Burning those unwanted calories

Losing body fat is all about creating a energy balance (calories are energy). If we create a deficit we lose weight. I’m sure you’ve all heard me say this/post about this 100 times! Create an excess of calories and gain weight (good for creating muscle mass if done accurately).

Here are the ways we burn calories

Metabolism – physiological & biochemical processes

Non-exercise activity – regular daily rituals like brushing teeth, combing hair, standing up and sitting down

Thermic activity – Eating and digesting a meal (digest/absorb/process)

Exercise – Weight training, yoga, cycling, running (though endurance activity burns far more kcals)

Burning Cals Wisely – 2 methods discovered

Massive calorie deficiency and over exercising can lead to failure and metabolic breakdown if you aren’t careful. This is NOT good in any way shape or form. This is why we reverse diet from contests and big events like my FML Fat Fry program.

Exercise

The best way to fire up your fat burning engine is with HIIT. This raises your heart rate quickly and creates an oxygen deficit. You also create an after burn effect (EPOC/Excess Post Oxygen Consumption) where you continue to burn calories even after training – for hours or days. Woop!

How to get ripped quickly? Move more. On average a healthy human should aim for 10k steps per day.

It doesn’t necessarily matter WHAT exercise you do, only that you’re creating a caloric deficit. But then again, who wants to be at the gym all day? Endurance athletes shoot glares my way now!

The amount you burn is dictated by volume and intensity – the longer you train (volume) the more you burn. The harder you train (intensity) the more you burn. If you can do both in one session OR double up – you will burn a massive amount of calories.

Thermic effect in food

Eating 4-5 small meals throughout the day instead of 3 (or fewer) has an inconclusive effect on your beltline. So the benefit here might not be to lose inches necessarily. What this does do, is stop you from getting hungry between meals and making bad decisions on snacks. This method will also keep your blood sugar more stable.  Ensuring you incorporate protein in every meal will increase the thermic effect your body will go through.

I personally subscribe to a 6 day per week training plan where I lift and complete HIIT cardio as well as MISS cardio. It’s all about variety, fun and hard work.

If you’re looking to fire up your routine and burn some extra fat or put on some lean gains, you know who to call!

Xx

S

Food & Mood ~ Emotional Eaters Unite!

Typical Las Vegas Vegan reward meal – look at the glare in my eyes!

Emotional eating is an activity people engage in to soothe negative emotions, like stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness or loneliness. The hassles of daily life can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating that can disrupt your happiness, contentment and, for our purposes, fat-loss efforts.

In order for us to move past our emotional eating we need to figure out what our personal triggers are, give them a name and work at diffusing situations where they make themselves known.

Once we do this, we can move on to healthier focuses in our nutrition goals.

Triggers

Avoiding “bad” feelings

Family strife, job or finances are hugely relevant here and your hunger becomes about avoiding anxiety or sadness.  Eating keeps you soothed and distracted but creates a problem because you have to keep eating.

Take Action 

Practice emotional tolerance and waiting out emotions. These situations are, in fact, finite. You can talk it out with someone, journal, exercise, or meditate. You might want to do an activity that is not compatible with eating like taking a walk, a bath or joining an art class.

Food is my hobby, it can become obsessive – so I create recipes!

Boredom

With nothing to do and no one to talk to food can seem like the answer. Eating is something to do and something we can again, busy ourselves with.

Take Action 

Create a list of activities that you can do for such an occasion. Think about it in terms of indoor and outdoor activities as well. Keep your list handy and commit to trying out your own suggestions as least a couple of times per week. Journal about it!

Habit

Unconscious eating, or shoveling food in your mouth without awareness of taste or satiety is a form of soothing the self. Taking an active and present role in your own life helps you to be free from this action. This can turn into a habit if you are not being mindful of your actions. The option to “netflix and chill” or “veg-out” every night in front of the TV or your computer might be you not wanting to be present in your own world. But why?

Take Action

You can practice mindfulness and meditation to be more present and aware in your day to day activities. If you start journaling around your feelings of negativity, you may find that you need to change up your regular routine to bring more satisfaction to your daily life. If you are in need of relaxation, meditation (even just 2 minutes per day) is the place to start. Not the refrigerator.

Dessert can wait, breaking addiction cannot.

Obsession/Desire

There’s a bag of chips, pie, cake, chocolate bar awaiting you at home after work. You can just about taste it, love it and are excited to have more, more, more! Your MIND wants more now, it’s a mental game, your mind wants that “hit” N-O-W.

Take Action

Patience, waiting, delays. You need to stave off this addictive behavior and tell yourself that the “treat” will be there for you later. You do not need to act on your urges, especially when you aren’t aware of their hold on you. Practice your willpower even if it’s just minute by minute. Hour by hour.

