Monthly Archives: October 2012

More slimming pancake recipes :)

Part 2 of Protein Pancake recipes for fitness enthusiasts…Check these simple and tasty recipes.  Now you have enough to try a different pancake every morning!!

4. Simple Pre-Contest Protein Pancakes (ready in 10 minutes, makes 4 pancakes)

1 tbsp psyllium husk

1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

1 whole egg

1/4-1/3 cup water

Blend. Heat pan over medium heat. Pour batter. Flip when bubbles appear.

Nutrition facts per pancake: Cals 90, Fats, 2.5 g, Sodium 55 mg, Carbs 3 g, Fiber 2 g, Sugars 0 g, Protein 15 g

5. Dark Chocolate Protein Pancakes (ready in 10 minutes, makes 2 pancakes)

4 egg whites

1/2 cup rolled quick oats

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tbsp unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

2 tbsp pumpkin puree or sweet potato baby food

1-2 packets Stevia (optional)

Directions: Let batter sit for 5 minutes to allow chia seeds to soak up some of liquid.  Blend, heat pan, pour, flip 🙂

Nutritional info: Cals 230 g, Fats 6 g, Sodium 160 mg, Carbs 22 g, Fiber 6 g, Sugars 2 g, Protein 23 g

6. Pumpkin Pie Protein Pancakes (ready in 10 minutes, makes 2 pancakes)

2 tbsp canned pure pumpkin

1/4 cup rolled quick oats

2 tbsp wheat bran

1 egg

2 tbsp low fat cottage cheese

1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

1/2 tsp maple extract

1/4 tsp all spice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking powder

Blend. Heat pan. Pour batter. Flip pancakes. ENJOY!

Nutritional info: Cals 90, Fats 2.5 g, Sodium 30 mg, Carbs 8 g, Fiber 2 g, Sugars 1 g, Protein 9 g

Happy cooking and let me know which one is your favourite!! Maybe you’ve created your own?? Please share your recipes and comments below!

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As promised here is a link to some excellent lower body stretches for ya Ashley!! Pictures included!  It is best to stretch everyday (after you’ve warmed up of course) but you can increase your flexibility by following a stretching program at least 3 times a week for 20 minutes or more!

Les 🙂

 

 

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It’s been a year already???

I was  just looking back through my old posts and realized that October 22, 2011 was when I wrote my very first post!  Wow over a year of blogging already?? Although I have spent many many hours coming up with ideas and writing new posts a few times a week, I have found it to be very worthwhile and extremely rewarding and have become even more motivated in doing so, after all I must practice what I preach! I only hope that my blog has inspired a few people to become more active and make healthier choices when it comes to eating.


So thank you to all my readers/followers, friends, family and clients for consistently visiting my page, commenting, liking, and sharing on Facebook!  If it weren’t for having such a huge support group and followers I don’t think I would have such a desire to continue sharing my health and fitness inspiration and tips with you 🙂

Keep checking back for more, I’ll be posting again this weekend (a request from a friend of mine)!

I am starting early tomorrow so it’s bed time for me 🙂

Another big THANK YOU to all my readers!  You are the ones who inspired me to start a blog in the first place 😉

 

Les 🙂

 

Healthy Comfort Food: Protein Pancakes PART 1

If you’ve picked up the latest issue of OXYGEN magazine this month you would’ve already seen these FANTASTIC recipes for protein pancakes.  I have chosen to post the first 3  recipes (thank you Oxygen magazine) for those of you who think cooking takes too much time or eating healthy doesn’t taste good….allow me to prove you wrong….

First off here are 4 easy steps to making the perfect pancake that you can eat for breakfast, lunch OR dinner!

