people who have achieved and/or maintained ideal body composition, so it is possible to be lean for life. This begs the question: how can you lose the weight for good?

The answer to this quandary is not found in a single habit or action, but rather in the following 5 Lean for Life Habits…

Lean for Life Habit #1: Reimagine Yourself

Up until now you’ve accepted the shape that you are in, and even if you hate it, you’re comfortable with it. Read that again to make sure it sinks in. You are comfortable with the body that you have right now, and until you decide it’s no longer comfortable, you’ll be stuck in the shape that you currently have.

Now spend time re-imagining yourself in a leaner body. Really let that new image sink in until you’re more comfortable with it than you are with the image of your current body. You need to re-frame the image you have yourself. How does the lean you think, act and feel? Work on this. The clearer you can see and feel and imagine yourself in a lean body, the more urgency and desire you will create to achieve and maintain it.

Lean for Life Habit #2: Break Up With Sugar

Look, Sugar, we have to break up. It’s not you; it’s me. Sure, we’ve had some good times. You’ve tickled my sweet tooth and pleased my taste buds, but loving you is a double-edged sword that leaves me heavy and out of shape. So this is it, we are through!

As silly as that sounded, your relationship with sugar is holding you back from living in a lean-for-life body. It’s not only refined sugar that is messing with your body composition; in order to be lean for life you’ll also need to manage your intake of natural sugars.

 The good news is that every day spent without sugar will make the next day that much easier and your cravings will become that much weaker. Stay strong and soon you’ll be more than happy with the occasional sweet treat rather than the all-day sugar drip that’s sabotaging your swimsuit dreams.

Lean for Life Habit #3: Forget Dieting

Going on a “diet” implies a start and end date, but if you really want to change your body composition for good, there is no end to your healthy lifestyle. It’s a marathon of adapting to healthier (and healthier!) habits to maintain for the rest of your life. The day that you stop trying is the day that your body reverts to its old shape.

Don’t worry, the more time that you get under your belt with healthy living, the easier it becomes. Soon your lean for life habits will feel like a normal day – just as your current habits feel like a normal day now. The key is to stick with it until the habits fully stick, and to vigorously fight the urge to give up.

Lean for Life Habit #4: Plan Your Treats

Being lean for life doesn’t mean swearing off pizza and ice cream for the rest of your days. (Thank goodness!) On the contrary, you’ll find that planned treat meals of your favourite foods are more enjoyable than ever before. The key is that you will be planning these special meals in advance and containing the excitement to one sitting each week.

The fun thing about enjoying a treat meal while living a lean lifestyle is that there is absolutely zero guilt associated with the pleasure. Most of us experience twinges of guilt associated with most of our meals, because in the back of our mind is the thought that we should really be eating healthier in order to lose the weight that we have yet to lose. Once you’ve lost the fat and are actively living a lean life those treat meals will be 100% pleasure!

Lean for Life Habit #5: Be Part of a Fitness Family

Belonging to a group of fellow fitness enthusiasts is key to making and maintaining your body transformation. Being fit is easier achieved in a supportive and encouraging group, rather than alone. The accountability provided from your fitness peers will save you from missing workouts and will get you to push yourself to try harder.

One of the most gratifying parts of being in a fitness family is the day when your support makes an impact on a new member. To give the encouragement that was given to you is a special moment that will stick with you, and will recommit you to your fitness lifestyle.

We have created a fitness family at ProActive Fitness that I’d love for you to join. Call or email today to see how you can find your place here with us!

Golden Cauliflower Rice

There’s never a shortage of new and delicious ways to serve cauliflower rice, and this golden version is totally worth trying out. The rice is totally worth the effort to use fresh turmeric root! However if you don’t have any fresh turmeric root on hand then feel free to replace it with ½ teaspoon of dried turmeric.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need

  • 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed and stemmed

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 can (13.66oz) coconut milk, full fat

  • 2 tablespoons fresh tumeric root, peeled and finely grated (or ½ teaspoon ground tumeric)

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon coconut palm sugar

  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • pinch of ground cardamon

  • ⅓ cup golden raisins

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • ⅓ cup salted, chopped pistachios

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the cauliflower for 4 minutes. Drain and cool the cauliflower. Cut into florets.

  2. Shred the cooled cauliflower in a food processor with the grating attachment.

  3. Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, cook for 5 minutes, until tender. Add the coconut milk, turmeric, salt, coconut sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then remove from heat and add the raisins. Let steep for 20 minutes.

  4. Return to a low boil, stir in the shredded cauliflower and red pepper flakes. Cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and top with the pistachios. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 32 calories, 1g fat, 5g carbohydrate, 46mg sodium, 3g sugar, 1g fibre, and 1g protein.


June 13, 2017

Meal prep made easy

It’s no secret that the most dedicated fitness enthusiasts partake in the world of meal prepping, and many confess that this is the secret weapon behind their jaw-dropping body transformations. Meal prep is without a doubt one of the most reliable ways to consistently shed pounds, week after week.

What is meal prep? It is a method of batch cooking your meals once or twice a week, portioning meals into Tupperware and stacking it all conveniently in your fridge. Every meal and snack is pre-planned, pre-packed, and ready to be eaten on-the-go.

This method works for delivering major fat loss results for a multitude of reasons:

  • It eliminates mindless eating.

  • It ensures that every bite is approved.

  • It controls calorie and nutritional counts.

  • It plans when the nutrients will be consumed.

In other words, every single factor is taken into consideration to produce optimal levels of fat burning and muscle toning. If results slow or reverse in a given week then the plan is reevaluated and tweaked until progress resumes.

How to get started… The thought of cooking all of your meals ahead of time probably sounds a little intimidating, but don’t worry, let’s break it down into 7 simple, doable steps:

Meal Prep Step #1: Outline a Plan

Before you ever step foot in the kitchen to start the process of cooking and packing your meals, it is important to get an overview plan of your needs. Having a professional help you with this portion of the process is key to making sure that you pack and eat exactly the nutrients and in the portions that will get you to your fat goals. Outline these key parts of your plan:

  1. How many meals will you eat each day? Most plans will include three main meals and three smaller snack meals.

  2. What key nutrients will be included in each meal? For a program focused on losing fat and toning muscle, you will need each meal to be largely protein, with complex carbohydrates in the first three meals of the day and fiber included in the final 4 meals of the day.

  3. What size will your meals be? Now, you COULD hire a nutritionist, dietitian or a trainer to help you with calculating your protein, fat, carbs and fibre, but for most people who just want to lose a few pounds, this really isn't necessary. Instead, check out this handy infographic from Precision Nutrition: PN portion control guide 11 clicks (100% of total)


Meal Prep Step #2: Find Pre-Made Options

Let’s be honest, even if you love spending time in the kitchen, it’s not practical to expect that you will make every component of your meal prep meals from scratch at home. This is where having a great deli in your local supermarket or having a couple of restaurants nearby to pick up some of your meal list from will make a huge time saving difference in your meal prep experience. Look for these:

  1. Roasted chicken, turkey or pork

  2. Cooked rice

  3. Steamed veggies

Meal Prep Step #3: Create a List of Recipes

After you’ve crossed some of your food requirements off due to the convenience of your local deli or supermarket, it’s time to make a list of the items left to make. Find simple, wholesome recipes that will fill in the remaining gaps in your meal prep meals. Make a list of all the ingredients needed to make the recipes. Recipes like:

  1. Sautéed veggies

  2. Slow cooker lean beef

  3. Slow cooker chicken

  4. Baked sweet potato

  5. Rolled oats

  6. Baked fish (see recipe below)

  7. Egg muffins

  8. Hard boiled eggs

Meal Prep Step #4: Go Shopping

Take your list of ingredients and your list of pre-made foods and get shopping! It can be very helpful to do a quick cleaning out of your fridge before your shopping trip, in order to free up room for the fresh items you’ll be purchasing. Also be sure to pick up containers for your prepped meals as well as cold packs and an insulated lunch bag if you don’t already have these items.

Meal Prep Step #5: Start Cooking

Take a couple of hours to cook the recipes on your list, as well as chopping any veggies for salads. Allow everything to cool before moving onto the next step.

Meal Prep Step #6: Measure and Pack Your Meals

It’s time to create your daily meals assembly line! Line up your containers, pull out your food scale and find your measuring cups. Portion each meal according to the PN guide and season before stacking and placing in the fridge. You may find it helpful to group a day of meals together, in the order that you will eat them.

Meal Prep Step #7: Grab-N-Go

This may be the easiest step, in meal prep success, but it is the most important.

Remember to grab your meals at the start of your day and to pack with plenty of cold packs. If you fail to bring your meals with you then you won’t reap the benefit of all that effort that you put into creating the meals. A plastic fork and a stack of napkins is also good to remember!

There you have it, a comprehensive guide to making meal prep happen! A little planning and preparation goes a long way to helping you reach your goals!

If you would like more assistance and some accountability with your nutrition, Jason, our Precision Nutrition-certified coach, can help! Contact the studio at (306)374-3013 to set up a complimentary consultation.

Rainbow Trout with Mango Chutney

Here’s a tasty way to prepare and enjoy fresh trout from the lake! The mango chutney is phenomenal all by itself, with notes of ginger, curry and lime taking centre stage. The simple marinade on the trout saturates pleasing flavour into each bite. This recipe is a great one to add to your meal prep recipe list.

Don’t limit yourself to just using trout with this recipe. If Mahi Mahi is more readily available to you then go with that.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

For the Rainbow Trout

  • 1 lemon juice

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • dash of Red Pepper Flakes

  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced

  • 4 Rainbow Trout Fillets (or Mahi Mahi)

For the Chutney

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon ginger root, minced

  • 1 small red onion, chopped

  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped

  • 3 ripe mangoes, chopped (don’t worry if your mangoes aren’t very ripe — once cooked it tastes much sweeter)

  • 2 lime juices

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • dash of nutmeg

  • dash of red pepper flakes

For the Sautéed Cabbage

  • 1 small head green cabbage

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • dash of sea salt

  • dash of black pepper

Instructions

For the Trout

  1. Place all ingredients, except the fish, in a high-speed blender. Blend until fully combined.

  2. Combine the marinade with fillets in a large ziplock bag. Place in the fridge for 60 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, if fish is frozen; or 375 degrees F, if fish is thawed.