Tiredness

When we are tired and burned out we can be overcome by food urges. To add, when you are in the middle of a long, drawn out, or boring task, food distraction can seem like the break away answer in the moment.

Take Action

Again, create awareness of your physical situation at the moment. Take a nap, drink plenty of water, go for a walk. The answer is never in the pantry.

Baking sourdough from scratch – the waiting game.

Rapture

We celebrate wins with food & drink, happy moments in life and family gatherings. We reward ourselves with food like Pavlovian dogs but, we seem to place mental health and wellness on the back burner. This is the time to express happy emotions openly without the use of food or drink.

Take Action

If you have only been experiencing your lifes pleasures via food, you need to create or find ways to bring this to your life without it. Use all your senses to create this such as; climbing a mountain and enjoying a breathtaking view from the top, getting a relaxing massage, enjoying a night of dancing or seeing a comedian that allows for great and deep belly laughs.

Thinking ahead…….

Now that you are becoming aware of your triggers, it’s time to focus less on weight related goals and set our sights on health. In order to stick with a healthy plan, it’s more advantageous to look at the overall best reasons for doing so, some of these could be:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Blood pressure issues
  • Thyroid issues
  • Diabetes
  • IBS
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeplessness
Checking my altimeter at the peak!

Without a real and impactful goal for staying on the straight and narrow where your health is concerned, there is always the very real danger of slipping back into unhealthy eating habits.

Food is very real and very powerful medicine or poison and it is as simple as that. You will never out run your emotional burdens, you will never out run a bad diet and you most certainly will never find happiness at the bottom of a bottle or box of cookies.

Healthy living is about making the choice to live your best life for you. It’s not about deprivation; it’s about longevity, awareness and true contentment.

As a coach I can give you a meal plan, a fitness plan, train with you, teach you how to plan your meals, talk to you about your struggles and push you every week to check in.

What I can’t do is create the deep personal meaning behind the driving fire that gets you to stick by what you believe in on a daily basis. We need to make conscious decisions every day as individuals .

You need to decide how you want your life to look and how you are going to take responsibility for it taking on the shape that you’re after. It will be hard work, it will take consistency (1 week of healthy eating followed by 2 days of binging on repeat is NOT consistency) to see results, it will take determination to show up and it will take realism to admit when you need to make changes.

I’m here to help you help yourself.

Lets kill another week!

Xx – S

 

 

 

The art of the juice cleanse

Many times have I committed to a juice cleanse and never have I managed to document any of the experience for clientele or the general public. Because I have embarked on yet another cleanse I feel that I had the time and space to do this – because I’m not leading a group cleanse or making juices myself.

This time, I decided to go with a commercially purchased cleanse. I looked at several options before taking the plunge and took several items into consideration:

– what was the company selling the cleanse all about

– where were they located

– price & value

– ease of starting/receiving juice

I had initially chosen a company out of Calgary as this would be a place to pick up from that was easily accessible and had nearly 0 carbon footprint. Unfortunately, they took more than forever to return emails (terrible, spoiled Albertan vendors with no idea of the rest of the worlds customer service initiatives *steam*, this province is so alienated by the oil and gas industry) and when then did, they were not helpful, or cheery, with getting a cleanse to me outside of their prescribed days and times – even though I said I would pick up.

So, as it has been going lately, I decided to look out of province. Why? Well, their markets aren’t as inflated and their vendors generally care about having paying customers.

Enter “Raw Raw” Cleanse: http://www.rawrawcleanse.com.

It took me just 2 days and $200 per person for a 6 day cleanse to arrive via courier to my office. Tina, the proprietor was very helpful. We had a bit of a hiccup with juice types and after sending an email, I was assured the additional juice would arrive next-day (today hopefully) to get the sequencing of juices done right. Wow.

If you are interested in the juices I have been drinking you can find them HERE. 

 

DAY 1

The juice arrived at 10 am to our offices. It came packaged in a styrofoam cooler with cooling gel packs above and below the juice. The package also contained a juicing reusable bag, a note on the expiry, a 25% off coupon and a quick reference card for consuming the juices in the right order.

 

IMG_7804

The "how to"

Because I was ravenous, I opened up the cooler and immediately (took pics for all of you) then shook and guzzled my first “Clean Greens”. I’ll just put it out there, green smoothies are NOT my favourite, never will be. I understand their vital importance in balancing our vitamins and minerals, but they are sour, and so was this one.

Next, on my way to a meeting I grabbed the ginger berry. WAY more my style and super easy to drink with a lovely ginger taste – can’t complain.