1. Blend pancake ingredients in a blender.

2. Heat pan over medium heat, then lightly coat with cooking spray.

3. Pour desired amount of batter into hot pan.

4. Flip when bubbles form in batter, or when one side is golden.

And here are the first 3 out of 6 delicious high protein pancake recipes from Oxygen Magazine (my favourite magazine!):

1. Coconut Cashew Pancakes with Raspberry Sorbet (ready in 10 minutes, makes 2 pancakes)

1/4 cup rolled quick oats

1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup cashews

2 tbsp low fat cottage cheese

2 egg whites

1/2 cup water

Sorbet:

1 cup frozen raspberries

1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder

1/8 cup cold water

Directions:

1. Follow steps 1-4 (above) with batter ingredients.

2. Blend sorbet ingredients using an immersion blender for about 2 minutes (or a magic bullet), until think and fluffy.

3. Serve pancakes topped with dollop of sorbet.

Nutritional Info (per pancake with topping): 350 cals, 11 g fat, 130 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, 11 g fiber, 6 g sugars, 33 g protein

 

2. Savoury Red Pepper Patties (ready in 10 minutes, makes 4 pancakes)

1 cup red bell pepper, chopped

4 egg whites

1/4 cup unflavoured whey protein powder

1/8 cup low fat cottage cheese

1/4 cup coconut flour

Topping:

1/4 cup tuna

3 tbsp low fat cream cheese

1/2 tsp garlic salt (optional)

Directions:
1. Follow steps 1-4 with batter ingredients.

2. Top each patty with a thin layer of cream cheese, a spoonful of tuna and a sprinkle of garlic salt.  Serve

Nutritional Info (per pancake): 130 calories, 3.5 g total fats, 150 mg sodium, 7 g total carbs, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 16 g protein

Protein Pancakes

3. Berry Cheesecake Pancakes (ready in 10 minutes, makes 5 pancakes)

1/3 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt

1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1/8 cup vanilla whey protein powder

1/8 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup rolled quick oats

1 whole egg

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Once batter is blended, stir in:

1/4 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Cook pancakes following steps 1 to 4, using a slightly lower heat and cooking for a little longer.

Nutritional Info with topping (per pancake): 180 cals, 2 g fats, 80 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 7 g protein

 

Now don’t just read the recipes, TRY THEM!  You’ll look forward to your next breakfast if you do 🙂

Check back next week for recipes 4-6…these ones are even healthier and will also contribute to your slimming down goals…

Les 🙂

 

 

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Do you Practice Mindful Fitness?

We should learn to   live in the present moment....

I recently received the latest issue of CANFITPRO (Canadian Fitness Professionals: the organization I am certified through) and came across a very interesting article called “Mindful Fitness”.  Here is a section from the article I had to share…

“Many of us are constantly looking for an alternative to the non-stop, stressed out, fast food lives we are living which are driving us to exhaustion, and are responsible for the booming rates of conditions such as obesity, drug addiction and cancer.  As fitness professionals we are responsible for illuminating another path that can help save us as individuals and the planet as a whole.  It involves the simple concept of mindfulness. We cannot ignore this movement towards mindfulness and in fact we need to embrace it for our own benefit and the benefit of every life we touch..

Mindfulness is the act of being conscious of our own thoughts, movements, and speech in the present moment and without judgement.  Mindfulness is letting life unfold as we watch, noticing the thoughts and feelings that arise in our minds without necessarily acting on them.  It brings peace to our hectic lives.  It sounds simple but if you’ve ever tried being consciously aware for any length of time you’ll know that it’s something that takes practice.  Imagine what life would be like if we made only conscious decisions and didn’t pay so much attention to the unconscious thoughts and feelings that are constantly driving us to ease and comfort.  We would be living a life on purpose.  The beauty of mindfulness is that it gives us a conscious control over our decisions and allows us to live a life of our own choosing…”

So true right?? Before I started practicing/studing yoga I would’ve read this article and laughed, actually I never would’ve made it past the first paragraph as I was guilty of living life in the fast lane; constantly thinking and worrying about tomorrow, what I was going to do next, what meal I was going to eat, who I was going to train etc.  Now I am the complete opposite!  I really do my best now to live in the present, and I am much more aware of what I am doing, feeling, thinking at the present moment.  Let me tell you, my stress levels have decreased dramatically!  I am also a much better listener as I actually listen and give other people my full attention instead of having 100 thoughts and scenarios going through my mind!

