Monthly Archives: October 2011

Tomorrow is a new day…

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!
This is one of my favourite holidays as I get to dress up and showcase my silly side…and I may even sneak a few mini chocolate bars/candy/chips while I am at it, anyone else guilty for this?? Hopefully you didn’t go TOO crazy this weekend with Halloween parties and such but even if you did (I may have had an extra beer or two and a piece of cake at a staff party on Saturday) don’t let it get you down!! We are all human! BUT what better time to get your eating/drinking habits under control than the beginning of a new month!!

My mom has been constantly watching what she eats and is very consistent with keeping her weight down but one thing I have learned from her and really resonates with me is that TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY!! In other words, if you have a bad day/weekend/week of eating you can change things around the next day!

My boyfriend and I did a 21 day challenge with the following rules: all our meals must come from our own kitchen (NO EATING OUT), eating every 3-4 hours (proper timing of meals), drinking lots of water and NO ALCOHOL (stay hydrated) and NO JUNK FOOD/unhealthy snacks! We measured our waists at the beginning of each week and after about 4 weeks of sticking to our rules we both lost 3-5 inches around our waists, reduced our body fat 2-3 percent and even lost weight (5-7lbs) on the scale! And this was only after 25 days of being very conscious of what we were eating. Not only did we slim down but we also saved a lot of money….eating out (even if it is healthy) and drinking is very expensive. Planning your meals and making frequent trips to the grocery store is much more cost effective (and better for your waist line).

Now 21 days may seem like a lot for some…so why not try it for 1 or 2 weeks…and keep it simple…for example, try not drinking any alcohol for 2 weeks (this could be hard for some!) and then if you are successful try for another 2 weeks or vice versa (if unsuccessful try it again!) Or try bringing your own lunch to work instead of eating out. How about no snacking before bed? For some maybe you need to start eating protein at breakfast? These are just a few ideas…fill me in on what your challenge will be and what are you going to do to practice healthy eating habits for 1 week, 2 weeks or 4 weeks…and remember if you break the “rules” one day you can start over the next day!

Here are some suggestions to help you get on track and use for the next 7,14,21 or 30 days to form a new healthy eating ‘habit’:
1. Be clear what your challenge is. Do you really want to go without McDonalds? or was this just something told you you should do…pick something that YOU want to do not what someone else tells you you should do!
2. Once you are absolutely certain what you want to do WRITE IT DOWN. And keep it positive…ie I will eat all fresh, whole foods from the grocery store, not I WILL NOT EAT JUNK FOOD…also write down “why”…why do you want to eat more vegetables? To increase the amount of fiber and antioxidants in my diet, help me lose weight etc. The bigger your conviction, the easier it will be be for you to follow through.
3. Create diversions to help you stay on track. If there is a specific weakness you battle that stops you from progressing and following your challenge every day, try to find ways to distract you from the negativity. For example, if you are craving chocolate or food give yourself 5 or 10 minutes to think about if you really need it, or drink water instead or how bout get rid of all bad food in your kitchen? It will help to keep you on track.
4. Celebrate each step, regardless how tiny it is. You need all the help you can get to keep motivated. Tell others about your ‘challenge’ and they can help keep you on track. It also helps to pick a date when your challenge is over…celebrate with a friend or anyone else who knows you are doing the challenge…it will give you something to look forward to!
5. Stay clear of negative people or anything else that may trigger you to ‘cheat’. There will be people who try to sabotage you. This doesn’t even have to be intentional. Just remember you are doing this for YOU and do not let anyone else tell you that what you are doing is wrong or stupid or crazy…they are probably jealous because they could NEVER do what you are doing!

So next time you catch yourself saying things like “yeah I really need to start eating healthier” or “wow I WISH I was as disciplined as Les is” or “I would really like to lose the last 10 pounds” or “I should really stop spending so much money on eating out”…well now is your chance!! Take responsibility and pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth for a few weeks and get ready to be happy with the result! And who knows, maybe it will become a habit?? Remember it takes 21 days to form a habit…

What better time to start then now!!??

Good luck! Keep me posted on how your challenge goes. Feel free to message me with any ideas/questions/comments/concerns.

Les 🙂

Another tip…have extra Halloween candy left over? THROW IT OUT!!! It is much better for you in the garbage where it belongs than sitting in your belly and hips. It will be much less tempting to grab a chocolate bar if it is sitting in the garbage instead of a pretty container on your counter…just a suggestion 🙂

Yogaahhhhh!

Happy Friday everybody!

The time has finally come–my yoga teacher training starts tonight from 7-9pm at Rama Lotus!! I have been looking forward to this for months! I LOVE YOGA! I have no idea what to expect from 12 weekends of yoga but from what I have heard (from other yoga teachers who have graduated from the program) it will be a life changing experience. I am really excited to learn more about the history of yoga and more importantly to deepen my own yoga practice. I will keep you updated on my journey to becoming a certified yoga instructor over the next 8 months…

OOHHMMMM…..

Les 🙂

Turn it up!

Hello my blog readers!