  4. Grease a pan and place fish fillets on it. For frozen fish, bake for 12-20 minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily. For thawed fish, bake for 6 minutes, then flip and bake for additional 6 minutes.

For the Chutney

  1. In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger root and sauté for a minute.

  2. Add the onion and bell peppers and sauté for a few minutes.

  3. Add the mango and spices. Continue to sauté for another 5 minutes, until everything has softened.

  4. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for another 10 minutes.

For the Sautéed Cabbage

  1. Wash cabbage and discard the first few leaves. Slice it thinly.

  2. Place a large skillet on medium heat. Add the coconut oil, and once that melts, add the cabbage.

  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

To Serve

  1. Arrange each plate with a bed of cabbage then top with a fillet smothered in chutney. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 364 calories, 13g fat, 45g carbohydrate, 38g sugar, 338mg sodium, 6g fibre, and 20g protein.


June 6, 2017

These 5 ab moves are better than crunches

Although the basic crunch is still popular, by now it’s pretty well known that this outdated exercise not the most effective way to flatten and strengthen your abs. It simply doesn’t activate your core muscles to the extent that other exercises do, it can hurt your back, and the small motion doesn’t do much by way of calorie burning.

So why are you still doing crunches?

What the basic ab crunch does have going for it is its no-equipment, on-the-go nature. You could plop down onto the ground in a park, a hotel room, at the beach or at the gym to crank out a round of crunches wherever you happen to be.

Not the most effective, but, until now, the most convenient.

It’s time to upgrade your default, basic crunch to a more modern, results-driven exercise. Below I have the best no equipment ab exercises to get you one step closer to the strong, toned midsection you've always wanted!

Better Than Crunches #1: The Plank

To perform a plank, place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned below your shoulders, and your arms parallel to your body shoulder-width apart. Squeeze your core and pay attention to keeping your back flat. Focus on pulling your belly button in as you hold the position for 2 minutes.

Better Than Crunches #2: Side Plank

To perform a side plank, get onto the floor on your side. Line up your bottom elbow directly under your shoulder. Form a straight line from your bottom elbow, through your bottom hip and your bottom ankle. Lift your hip up off the floor and hold yourself in place, maintaining proper alignment - keep your head pulled back in line with your spine! If this position is too challenging, try bending the bottom leg so you support yourself from your knee instead of your ankle. Hold for 30-60 seconds. 

Better Than Crunches #3:Mountain Climber

To perform a mountain climber, start in an extended plank, or push-up position, hands under shoulders, arms fully extended and on your toes. Keeping your bum down and in-line between your shoulders and your ankles, bring one leg forward through your arms and touch your toe to the floor. Take that leg back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Continue alternating for 20 repetitions or 30 seconds. 

Better Than Crunches #4: Inchworm

To perform an inchworm, stand tall, then bend over until both hands are on the floor in front of you (it's okay to bend your knees if your hamstrings are tight). Walk hands out until they are directly underneath your shoulders. Make sure your bum is down and shoulder blades are "in your back pockets". 

Better Than Crunches #5: Russian Twist

To perform a Russian twist, lie on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle while raising your upper body off of the ground. Exhale while you twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor. Pull your belly button in and squeeze, then slowly move back to the starting position. Repeat on the left side and continue to repeat both sides for 60-90 seconds.

There you have it, 5 modern, results-driven abdominal exercises that you can perform anywhere! Aim to work your abs at least twice a week for the best results.

It’s worth noting that while strengthening your abdominal muscles is a great way to tighten your waist, none of the amazing muscle tone will show if your body fat is above 20 per cent. In order to shed the fat and get that amazing six-pack, join my fat burning fitness programme designed to get you into the best shape of your life.

Call or email me now to get started on burning that fat and uncovering your most amazing abs ever!

Sleep it off (the fat that is!)

One of the most overlooked ways to avoid belly fat is to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Studies continue to show that this amount of sleep is necessary in order to create the optimal hormone balance for fat loss.

When you are faced with the option of watching one more episode or getting to bed for a solid night’s sleep, consider your abs and get the sleep!

Lemony Kale Quinoa With Turmeric And Chicken

What to do with fresh turmeric root? Why turn it into this SUPER FOOD medley! The fresh turmeric is extremely easy to incorporate into the dish and is used in both the marinade for the chicken and in the quinoa.

Note: for those on a super low carb diet, feel free to sub in 4 cups of shredded cauliflower or Brussels sprouts in place of the quinoa. Reduce the broth to 1/4 cup and reduce the cook time in half.

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

For the Turmeric Marinated Chicken

  • 1 cup coconut cream

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated turmeric root

  • 1 teaspoon Ginger Root

  • juice from 1 Lemon

  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  • 1 clove Garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 pounds raw chicken breast, cubed

For the Quinoa

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon Curry Powder

  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 2 baby kale, chopped

  • juice from ½ Lemon

  • 2 tablespoons raw pepitas

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl, except for the chicken. Mix well to combine. Add the chicken cubes and mix well. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours, or up to overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Place the chicken cubes on the pan so that they aren’t touching. Bake for 20 minutes. Without removing the chicken from the oven switch to the high broil for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove once golden.

  3. In a medium sauce pan place the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the turmeric, curry and cumin. Heat until fragrant. Add the quinoa and stir frequently until it starts to make popping sounds.

  4. Add the chicken broth and bring to a low simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook undisturbed for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the kale, and place the lid back, cooking for another undisturbed 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the quinoa sit for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and transfer to a bowl. Fluff the quinoa and mix in the lemon juice. Garnish with pepitas and serve with the chicken. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 330 calories, 21g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 300mg sodium, 1g sugar, 4g fibre, and 15g protein.


May 30, 2017

Drink your way thin?

If you’ve been interested in fitness and health for more than a minute, then you know by now how important drinking plenty of water is for getting your body into top shape.

But do you drink enough water? And is it really going to impact your results?

Why Water Matters

Your body is made up of 60% water, which is incredible when you stop and really think about this fact. All day long you are constantly losing water by sweating and going to the bathroom – and this water must be replenished in order to keep your body is healthy, working order.

Many health authorities believe in the 8x8 theory: drink 8 (8oz) glasses of water throughout the day, or roughly half a gallon. However, a growing sector of fitness and health professionals are speaking out against this theory, stating that it is simply too little to keep you properly hydrated.

Those behind the movement to drink more than 8x8 per day are stating that the only way to truly stay hydrated is by sipping on water constantly throughout the day, and by making the effort to drink water when one doesn’t feel the signs of thirst.

Studies have come out that seem to prove that drinking more water throughout the day leads to better brain functioning, fewer headaches and physical performance.

Conversely, when you are operating in a state of mild dehydration you will experience diminished brain functioning, more frequent headaches and a decline in physical performance.

Does More Water = More Fat Loss?

Yes, it is quite likely that drinking more water will facilitate faster fat loss results. This is primarily due to two factors:

1. An increase in metabolism: Studies show that drinking water temporarily boosts metabolism for an hour or so. Drinking cold water will spike your metabolism even higher. This means more calories burned, and more pounds lost.

2. A reduction in appetite: Staying properly hydrated helps to reduce dehydration signs that are often mistaken for hunger. It is also a viable strategy to drink a full glass of water immediately before a meal in order to reduce the calorie intake of that meal, leading to lower overall calorie intake for the day.

Hydration and Health

Staying hydrated is going to help you lose fat quicker, but that’s not the only benefit that you will experience. The following are all health improvements that you have to look forward to when drinking water throughout your day:

Lower risk of cancer
Reduction in constipation
Decreased risk of kidney stones
Healthier skin and less acne
It’s clear that drinking water throughout the day is an important part of being healthy and reaching your fitness goals. One of the best ways to make sure that you meet your hydration goals is to keep a large water bottle with you at all times, and to refill it every time that it is empty.

I’m here to help you reach your fitness and fat loss goals! If you are not yet one of my beloved clients, and you are struggling to meet your fitness and fat loss goals, then give me a call or reply to this email.

I can’t wait to work with you!

Beware of Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are designed to refuel and replenish an athlete’s body after intense physical activity. These drinks are filled with the calories and sugars needed to fill exhausted muscles with new energy, which is fantastic for the track star who only has 40 minutes of recovery between competitive events.

HOWEVER for the fitness enthusiast in pursuit of fat loss, the sugars and calories found in these sports drinks can undo all of the hard work that you just did in your workout! Yes, these drinks taste good and are marketed to fit, active people, but always be aware of the calorie and sugar count before deciding if you should include it in your diet.

As we learned above, water is your most effective drink for reaching your fitness and fat loss goals.

Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry

It doesn’t get healthier than this! If most of your meals contained the fibre and protein of this meal, then you’d be living life in the body of your dreams. It’s very possible- it’s just a matter of changing your eating habits. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch strips

  • ¼ cup raw cashews

  • ½ red bell pepper

  • 4 green onions

  • 1 bunch asparagus

  • ½ cup chicken broth

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

  • dash of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Place a large skillet over high heat. Add half of the olive oil. Once hot, add the garlic, ginger, chicken pieces and cashews. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken mixture from the skillet and set aside on a clean plate.

  2. Add the remaining oil to the hot skillet. Add the bell peppers, onions and asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and cook for another 2 minutes.

  3. Return the chicken mixture to the skillet and combine with the veggies. Stir in the lemon juice, chia seeds and a dash of sea salt and black pepper. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 346 calories, 12g fat, 30g carbohydrate, 168mg sodium, 2g sugar, 4g fibre, and 22g protein.


May 23, 2017

Are You Summer Ready?

The May long weekend is the unofficial start of summer and everyone is thrilled that it's finally here! But if you've neglected your exercise routine and diet for the past several months, you might not be feeling all that confident about getting into a tank top and shorts this season. Not to worry. Follow the 5 tips below and you can make some big changes that will have you feeling sleeker by the August long weekend!

1. Eat more Veggies: Your mom was right, eating vegetables really is a good idea, especially when preparing to shimmy into skimpier clothes. Why? There are a couple of reasons. First, veggies are low in calories and high in fibre, which means that you’re filling up without packing on pounds. Second, the vitamins and minerals in fresh vegetables nourish your body and cut down on cravings. 