This also relates to success with my workouts.

Here is a list of 4 things you can do to practice “Mindful Fitness” :

1. Make a Plan Including Goals (and Barriers) to Your Success
One of the first things I share with my clients over and over again is the famous quote:
“those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
Hence, in order to have success in your fitness, you must clearly define your goals and figure out why you are motivated to reach those goals. Are you motivated to lose weight? If yes, ask yourself why. Are you motivated to run a 10k? Why do you want to do this?  Be sure that your reasons are YOUR OWN and that you have not become swept up in another person’s dream or vision.  Once you have defined your goals, write down what may get in the way of your progress (barriers). It could be time, lack of equipment, work commitments, childcare or other obligations.  Just know that the same things that have been getting in the way of your success will continue to hinder you unless you avoid those roadblocks with workable solutions. Once your plan is underway and you have begun putting in the work to improve your fitness, there are additional things you can do to practice “Mindful Fitness”.
2. Pay Attention to Your Body by Learning to Differentiate Pain from Discomfort.
Remember, you are not always going to be comfortable while you are exercising (ask my clients, if it burns it means it’s working!). It is tough work and you must get comfortable being uncomfortable. Pay attention to your body by learning to differentiate between pain and discomfort. It is often quite uncomfortable running up a hill. You might be breathing heavy and if you are not used to that you may not like it. However, your foot should not hurt simultaneously. Be aware of pains and twinges that may lead to an injury down the road. If a specific mode of exercise hurts you, then you may need to find another one that suits your body better. Listen to your body and be conscious of what it can do.


3. Keep a Fitness Journal
Practicing “Mindful Fitness” is also about noting your progress so that you have a clear vision of your past when your perception may become skewed. For example, how would your body be affected if you began walking one mile per day? Well, one mile will burn about 85 calories. Therefore you would burn an additional 595 calories per week or 30,940 calories per year if you regularly practice this. That equates to a loss of 9 pounds per year, not to mention all of the other health benefits that you cannot physically see. Sometimes change seems so slight that you feel you are not making progress. If you keep a fitness journal, you will appreciate being able to look back and see how far you have come. Understand that making small incremental changes will eventually lead to big results.


4. Give Yourself Permission to Reevaluate Goals When Natural Backslides Occur
Finally, accept that there will be times when you are going to backslide and miss your workouts. Even the pros go through this. When it happens, revisit your goal sheet and reevaluate your motivations. Give yourself permission to amend your goals or your motivations and become determined to continue moving forward one small step at a time.

“Mindful Fitness” is about creating a realistic plan, listening to your body and being aware of how it feels. Find your balance, choose activities that agree with your body and be willing to work hard to achieve your desired results. You won’t regret it.

Meditation is the ultimate mindfulness activity.  I still have yet to attend a meditation workshop or class.  If you’re intimidated by meditation (as I am) keep in mind that in order to reap the benefits it doesn’t have to be for a long period of time but it should be done daily for as little as 5-10 minutes.

The simplest way to connect with the present moment (as I’ve learned through yoga) is simply sitting quietly and breathing for a few minutes.  Breathing with purpose and noticing how calming it feels to inhale deeply and exhale deeply is the most important and easiest thing you can do 🙂 I dare you to try it…

Speaking of breathing and yoga, I will be teaching a yoga class this Sunday at LC Fitness Studio (1376 Bank Street, B200) at 1pm.  Come and practice “mindful fitness” with me and you’ll leave feeling refreshed, re-energized, more flexible and very relaxed but most importantly you’ll be happy you dedicated 75 minutes of your day to yourself!

