Thursday, January 31, 2013

Eating in - two tips to remember

Okay, this was one of my Holiday Fit-Tips but I felt it would be a great tip to implement year round. After attending two parties this past weekend, I realized how easy it was to get carried away snacking on appetizers. Don't feel uncomfortable to ask your host for a plate if there are only napkins available. Use this plate to your advantage. But first, even if you have saved yourself all day for this party, don't. It is just food after all. We are starving ourselves all day just to stuff ourselves at the party. This is not an exception.

The next time you go to a party, get a beverage first and wait half an hour before you dig in. Grab a plate and fill half of it with veggies and the rest with protein and unprocessed things. You can even have dessert. This will help you from feeling guilty the next day. This seg-ways into my fit tip if you are serving dinner.

The tip today is if you are hosting or know someone hosting dinner. Do not serve dinner at the table.

Dinner served at the table is also know as family style. By having the food within an arms reach we are more inclined to help ourselves to seconds and sometimes thirds. These second and third helpings usually come after a very full plated first helping and leads to severally over eating.

That second or third plate will not only make you extremely full but it could take you days or weeks to work off those extra calories. You are not eating healthier to "save" those calories for Christmas dinner you are eating healthier to be healthier! Don't over think it. Food is FOOD.

Give your guests the gift of a great meal but this time set up a buffet line in the kitchen because it will save you the extra calories by not wanting to get up and go back to kitchen for more. You will enjoy what's on your plate, have room for dessert and go home happy and not complain that you wish you'd worn your stretchy pants.

Staying healthy year round.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Dutch Oven isn't what you think.....

Okay, So I've been writing this post for 3 days but I can't seem to kick this cold and I took a few days off from the gym. I don't usually like taking time off from the gym but I've learned the importance of rest and recovery. After three days off I needed a good sweat and on Monday I hit the gym and must have sweat out 3 cups. Gross I know but it helped take my mind off of feeling bad and after a hot bath I felt a little better.

I need to get better because I'm going back to work in two weeks and you know what that means. Time to dust off the cooler and get back into the routine of prepping and packing. On Monday, we hit up Costco to stock up on some essentials such as Agave syrup, frozen berries, egg whites, eggs, yogurt and a bunch of other basics. We've also started steaming up veggies, making rice or quinoa and a form of protein so that it is in the fridge ready to go.

We are trying to find a balance of what works because life gets busy and with me going back to work full time and training in the evenings and weekends and Brett full time at school and volunteering it is important to have meals and snacks prepared.  As you can see our fridge is stocked with pre-portioned or prepped veggies. Finding a routine is key but so far things are going well.

Brett has been cooking up a storm which is amazing because I get to benefit from all his delicious cooking We've had this dutch oven for almost a year but have only recently starting using it for, well, everything! For those of you who think a dutch oven is something that has to do with trapping gross smells under the covers, it's not.

A dutch oven is a great thing to have. We leave ours right on the stove top. I made this amazing curry lentil and bean stew the other day. Delish but it wasn't as good as Brett's homemade Salsa. The kitchen smelt amaz-tastic. He sauteed some of the veggies in the DO and then blended them in the Vitamix. After blending he put the mixture back in the DO to let some of the juice evaporate. He's becoming quite the chef of raw eats. I'm such a lucky girl.

Happy hump day people and please wash your hands!

Oh, and boot camps starting at the end of April (email me for details -


Nic out!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Vega's newest Inside Sales Rep - Holla

Okay. I can finally spill the beans on my new gig. I couldn't before because I hadn't signed the paper work but you are looking at Vega's newest Inside Sales Rep.

When I got laid off over four months ago, my first reaction was panic and the second was feeling like a failure. This lasted for a few days and then I started to realized that maybe this was my time to really figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Who in this day and ago would just leave their job in pursuit of their dream job?! This was my open window.

Getting laid off is like a break up. Working at a job you hate is like serial daters. I would know this because I use to be one. For years I was in long term relationships and after I ended my last long term relationship, I took a hiatus from the relationship scene and made time for myself. Like work or relationships, we easily get stuck in a situation that feels comfortable and it becomes impossible to leave or break off to do what we are passionate about.

Like my relationship hiatus, being laid off meant I could take my time to find a job that I was going to love and be passionate about. I sat down and wrote out all the things I wanted in my next job. Interview after interview, nothing stuck until I came across an opportunity with Vega. After speaking with an employee, I was 100% decided that I wanted to work there and it became my mission. - check

I am very excited for this new opportunity and look forward to being in an industry that I thrive on. The last four months haven't been the easiest but with the support of my partner, my family and friends it has been a lot easier so THANK YOU!