I did a couple random circles around the office looking at trail mix and bananas, but I did not partake. Win. Next, Cool melon. This is where I learned I didn’t have any cool melon but double the almond milk variety. So I drank an almond milk one…it was great – a little extra nut fiber in there, but it was good. Cool melon – for real – on the way home I snaked a cool melon out of my boyfriends order. Simple, sweet and minty – I actually use the same recipe for watermelon martinis in the summer.

On the way home, I was feeling like I needed a nap. By the time I got home, I completely thought I would have one – except work got in the way a bit. I felt SUPER agro for about 1 hour, so I ate a handful of cashew nuts – raw ones. By the time I walked the dogs and puttered around with small chores, I realized I might as well just get on with it and do my day 8 of 21 Day HIIT challenge. During this 20 minute super workout I felt like I had OK energy and could cope with all the exercises without utter exhaustion.

I then used the next Clean Greens as a post-workout drink – it still tasted bad. I was in bed reading by 8:30pm and sipped away at the final Citrus beverage until I fell asleep. I LOVE this one. Spicy, citrus-y, deliciousness. At this point, I was feeling full and so far haven’t felt starving. I don’t think Jeff can say the same.

I fell asleep and was probably up around 3am. Not sure if the lack of sleep ability was the dogs or what, but it was a tough night.

DAY 2

Waking up was a bit hellish. I managed to get back to sleep by 6 am and slept until about 7:45.

Got out of bed, guzzled some water and had my first Clean Greens. I didn’t feel hungry at all, and I still don’t.

As I sit and write this I miss coffee. The smell, the taste and the buzz. Hoping that getting through my errands and a big dog walk will pull me into the land of the living by 11 am.

Stay tuned……………………….

I headed out of the house just after 10 am with my second (and favourite) juice in-hand to have a scoot through the country with my pups.  I took the dogs out for a walk in the woods and nearly left them there – woah nelly, settle down. A little bit more easily aggravated these days I have to admit. Hangry. By 1130 am I was still tired and now annoyed at my dogs.  Again, I drove home and thought I was going to crash heavily, and didn’t. Instead, I had a handful of cashews, brewed up an herbal peppermint tea and hunkered down to watch a very disturbing movie on Netflix. I hopped up for one of the many million pee’s during the movie and grabbed by third juice of the day for “lunch”. I have just taken the dogs out for another walk, wrote a letter and am now going to attempt my HIIT for the day: WORK OUT .

It is currently 7 pm. I made it through a HIIT and 12 minutes of a 20 minute spin – legs were far too tired – I also managed a bit of Yoga without issue.

I lapped up half a clean green for a recovery drink, with a small handful of cashews.

Literally a handful of cashews.
Literally a handful of cashews.

Let me tell you , my stomach was grumbling, so I had another cup of herbal mint tea and did some laundry. I think I may pay heed to the recommendation of “moderate” exercise. I don’t even listen to my own good advice.

I currently have two juices left and am feeling quite alert. Not aggravated, that was definitely a morning thing. Though, I have been fantasizing about food for the last couple of hours. Poor Jeff, went to his grandmas and she ordered a pizza. Ruthless day for him.

I would call day 2 a success……nighty night until tomorrow!

DAY 3 

Day three arrived. My sleep wasn’t nearly as interrupted as last night however, I still woke up a little tired. Getting the ball rolling on the day seemed a little less painless and I had no desire to eat or any hunger.

The work day was 10 hours long with no breaks, a few times I had to run to Jeff’s office to scarf down some almonds & cashews. Probably ate at least 3/4 of a cup of each throughout the day.

I thought about food all day. When I wasn’t stressing about something, I literally only thought about food. I had to plan a luncheon for tomorrow and ordered about twice as much pizza for 15 people as I should have. I could taste it.

I think today was the hardest day by far. Knowing it’s nearly over and hearing a little voice inside your head say “c’mon, just have a snack”……I’ve been beating that voice back all day.

There is one more drink to go before bed. I know I can make it, I think Jeff has at least 5 meals prepared for us to eat tomorrow – which is SUCH a bad idea when you’re coming off of a cleanse. Honestly – ease into it with soup and salads….or suffer the wrath.

The dirty bits: bowel movements still occurring however, not at the mass and frequency expected. I didn’t go at all yesterday, no urge either. Jeff wont let me talk about his poops in public. Sissy.

Overall, today I felt the most spacey I have and the most weak. I opted for a longer walk with the dogs instead of exercising at full out capacity.

Ok, I lied. I'm a workout addict.
Ok, I lied. I’m a workout addict.

I will say that removing meals does remove a sense of community and that is one part of the human culture that I quite enjoy. There is a certain void left in a day where there is no communion with others, a sharp empty space that only cooking and enjoying a meal can fill. That, is what I truly craved most in this cleanse.

Mustard vinaigrette 

 

You may be getting sick of salads but I bet you that’s because your dressings are boring or your toppings haven’t changed.

