Monthly Archives: September 2012

Another successful 30 day challenge!!

Wow did the month of September fly by or what?! I think it is because of the 30 day yoga challenge I was taking part in, it has been so much fun! What an experience, I seriously don’t want it to end!  I have met some wonderful people through this Be the Change Challenge and am quite proud of how well everyone has done!  What I look forward to most this weekend is a class on Sunday with Megan Campbell then off to chow down with some new friends (other challengers) at The Table in Westboro to celebrate and share stories our successes (and struggles) this past month! Thanks to everyone who has supported me along the way and helped me reach my fundraising goal! There is still time to donate 🙂

I decided to sign up for this challenge organized by Megan Campbell with the intention of getting into the habit of doing yoga every single day.  Yes I know, I’m a new yoga teacher so I should already be practicing yoga everyday, well I have to be honest, while I have been doing yoga at least 3-4 times a week I haven’t been doing it everyday!  I guess all I needed was a little 30 day challenge to get me on the right track!

After all, many spiritual traditions refer to 30 days and the power it has to transform habits, relationships, jobs, patterns. It’s within that time span you gain the power to make or break habitual patterns and ways of living.

I found that during this challenge I was very diligent and made time to get on my mat everyday (except for one day but I did it twice the following day, not sure if that counts but oh well!) At first I was taking advantage of the free yoga classes that we being offered at Pure Yoga Ottawa but as my days started getting busier I found that I was really enjoying doing my own practice at home!  The hardest part (just like anything else) is getting there on your mat (showing up), connecting with your breath, taking the time to relax and giving yourself a few moments to feel grounded and at peace.  Once I get there it is always feels so good  and I always finish feeling better and as though I’ve accomplished something 🙂  What’s even better is I get a great stretch out of it and depending on my mood and energy levels, a great core workout!

So do I think that everyone should try doing yoga every single day? Is it the best way to become happier, healthier and more in tune with your body and your surroundings!? OF COURSE! But don’t take my word for it, you’ll have to try it yourself! Many yoga studios offer first time visitors a first time unlimited intro month special (for example at Pure Yoga they offer an intro special of $40 for unlimited yoga your first month!)  If going to a yoga studio everyday is not feasible for you there are many other options…check out my friend Sarah’s video series called Surviving Yoga for more tips on how to get started in yoga and how to stay committed to a yoga practice.

Now if doing yoga isn’t something that interests you THAT IS OKAY!! Maybe you have other goals you want to achieve or habits that you want work on.  My Mom (for example) has done a few 30 day challenges but her first one she went without wine or beer for 30 days!!  Sounds tough right?? She thought so too, but after only 2 weeks of no drinking she didn’t even feel like she wanted to drink.  She also was happy because she lost weight, trimmed inches and felt so much better!  In fact, since the challenge (8 months ago) she rarely drinks at all anymore!  Imagine that?!

So are you sick of having hang overs or want to get rid your beer belly?  I dare you to challenge yourself to going without any alcohol for 30 days.  Once you get past the first week or turn down an offer to go for drinks with a friend you’ll be able to do it for the rest of the month!  You’ll be amazed how much better you feel and look (less bloated, more energy, less cravings etc).  And yes, you might ‘accidentally’ have a drink during the challenge but don’t beat yourself up about it.  Just acknowledge what you did and move on!  We are human, we make mistakes, bad decisions etc.  It’s not the end of the world.  But don’t ever give up because at some point you’ll get sick of constantly ‘starting over’.   I plan on continuing to practice yoga everyday, I find I really miss it when I don’t do it 😦 Now that’s a good thing!

In case you haven’t gotten the point of my post yet, here it is….SET A GOAL, TELL YOU FRIENDS, PICK A DATE, COME UP WITH A PLAN (do a 30 day challenge), SURROUND YOURSELF WITH A SUPPORTIVE GROUP/FRIENDS, STICK TO YOUR PLAN and the best part–> CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS!!

It’s that simple 🙂

Did you know that the beginning of next month starts on a Monday??  October 1, 2012; the perfect date to start working on your next goal…what’s yours going to be?? I’m going to begin preparing for a figure competition next spring 😉 The 7 month countdown begins!!