 

Les 🙂

 

 

 

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Quinoa Berry Bliss Bites

Thanks to my client Amy for forwarding this recipe to me 🙂

She came across this website when looking for healthy yet fun and yummy options for food.  These look delicious and so easy to make! Check out this recipe…

Quinoa Berry Bliss Bites

Quinoa Berry Bliss Bites 

Prep time: 5 Minutes – Cook time: 35 Minutes – Total time: 40 Minutes
Yield: Makes 12 Quinoa Berry Bliss Bites (2 make a good snack)
Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups Cooked Quinoa
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Zest of 1/2 Lemon
4 Packets Stevia
1 Tbsp Honey
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
Dash of Salt
5 Egg Whites
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Berries (If using strawberries – dice)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Spray regular muffin tin with a healthy, non-stick cooking spray.
Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix completely.
Let set for a couple minutes in the bowl.
Using a 1/4 cup as your scoop, scoop mixture into muffin tin filling each cup half way.
Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool for a few moments in the muffin tin before gently removing them from the muffin tin and placing them on a cooling rack.
Tip – using a knife to release the muffins from the edge of the muffin tin is the best way to get these out easily.
Enjoy!

Check out this website for more healthy recipes!

 

Les  🙂

Wedding weekend in Hamilton :)

Holy cow it’s cold outside!!!  With the winter approaching my days are getting busier and busier (that’s a good thing).  I can’t believe it’s Friday already and I’m off to Hamilton/Ancaster for a good friend of mine’s wedding (Meghan Boyle) tomorrow! 🙂 Even though I am getting busier with clients, I can tell I’m extremely motivated these past few weeks as I have not skipped a single workout and I have been pushing myself and sticking to my meal plan 🙂 how about YOU?!

I have heard many people blame the colder weather for one of their many reasons not to exercise and since today is the first cold day we’ve had I want to snap you out of hibernation mode or ” being lazy-storing more body fat and not fitting into your clothes” mode before it’s too late by providing you with a few motivational posters…

Stop making excuses and thinking about getting in better shape and eating clean and make it happen!  If you have time to watch tv and spend hours on Facebook you have time to exercise and cook your own healthy meals!! JUST DO IT!

Need help getting motivated!? You know how to reach me 😉

Have a fantastic weekend everyone! And congrats to Meg and Phil on your wedding day tomorrow :):)

Les 🙂

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You don’t have to be on a diet to lose weight…

But you do have to be aware of what, how much and how often you eat!  One of my clients told me the other day that she doesn’t think she can lose weight because she doesn’t want to go on a diet.  My answer: THAT’S OKAY, no one is telling you you have to go on a diet!  But if one wants to lose weight they must CHANGE their eating habits…after all a sign of insanity is eating/doing the exact same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, make sense?

Whether you’ve been struggling to lose weight, have tried every diet there is out there or you are trying the lose the last 10-12 lbs here are 10 reasons why you might have a hard time losing weight:

1- You’re not tracking your food/drink intake: I believe that the BEST tool to help you lose weight is to WRITE IT DOWN and better yet SHOW AN EXPERT!  A food journal is the ultimate and number 1 way to keep track of what you are putting in your mouth.  If you haven’t tried this yet DO IT! Try it for 3 days at a time. Personally I have had great success with this as have my clients who have a food journal.  If you have a trainer or are seeing a dietician SHOW THEM your food journal and they can help you out with ways to improve your eating habits.

2- You can’t stop snacking: This is probably boredom and not hunger. Fill up on raw veggies like carrots and cucumber, and hot drinks – they’re more filling than cold. Also, drinking a glass of water with your meals will help you feel fuller.

3- You’re eating too much/portions are too big: You might be eating the right foods but just too much of them. Protein (meat, fish, chicken) should be the size of your palm. A serving of salad and vegetables should be as much as two cupped hands. A portion of cheese needs to be the size of your thumb.

