Monthly Archives: August 2012

Spiritual Fitness :)

Thought I’d post some ideas for spending time gaps you have in purpose-filled ways during your day.  Thanks to my cousin Bill West for forwarding these to me!! I’m not exactly sure where he found this but great ideas! I will definitely be making an effort to make better use of my time starting in September as I take part in the Be the Change Challenge.  My goal for September is to do at least 10 minutes of yoga everyday, track all my workouts, and keep a food journal.  I will also try to do at least one of the things listed below every day (for 30 days) with my free time.  It will help to improve my already healthy and active lifestyle.  What healthy habits will you be practicing for the month of September?

1–5 Minute Gaps of Free Time

1.  Visualize someone you know who is suffering in some way and send them thoughts of loving kindness and peace.

2.  Say something kind or complementary to the person who is serving you or waiting on you in a store or restaurant.

3.  Help someone with their groceries or some other small service to assist them.

4.  Pick up and throw away trash that you see on the street or in a park.

5.  Send an email to someone to let them know you are thinking of them or to compliment something.

6.  Find something in your house that you no longer need to give away to someone who can use it.

7.  Forgive someone or ask for forgiveness.

8.  Read something inspirational to create positive energy for yourself.

9.  Take a minute to grab your own shopping bags to take to the grocery store.

10.  Stop and give that homeless person some change and a kind word, even if you doubt their intentions.

15–30 Minute Gaps of Free Time

11.  Call your parents and tell them how much you love and appreciate them and all they did to raise you.

12.  Really listen to someone, without distraction or interruption.

13.  Empower an entrepreneur in a developing country with a $25 loan through Kiva to help eliminate poverty.

14.  Write a letter to your MPP/MP either to thank them or advise them of a concern.

15.  Collect items for a care package to send someone serving overseas.

16.  Take the care package to the post office and send it.

17.  Walk to lunch or to the store instead of driving.

18.  Research a cause that aligns with your values and make a donation.

19.  Send a group of friends information on your favorite cause, and ask them to join you in supporting it.

20.  Plant a tree.

1–3 Hour Gaps of Free Time

21.  Prepare a meal for someone for no particular reason and deliver it to them.

22.  Watch someone’s children for them just to give them a break.

23.  Teach someone a useful skill – cooking, changing a tire, balancing a checkbook.

24.  Recycle your books and take those you’ve read to a book donation center.

25.  Drop by a nursing home and sit and talk with an elderly person who doesn’t have a visitor.

26.  Have a conversation with someone of another race, a different culture, a different religion, with different political views, and listen to their perspective openly without comment or argument.

27.  Be completely present and engaged with your spouse, partner, and family members.

28.  Plan and organize a group outing with your friends to plant a garden, clean up a community center, or work for a volunteer organization.

29.  Educate yourself.  Do some research on issues that impact you, your community, and the world.  Awareness is the first step toward change.

30.  Make a list of small things you can do around your house to conserve energy and water, stop waste, and recycle.  Then start doing them.

Conclusion

When we have free gaps of time, most of us (yep me too) turn to the Internet, television, the refrigerator, or text messaging to fill this time before we even contemplate what we are doing.  With the awareness that time gaps will appear on occasion, you can prepare yourself with purposeful actions that turn empty time into meaningful moments.

What about you?  How have you turned your time gaps into good karma opportunities for making a difference in the world?

Have a great long weekend everyone!!

Les 🙂

Advertisements

Tasty Turkey Burger Recipe

I found this recipe in a pile of Dave’s (my bf!) stuff and since we were entertaining on Saturday I thought I would make these tasty burgers for lunch! I’m pretty sure his mom is the one to thank for this recipe (Thanks Sandy!)

I am a HUGE fan of burgers (usually my cheat of choice) but these are a much healthier option but equally as delicious!  Pair your burger with a spinach salad and you’ve got yourself a complete meal!!

Ingredients:

1 lb of ground lean ground turkey

1 small carrot, grated

4 green onions, chopped

1 sm clove of garlic, minced

1 egg, lightly beated

1/4 cup of fine dry bread crumbs (or you can use oatmeal!)