Please share your goals/30 day challenge below…

Les

Also, don’t forget I am teaching yoga this Sunday at 10am at LC Fitness studio.  It’s an all levels class and only $10 dollars for a 75 minute class.  Bring your own mat, a water bottle, a towel and a friend.  Stay tuned for updates on new class times starting in a few weeks 🙂 Hope to see you there!!

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Healthy Breakfast Muffins from Kylie Delfino

Check out this easy yet delicious recipe from The Nourished Self’s Kylie Delfino…

Egg and vegetable muffins

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp of dry mixed herbs or 1 tbsp of fresh herbs (any herbs you like)
  • 12 large eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté onions in olive oil over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add peppers, and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.

While peppers are cooking, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Once onions/peppers are cooked, remove from heat and let them cool for a few minutes. Combine with the egg mixture, stir well, and add the salt and cracked pepper.

Coat a large muffin pan with oil. Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, fill each muffin cup.  Place in oven for 10-15 minutes.  Remove them once the tops get high, fluffy, and golden brown.

Interesting facts/Nutritional Benefits of Eggs

One egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all nine essential amino acids. Eggs are great for the eyes. According to one study, an egg a day may prevent macular degeneration because of the carotenoid content in eggs, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients are more readily available to our bodies from eggs than from other sources. Eggs are a good source of choline. One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline, an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system and cardiovascular system. Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D. Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals.

So wake up a few minutes earlier and you can make these for yourself to eat at breakfast or even make a few extra and have them as a snack later on.

Congrats again to all those who took part in the Army Run yesterday.  It is definitely one of my favourite half marathon races.  Such a beautiful time of year to run, a fun route and an awesome crowd cheering us on!! I am proud of all my clients, friends and my sister who finished their first or best half marathon races!!!
Les 🙂

Which ‘stage of change’ are you at?

 

There are typically five stages (sometimes 6)  one encounters when making life changes.  This model was developed in the 70’s to chart the changes in smokers trying to quit.  Above there is a chart I found that shows you how it relates to people attempting to incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives.  Which stage are you at and how does it relate to your need to make a positive change in your life???  How do you think you’ll get to the next stage??  Keep in mind that not everyone moves from one stage to the next in the same length of time.

Here is a more detailed explanation of the Stages of Change model:

Precontemplation is the stage at which there is no intention to change behavior in the foreseeable future. Many individuals in this stage are unaware or in denial of their problems (i.e. sedentary/unhealthy lifestyle)

Contemplation is the stage in which people are aware that a problem exists and are seriously thinking about overcoming it but have not yet made a commitment to take action. (“I know I need to BUT…” or you make “I should” statements)

Preparation is a stage that combines intention and behavioral criteria. Individuals in this stage are intending to take action in the next month and have unsuccessfully taken action in the past year (i.e. look into getting a gym membership, think about contacting a personal trainer, making “I could” statements, etc)

Action is the (hardest!) stage in which individuals modify their behavior, experiences, or environment in order to overcome their problems. Action involves the most overt behavioral changes and requires considerable commitment of time and energy. (This stage must be celebrated!! The person has made a choice and demonstrates desire for change! Having a personal trainer really helps you to stay motivated during this stage :)))

Maintenance is the stage in which people work to prevent relapse and consolidate the gains attained during action. For addictive behaviors this stage extends from six months to an indeterminate period past the initial action. Also celebrate this stage! You’ve accomplished your goal. Your clothes fit better. You don’t even think about missing a workout.  This is a long-term commitment but you love your new habits and healthier self!  It takes time to get here and there will be small ‘bumps’ or ‘slip ups’ along the way but you’ll switch up your workout to keep yourself motivated.  Your life has changed tremendously since you were in the “Precontemplation Stage” and you generally a lot happier with yourself than when you started 🙂

Relapse is the stage you want to avoid happening at ALL COSTS! But if it does happen, it’s never too late to start over again…but it’s hard, really, really hard!