In addition to getting the job, man this has been a good week, I also taught my first private personal training session. Training made me realize how much I missed it since my time at Ritchie Bros. where I ran boot camp at lunch.

I am going to be continuing with personal training and if you are interested in an evening or weekend session, please contact me as I have some other people looking for people to train with. Small groups (2-5 people) are always fun and great motivation.

Have a great weekend everyone!



Fit Food Friday - my kind of Power Muffin

When Brett and I moved into our apartment, he discovered Whole Foods. He had never been before but after me raving about it I popped hi WF's cherry and he was obsessed. He would come home from school with the occasional Power Muffin. My fault for introducing him to them in the first place but since we are living a cleaner and healthy lifestyle, these muffins were a big chunk of our daily calories. I'm sure they run over 500 calories plus. They are delicious but I was sure I could remake these muffins in a healthier way and I was not alone.

Apparently Brett wasn't the only one in love with their Power Muffins but so were many others. The first step was a little recon work at the famous grocery store where I got the label of ingredients. Then I compared that to this healthy gluten free recipe I found online. Now the waiting began for the bananas to ripen...and after training last night it was time to attempted my rendition of the WF's power muffin.

"Ingredients," Which I quote because I have a tendency to change it as I go along:

  • 1-1/4 c. buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 c. oats (ground until flour consist.)
  • 2 scoops Vega nutritional shake (Natural Flavour)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 - 1/3 c. mashed bananas (2 large or 3 - 4 small ones)
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil *subbed this out for 1/4 unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 c. honey *only used 1 TBSP
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c. hemp hearts (I'm obsessed - shelled hemp seeds)
  • 1/3 c. dark chocolate
    *I added a little coconut (unsweetened and shaved) and a few raisins to make them align more with what is in the one's from Whole Foods. Just remember, add what you like but it increase the caloric intake.
The muffins turned out pretty good. Of course I sampled my work and Brett likes them too! Healthier options are out there and don't have to be the size of your head. I used a smaller muffin tin because it's all I had and then you can have them as a snack.

I mashed the bananas separately so that there weren't any lumps. Banana's are a great pre-workout snack because they give your body the energy through a form of sugar to hit a good workout. I also add a little banana to my oatmeal egg white pancakes in the off season to make them a creamier texture and for a little extra flavour.

Baking and cooking is a great thing to do with friends or your partner and I find it very soothing. I hope you all had a great week. Grab a friend and try a recipe this weekend. Find one, print it off and get going :) 


Nic out!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Eating clean and staying lean

Extra weight isn't something any of us plan. As I always say, and those who I've taught will know this but, life happens. We go through a break up or loose our job and this invisible tire starts to inflate and we are constantly checking the scale or sucking our stomachs in when looking in the mirror. The thing I've come to realize is that no matter how many times to step on the scale shedding clothes to see if the scale is wrong the truth is we've put on a few pounds and the scale isn't lying.

When you get to a point where you know the scale isn't lying and you decide to make a lifestyle change you won't have to suck it in or shed extra clothes in hopes the scale will go down a few lb's if you take your socks off. It will be the real deal. 

Weight isn't something I really paid close attention to until I began competing but my obsession with maintaining my figure and what I eat was the real issue. Going from 0 to 60 is a big transition. One day you have what your going to eat for 12 weeks and the next you are free to eat as you please. You are a free agent. Since my last competition, I have done really well and maintained a weight I am happy with.

One thing I had to come to terms with is that food is fuel for our daily lives and not meant as a reward. If we are constantly rewarding ourselves for a good weeks worth of eating what does that teach us? I feel that rewarding ourselves with food is a root of the problem. Why not reward yourself with a workout or a coffee with friends? Use exercise are your outlet and not food. 

I've been reading a lot and my latest find is Shrink Yourself, Break free from emotional eating forever! No, I am not reading this because I want to loose weight but because I want to help train myself to control my feelings towards foods. Like most of you, I am an emotional eater. I may be an emo-eater but I never binge eat or eat things that are necessarily bad but eat when I don't really need to. For example, I have started to notice I eat when I am unoccupied, when someone else is eating even though I am not hungry, when I am upset or because I can't find satisfaction with what I am eating.