2. Add five Minutes: Each week, add 5 minutes to your workouts. Just five more minutes. The slight increase from week to week will hardly be noticeable, but the extra fat burn will pay off nicely. Use these extra five minutes to do an intense burst of exercise, such as burpees, squat to presses and walking lunges. Or take it outside and try hill sprints!

3. Double up on Water: Not only will staying extra hydrated help your skin to have a healthy glow, it will also speed up your fat loss efforts. Most of us are walking around in a state of chronic dehydration, which contributes to fatigue, stubborn weight gain and constipation. By drinking more water throughout the day, and by limiting your intake of caffeinated beverages, you’ll become healthier, more radiant, and more confident in your shorts or swimsuit!

4. Eat low Carb (after 4pm): One of the easiest ways to drop a few inches around your waist is to eat low carb after 4pm each day. This means eating dinners that are centred around salads and vegetables rather than breads and pastas. If you simply must have your oatmeal or whole grain bread each day, then eat it for breakfast or lunch and give low carb dinners a try. Don’t forget that sugar counts as carbs, so skip that sugary dessert and try a grapefruit instead.

5. Train with Me: If you’re not yet one of my beloved clients, then now is the time! I’d love to get you into beach season shape, and to give you the foundation that will keep you lean and healthy for life. Call or email today and we will get you started this week on an exercise program that will get you back in control of your body.

Lemon Blanched Asparagus

Asparagus is in season, yay! 
This is a quick and healthy asparagus recipe that's easy to make anytime during the week. 

Part of an on-going fat burning meal plan is to eat small, protein+fibre based meals every 2-3 hours, and this lemon blanched asparagus is a fantastic recipe to use for the greens and fibre in your meals. I like to make a triple batch that will last in the fridge in a large ziplock bag for about 3 days of meals. Make sure not to blanch too long, so that the asparagus maintains a crisp-tender consistency, so that it will remain fresh tasting for a few days, and never mushy. Enjoy!

Servings: 4

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Here’s what you need

  1. 1 lemon

  2. 1 large bunch asparagus, ends trimmed

  3. sea salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large skillet. Juice the lemon and add to the water.

  2. Add the asparagus to the boiling water for 4 minutes. Remove the asparagus with tongs, or by pouring into a colander. Generously season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 20 calories, 0g fat, 4g carbohydrate, 2mg sodium, 1g sugar, 2g fibre, and 2g protein.


May 15, 2017

The Longer You Wait...

...the harder it gets, plain and simple. Every week that slides into another month, and every month that slides into another year makes it that much harder for you to work back to a place of health and energy.

Start now. Work hard. Achieve your greatness.

I’m here to help!

When the right time is RIGHT NOW

Why are you still waiting for the right time to get fit?

You are busy and things are hectic. Your family member is sick. Your job is demanding. You are focused on planning a big life event. Your kids are pulling you in a million different directions. You’re an emotional eater…and now is an emotional time.

There are a million and more excuses for why you haven’t made your body and health a priority…yet. At the back of your mind you really believe that the day will come when you are ready to take action in getting back in shape.

But that right time hasn’t come.

Let’s be honest with each other right now. The right time to get fit won’t ever magically appear. There will always be another life event to navigate. There’s always going to be someone you know who is sick…and you’ll even get sick at times. You will always have a reason to emotionally eat, if you allow yourself that chaos.

So what’s the solution? Drift through life in a body that you aren’t happy with? Avoid mirrors and bathing suits and sleeveless tops? Comfort yourself with the thought that you’ll dial in your fitness one day…just not today?

I’d like you to consider that the right time to get fit is RIGHT NOW.

Not despite your current life challenges but BECAUSE of them.

How much more effective do you think you’ll be dealing with a busy schedule, sick relatives, big life events and active kids when you’re living in an energetic, functional, fit body? That's right - you'll be WAY more effective!

Consider your current challenges as reasons why you MUST get fit NOW rather than excuses as to why you CAN’T get fit now. I know you can do this. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Call or email me now to get started on your journey to a fit, active, super-functional body! I’m here to get you to your goals in the shortest amount of time possible. Let’s do this!

ROASTED SWEET POTATO RAINBOW SALAD WITH LIME CREMA

I made this last weekend and had to hold myself back from eating the whole thing - it's THAT good!

If you want to lighten it up a bit, try using plain Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream.

From my favourite food blog: www.BudgetBytes.com

Prep Time 20 mins,  Cook Time 30 min

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

LIME CREMA

  • 8oz. sour cream $1.00

  • 1 fresh lime $0.50

  • 1 small clove garlic, minced $0.08

  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02

ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

  • 1.5 lb. sweet potatoes $1.57

  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08

  • 1 tsp cumin $0.10

  • Salt to taste $0.02

BLACKENED CORN

  • 1 lb. frozen corn kernels, thawed $1.49

  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08

  • Salt to taste $0.02

SALAD

  • 15oz. can black beans $0.99

  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50

  • ¼ red onion* $0.25

  • ¼ bunch cilantro $0.23

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. If you haven't yet, take the corn out of the freezer and allow it to begin thawing. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

  2. Peel the sweet potatoes, then cut them into a small dice (1/4-1/2 inch cubes). Place the cubes on a baking sheet, drizzle with cooking oil, cumin, and a pinch or two of salt. Toss the sweet potato cubes until they are all coated in oil and spices. Roast the sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until they are soft and slightly browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

  3. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare the lime crema. Use a small-holed cheese grater or a zester to remove the thin layer of green zest from the lime. Add about 1 tsp of the zest and 1 Tbsp of the lime juice to the sour cream, along with the minced clove of garlic and ¼ tsp of salt. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the lime juice as desired. Refrigerate the crema until ready to use.

  4. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. Add the thawed corn and let cook until the corn is blistered and charred on the edges. Avoid stirring too often to allow it to blacken a bit. Let the corn cool slightly.

  5. Finely dice the red bell pepper and red onion. Rinse and drain the black beans. Pull the cilantro leaves from their stems and then roughly chop.

  6. Combine the roasted sweet potatoes, blackened corn, black beans, red bell pepper, red onion, and cilantro in a large dish. Stir to combine. Add some of the lime crema and toss until the salad is lightly coated. Add a little more lime crema on top just before serving.


May 8, 2017

Beware Of The Packaging

No GMO! Organic! Grain-Free! Palaeo! Vegan! Preservative Free! 

Guess what? Nothing that you read on the front of a food package really matters. Those hyped up bullet points, strategically placed there to sell you, are only saying what you want to hear. 

What really matters is the ingredient list and the nutrition label. Pay attention to these, and ignore the bold claims on the front of the package, meant to distract you. Keep your focus on what matters, and reap the reward in pounds and inches lost, and in confidence gained!

3 Essential Snacking Tips

One oft-touted way of eating for fat loss (and there are others!) is keeping your metabolism going all day long with small, sensible meals and snacks. In theory, this is simple and easy: eat a little something every 2-3 hours throughout the day. 

Unfortunately very few people do it right, resulting in frustrating weight gain. 

The content of your snacks and small meals is of utmost importance. If you’re eating the wrong thing every 2-3 hours then it’s easy to gain weight quickly, rather than what you want, which is to drop fat and clothes sizes. 

Let’s jump into the 3 Essential Snacking Tips that I have for you today to keep you on track and burning fat all day long… 

Snacking Tip #1: Watch out for added sugar. 

Sugar is the biggest problem when it comes to fattening snacks, and so this needs to be the number one nutrient that you check. Your frequent snacks should contain very little, or zero, added sugars. 

This is a pet peeve that I have: many ‘health’ foods have massive amounts of added sugars, which will destroy your results. Items like protein bars, jerky, dried fruit, green juice, and trail mix often have added sugars and preservatives that you need to watch out for and avoid. 

Your snacks should have little to zero added sugars, and should be a nice blend of protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates. 

Snacking Tip #2: Check the serving size. 

When your snack comes in a package, after you make sure that it isn’t filled with sugar, check the serving size. It’s a popular technique for food manufacturers to give the nutritional facts for 2 or even 2.5 servings, on an item that you will likely polish off in one sitting. 

If the servings are more than just one then you’ll need to do some quick math. Calculate the total calories, sugar, carbs, fat and protein. Make sure that the numbers line up with your target nutrition sums. 

Always be aware of how many servings you are eating in a single sitting. Do the math if you’re eating more than one serving – be honest with yourself! 

Snacking Tip #3: Homemade and made-in-nature are best. 

As convenient as packaged snacks are, you will always see better results by eating whole foods found in nature, or snacks that you’ve made at home with real food ingredients. Even the healthiest packaged protein bar from the store is going to contain preservatives and additives that are completely avoided in homemade foods. 

A handful of raw nuts, a piece of fruit with fresh nut butter, a hard boiled egg, a homemade muffin (recipe below), some chicken breast on veggies or chopped flank steak on a salad are all better options than any packaged snack. 

When possible, stick with whole foods found in nature and snacks and meals that you make at home. 

Are you participating in a consistent, challenging exercise program? If not, give me a call or shoot me an email today. Let’s get you started on the best exercise program for you - one that you'll actually do!

Blueberry Streusel Fitness Muffins

Here’s a great protein- packed snack that will fill you with energy and help you towards your fat loss goals. It’s packaged in a tasty little muffin, which is fun and flavourful, while being filled with superb nutrition. Enjoy two as a single serving! 

Servings: 6 

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Here’s what you need…

  • coconut oil spray

  • 2 cups liquid egg whites

  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, divided

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries, divided

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12-tin muffin pan with coconut oil spray.

  2. In a blender combine the egg whites, protein powder, ¾ cup oats, ½ cup blueberries, the lemon zest, sea salt and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.

  3. Pour the batter evenly between the 12 muffin tins. Divide the remaining blueberries evenly between the muffins and drop into the batter. Place a sprinkle of the remaining oats on the top of each muffin.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 minutes, or until done. Remove from the oven and cool before removing from the pan. Enjoy for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Remember that two muffins equal one serving! Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals 2 muffins: 150 calories, 1g fat, 12g carbohydrate, 290mg sodium, 3g sugar, 3g fibre, and 20g protein. 