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The reason I wanted to write about this topic today is because in the last couple of weeks I have witnessed quite a few new clients in stage 4- ACTION!  This is the most exciting moment for me as a trainer, especially taking clients through their very first workout.  Sometimes I wish I could videotape the first workout (some are worse than others) and then play it back to my clients 6-12 months later to remind them how far they have come (and how out of shape they used to be!)  Not only are they extremely motivated and ready to work hard on the first day (and everyday after that) but they give it their all! (no matter how light-headed, nauseous, sweaty, weak, or tired they feel).  It’s amazing (and refreshing) to see people coming in to see me so DETERMINED TO CHANGE and DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT!  It is one of the reasons I love my job as I get to help people overcome their greatest fears and do things they never thought were possible.

So to all my new (and old) clients reading this, you have taken a very positive and HUGE step towards living a healthier lifestyle and I congratulate you!   I know you can accomplish any goal you put your mind to- it just takes time, patience, determination and discipline (and listening to/trusting your trainer!)  And if you ever need any help, you know I’m always here to help and support you (and kick your butt when you need it!) 🙂

If you’re someone who has been ‘contemplating’ working out for a while, or maybe you’ve always wanted to train for a marathon or wish you were in the best shape of your life and had a personal trainer well, what’s stopping you?  Go ahead and JUST DO IT!  Life is too short to regret not living your life to the fullest!!

 

Les 🙂

 

 

 

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Should I take protein powder?

I get asked this question ALL THE TIME!  What do I tell people??  Most often (after looking over their daily food log) the answer is YES! Why? Because most people do not get enough protein on a daily basis.  Why do you need to eat more protein and why protein shakes?  Well continue reading if you’re interested….

If you have ever been to a gym or a health food store you’ve probably seen and heard about various flavours, brands and kinds of protein powder.  If you are a health and fitness guru/nut like me, protein shakes are a part of your daily meal plan, at least once (post workout) or maybe even twice a day.  They are becoming more and more popular as people are discovering that the key to weight loss and building muscle is adding more protein to their diet, therefore protein powder has become a neccessary supplement. But do you know which kind is best?? How they are made?? Or how much protein you need?? Hopefully I will answer all your questions below…

You can buy protein powders in every nutrition store and the are sold all over the Internet. You can even find pre-mixed, ready-to-drink protein shakes in many stores.  But are protein powders just for bodybuilders, or can the average everyday person benefit from them as well? The answer is YES, everyone can benefit from adding more protein into their diet.  Why? Lean sources of protein increase your metabolism, increase muscle mass, increase recovery, leave you feeling full so you eat less which eventually lowers body fat, increases adaptation to training demands, lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease, boosts your immune system, etc.

What Are Protein Powders?

Protein powders come in various forms.

Protein powders are dietary supplements that contain a high percentage of protein, this protein being derived from a variety of different food sources including:

Rice, Egg, Milk, Pea, Hemp and Soy

Here’s what you should know about each type…

Rice protein: Hypo-allergenic, gluten-free, neutral taste, economical

Egg protein: Fat-free, concentrated amounts of essential amino acids

Milk protein: includes whey, casein, calcium caseinate, and milk protein blends. – May enhance immunity, high in BCAA’s, contains lactose, most likely to not be tolerated, highly studied

Pea protein: No saturated fat or cholesterol, highly digestible, suitable for vegans, hypo-allergenic, economical

Hemp protein: Provides omega-3 fats, most forms provide fiber, suitable for vegans, free of trypsin inhibitors, can get in raw form, high in arginine and histidine

Soy protein: May have benefits for cardiovascular disease, suitable for vegans, contain trypsin inhibitors

h percentage of protein, many manufacturers fortify their products with synthetic vitamins and/or minerals as well as additional fats and carbohydrates. These later products, which also contain appreciable amounts of carbohydrates and fats are often referred to as MRPs or meal replacement powders.

As protein powders come directly from whole food sources, they are created by extracting the protein component of the food through a variety of processing methods. Typical processing methods include:

Protein concentrates
Concentration is a high heat drying process and acid extraction to lessen the whole food source into a concentrated protein powder. It is fairly inexpensive. During the processing other impurities can be concentrated with the protein (e.g., lactose, fat, cholesterol). Concentrates end up being about 60 – 70 percent protein by weight.