4-You’re actually thirsty not hungry:Many of us mistake thirst for hunger, so whenever you think you want more food have a drink first, then see how you feel.

5-You’re not eating enough/often enough: Your body thinks you’re starving it so it holds on to fat to survive. Then when you start eating again it’s so confused that it keeps hold of any fat that you eat, and then you put on more weight than you lost originally. Stick to a balanced eating plan, eat every 2-3 hours and don’t wait until you’re starving before you eat.

6-Stress is making you fat: There are two ways stress can make you fat: you eat more when you’re worried about something and when you’re stressed your body makes more of a hormone (cortisol) that actually stores fat. There’s nothing like working out to help beat the blues/reduce stress and burn calories.

7-You have a hard time staying/getting motivated: If you haven’t set yourself a realistic goal then you’ll easily feel down when you don’t reach it and give up. Start off with a small goal, even just a pound, and you’ll soon feel more able to stick to your healthy eating plan.  It also helps to do it with a friend OR seek out a trainer 😉

8-You’re skipping breakfast: You know how I feel about this, DON’T DO IT!! Skipping breakfast is the WORST thing you can do to your metabolism and you’ll end up eating more later in the day, etc etc…long story short EAT BREAKFAST!! And of course make sure you eat protein at breakfast 🙂

9-You’re not really eating healthy: I can’t tell you the number of times people have told me they were eating healthy, only to find out that their diets were filled with processed foods once they showed them to me. Make sure you’re eating whole foods. The problem many people don’t realize is with their grain consumption. Not all grains are created equally. Cereals and breads can do more harm than good. Stick to whole grains. That means there should only be 1 ingredient (oats, wheat, etc).

10-You’re being impatient: It’s been a month and you’ve lost 5 pounds or less. Great! Or is it? To many, this is a failure. They aren’t getting back what they put in. Give it some time. Get it out of your mind that weight loss is a week to week event. Be happy about what you’ve accomplished. Progress is progress. Keep it up and it accumulates over time. Remember in most cases it takes:

– 2 weeks for you to start feeling better
– 4 weeks for your clothes to start fitting better
– 6 weeks for you to start seeing results
– 8 to 10 weeks for others to start noticing changes

Just like I tell my clients, friends and family over and over again- successful long-term weight loss doesn’t come from dieting, it comes from changing your lifestyle. If you’re the person who jumps on and off diets, you need to take a different approach to weight loss – one that focuses on lifestyle changes. Weight loss is a side effect of healthy living which includes clean eating and regular exercise.

Are you in for the long haul and working permanently change your lifestyle? Or are you content being a yo-yo dieter?

Les 🙂

 

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There’s no place like home…

Even if it takes over 8 hours driving to get here!  The last time I was home (new home-Southampton (small resort town on Lake Huron/Bruce County), not Ancaster (where I grew up) for the past 6 years ago) was in July for our good friend’s wedding.  I always dread the thought of the long drive (especially having to go through Toronto traffic) but once I get here it’s like all my worries are left behind.  I always step out of my car when I pull into my parents’ lane way, take in a big breath of fresh air and feel the corners of my mouth lift 🙂 as my parents come rushing out the front door to greet me full of excitement, huge hugs and smiles.  The best part is that mom has the fridge full of healthy food and dad has the ‘other’ fridge full of refreshing beverages 😉  No beers for me this weekend though as I am committed to my challenge of drinking only water this month! 

There really is no place like home!  Thanksgiving weekend is my most favourite time of year, especially when I spend it in Southampton.  The leaves are changing colours, the weather is cool but comfortable (the perfect temperature for family walks), the smell of campfires and turkeys in the oven fills the air, and the best part is I get to spend time with the people who are the most important people in my life, MY FAMILY!  We stay up late having some of the best conversations and trying to solve all the problems of the world.