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp of ground coriander (I didn’t have any of this so I left it out)

1/2 tsp dry mustard

Pinch of sea salt/pepper

Pita bread or whole wheat buns (or no buns which is how I prefer them, try lettuce wraps!)

((For toppings you can cut up avocado, tomato, onion, lettuce or any other veggies…I also like to put mustard on mine!))

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and shape into 4 patties.  Cook in a pan on both sides until cooked all the way through.  You can also make your patties smaller and make 8 burgers/sliders.

 

These take no time at all to make so if you’re looking for a quick, delicious and nutritious meal this is one you’ve got to try!

Any other great turkey burger recipes you’d care to share?? Please post below…

Les 🙂

 

My First Video Blog!

Finally! I’ve been talking about doing this since January and I finally did it!  Man this took forever to figure out but I think it turned out ok!  I know the more I do it the better (and faster) I will get…try your hardest not to laugh please 😉

Click on this link to watch the video

Any ideas or requests for future videos?? Post your comments please!

 

Les 🙂

Chicken, Peach and Bacon Bites

Dave and I wanted a quick bite before heading to the movies last night and we didn’t have many groceries in the house.  I took a quick look in the fridge and noticed we hadsome turkey bacon, chicken breast and fresh peaches.  I quickly Google’d these 3 ingredients and VOILA! This is the recipe I found…I modified it a bit (to make it healthier of course!)

Chicken, Peach and Bacon Bites

Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 25 min
Marinating: 15 min
Output: 24 mini skewers 


Ingredients
Marinade
30 ml (2 tablespoons) white wine vinegar 

30 ml (2 tablespoons) butter 
 (I used organic unsalted butter, much healthier and only 1 tsbp)
30 ml (2 tablespoons) honey 
(substituted raw organic all natural honey)
1 green onion, chopped (didn’t have any of this but I’m sure it would add some nice flavour)
Mini Skewers
4 skinless and boneless chicken thighs, each cut into 6 pieces 
(I used 1 chicken breast for Dave and I to split, cut into 10 pieces)
2 peaches, pitted and each cut into 12 wedges 
(1 peach)
12 slices bacon, cut in half 
 (5 slices of TURKEY bacon)
24 large toothpicks, soaked in water for 15 minutes (10 toothpicks) 

Salt and pepper 




Preparation
Marinade

1. In a saucepan, bring all the ingredients to a boil and simmer for about 1 minute. Let cool. 

Mini Skewers

1. Season the chicken with (sea) salt and pepper. For each skewer, wrap a piece of chicken and a peach wedge with a half slice of bacon. Thread with a toothpick. Place the skewers in a glass dish and coat with the marinade. Cover and marinate for 15 minutes.

2. Preheat the grill, setting the burners on medium. Oil the grate. (I don’t have a bbq so cooked the skewers in a pan on medium high heat)
3. Grill the skewers on each side for about 5 minutes. Shut off one section of the grill and cook the skewers on that section, for indirect cooking, for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. (After cooking for 5 minutes on each side, I turned down the heat and cooked the skewers for 10 minutes or until chicken was cooked all the way through)

The finished product!! Juicy and delicious!! I will definitely be making these again! They don’t even need to be dipped in anything! They are a little finicky to prepare but they were gone so fast as Dave and I LOVED them!  They would be great to bring to a party and serve as an appetizer 🙂

Go ahead and try these little bites of heaven while peaches are still in season.  You’ll be happy you did!  Let me know how they turn out or share any other ideas you have for tasty bite sized treats…

Les 🙂

“There are no tricks, there is only hard work…”

Alright my wonderful blog followers! I’ll have to admit, coming back from holidays (almost 2 weeks of being away from home, not eating my regular meals and missing some workouts) has been tough but thanks to being a full time personal trainer and working in a gym with a fantastic team and having a super supportive boyfriend I am back on track!  The break was much needed but can’t last forever!!