Protein isolates
With isolated protein, the idea is to separate out a majority. This is accomplished through an alcohol wash, water wash, or ionization technique. Each method has a different expense. Water is the least expensive and ionization is the most expensive. After the isolate is created it goes through a filtration process. At this point, virtually everything but the protein has been eliminated. Minimal carbohydrate, fat, fiber and phytochemicals are left. Isolated protein is about 90 – 95 percent protein by weight.

Protein hydrolysates (hydrolyzed)
Hydrolyzed protein is created by adding water to protein polymers and breaking them into miniature groups of protein called peptides. The groups will range in size from 2 to 5 amino acids. This is done to enhance absorption. Hydrolysis is essentially pre-digestion. Hydrolyzed protein is expensive to produce.

Ion-exchange protein
Ions are atoms or molecules containing charge-bearing groups. Ion exchanging separates protein molecules from other fractions in the food by taking advantage of electrical charges.

Microfiltration, cross microfiltration, ultrafiltration
This is a powerful filtration process that removes contaminants from the concentrated protein component by passage through a membrane. It is similar to reverse osmosis used for water purification.

The industry gold standard for milk protein processing is ion-exchange. However, different protein sources require different processing techniques.

While protein powders provide a significant amount of protein, most people, even athletes, can also get everything they offer by eating sources of lean protein like meat, fish, chicken, and some dairy products (greek yogurt and cottage cheese preferably) BUT let’s be honest, who wants to eat  more than 3 chicken breasts a day!? Not me!

How much protein do I need?

The general rule of thumb is 1-1.5 grams/pound of body weight (seems like a lot and very few people get enough protein everyday).  So for most women this is 20-30g of protein PER MEAL (120-180g/day) and for men 40-60 g of protein per meal (240-360g/day).

If you’re unsure as to how much protein you’re currently consuming click on this link to find out the protein content of almost every food you can imagine!

With the many options of protein powders currently available, it is important to find the option that matches YOUR needs. Digestibility is an important issue and should be established before choosing a protein powder. For most people who first start taking protein powder it will take a few days for your body to get used to it.  So give it time and if your body still doesn’t like what you’re giving it, try a different type of protein powder.

Also, the method in which the protein powder is used will also influence your selection (e.g., shakes, puddings, bars, pancakes, etc). Finally, remember this, with dietary supplements, you get what you pay for. By choosing a “cheap” protein powder, you’re likely to get higher amounts of lactose, fat, etc. not removed during the isolation process.

I have tried all types of protein powders, and to be honest I like to mix it up and try different flavours and kinds (and try and find the expensive ones on sale!)  My favourite is the new VEGA Performance Protein (chocolate flavour). Here’s a link for more info on what’s in it.  I’ve also used ALLMAX Isoflex Whey Protein Isolate in the past (so many flavours to choose from).  Here is a link to find out more about this product.  What’s great about this brand is you can buy it in most grocery stores (check the health food aisle) so it’s very convenient.

Any one else have any opinions on protein powder?  Feel free to comment!  Hopefully this post has been useful in answering any questions you had about protein powder.

In my opinion the BEST way to lose weight/gain muscle is to follow a regular strength training  and cardio routine (most effective with the guidance of a personal trainer), practice yoga at least once a week and most importantly follow a consistent healthy diet, high in protein, loaded with veggies and minimal fruits, healthy fats, and lots of water…there’s so secret formula, it takes hard work and dedication to your goal!  Contact me for more info and I’ll show you how to get the most out of your workouts and help you get the results you’ve always wanted!

 

 

Les 🙂

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What inspires you??

As many of you may notice, I write this blog in hopes of inspiring people to live a healthier (and happier) lifestyle.  I have been asked by many people what “inspires’ me and to be honest, it’s hard to define what inspires me.  I find it even more difficult helping other people find their inspiration, but I try my hardest let me tell you! Ask my clients!