I feel like time flies when I’m here, but I still make time to workout!!  I already plan on running in the morning and then heading to the gym later in the day.  What’s even better is the gym is just up the hill and around the corner (super convenient!) so no excuses, especially knowing that I will eating a few extra calories than I normally do 😉  Gotta burn off the turkey and pumpkin pie so I can enjoy it guilt-free!

What workouts are the best to do when you have limited time or don’t want to spend too much time away from your family at Thanksgiving (or maybe you are looking for an excuse to get away for a bit)?  My top 2 choices are high intensity interval training (HIIT) or circuit training (grouping 3-10 exercises together in a row with minimal breaks).  Why?? These styles of training are more time efficient (take less time) and because you work at a higher intensity you will burn more fat and increase your endurance!

Try this HIIT workout.  It takes 8 minutes (or more if you want) and the only equipment you need is your body, your watch and a pair of running shoes:

30 second brisk walk, 30 second sprint, repeat 7 more times (8 minutes total)-increase the length of your sprint for more of a challenge…you can also do up to 15 rounds depending on your fitness level!

Or this circuit you can do at home…

1 minute body weight squats

1 minute pushups (on your knees is okay too)

1 minute alternating lunges

1 minute dips (off the edge of a chair)

1 minute plank

1 min wall sit

1 minute ice skaters (hop sideways from one foot to the other)

30 second side plank (both sides)

1 minute step ups (use a bench or steps in your home/switch legs)

1 minute jumping jacks

Repeat 2-3 times.  Total time=30 minutes 🙂

If you’re not feeling up to these workouts, a good old family walk is just as good! Plus it’s more fun to catch up with the fam and get some fresh air while burning off your Thanksgiving dinner…

Anyone else love going home for the holidays? Do you have a hard time getting your workouts in? Or do you make time to stay in shape? 

Happy Thanksgiving!! 

Les 🙂

Have you heard about Aquatober??!

Today’s blog post is written by a new friend of mine Lydia Di Francesco.  We haven’t met in person yet but thanks to the world of social media (Twitter and Facebook) we have connected and I look forward to meeting this fellow fitness enthusiast!  I had to re-post because I think this is an awesome challenge for October.  How many of you are joining us in drinking nothing but water for the month of October, I mean AQUAtober???

There’s something refreshing about the beginning of a month. It’s like we can hit the re-start button on our lives. If you’re like me, I sometimes have grand plans of getting things accomplished… projects around the house, new recipes to try, keeping the house tidy (always a challenge!) … but as the month goes on some things get pushed to the side.

31 day challenge

Today is a day where we can re-focus, attempt to prioritize, and get life back on track. It’s also the start of “Aquatober“! Let me explain.

Aquatober is the brainchild of John, from YoungHouseLove. (Side note, YHL is an amazing blog written by two funny DIY bloggers. It’s my favorite read of the day!) Basically, for the month of October, John only drinks water (and sometimes milk) instead of sugary drinks like juice, pop, caffeine, alcohol, etc.

I think this is a fabulous idea and I will be joining John in this 31 Day Challenge! I invite you to do the same. Who’s with me?

If you’re joining the Challenge, let me know in the comments section. Also, let’s see if we can get others to join in! Share the Challenge on your Facebook page and tweet about it using the hashtag #Aquatober. I’ll be blogging throughout the month with tips on how to drink enough water, ways to add some pizzazz to water without compromising the challenge, and more! (Stay updated by subscribing by RSS or email)

I know Thanksgiving is next weekend and is often a time when alcohol is served. If you really feel the need to indulge, try to keep it to a minimum. As well, like John, I’ll be drinking a bit of unsweetened almond milk with my homemade granola. Feel free to slightly adapt the challenge to fit your particular needs. The main point is to avoid drinks that are high in sugar (juice, pop, alcohol) and caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, pop).

In case you need some convincing, here are 10 reasons why you should drink water.

 10 benefits of drinking water

Thanks Lydia for bringing this challenge to my attention!  I look forward to drinking unlimited amounts of nothing but H2O, anyone else??

Les 🙂

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