May 1, 2017

Is afterburn real?

You’ve probably heard that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) produces an afterburn effect, which means your body continues to burn extra calories at an elevated rate for 24 hours after the completion of your workout. 

Sure that’s sounds amazing, but is it too good to be true? 

The Science of Afterburn 

There is a scientific term for afterburn: excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPEOC). This refers to the oxygen that your body needs to restore after a heart-pounding workout. 

So afterburn is indeed real. 

While you exercise your body needs fuel to keep your muscles firing, and this requires oxygen to transport the fuel into the muscles. This causes your metabolism to rev up to an elevated state during and after exercise. 

Intense Exercise = Intense Afterburn 

Studies show that there is a direct correlation between the intensity of your workout and the amount of calories burned during the afterburn period. 

In order to get the most afterburn bang for your buck, you must push yourself to 70-85% of your max heart rate during your workout. The more intense your workout, the more bonus calories you will burn in the hours afterwards. 

Intense and vigorous exercise keeps your body burning calories hours after the workout is through. And this is not the only benefit to HIIT workouts – there’s also the bonus of increased muscle tone, fat loss and an increase in your aerobic capacity. 

Keep this in mind the next time that you push yourself through a workout. Remember that intensity pays off, and HIIT workouts have more proven benefits than a steady state cardio workout. 

Want MORE Afterburn?

Then use all of your muscles. 

To amp up your afterburn, avoid single joint movements that isolate body parts and instead focus on compound, full body movements. Exercises like squats, lunges and deadlifts work multiple joints and muscles and increase the intensity of your workout, and likewise the intensity of your afterburn effect and the number of calories that you burn.

Golden Beet Salad

Here’s a fresh and delightful way to serve up tender, golden beets! To get the most flavour, we oven steam the beets and then toss them with a simple, satisfying homemade dressing. Enjoy! 

Servings: 6 

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Here’s what you need…

  • 12 small golden beets, trimmed

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • sea salt and black pepper

  • ¼ cup water

For the Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon Muscat vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced, plus more for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the beet greens (if still attached) and scrub the beets.

  2. In a 9 × 13-inch glass casserole dish, toss the beets with the olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper and add the sprigs of thyme and water. Cover the dish tightly with foil and roast in the oven for an hour, or until the beets are fork-tender.

  3. Let the beets cool in the covered pan, then rub off the beet skins with paper towels. Cut each beet in half, then each half into quarters. Place the beet pieces in a large bowl.

  4. In a small bowl combine the all of the dressing ingredients. Toss the dressing with the beet pieces until fully combined. Transfer to a serving bowl or plate and sprinkle with more mint. Serve and enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 43 calories, 4g fat, 1g carbohydrate, 3mg sodium, 0g sugar, 1g fibre, and 1g protein. 


April 24, 2017

The Many Names of SUGAR

Reading food labels is key to avoiding items that are high in sugar. However, it’s important that you are aware of the many names for sugar that can be found lurking in ingredient lists. 

All of these are names for refined sugar: high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, invert sugar, molasses, sucrose (and any word ending in “ose”), brown rice syrup, honey, maple syrup, cane juice, beet sugar, brown sugar, and corn syrup.

Cut back on sugar (28 day plan)

If you love sweets, you know how easy it is to eat more sugar than you should. You’ve may have had a doctor warn you to cut back and probably have at least a few pounds to lose. 

Candy, cookies, pastries, and other sweets are high in sugar, which is quickly and efficiently stored as body fat. The more sugar you eat, the more you crave it. It’s a rough situation for you and your sweet tooth. 

Don’t lose heart! It is very possible to gradually reduce the amount of sugar in your diet in a way that that’s painless and practical. I have a 28-day plan here to help you to cut back on sugar consumption without going crazy. By reducing the refined sugar in your diet, you’ll experience a drop in body fat – this means inches and sizes lost! Sound good? Let’s do this! 

Cut Back Sugar: Week One 

In this first week your goal is to get an accurate idea of how much sugar you are currently consuming. You’ll act as a reporter on your eating habits for a full week, recording down everything you consume. 

This week is only for reporting. I don’t want you to change anything about your diet yet. Eat as you normally do, but tally sugar grams at each meal and snack. Yes, even your drink at the coffee shop and your wine or cocktail at dinner. Look up the sugar content of everything you consume and record it. 

By the end of this week you will have a clear picture of how much sugar you are eating and which items in your diet are most sugar-filled. 

Cut Back Sugar: Week Two 

In this second week your goal is to eliminate liquid sugar. It is all too easy to consume large amounts of sugar in beverages, often without even noticing. You know which beverages in your diet contain sugar, from your reporting last week, so target and cut out these beverages. 

Sweetened coffee drinks, smoothies, alcoholic beverages, sweetened sodas and teas should all be replaced with low or no sugar options. Try liquid stevia for sweetening beverages without adding sugar. It has a more pleasing flavour than powdered stevia. Avoid super processed sweeteners like Splenda or aspartame as these may cause bloating and cravings for more sugar. 

In addition to focusing on removing sugary drinks this week, I also want you to focus on drinking lots and lots of water. Drink 8 ounces of water before, during and after every meal and snack. 

Cut Back Sugar: Week Three 

In this third week we are now going to focus on eliminating the food in your diet that contain refined sugars. 

What’s great about this gradual approach to cutting out sugar is that over the course of the first two weeks, while you recorded your sugar consumption and then cut out sugary liquids, you likely found yourself instinctively beginning to choose items that are lower in sugar. That’s great! That’s going to make this week that much easier as you begin to pass on those sugar-laden snacks and desserts. 

This week target and eliminate the food items in your diet that contain refined sugars. These are packaged candies and snacks, dressings and sauces, desserts and sweetened yogurts. Read labels and check sugar grams. Swap these items out for naturally sweetened treats – sweetened with fruit or stevia. 

Cut Back Sugar: Week Four 

You are on the home stretch! As you enter week four, you should already be noticing your clothes feeling a little looser, and your energy levels should be stabilzing. During this week, I’d like you to once again record everything that you eat and drink. Tally up the sugar grams and take notice of anything that you’re still consuming that’s high in sugar. 

This week should reinforce the healthy changes you’ve implemented and keep you accountable. If you find yourself really missing a certain sugar-filled item then look for healthier, low-sugar replacement foods to enjoy instead of reverting back to your old habits. 

The key now is to maintain your new, low-sugar, habits. The first month is always the most difficult, as new habits are formed, so you’ve already done the hardest part! Going forward, whenever you find yourself going back to sugar, go through this four week process again to get back on track. 

In addition to removing refined sugar from your diet, participating in a challenging, consistent exercise plan is vital to fat loss. If you aren’t yet one of our amazing ProActive Fitness clients, reply to this email, or give us a call today!

Lemon and Basil Spaghetti Squash

This is one of those recipes that you simply MUST TRY. I realize that the picture just looks like a simple bowl of spaghetti squash, but looks can be deceiving! What you can’t see with the naked eye are the flavour molecules bursting on each strand of tender squash. Fresh lemon, basil and green olive combine for a lively, can’t-get-enough-of-it taste that will have you going back for more. Eating your veggies has never been easier than this... 

Servings: 6 

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Here’s what you need…

  • 3 spaghetti squash

  • sea salt and black pepper

  • coconut oil spray

  • For the Dressing

  • ½ cup pitted green olives

  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves

  • 3 tablespoons Lemon Zest

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • sea salt and black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Cut the ends off each spaghetti squash and discard. Slice the rest of the spaghetti squash into 1-inch rings. Use a spoon to remove the seeds from the centre of each ring.

  3. Spray or rub coconut oil over all of the spaghetti squash flesh. Generously season each ring with salt and pepper. Place the rings on the parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Flip each of the rings and roast for another 30 minutes, or until very tender.

  4. Once cooled use a spoon to remove the noodles. Place all of the noodles in a large bowl.

  5. Combine the dressing ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Pour the dressing over the spaghetti squash noodles and mix until fully incorporated. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 38 calories, 2g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 12mg sodium, 0g sugar, 1g fibre, and 1g protein. 


April 17, 2017

Why did you do that?

Have you ever acted against your better judgement? Ummmm, of course you have. We all have. Sometimes you do things that you later regret. And this keeps you from achieving that lean, sexy body that you want.

  • You hit snooze rather than waking up early to exercise before work.

  • You blow off your healthy eating plan to indulge in a hamburger and fries.

  • You start an exercise program only to drop out two weeks into it.

These regrettable actions prevent you from achieving your goals and keep you stuck where you are.

Most of us are all too familiar with this frustrating paradox. It’s almost as if there are two sides inside of you, raging war on each other. Your sensible side versus your emotional side. What you want versus what you do. 

A psychologist named Jonathan Haidt came up with a mental model that explains exactly why you do things that you wish you hadn’t – and how to take control to finally do the actions necessary to get what you really want. 

“The image I came up with for myself, as I marvelled at my weakness [of willpower], was that I was a rider on the back of an elephant. I’m holding the reins in my hands, and by pulling one way or the other I can tell the elephant to turn, to stop, or to go. I can direct things, but only when the elephant doesn’t have desires of his own. When the elephant really wants to do something, I’m no match for him,” explained Haidt in his book, The Happiness Hypothesis. 

Human decision making is like a tiny rider on a massive elephant. The rider may think he’s in charge, but the elephant’s will always wins. The Elephant, The Rider, and The Path are a great framework for understanding yourself and what drives you. All human change depends on it. 

Here’s Haidt’s mental model for creating lasting change in greater detail… 

The Rider: is your rational and analytical side. The Rider is a visionary that has the ability to think long-term, to plan, and that is willing to make short-term sacrifices for long-term payoffs. The Rider loves to contemplate and analyse, has limited reserves of strength, suffers from paralysis by analysis, and relentlessly focuses on problems rather than solutions. Most crucially, the Rider is so small compared to the six-ton Elephant that anytime they disagree about which direction to go, the Rider will lose. 

The Elephant: is made up of your emotions and instincts. The Elephant prefers the comfort and security of a well-trodden path, even if a new path leads to a better outcome – this is why it’s so difficult to change your habits. The Elephant has enormous strengths: love and compassion and sympathy and loyalty. The Elephant is the one who gets things done. 