Why am I writing about inspiration??  Because it is an amazing feeling when you are inspired!! It is what pushes us to do great things!  It comes in many forms-people, art, music, blogs, nature-no matter what form it takes, inspiration is what moves us to dream, to make plans and sparks the desire to move out of our ‘comfort zone’ and learn or achieve something bigger.  Inspiration can be that little push we need to turn a thought into an action.

When I was younger and playing competitive sports I was always inspired by a CHALLENGE!! If it was fighting for a starting spot on the team, overcoming an injury, being told that I needed to improve in a certain skill, a concept in school I didn’t quite get, someone telling me that I couldn’t do something…whatever it was, as soon as I put my mind to something I was dead set on achieving it! Has anyone else experienced this??

As I’ve matured and entered the working world I am inspired by the people around me.  I always strive to be the best at what I do (I can blame my parents for this who set very high standards and had high expectations of us growing up (thanks mom and dad!), and the fact that I am a bit of a perfectionist) I can remember when I first started working at Goodlife, I was fascinated and ‘inspired’ by the trainers who loved their job and had a waiting list of clients wanting to train with them.  So what did I do?? I worked my butt off to become the best trainer I could be and ended up having a consistently full schedule of clients.

A few years later, some trainers left Goodlife and started their own personal training businesses and became very successful.  So what did I do?? I got inspired and took the plunge and started my own business even though many people told me it was ‘risky’ and I should ‘take my time’ but I knew that if the other trainers could do it I could do it!  And so far (in only 9 months) things are going very well and I believe that I have established a solid reputation in the fitness industry.

When it comes to working out and what inspires me to stay fit I would have to say my clients are the reason I stay in great shape.  Not only do I LOVE to exercise (and often) but I am constantly inspired seeing how hard my clients work to improve their own health and fitness that I have no choice to be one step ahead of them 😉  So thank you to my clients for pushing me to achieve such a high level of fitness, where would I be without you all?! Bet you didn’t even know you were inspiring your trainer??

I also find inspiration from reading other people’s blogs.   It doesn’t matter what the topic of their blog is but just reading  about what someone else is truly passionate about inspires me 🙂

So here is my advice to you- once you’ve discovered what inspires you, it’s time to use it!  What is the general urge you get when you see/feel/experience these inspiring things?  Does it make you want to backpack around Europe?  Does it make you want to take a yoga class?  Perhaps it makes you want to run a marathon?  Whatever your sources of inspiration are telling you, WRITE IT DOWN!   Make a little list of the dreams that your sources of inspiration are pointing to.  These are things that are important to you, things that drive your happiness.  It’s necessary to discover these before you can live life to the fullest!

So what inspires you?? I’m curious, so please share!!!

Now if you’re one of those people who struggles to find inspiration hopefully now you will start to think of things that you’ve always wanted to do but never seem to go for as you keep telling yourself ‘it’s impossible’ or ‘that’s never going to happen’.  Well guess what?  It’s never too late to start!  You are the only one holding yourself back from accomplishing your goals…and always remember this…

 

Stop dreaming and start writing down your goals, come up with a plan/date you would like to achieve them by and then put your  plan into action!  That’s right-JUST DO IT!

Les 🙂

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Is Vitamin Water Healthy??

To all you Vitamin Water lovers, I hate to break it to you but NO it most definitely isn’t.  I can remember when this drink first came out I feel for the marketing and would think I was being healthy drinking this “nutrient-enhanced water beverage” after all  “vitamins+water=all you need” and they claim their product is “hydration only better”.  Pffff ya right!  Little did I know that it’s not a “nutrient enhanced water beverage” at all but but it is more like “sugar+water =all you get”.  In fact it contains 33g of sugar and 125 cals for every 20 oz bottle so it ends up being more like a sports drink or pop than plain water.  There was even a Vitamin Water lawsuit, check out the article on Time.com

From searching a few websites I found out the ingredients in Vitamin Water are “…a sweetener called crystalline fructose that is brought about from corn syrup, electrolytes, natural flavors, citric acid and vitamins E, B12, B6, B5, B3 and C.  At other times, more ingredients are included based on the flavour needs of a particular vitamin water drink.  The sweetener, crystalline fructose, is decidedly unhealthy for you as there have been concerns raised about its propensity to play a role in causing chemically produced liver damage, or hepatotoxicity. The presence of citric acid also may be a problem, as citric acid is known to wear down your tooth enamel if ingested to excess.”  Wow sounds very refreshing now doesn’t it??