Add a spark (and definitely a zing) to your next dinner/lunch salad with this little ditty.

Veggies in here included sliced zukes, cukes, kale, romaine, spinach, green onion, tomato and the Tofurky Lightly Seasoned Chicken product.

Ingredients: 
2 tbsp grainy German mustard

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp chickpea miso

1/8 cup water

1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper

Method: 

Whisk all ingredients together with a fork and drizzle over salad. Works well with hot protein as well as cold.

Falafel Salad with Tzatziki Dressing

A lot of the time new recipes are born of my die-hard desire to not waste any food in my home. Looking in the fridge I noticed there was some Tzatziki dressing that was going to go off ~ chickpeas to the rescue.

This recipe is simple, though not too quick if you’re in a rush but if you prep the whole recipe you’ll have leftovers you can freeze and use easily any time.

Going out for food is absolutely impossible during prep, these made the cut and didn’t equal a cheat because I re-arranged my Macros for the day to accommodate.

You must try this one.

Ingredients:

Falafel

2 cans of chickpeas

1 medium yellow onion chopped

4 large cloves of garlic diced

1 large dried chili pepper (or chili pepper flakes)

2 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp corriander

1 tsp parsley flakes

1 tsp celery seeds

1 tsp salt

1 cup spelt flour

Water as needed to thin mixture

Dressing: 

1/2 cup vegan sour cream

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup chopped dill

Juice of 1 large lemon

1 large clove of garlic

** Place all ingredients in small vessel and using hand blender mix until creamy and smooth**

Salad: 

Cucumber, Kale, Spinach, Peas, tomato – you name it! I keep a big clean bowl of ready-to-eat mixed greens in the fridge that work well with every style of salad.

Method: 

Combine all ingredients in bowl and use hand mixer or food processor to mix well.

“Raw” Ingredients
I liked this a little more on the watery side to ensure they cooked a little more quickly.

Pre-heat a cast iron pan to medium heat and coat lightly with coconut or olive oil. (You can use a non-stick pan if you don’t have cast iron). We are not looking to use oil to deep fry in any way, only to keep the falafels from sticking! I used a small ice cream scoop to set the mix into the pan, this made them about golf ball sized or a little smaller.

Cook over medium heat for approximately 4-5 minutes per side. The ingredients will firm up in the same way as a pancake, where you can see them starting to cook through the middle (from the bottom) and will know it is time to flip.


Don’t over cook these as they can turn into little hockey pucks quite easily, so patience is best when you’re working with this one.

Dress your salad with the falafels, add hot sauce, dressing and top with diced tomato and cucumber.

Enjoy! – Serves 8 (at least) or two plus a tonne of leftovers!

Nutrition Information Falafels: 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 158
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3 g 4 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 1 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 254 mg 11 %
Potassium 211 mg 6 %
Total Carbohydrate 26 g 9 %
Dietary Fiber 6 g 25 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 7 g 14 %
Vitamin A 2 %
Vitamin C 4 %
Calcium 6 %
Iron 17 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Nutritional Information Tzatziki Dressing: 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 57
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6 g 8 %
Saturated Fat 1 g 4 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 41 mg 2 %
Potassium 24 mg 1 %
Total Carbohydrate 2 g 1 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g 1 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 0 g 1 %
Vitamin A 2 %
Vitamin C 6 %
Calcium 1 %
Iron 1 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Zesty veggie bake – en fuego!!

If you’re looking for a hearty meal with a bit of spice that feels you up this is it. Pretty simple, mostly prep enjoy it ~ especially in the winter.
Ingredients:
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
Salt & pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic
1 hot Thai pepper or Serrano
2 tbsp egg replacer
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup almond milk 
Olive oil 
1 lb potatoes
1 roasted pepper
1 sm head broccoli
1/2 head cauliflower 
1/2 yellow onion 
 
Method:
 
Preheat oven to 400 – you’ll be roasting veggies!
 
Sauce
 
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
Salt & pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic
1 hot Thai pepper or Serrano de-stemmed
2 tbsp egg replacer
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup almond milk 
 
Combine all items and blend in blender or with hand blender.
 
Veggies
 
Place sliced (1/4″) potatoes and whole pepper on a baking sheet and spray with oil. Cook until potato is browned and pepper is browned. About 20-25 minutes.
 
Remove from oven, cool. Remove stem & seed from pepper and dice.
 
Chop up cauliflower & broccoli florets into bite sized pieces.
 
Slice onion into small, long strips.
 
Finale:
 
Layer potatoes, peppers, broccoli & cauliflower in baking dish. Top with slices onion, pour sauce over dish.
 
Bake at 400 for 50 minutes or until browned.
 
Top with sea salt & cracked pepper.
 
Serves 4.