This morning I woke up early and had an awesome cardio session with my friend Rob on the Step Mill (great timing) then this afternoon I had a killer chest and back workout with my friend Honore.  To be honest though I wouldn’t have pushed myself as hard as I did if it weren’t for having someone else there to push me.  You’re probably confused and saying to yourself  “wait a second, I thought Leslie LOVED to workout and works hard in the gym?” Well don’t get me wrong I do and I workout hard almost everyday (sometimes twice a day) but I also like to give it 110% when I train.  It is much easier to slack off when you work out on your own (right?)  but in order to see results you must push yourself and not just go through the motions, especially if you’ve been working out for a long time.  Hence the reason why I am a firm believer in having a training partner or better yet, a personal trainer 🙂 They hold you accountable, call you out when you’re slacking, make working out fun and help you out with those last few reps 🙂

Still feeling unmotivated?? Maybe these pictures/posters will lift your spirits or PUMP YOU UP!

You probably were already aware of all the benefits of exercise but we could all be reminded once in awhile…

HAHA Funny that Rob mentioned something similar to this while doing cardio today, SO TRUE!

Has exercise and a healthy lifestyle become a habit for you yet?? If not, read below…it will one day! Just stick with it!

…and finally…words I live by…and practice daily…

Hope that this blog post helps boost your enthusiasm towards working out and get you pumped up about achieving your fitness goals!

And one more to leave you with, I wish I could say that I came up with this…

Have a great weekend,

Les 🙂

My Top 5 Favourite Snacks

We all know the importance of snacking but many people struggle deciding what makes a good snack.  Not sure what to eat for a snack? I’m sure I’ve posted about this before but I am always asked “what do you eat in between meals” or “how do I find snacks that have protein and are healthy” and since I have recently been helping my boyfriend clean up his nutrition a bit (he asked me to help him) here are the snacks I always come back to:

1-Apple or celery with Almond Butter- Why almond butter and not peanut butter?? Almond butter is considered healthier than peanut butter because it does not contain extra salt, oils, preservatives or sugar.  Another reason why I love almond butter is that its high percentage of protein, fat and dietary fiber leaves you very satisfied, even if it’s just one tablespoon, although it’s often hard to stop at just one tablespoon! A big benefit of almond butter is that it helps stabilize glucose levels because of the high fiber, protein and healthy fats, which control the rise of insulin. Almonds help prevent a spike in blood sugar during a high carbohydrate meal. Another benefit is its abundance of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that guards your cells against free radical damage. Almond butter can be added to your protein shakes, added to fruit and vegetables like apples or celery as a quick snack or you can add it your warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should, it takes some getting used to 🙂

2-Raw vegetables- Yep I could eat endless amounts of vegetables and so should you! Most of us don’t get enough veggies from our breakfast/lunch/dinners so this is why snacking on veggies is ideal!  Feel free to have 1 or 2 tbsp of hummus with your veggies if you can’t stand eating them alone.

3-Protein shake with a handful/1/4 cup of nuts or piece of fruit (post workout)- Pumpkin seeds, macademia nuts, almonds, cashews you name it!! Nuts are an excellent source of fat, protein and other essential vitamins and minerals and they will also leave you feeling fuller longer.  Pair them with a protein shake for a perfectly balanced snack 🙂

4-Greek yogurt pudding– Remember this amazing recipe from Honore? Here it is again….

1/2 cup of greek yogurt
1/2 scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder
1 to 2 tbsp of cocoa powder
1 tbsp of natural peanut butter

5-Cottage cheese with fruit: Cottage cheese has 14 g of protein in 4 oz (1/2cup) and tastes amazing with 1/2 cup of berries, sliced apple or cantaloupe, you decide!  Yummy, easy and excellent for a morning snack!!

 

What snacks do you enjoy??

 

Les

A couple photos from my photo shoot…

Quick post today as I’m heading off to Toronto to visit some friends and play in a beach volleyball 4 on 4 tournament Saturday and Sunday. Woohoo! I hope we don’t get rained out…

Here are a few pics to prove that my photo shoot was a success.

I will be back to regular blogging starting on Monday, I spent the last week in California (holidays!!) and didn’t have access to a computer (other than my iPhone) 😦

I will also post some before photos eventually so you can see how much my body changed to prepare for the shoot.  Remember with hard work, discipline and dedication comes success and great results…Image/resultsImage (and great pictures!)

Les 🙂