The Path: is your surrounding environment, the context in which the Rider and the Elephant operate. A rocky Path makes change hard, if not impossible, even when the Rider and the Elephant work together.

There are three steps to lasting change:

  • Direct the Rider

  • Motivate the Elephant

  • Shape the Path

1) Direct the Rider: 

Change begins with a plan, and it’s the Rider who comes up with plans. Direct your Rider to analyze what’s right, on what works. When you’ve lost weight and made progress towards your fitness goals in the past what worked for you? Focus on these bright spots rather than on potential problems related to your desired change. Once you’ve come up with a plan, move on. It’s important to move quickly and to avoid getting bogged down with paralysis by analysis. 

2) Motivate the Elephant: 

In order for the plans of your Rider to succeed, your Elephant must feel emotionally invested in the outcome. Find an emotional connection that you feel deep down in relation to the goal. Don’t just think about why you want to achieve your goal – feel why you need to achieve your goal. 

3) Shape the Path: 

Make change easy. Reduce obstacles in your life, so that the new desired behaviour is frictionless. Move the barriers between you and the actions that you want to take. Lay out your workout clothes the night before. Spend time in the morning to prep all of your healthy daily meals. Get a trainer to hold you accountable to showing up to your workouts. 

The key to effective change is getting the Elephant and the Rider moving together on a smooth path to success. Do this and you’ll stop doing things that you later regret. 

If getting into the best shape of your life is a current goal that you wish you could achieve, call or email me today. Our Shape Up for Summer 6-week Challenge starts on Saturday and it just might be the kickstart you need!

Ginger Sriracha Chicken Lettuce Wraps

If you want to eat for fat loss then look no farther than this fantastic recipe! Fresh ginger and spicy Sriracha take this ground chicken dish to the height of flavour and satisfaction! Enjoy this dish as a quick and healthy dinner with flavours that intensify overnight for an even more satisfying lunch. 

Servings: 4

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 Tablespoon arrowroot starch

  • 3 Tablespoons water

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

  • 6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, greens and whites separated

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

  • 1 lb ground chicken

  • ½ cup bean sprouts, roughly chopped

  • 10 drops liquid stevia

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos

  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (more as desired)

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • handful of large lettuce leaves

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl combine the arrowroot starch and water. Set aside.

  2. In a large skillet or wok, place the coconut oil over medium high heat. Add the scallion whites, ginger and garlic and stir-fry until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and stir-fry, breaking it into smaller pieces, until no pink remains, about 8 minutes.

  3. Add the bean sprouts, stevia, coconut aminos, and Sriracha. Stir the arrowroot starch mixture and add it to the pan, mixing until it thickens. Add the scallion greens and season to taste with the sesame oil.

  4. Serve the chicken in large lettuce leaves topped with fresh cilantro and more Sriracha. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 279 calories, 13g fat, 5g carbohydrate, 113mg sodium, 1g sugar, 1g fibre, and 35g protein. 


April 10, 2017

Fasting or Small Meals for quicker results?

What’s the best eating strategy for fat loss? This is the question on the mind of those who are ready and motivated to transform their physique. A quick online search produces two popular eat-for-fat-loss strategies: Intermittent Fasting versus Six Small Meals. 

Which strategy works best? And which should you follow? Let’s find out… 

Intermittent Fasting: this eating strategy cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting. The content of your meals during eating periods is not a factor. Some cycle between eating and fasting each day, creating a small window for eating and fasting for at least 16 hours, while others cycle eating and fasting across several days, taking as much as 48 hours at a time to fast. 

Pros: Humans have been fasting for thousands of years. Our bodies are well equipped to handle periods of fasting. Research shows that fasting produces benefits for disease prevention, metabolic health, weight loss and even life extension. Some find it less work to fast rather than to plan for several small meals. During eating periods you get to eat whatever you want. 

Cons: Abstaining from nourishment for long periods of time can be challenging, especially when food is all around you. Socially it can be awkward to skip meals while your friends and family break bread together. Some find themselves overeating during eating cycles, and some find the ongoing absence of food to aggravate food obsession and to produce an unbalanced focus on food. 

Six Small Meals: this eating strategy, of breaking the traditional 3 square meals into 6 smaller meals that are spaced 2-3 hours apart, has been used by body builders and fitness competitors for years. The content and size of each meal is an important factor of this eating plan. Meals early in the day contain lean protein, fibre-filled veggies and a small portion of complex carbs, while meals later in the day are smaller and do not contain any complex carbs. All meals are low in fat. 

Pros: You never feel hungry. By feuelling up every 2-3 hours you never get the feeling of deprivation that comes with fasting. Energy levels are steady and high due to the constant supply of wholesome calories. Fat loss results are steady, and, when done with an exercise plan, muscle is maintained. 

Cons: You have to plan ahead. Every. Single. Day. Get used to carrying around a small cooler filled with containers of chicken, broccoli, brown rice and sweet potatoes. Each meal is small, so restraint is required. Unless you are including the occasional cheat meal, or cheat day, there is no room in this diet for empty calories or comfort foods. 

Conclusion 

The facts are out there to prove that both of these eat-for-fat-loss strategies work. There are photos of real, actual people who have subscribed to each of these methods and have gone from flabby to lean. Both methods irrefutably work. 

But why? How can two methods that utilise opposing strategies both produce fat loss results? And which one is better? Let’s dive deeper into what makes these eating strategies work… 

1. Meal Timing: When you eat is a factor with both of these eating plans. This means that subscribers to both plans are required to wait until the appointed time to eat. So mindless snacking, or grabbing a muffin just because it’s there, is out of the question. This reduces overall calories, which is key to weight loss, and explains why both plans produce results. 

2. Meal Content: The Six-Small-Meals plan focuses on the content of each of your small meals in great detail. Your meals contain lean proteins, fibre-filled veggies, and limited complex carbs. This detailed control of calorie content is largely why this plan is a sure bet for fat loss, not just weight loss. 

Intermittent Fasting does not consider the content of your meals during eating periods. 

3. Meal Size: The Six-Small-Meals plan also focuses on the exact size of your meals, which makes sense since you are eating six times each day, and excess calories would quickly add up. Typically this is done by weight, so as you pack your meals for the day you’ll be using a food scale to ensure that you have exactly the right amount of lean protein and complex carbs. Veggies are often measured rather than weighed. 

Intermittent Fasting does not consider the size of your meals during eating periods. 

So What’s the BEST Eating Strategy for FAST Results? As we’ve discussed, both of the eating strategies above are capable of producing results. This is due to the fact that both plans result in a lowered caloric intake. 

When it’s all said and done, weight loss comes from caloric balance. 

Remember the junk food diet where the professor lost weight eating restricted calories of only vending machine food? As long as you are taking in fewer calories that you are burning, you will end up losing weight. 

While both of the strategies above end up curbing your calories, only the Six-Small-Meals plan encourages wholesome calories that are ideal for burning fat and building muscle, which is why this is the plan most used by body builders and fitness competitors. 

When it comes down to you choosing your own eating strategy it’s important to determine what will work best with your lifestyle. If carrying a cooler with you and making time to stop every 3 hours to eat a meal is simply not something you can see yourself doing, then Intermittent Fasting may produce better results for you. The key is to figure out a plan for restricting calories that you would realistically be motivated to stick with. And the more wholesome the content of those restricted calories, the better and quicker your results will come! 

Want more guidance as you take your body from flab to fab? I’d love to help you! Give me a call or shoot me an email and let’s get you on track to shed some major fat before summer!

YOUR Eating Plan

Choosing an eating plan that you can actually stick with is the most important factor when it comes to seeing results. If you think Six-Small-Meals is the best philosophy, but know deep down that you’d never stick with it, then move on to a plan that would actually become part of your lifestyle. 

Choose a strategy that works for you and…STICK WITH IT!


April 3, 2017

Quiz: Best Time To Drink Your Protein Shake?

Now that you have more protein shake recipes than you know what to do with, you need to know the best time to incorporate it into your day. Which do you think best describes when you should drink a protein shake? 

a) You should drink a protein shake in the morning for breakfast.
b) You should drink a protein shake within 30 minutes after your workout.
c) You should drink a protein shake after dinner as a no-guilt dessert.

The truth is that all three of these statements work! A protein shake serves as a quick and easy replacement meal, so feel free to incorporate it into your day as needed. 

Just be careful not to choose protein shakes over whole food too often – a good mixture of small meals containing lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables are also important in achieving your healthiest, leanest body. Bottoms up!

31 Flavors of Protein Shakes

Protein is an essential macronutrient for building lean muscle mass and so there’s no disputing the fact that protein shakes are an important tool for fitness gains and fat loss. 

Not only does a protein shake meal replacement take only a few minutes to prepare, it keeps you on point with your nutrition while making it easy to avoid unhealthy fast food alternatives for a quick meal. However, blending up the same combination of protein powder, ice and water sure does get boring. 