You might be wondering “Ya, but there are vitamins in the drink, do they benefit you in any way?”  They do but not as much as you’d think.  There was a study published in 2009 in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition of 12 participants found that vitamin water provided a similar nutrition for B6, B12 and vitamin C as a standardized meal with a caloric savings. So while some of the water soluble vitamins (Bs and Cs) are absorbed that isn’t clear for the fat soluble vitamins, A, D and E.

But guess what!!?? You can make your own!! If you’re not a fan of plain water and are looking for a way to ‘spice it up’ try squeezing lemon or lime juice into some water for vitamin C and potassium.  You won’t reach the same levels of vitamins you do in sugar…I mean Vitamin Water, but if you’re concerned that your diet isn’t already supplementing you with enough then try a high quality multi-vitamin supplement.  The best way to lose weight, get enough vitamins and minerals, be energized, increase your focus, boost your immune system (which apparently will happen by drinking Vitamin Water??)  is to eat a clean, well-balanced and healthy diet loaded with vegetables and fruits, complex carbs, lean protein, healthy fats.  So if you’re not doing this already, Vitamin Water will not help you feel any better 🙂  If you have any more questions about the topic of nutrition or your opinion of Vitamin water, I’d love to hear from you.  I’m always looking for new ideas for future blog posts…

Les 🙂

 

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Are you ready to change your lifestyle??

So you’ve decided that this is the year, month, week, day, moment that you are going to commit to living a healthier lifestyle! AWESOME! CONGRATS! BRAVO!! But are you ready???  So many times I’ve  heard people say “yes I’m seriously going to get in shape starting today” or “I am sooo over eating out” or “I am going to start going to yoga on a regular basis starting today” or “I’m going to the gym everyday, no matter what!” and then 2 weeks later they are back to their old ways of no exercise and unhealthy eating.  Why is that??  Well there are many reasons but I believe the real reasons are you AREN’T READY TO CHANGE or you LACK MOTIVATION and DISCIPLINE or you expect IMMEDIATE RESULTS.  You need to be honest with yourself, what’s worked or hasn’t worked before?  As my dad always tells me “past behaviour is the best predictor of present/future behaviour”.  Before you begin your journey to improving your fitness and health from where it is now take a few minutes to complete these quizzes/questionnaires…

Click on this link to complete a quick quiz….

Or answer this questionnaire to calculate your “readiness to change” score….no cheating!

So what did you notice?? Are you surprised with the results?? Probably not right?

If you are one of those people who is on the fence or maybe you’re totally apprehensive about the process THAT IS COMPLETELY NORMAL! The hard part is overcoming the doubts and making the decision to TAKE ACTION to improve your lifestyle.

I’ve been following Tim’s blog called “Minimalist Workout” where he writes about ways to minimize workouts for maximum effect (awesome concept right?) and I asked his permission to repost his blog from a couple days ago.  It’s called the 7 Point Plan to Fitness Success. I couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂 so thanks Tim!   Here it is…

I’ve been reading a lot about motivation lately. It seems every fitness website and blog has a simple plan to become more motivated. The problem is, most don’t address the real reasons you are lacking in motivation. Most people aren’t simply lazy but they lack motivation for many reasons. Most of the reasons, I am finding, come down to reward and discipline.

In your life you learn by trial and error. If you try to walk through a wall and bump your head then you wont walk into the wall again. When you see someone walk through a door you’ll realize you can get to the other side of the wall by going through the door.

The same is true with exercise. If you attempt to run a marathon when you’re out of shape you will fail after about a minute. This would make a couch potato out of anyone. If you run 1 minute intervals with periods of walking for 20 minutes as instructed in couch to 5k then you’ll be rewarded with the satisfaction of a job well done and confidence in yourself. Below is my seven point by step plan to reaching your goals.