What I wanted to share with everyone is the importance of doing INTENSE ACTIVITY to INCREASE YOUR METABOLISM. Whenever you are working out whether it is lifting weights, hiking up a mountain, performing push ups or running on the treadmill, really focus on maintaining intensity in your workouts. PUT YOUR MIND IN THE MUSCLE! Did you know that you can build more muscle and burn more calories by concentrating on what you’re doing instead of staring off into space or thinking about all the things that you have to do that day in between sets? You won’t achieve the results you are looking for if you are not mentally present when you workout. Next time you are lifting weights try to THINK about the muscle you are working-it will maximize your results!!

Your cardio workouts should be at a decent level of intensity as well. I have up many of my clients’ metabolism by doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) from time to time. What I like best about it is it does not take a lot of time and you feel AMAZING afterwards. Interval training involves performing any cardiovascular exercise at a high intensity (think 8-9 out of 10 effort) for a short period of time and then dropping the level of intensity, to recover, for the same period of time. An example is running as fast as you can for 2 minutes, then slowing down to a slow jog or a walk for 2 minutes. These intervals fire up your metabolism by shocking your muscles. Studies have shown that people who incorporate high intensity interval training into their workouts lose TWICE as much weight as those who don’t!

How you should feel/look after a HIIT session!

My favourite HIIT workout is a TABATA workout…

Here is how you do it-
Choose an exercise (ie-SQUAT JUMPS-PUSH UPS-JUMP LUNGES-MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS)
Perform as many reps as possible within 20 seconds – maintain good form
Rest for 10 seconds
Perform 7 more sets
Move on to the next exercise..

You will definitely need to use a clock, stopwatch, workout buddy or a dedicated HIIT timer to keep track of your work sets and rest periods.

Check out this video and you will learn how to get a killer workout in 4 minutes…

And another video of my good friends (and personal trainers/pro fitness models) Lucas Couturier and Honore Levesque performing a killer circuit interval workout outside…

Try adding some high intensity interval training into your workouts and let me know how it goes!

-Les 🙂

My new favourite “Meal-in-Bowl” Soup…

As I was planning my meals for the week (as I do every Sunday night) I was skimming through Tosca Reno’s “Eat Clean Diet RECHARGED” book (one of my all time favourites by the way!) and came across this great recipe called “Meal in a Bowl Soup”. I was a little intimidated at first (silly I know-I mean how hard is it to make soup?) as there was a HUGE list of ingredients that required a lot of chopping but loved the idea of making a big batch of soup that would last me the rest of the week. For those of you who always feel like you have no time or energy to cook during the week I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you try this trick…cook all your food (or a big pot of soup/stew/chilli) for the week on the weekend…and then divide it into individual serving sizes (Ziploc bags or Tupperware containers) that you can keep in the fridge and use for lunch and/or dinners that week or freeze the left overs…

Some of you are probably like “ya ya ya” and “I know” or “I have heard this before” and it sounds so simple but how many of you have actually tried preparing and/or planned all your meals the weekend before?? I dare you to try it sometime…it will save you a lot of stress, time and money during the week! And you will EAT HEALTHIER!! Let me know how it goes…

So here is the recipe for the ‘Meal-in-a-Bowl Soup’

YUMMY! Nutritious and delicious!!

Ingredients
1/4 cup/60 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch of celery, leaves included, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 large onions, peeled and chopped (TIP-to stop the ‘onion chopping’ tears…chew gum or refrigerate your onions!)
3 fat carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 head garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 fist-sized yellow potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 head green cabbage (about the size of two hands cupped together) shredded
2 x 15oz cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
8 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
12 cups/3 L low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried basil

Method
1-In large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed skillet (aka HUGE POT!) place olive oil and heat over medium-high flame.
2-Add celery, onions, carrots and parsnips. Saute until onions are soft. Add garlic, potatoes and shredded cabbage and all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for an hour or until vegetables are soft.
3-Serve hot!

Nutritional Value Per Serving:
Calories: 395 Calories from Fat: 72 Protein: 21 g (add chicken or any other meat if you wish) Carbs: 66g
Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Fiber: 20g Sodium: 492mg Cholesterol: 0mg Sugar: 11g

Makes 10 servings (2 cups/480ml per portion)
25 mins prep time
120 minutes cook time

Any other suggestions for quick and easy (and healthy) soup/chili/stew recipes?? I would love to hear from you!

Les 🙂

My first post!

Welcome to “Get Fit With Les”.  In the past year I have been told numerous times by my clients and friends that I should start a blog.  I finally did it!

In the upcoming weeks I will be posting advice on how to lose weight through proper nutrition and fun and effective workouts in and outside of the gym.  I will also be updating my progress with yoga teacher training.

Please visit the About Me page to learn more about my background and experience in fitness.  My blog will be updated as follows:

  • Monday: Meal planning and nutrition tips
  • Wednesday: Reviewing effective and fun workouts I have done by myself and have put my clients through
  • Friday: My ongoing experience in yoga teacher training and other yoga related information
Here we go! 🙂
-Les