The following 31 Flavours of Protein Shakes will destroy your protein shake boredom once and for all! For each of the recipes below simply combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add extra water, milk or ice as needed to create your desired consistency. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

Oatmeal Shake

  • ¼ cup dry oats

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

  • 1 ½ cups water or milk

  • handful of ice cubes

Banana Nut Shake

  • ½ banana

  • 1 cup milk or water

  • 10 almonds

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

  • handful of ice cubes

Vanilla Coffee Shake

  • ½ cup vanilla almond milk

  • ½ cup cold brewed black coffee

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • liquid Stevia to taste

  • handful of ice cubes

Café Mocha Shake

  • ½ cup milk

  • ½ cup cold brew black coffee

  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder

  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • liquid Stevia to taste

  • handful of ice cubes

Sunny Morning Shake

  • 1 seedless, peeled orange

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 scoops unflavoured protein powder

  • handful of ice cubes

Orange Creamsicle Shake

  • ½ frozen banana

  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • handful of ice cubes

Thin Mint Shake

  • ½ frozen banana

  • 1 cup milk or water

  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder

  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract

  • 4 fresh mint leaves (optional)

Bright Berry Shake

  • 1 ½ cups water or milk

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • 8 raspberries

  • 4 strawberries

  • 12 blueberries

  • handful of ice cubes

Strawberry Vanilla Shake

  • 1 ½ cups water or milk

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • 1 handful of ice cubes

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ frozen banana

  • 3 frozen strawberries

Raspberry Cheesecake Shake

  • 1 ½ cups water or milk

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • 15 frozen raspberries

  • 2 Tablespoons low-fat sour cream

  • liquid Stevia to taste

Peanut Butter Cup Shake

  • 1 cup water or milk

  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder

  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter

  • handful of ice cubes

Creamy Chocolate Shake

  • 1 cup water or milk

  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder

  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 Tablespoons low-fat sour cream

  • liquid Stevia to taste

Papaya Ginger Mint Shake

  • ½ cup fresh chopped papaya

  • ½ teaspoon fresh minced ginger

  • 4 fresh mint leaves

  • 1 cup water or milk

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • handful of ice cubes

  • drizzle of honey to taste

Blueberry Mango Shake

  • ½ cup fresh or frozen chopped mango

  • ¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries

  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 cup water or milk

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

Spinach, Kiwi and Chia Seed Shake

  • 1 ½ cups water or milk

  • 1 cup packed spinach

  • 1 ripe kiwi, peeled and cut into chunks

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds

  • handful of ice cubes

Oatmeal Cookie Shake

  • ¼ cup dry oats

  • 1 ½ cups water or milk

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • ½ frozen banana, peeled and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • pinch of ground ginger, nutmeg and salt

Peanut Butter and Jelly Shake

  • ½ frozen banana

  • 1 cup milk or water

  • 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter

  • ½ cup frozen strawberries

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • handful of ice cubes

Vanilla Matcha Avocado Shake

  • 1 ½ cups milk or water

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ an avocado, pitted and peeled

  • 2 teaspoons matcha powder

  • 1 handful of spinach

Cherry Almond Shake

  • 1 cup water or milk

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • ½ cup frozen, pitted cherries

  • 2 Tablespoons almond butter

  • handful of ice cubes

Honey Banana Shake

  • 1 ½ cups of water or milk

  • 1 frozen banana

  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • sprinkle of ground nutmeg

Carrot Cake Shake

  • 1 ½ cups water or milk

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • ¼ cup shredded carrots

  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • pinch of ground nutmeg and ground ginger

Key Lime Pie Shake

  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt

  • 1 cup milk or water

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice

  • Stevia to taste

  • handful of ice cubes

Peach Oatmeal Shake

  • 1 ½ cups water or milk

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • ¼ cup dry oats

  • 1 peach, pitted, peeled and chopped

  • handful of ice cubes

  • ½ frozen banana, peeled and chopped

  • Stevia to taste

Vanilla Chai Shake

  • 1 cup milk or water

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • ¼ cup strong brewed, chilled tea

  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • pinch of ground cinnamon, cloves and cardamom

  • handful of ice cubes

  • sprinkle of chia seeds

Apple Pie a la Mode Shake

  • 1 cup water or milk

  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped

  • ¼ cup vanilla Greek yogurt

  • 1 Tablespoon apple butter

  • ½ teaspoon ground apple pie spice

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • stevia to taste

Cinnamon Roll Shake

  • 1 ½ cups water or milk

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt

  • ¼ cup dry oats

  • ½ banana, peeled

Hawaiian Sunrise Shake

  • 1 cup milk or water

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • ½ banana

  • ½ cup pineapple

  • ½ cup plain Greek yoghurt

  • Stevia to taste

  • handful of ice cubes

Snickerdoodle Shake

  • 1 cup water or milk

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • ½ banana

  • 1 Tablespoon creamy almond butter

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Chip Cookie Shake

  • 1 ½ cups milk or water

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • ¼ cup dry oats

  • ¼ teaspoon imitation butter flavour

  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • pinch of salt

  • handful of ice cubes

  • 1 Tablespoon mini chocolate chips

  • stevia to taste

Chocolate Brownie Shake

  • 1 frozen banana, peeled and chopped

  • ¼ cup brewed coffee, chilled

  • ¾ cup milk

  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder

  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 Tablespoon mini chocolate chips

Pina Colada Shake

  • 1 frozen banana, peeled and chopped

  • ½ cup fresh pineapple, chopped

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • 1 Tablespoon shredded, unsweetened coconut

There you go! 31 flavours of Protein Shakes to keep you happily sipping those fitness friendly macronutrients needed to achieve your big transformation goal. Now your only protein shake dilemma is deciding which of these amazing shakes to try first! 

Remember that exercise is an essential component to achieving any fitness goal, so supplement your protein shake regimen with high intensity bouts of exercise. If you’re not yet one of my clients then let’s make today the special day. Call or email now to get started on the most effective fitness program you’ll ever join.

Egg White Muffins with Kabocha and Brussels Sprouts

Had enough protein shakes for one day? How about filling up on these delicious Egg White Muffins? The inspiration for these muffins came from a fancy egg white frittata enjoyed at a swanky restaurant. This recipe gives you all the same gourmet flavour with the convenience of a handheld muffin. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch or snack time! 

What makes these muffins so fancy? It has Kabocha squash and Brussels Sprouts giving stand-out flavour and texture to the egg whites. Be sure to dice your Kabocha very tiny and to shred the Brussels Sprouts quite thin. Also if you can’t find Kabocha squash then Butternut Squash works too. 

Servings: 12

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Here’s what you need…

  • Non-stick, olive oil cooking spray

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 cup Kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and finely diced

  • 1 cup Brussels Sprouts, finely shredded

  • dash of sea salt and black pepper

  • 20 egg whites

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Lightly spray 12 muffins tins with non-stick olive oil spray.

  2. In a skillet place the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the squash and Brussels Sprouts and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and cool.

  3. In a large bowl whisk the egg whites with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir in the tender veggies. Divide the egg mixture into the 12 prepared muffin tins.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until the eggs have set. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 49 calories, 1g fat, 2g carbohydrate, 88mg sodium, 1g sugar, 1g fibre, and 8g protein.


March 27, 2017

A Case for The Burpee

Oh, the dreaded burpee. We love to complain about this uniquely punishing movement, and try to avoid doing them as much as possible. But have you ever stopped to wonder where the burpee came from and why this torturous exercise is a favourite of fitness professionals across the globe? 

Burpees: A Short History 

Royal H. Burpee was a physiologist in New York City in 1939. He invented the first version of the burpee as a part of a fitness test. The original movement was milder than the burpee we know and love/ hate today. 

Mr. Burpee never intended for his fitness evaluation tool to become the form of exercise that it has become today. The burpee was intended to be performed 4 times in a row, and he would measure the participant’s heart rate before and after in order to assess their heart’s efficiency at pumping blood, thus determining their overall fitness rate. 

Burpees: An Evolution 

Over time the burpee was modified from its original, fitness evaluation form to the more vigorous modern movement. Here’s how the burpee evolved: 

Original Burpee: Squat down and place both hands on the floor in front of you. Jump feet back into plank position. Jump feet forward. Return to standing. Perform only 4 times in a row, measuring heart rate before and after. 

Modern Burpee: Bend over or squat down and place both hands on the floor in front of you, just outside of your feet. Jump both feet back into plank position. Drop to a pushup — your chest should touch the floor. Push or snake up to return to plank position. Jump feet back in toward hands. Explosively jump up into the air, reaching arms straight overhead. Perform as many times in a row as instructed by your trainer! 

Burpees: The Most Effective Exercise Ever?!? 

When you perform a modern burpee you are essentially doing a vigorous six-count bodyweight movement that requires you to move between six unique positions as quickly as possible. 

Everything burns as you go through a series of burpees: your lungs, your legs, your arms, and most of all…calories. Burpees cultivate agility, strength, coordination and stamina while burning fat. 

So the next time that you are told to do 20, 30, or 100 burpees: smile to yourself, think of Royal H. Burpee and be happy that you are doing an exercise that gets you enviable results in the shortest possible time.

Easy Pickled Radish

Looking for a crispy, crunchy snack that won’t derail your fitness results? Look no further than this simple recipe for Easy Pickled Radish. Enjoy these sliced over your next salad, sprinkled over braised meat, or enjoyed straight out of the jar! 

Servings: 4

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 bunch radishes

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns

  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds

  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar

  • ¾ cup water

  • 3 tablespoons raw honey

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Slice the tops off of the radishes and thinly slice into rounds. Place the radish rounds in a pint-sized canning jar. Slice into the garlic cloves in multiple places, then put on top of the sliced radishes. Top with the peppercorns and celery seeds.

  2. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, honey and sea salt. Place over medium heat and stir constantly until it comes to a boil. Pour the mixture over the radish rounds.

  3. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 17 calories, 0g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 194mg sodium, 2g sugar, 0g fibre, and 1g protein


March 20, 2017

To Scale or Not To Scale

When working towards a fat loss goal the question arises of how to best utilize the scale. 

Do you step on everyday, meticulously tracking the ups and downs? Do you jump on it once a week, keeping your mind off the number most days? Or do you skip the scale altogether and simply navigate your transformation using the markers of how you look and feel? 

Here’s a closer look at each method: 

The Everyday Method: There’s a large school of the thought that says in order to lose the most weight in the shortest amount of time you must get on the scale everyday. 

Weigh yourself at the same time, preferably first thing in the morning, wearing as little as possible. Record the daily number and react accordingly. If your weight has gone up then make modifications to your diet (eat less) and to your workouts (exercise harder). If your weight has lowered then keep on doing what you’re doing because it’s working. 

Everyday Method Pros: There is research that backs this as a reliable method. In a Journal of Obesity Study, published in 2015, researchers at Cornell University found that participants who tracked their weight daily for two years were more successful in both losing weight and keeping it off than participants skipped daily weigh-ins. 

Everyday Method Cons: Facing the scale daily can be discouraging for some, due to normal fluctuation in water retention, which can take a toll psychologically. Those who get discouraged enough may give up on their transformation quest entirely. Others may get obsessive about their weight causing an unhealthy compulsion to develop. 

The Never Method: In opposition to the Everyday Method is the Never Method – as in, NEVER get on the scale. This method requires that you rely on natural instincts rather than numbers and that you pay close, intuitive attention to how you feel and how your clothes fit. 