Data Collecting Phase – Spend a week logging your bad habits. Don’t attempt to change any of them at this time.
Recognition Phase – During this phase you will recognize where your problem areas are. Consider this your project to work on. If you watch TV all day and never get up then say “when I get up to use the restroom (or go to the kitchen) I will do a couple reps”. Pretend you’re a lawyer and find some loopholes in your routine and bad habits.
Social Phase – State your intentions verbally to your friends and family. You will then commit yourself and inspire others. Inspiring others is like a stock that pays dividends.
Trial Phase – See how many push ups, sit ups and squats you can do. If you can do 1 that is fine. If you can’t do floor push ups then do wall push ups. Take the next couple of days off.
Journal Phase – Start a journal. A blog is a great way to journal or just buy a notebook. You’re going to log your exercises so you can track your success.
Action Phase – Do 50% of your max reps per set every time you go to the rest room or kitchen. If you were able to do 10 push ups then do 5 per set but shoot for 3 or more sets. Do one of the workouts (push ups, sit ups, squats) per day. Drink plenty of water and eat something with protein.
Success Phase – Pat yourself on the back. You’re working out. Do this every day, tell your friends how well you’re doing and they will celebrate with you.

I love the steps he has come up with and find that they work best for fitness and nutrition goals.  So if you’re struggling to get started on your path to a healthier lifestyle start with Step 1: Start logging all your bad habits for a week…then once you can identify what they are you can begin to break them down and work on 1 at a time.  Don’t overwhelm yourself and try to ‘fix’ or ‘correct’ everything at once, or you’ll become overwhelmed and most likely give up or quit before you even begin.

And some thoughts to leave you with today…

 And…

Les 🙂

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The MuscleCook’s Famous Chili Recipe [ALMOST as good as my Mom’s!]

YUM!!!  Who doesn’t love a warm bowl of chili?? I do and to be honest nothing beats my mom’s recipe (I’m serious mom!) BUT I came across this recipe the other day as I follow Dave Ruel “The Muscle Cook” on Twitter and he had posted his “Famous Chili” recipe.  I decided to try it since I had some extra lean ground beef left over after making homemade burgers 🙂  This guy is an expert when it comes to planning healthy meals for body builders or anyone else who is trying to improve their body composition/lose weight.  I met him through my friends/co-workers Lucas and Honore as he is their good friend and was their trainer/nutrition coach when they were competing in fitness competitions.  Super cool guy and I even have his cookbook full of high protein, low carb recipes that are so easy to make (and delicious!)

I made this chili on Sunday afternoon and have been eating it for lunch and dinner everyday since then!!

Here is a link to the video of Dave making his famous “Muscle Cook Chili”…

…and here is the recipe!

Makes 9 Servings

 Ingredients

– 1.5 lbs of Ground Buffalo (Bison) or Extra Lean Ground Beef
– 1 cup of diced onions
– 1 diced Green Pepper
– Garlic (3 cloves, minced)
– 1 tbsp of Chili Powder
– 1 teaspoon of Curcuma or Tumeric
– 1 teaspoon of Oregano
– 2 Cans (15oz/can) of Black Beans
– 2 Cans (15oz/can) of Diced Tomatoes (with juice)
– 1 Can (14oz) of Low Sodium Beef Broth
– 1/4 teaspoon of salt / 1 teaspoon of Pepper

 
Directions

1. In a pan, cook the buffalo/ground beef, green pepper, onion, garlic for 5-6 mins, until it is almost cooked.
2. Transfer everything in a big casserole. Add Chili powder, curcuma, oregano, beans, tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper.
3. Let it boil
4. Reduce intensity and stir for 20 mins until it reaches wanted thickness

 Nutritional Facts

(Per Serving – 1 Cup)

Calories: 264
Protein: 30g
Carbohydrates: 26g
Fat: 4.5g

What’s your favourite chili recipe??  I love making large batches of food (chili/stews) because it means less meal prepping for the next few days.  AND I find the longer this chili sits in the fridge the better it gets! I even shared some of it with my friend and her son today and there’s lots left.  They both licked their bowls clean so I am guessing they like the chili as much as I do!!  Try it out and let me know how you like it…

Les 🙂

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