I just started it but so far the book has some great insights and I am really looking forward to reading more and finding out how I can change my ways and my relationship with food. Many of you may be shocked by this admission but I am not perfect and share similar struggles just like you. Since Brett and I began our commitment to organic and nutritious foods I find it hard to ever binge because there isn't any "bad foods" in our house. With both of us being on the same page and sharing values on food and being healthy, it has definitely helped and I am committed to eating clean and staying lean.

Hopefully my admissions can help you know that even people like me share common issues when it comes to weight, self image or whatever it may be. Everyday is a new day but it's what you do each day that counts. Make an effort each day for the long haul not just that summer bikini.

Good luck this week. With a little determination and will power, I know you can do it!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's not all about the cardio.

I hope as you are reading this you have successfully completed your first week of your New Years Resolutions. If you have fallen off the wagon, was it because your goal was unrealistic? If you set a goal that you knew was too difficult you might have set yourself up for failure. I applaud your vision but maybe it needs a little tweaking to help you get back on track.

If your goal was to exercise 6 days a week and you weren't working out at all prior to January 1st, I would congratulate you and then help you revise this if you weren't able to get all 6 workouts in. Resolutions are about long term change and baby steps are what it will take for your to create a new habit. .

If weight loss was your goal and you thought that gluing your hands to any piece of cardio equipment before and after work was the answer this isn't your best option either. With all that I have been reading it reinforced the fact that doing straight cardio isn't going to give you exactly what you're looking for. Yes you will be burning mad amounts of calories but the accuracy of those after you've sweater out on the treadmill for an hour might not be as accurate as you would like.

Consider this. When you are doing cardio are you holding onto the rails with white knuckles? Are you leaning on the bars on the stair climber? If so you are burning approximately 20-30% less calories than you could be so take those arms off the machine and tone it down a little. Also, if you think you actually burned a 1000 calories it doesn't take into consideration you age, height, gender etc. It is a rough estimate and those calories burned are not so you can binge at a girls night but to burn your normal days worth of food. Food is fuel people. You didn't work your butt off so that you can eat a burger you worked your butt off to look good.

If you need to tweak your plan try a ratio. If you want to commit 4 days a week to working out 25% percent of that should be cardio and the rest should be weight training. The more lean muscle you can put on and no you won't beef up will help you burn more calories though out the day. Start lifting weights and put on that extra lean muscle with a side of cardio and you will notice big gains without living on the treadmill.

Remember that isn't not all about the cardio. It's a great place to start and create habits but if you are changing your lifestyle you might as well go all out and do it right. Besides, who doesn't want a tight tush and nice arms? Something a treadmill won't necessarily give you. If you don't know where to start; lunges, squats and push ups are a great place and don't require equipment or a gym. You can do them anywhere!

Good luck and stay on track. Don't worry if your strayed a little from your plan. Maybe it just needs to be revised. Take sometime to do that and get back to business! You can do it.



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Know where you're going.

In life we can easily loose track of where we are going. There are things pulling us in many different directions but having a constant is extremely important. Whether you are a new mom struggling to find yourself, recently single or unemployed it is very important to have that one thing that gives you a sense of purpose. For me that constant is the gym.

Over the last few months I have managed to keep myself busy while searching for a career but now that Christmas and New Years have passed I've found myself searching for purpose. CNN was on in the background this morning and a guy said it's important to know where you're going. He was taking about the fiscal cliff but it struck a cord with me for this post.

I have been working hard interviewing and sending out resumes but a few weeks ago I came across a great opportunity and I know where I'd like to go. Every since my focus has been to land that job. It would be a DREAM but where was I going?

With all the ups, downs and changes going on the gym has been my constant. When I step foot in the gym my mind clears and I am locked into my workout. It's me time. The gym may not be your constant but find something you can count on and take time for it. Since I don't know where I am going and don't have a competition in the near future I felt that I didn't have a purpose.

Maybe it's just the New Year but having purpose in life and knowing where you are and where you are going is important. It's been weird not working towards something but I need to stay focused on the bigger picture. Since I am not working towards anything specific I decided to create a project for myself. As you know I am reading lots of books and right now and Brett and I are leading a cleaner meal plan. One book I am reading is The Thrive Diet. It's all about whole foods and I thought it would be great to show people how easy it is to make whole foods that are delicious. Starting next Friday called Fit Food Friday where I will make and then post a recipe and a photo of something I've made.

Follow me as I start getting real about real foods. My new journey with fitness.

Nic out!