Never Method Pros: No more feeling terrible when the number on your scale tells you that you’ve gained another 5 pounds! No more obsessing over a number! Your self esteem will be untouched and you’ll experience a form of freedom. 

Never Method Cons: If you don’t keep close tabs on how you feel and how your clothes fit then this method easily results in pounds adding up gradually over time. It is very difficult to notice weight gain that takes place at a very gradual rate without the use of a scale. 

The Once Per Week Method: A once per week weigh-in is the most popular method. Getting on the scale on the same day, at the same time, each week is a compromise between daily and never. It’s the compass method: frequent enough to notice when you begin to drift off track, but infrequent enough to not intrude on your life in a negative way. 

Once Per Week Method Pros: You only have to endure the scale once per week, which is a blessing if the scale makes you feel demoralized. It’s frequent enough to bring gradual weight gain to your attention before it gets too far out of hand. 

Once Per Week Method Cons: Getting on the scale once every seven days does allow a handful of pounds to add up before you notice, which simply won’t happen with daily weigh-ins. Weight gained in a single week can take more than another week to lose. 

The Best Method: The truth is that there’s no universal right way to monitor your fat loss progress in order to stay on track. The method that you choose should be the one that positively supports you towards your goals. Since you know yourself better than anyone, think long and hard about the method that is best for you. 

If you hate the scale but know that daily weigh-ins are the best way to keep you on track then bite the bullet and do it. 

Most importantly: remember that the number on the scale is NOT a measure of you as a human being. No one knows (or cares) how much you weigh. The scale is a TOOL, just one of many, that you can use to track progress. 

Remember, ProActive Fitness is here to support in reaching your health and fitness goals. If you aren’t currently one of our amazing clients, now is the time to call or email to get yourself on the right track. We can help!

3 Steps to Weigh Yourself Right

To ensure that you’re getting an accurate read when you jump on that scale keep the following steps in mind: 

Time: Always weigh yourself at the same time of day, preferably first thing in the morning after going pee. 

Clothing: Wear the same type and amount of clothing, or (if in the privacy of your own home) weigh without clothing. 

Journal: Keep a log of your weight along with the date to create a history of data to assist you towards your fitness goal.

Chicken and Butternut Squash Salad

When working towards a fat loss goal it’s important to incorporate plenty of greens and lean protein into your diet, while removing starchy and grain-filled items. This Chicken and Butternut Squash Salad makes a really satisfying meal that will propel you towards your weight loss goals without making you feel like you’re missing out on tasty food :-) 

Servings: 6

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 Butternut Squash, cubed

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika

  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • 6 cups arugula

  • 2 cups leftover roasted chicken, chopped

  • 5 dates, pitted and chopped

  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

  • 1 avocado

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cube the butternut squash and place in a large bowl. Toss it with the olive oil, cinnamon, paprika, cumin and sea salt.

  2. Spread over a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Stir the squash and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

  3. Combine the squash and all of the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 109 calories, 10g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 28mg sodium, 1g sugar, 2g fibre, and 4g protein. 


March 13, 2017

5 NEW exercise rules

Out with the old, in with the new! Are you up-to-date on the latest rules in fitness? 

Popular belief about the most effective exercise techniques to achieve the highest level of fat loss and the best results vary from decade to decade. New studies come out, more data is considered, and we get smarter, more efficient, and more sophisticated in our knowledge and techniques. 

Here are 5 NEW fitness rules that will help you take your routine and your body to the next level of success… 

1. NEW Fitness: Exercise Partners

A decade ago the mantra was that having a workout partner was the holy grail of accountability and success. Article after article touted the magic of workout partners, and so fitness enthusiasts across the globe obediently found their own fitness friend. 

While this rule was made with good intentions, the reality is that not all workout partners are beneficial for your results. In fact, many exercise partners actually serve as a distraction rather than an asset when it comes to getting the most from your gym time. 

The new rule about exercise partners goes like this: the right exercise partner can enhance your results, but the wrong exercise partner will tank your gym time. Choose your exercise partner with care, or choose to workout alone if no one in your life can fill that role. 

2. NEW Fitness Rule: Athletic Shoes 

Athletic shoes have undergone major changes over the past decade. Designs used to emphasize stability and cushioning, with bulky designs intended to give you the most support possible. 

Today biomechanical experts have introduced the concept of minimalistic footwear, suggesting that it reduces injuries. While the bulkier shoes from yesteryear prompted strides with a forceful heel strike, putting stress on joints, the minimalistic designs encourage a softer landing with a mid-to-forefoot strike. (We're talking running here.)

Should you swap out your favourite pair of workout sneakers in favour of a more barefoot design? Not necessarily. Simply working on softening your stride by eliminating heel strikes could also do the trick. 

For strength training workouts in the gym, I encourage the use of minimalist shoes, or even going barefoot, if you're at ProActive Fitness.

3. NEW Fitness Rule: How To Get A Six-Pack

The old school way to a six-pack was to save your ab workout for the end of your gym visit. You’d stop at the exercise mats to spend ten minutes cranking out crunches and sit-ups. 

Today the popularity of stability exercises and functional training is on the rise. This means engaging your core (abdominal) muscles throughout your entire workout, not in an isolated movement after your main workout is complete. Exercises that require that you stiffen your core against resistance strengthen your abdominal wall, while protecting you from potential injuries. 

Avoid an exercise routine that’s centred around seated weight machines, as these do not engage your core. Instead seek out free weights, cable machines, resistance bands and other stability exercises. And remember to squeeze those abs while you work it! 

4. NEW Fitness Rule: How To Do A Push Up

Push ups from your knees are so last millennium! Not only does this position put unnecessary pressure and stress on your knee joints, it’s not as challenging as other techniques since it doesn’t allow for full range of motion to be achieved. 

So what do you do if a full push up isn’t manageable? Find another angle, rather than drop down to your knees. Place your hands on a counter or low bench and assume the full push up position with your back flat and spine straight. 

As your strength increases lower the angle of your push up until you are doing a full, traditional pushup. 

5. NEW Fitness Rule: Your Pre-Workout Meal 

Have you ever struggled through a workout on an empty stomach, fighting hunger pains as you feel the burn, simply because you read somewhere that exercise on an empty stomach burned more fat? You can stop doing that. 

New research is showing that eating a small, sensible meal before your workout results in a higher fat-burning rate compared to workouts out on an empty stomach. It has also been shown that your workout will be more intense and more effective when hunger isn’t on your mind. 

Keep your pre-workout meal small and sensible, such as a protein shake or half a banana with a scoop of almond butter (see recipe below!). The intention of the pre-workout meal is to provide energy and fuel for your muscles in order to get the most out of your time in the gym.

Homemade Almond Butter

A spoonful of homemade almond butter on banana is a fantastic pre-workout snack. It’s also delicious added to a protein shake or slathered on sliced apples. By blending your own almond butter at home you’re enjoying pure, unadulterated almonds and sea salt without the added sugars and preservatives found in many store bought brands. Enjoy! 

Servings: 20 

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Here’s what you need…

  • 3 cups roasted, unsalted almonds

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender until creamy. This can take up to 10 minutes, so when it doubt continue to blend, blend, blend. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 109 calories, 10g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 28mg sodium, 1g sugar, 2g fibre, and 4g protein. 


March 6, 2017

Easy ways to look younger

As much as you may want it, you simply can’t turn back the hands of time. This can be frustrating as the signs of aging begin to set in (believe me, I KNOW!)

The good news is that by adding a few anti-aging tweaks and habits to your routine it’s quite possible to look younger, healthier and more vibrant than ever before. And, no, you don’t need surgeries, injections or expensive lotions or potions to look years younger than you do today! 

Anti-Aging Habit #1: Daily Sunscreen 

Studies continue to prove that people who protect their skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays look younger than those who skip sunscreen. Apply 30 SPF to your face every morning to reap the benefits of this simple age-defying habit. 

Anti-Aging Habit #2: Lotion Your Hands 

Since the skin on the backs of your hands is naturally thin, it becomes increasingly important to apply moisturizer here as you age in order to prevent it from becoming wrinkly and dried out. Rub some of the 30 SPF that you are applying to your face each morning to the backs of your hands to keep them supple and smooth AND protect them from the sun.

Anti-Aging Habit #3: Eat Less Sodium 

When it comes to keeping your skin looking bright, tight and young: sodium is your worst enemy. Salty foods cause your skin to become puffy and bloated, and increase the bags under your eyes. Avoid eating sodium-rich foods and instantly look younger! 

Anti-Aging Habit #4: Get Enough Sleep 

If you’d like to look younger then fight the urge to stay up late. Getting plenty of sleep, 7-9 hours each night, is key for allowing your body to produce the ideal levels of estrogen and progesterone, hormones that boost your skin’s natural repair mechanisms and promote a healthy complexion. 

Anti-Aging Habit #5: Exercise Daily

Exercise improves your circulation, which has a number of age reducing payoffs. Healthy circulation helps your skin to look its best and even reduces puffiness and bags under your eyes. Exercise also increases muscle tone which improves your metabolism and helps you burn fat, looking slimmer and younger. 

I can help you with a workout that leaves you looking and feeling younger! Call or email me today to get started on your personal transformation.

Eat Your Greens
Getting a daily serving of greens (such as spinach, kale, or broccoli) is a simple way to brighten your complexion and fight aging. These dark greens are packed with carotenoids that contribute to healthy, perky skin. As a bonus, a daily dose of fibre-rich greens will promote fat loss – especially when you eat these greens instead of a calorie dense side, such as rice or potatoes. 

Start with this tasty spinach salad recipe!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Refreshing! That is the first word that comes to mind from a blissful bite of this salad. With fresh baby spinach, tender caramelized onions, sweet juicy strawberries and crunchy sliced almonds, this salad is a minefield of pleasurable flavours. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the goodness of greens. 

Servings: 8 

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Here’s what you need…

For the Fresh Tarragon Dressing:

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 3 Tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar

  • 1 Tablespoon melted raw honey (OR 10 drops liquid stevia)

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • dash of black pepper

For the Strawberry Spinach Salad:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced

  • 8 cups baby spinach

  • 8 strawberries, sliced

  • 2 avocados, pitted and cubed

  • 2 Tablespoons sliced almonds

  • sea salt

  • black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until fully combined, set aside.

  2. Place a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and sliced onion. Cook for 8-10 minutes, adding a Tablespoon of water halfway through the cooking time. Once the water has evaporated and the onion is tender, remove from heat and set aside.

  3. In a large bowl toss the spinach with the Fresh Tarragon dressing. Top with the sliced strawberries, cubed avocado, sliced almonds, caramelized onions and a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 185 calories, 16g fat, 7g carbohydrate, 86mg sodium, 1g sugar, 6g fibre, and 4g protein.


February 27, 2017

3 Ways Exercise Makes you FEEL Better

When we talk about the benefits of exercise, looking better gets the most attention. And while burning off a few pounds and toning up is great, I don't think that's the best thing about moving your body. Let's not overlook a more immediate benefit of exercise.

Exercise transforms how you feel—right away.

It's true. While weight loss takes time and extended effort, all it takes is one workout to begin reaping the reward of a more energetic and capable body. 

Here are the top 3 ways that your body will feel better with exercise: 

1) You'll Have More Energy
How are your energy levels these days? 

(And I'm talking about natural energy, not energy manufactured by caffeine.) 

Do your eyes pop open at the sound of your alarm? Then do you bounce through your day with a spring in your step? 

Or do you hit snooze half a dozen times before getting up and dragging through your day? 

While you may not instantly feel like the Energizer Bunny, your energy levels will dramatically increase once you begin a consistent, challenging exercise routine. 

How does spending energy create more energy? 

"Exercise literally creates energy in your body. Your body rises up to meet the challenge for more energy by becoming stronger," explains Samantha Heller MS, RD. 

Research consistently concludes that regular exercise increases energy levels and reduces fatigue. "You gotta spend energy to get energy!"

2) You'll Have Fewer Aches and Pains
When your life becomes sedentary (this means you are inactive for most of the day) then you'll quickly find your body developing aches and pains. 

You'll feel it when you stand up - a throb in your back, creaking in your knees and stiffness in your legs. 

This is pain due to underuse. 

Your body was meant to move! 

Movement improves flexibility and range of motion, and releases natural pain-reducing endorphins, which means that, with a regular exercise program, you'll be moving more smoothly and with less pain than before. 

3) You'll Feel Happy and Confident
It's hard to understand how 30 to 60 minutes a day spent on exercise is able to completely transform how you feel about yourself. But it does. 

Think back to the last time that you accomplished something. Maybe you performed well at work and received kudos from your boss, or you finished a project at home that took weeks of your time and concentration. 

Do you remember how that accomplishment made you feel? 

You stood a little bit straighter, you smiled easily, and deep down you felt alive with excitement. 

When challenging exercise becomes a regular part of your life, feelings of happiness and confidence also become a part of you. 

From now on I want you to forget the idea that exercise is nothing more than a means to achieving a slimmer body. 

Instead, look at exercise as a complete life enhancer. 

I'd love to get a call or an email from you. 

Reach out to me and I'll show you how to integrate a consistent, challenging exercise routine into your lifestyle so that you'll begin to reap the benefits of an energetic, more confident you. 

Don't wait to begin enjoying the benefits of an active lifestyle - call or email now!


February 20, 2017

Try this trending fitness meal

Eat Less Sugar
Here’s the easiest way to drop unwanted weight: EAT LESS SUGAR! I'm not one of these anti-sugar zealots that spews falsehoods like "Sugar is more addicting than heroin." Not true. No one ever killed anyone get a donut. But you’d be surprised at how many of the things that you eat on a consistent basis contain added sugar and the accumulation of all these added sugars can cause unwanted pounds to show up, seemingly out of nowhere. 

When in doubt, eat less sugar. You’re sweet enough already!

Build a Healthy Meal
What you eat will make or break your fitness results so if you aren’t happy with your current body then I’ll bet that your diet could use some improvement. 

I realize that finding the time to cook and eat healthy meals is a challenge for many people, so I’d like to introduce you to the Nourish Bowl. 

What is a Nourish Bowl? It’s a simple meal that consists of greens, protein, healthy fat, veggies, healthy carbs and various flavour additions. 

A Nourish Bowl can be enjoyed for any meal of the day, is quick to assemble, and is the perfect alternative to high calorie take-out meals. 

Build Your Own Nourish Bowl

Below are the ingredient categories that make up a successful Nourish Bowl. Select one item from each category to customize your very own meal. 

Start with Greens: A healthy serving of daily greens is essential for good health, and so our Nourish Bowl always begins here. Your greens may be cooked or raw, whichever you are in the mood for. Choose from:

  • Spinach

  • Kale

  • Collards

  • Arugula

  • Romaine

  • Micro Greens

  • Sprouts

  • Mustard Greens

  • Swiss Chard

Add Protein: Protein is important for supporting your fitness progress, in addition to providing you with usable energy to power your day. Be sure to vary the protein that you choose from time to time. Choose from:

  • Eggs

  • Beans

  • Lentils

  • Fish

  • Chicken

  • Beef

  • Pork

Add Healthy Fat: It’s vital that your diet be rich in healthy fats so don’t skip this category! Healthy fats help to keep you satiated, a benefit that will pay off in fewer calories consumed over the long haul. No more energy crashes in the afternoon! Choose from:

  • Avocado

  • Nuts

  • Seeds

  • Olive oil

  • Olives

Add Veggies: Colourful, vibrant, seasonal vegetables become the star of this meal. Take time to chop or dice your fresh veggies into a pleasing size before adding to your bowl. Choose from:

  • Zucchini

  • Bell peppers

  • Cucumber

  • Tomatoes

  • Cauliflower

  • Broccoli

  • Radish

  • Snap peas

  • Cabbage

  • Carrots

  • Parsnips

  • Any other veggie of your choice

Add Healthy Carbohydrates: Wholesome carbohydrates are important for maintaining that pep of energy in your step, so be sure to include a serving of one of the following in your bowl. Choose from:

  • Quinoa

  • Sweet Potato

  • Brown or Wild Rice

  • Beans

  • Corn

  • Peas

Finish with Flavour Add-Ons: Here’s where you could really let your creativity shine by adding your favourite fresh herbs or dressings to increase the flavour and enjoy-ability of the bowl. Choose from:

  • Chopped fresh herbs

  • Dried herbs

  • Homemade dressing

  • Homemade sauce

  • Vinegar

  • Hummus

  • Lemon juice

DON'T use bottled salad dressing....it's loaded with nasty stuff. and it's really easy to make your own!

I’ve posted a sample Nourish Bowl below for you to enjoy. I hope it gets your creative juices flowing so you can begin to design and enjoy Nourish Bowls of your own creation!

Don’t forget to get your fitness on by exercising 3-5 times each week. Remember that for your workout to be effective it must be challenging, progressive and consistent. 

If you aren’t yet one of our fabulous ProActive Fitness clients but you’ve thought about checking us out, shoot me an email! I’d love to hear from you and show you how we can help you look, move and feel better!

Quinoa Nourish Bowl

Here’s a Nourish Bowl that’s a great recipe to model! Once you’re ready, get creative and add your own favourite greens, protein, healthy fat, veggies and healthy carbs to a bowl and dive in. Enjoy! 

Servings: 2 

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Here’s what you need…

  • ¼ cup uncooked quinoa

  • ½ cup chicken broth

  • 1 Tablespoons spaghetti sauce

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 1 cup fresh spinach

  • 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced in half

  • ½ avocado, pitted and chopped

  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved

  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine the quinoa and broth in a small pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the spaghetti sauce.

  2. In a small skillet place the water over medium heat. Add the fresh spinach and sauté until tender.

  3. Divide the quinoa between two bowls and top each with one of the eggs, and half of the spinach, avocado and tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 323 calories, 15g fat, 33g carbohydrate, 286mg sodium, 8g sugar, 10g fibre, and 15g protein. 


February 13, 2017

5 Workout Secrets

If having a lean and sculpted body is your goal then I’ve got good news for you: follow these 5 Workout Secrets and your goal is MUCH more likely to become a reality. 

These secrets aren’t secret in the sense that you’ve never heard them before, because you likely have heard them. The secret is that by faithfully following each and every one of these 5 steps your progress will become automatic and your results will be guaranteed. 

Workout Secret #1: Consistency is KEY

If you want a fit body, you absolutely MUST make exercise a consistent part of your life. You can’t exercise hard this week and then take the next two weeks off and expect to see results. Results come from consistency, period.

Workout Secret #2: Set ATTAINABLE goals

Let’s be realistic here, you aren’t going to lose 20 pounds in a week. That’s not an attainable goal! Those who achieve the most amazing body transformations (and MAINTAIN them) do so by reaching a series of progressive, attainable goals. If you would like help in determining what an appropriate, attainable goal would be for yourself then simply reach out to me, I’d be happy to help. 

Workout Secret #3: Make it CONVENIENT 

Are you straining to include your chosen exercise routine into your life? If your exercise time isn’t a seamless part of your daily life, if it causes too much of a strain and headache to accomplish, then you won’t stick with it. Find a time, a place and a modality of exercise that is as convenient to your real life as possible, so that you can be faithful to Workout Secret #1 by staying consistent. 

Workout Secret #4: Find something you LOVE

Similar to Workout Secret #3, finding a modality of exercise that you LOVE is key to making this a permanent part of your life. You may never love swimming because you hate getting your ears wet, or you may never love biking because you’ve always struggled with balance. If you’re straining to get through a modality of exercise that you loathe, then you won’t stick with it. It’s best to move on to something different that you would enjoy more. 

**Note for exercise-haters: If deep down you consider yourself an exercise hater, then DO NOT take this Workout Secret as a free pass to forego exercise altogether under the guise of not loving it. Part of becoming fit for life is learning to find a type of exercise that you can learn to love. 

Workout Secret #5: Work with a PRO 

This is my favourite Workout Secret because this is where I get to work with you! My passion and focus is in helping folks like yourself integrate fun, challenging, health-promoting exercise into your daily routine so that you reach your body and health transformation goals. 

Don’t wait another minute! Call or email me today to get started!