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October 05, 2017

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Be A Cavemen

Today's lifestyle has changed vastly over the past 100 years. There are so many conveniences, from an abundance of food to one-click shopping. While these things make our lives much easier, our bodies haven't quite caught up with all the changes. We're still very much wired to be a "caveman" or "cavewoman" for that matter! Today, we're going to talk about a few things we can do to return to the caveman lifestyle and why it's important to do so.

Move functionally
Typical cavemen days involved LOTS of walking, sprinting when needed, squatting and lifting heavy things. Today, we sit and sit and sit some more. We might workout for an hour or so a few times a week but the remaining 23 hours each day are pretty sedentary. There are few things we can do to be more primal. The first is to include a daily walk for a minimum of 30 minutes. The second is to workout like a caveman. Short bursts of energy like sprinting and including functional movements like squatting, pushing and pulling.

Make your food whole
Caveman foods were very basic. Nothing was processed or packaged and foods were only eaten as they occurred in nature. Think proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Anything that occurred naturally and would rot if left out on the counter. For instance, a box of cereal can last over a year in the cupboard but an apple will turn brown and rot within a week or two. Also, buy local if possible. These foods have been grown without the use of hormones, antibiotics, herbicides, and pesticides.

Be in nature
Cavemen spent an abundance of time outdoors and in nature. The majority of our time now is spent indoors, in front of TV's or computer screens. Most of our communication happens via text messages or e-mails. Get outdoors each and every day and engage more frequently in face to face communication with others.

These are a few ideas to take us back to our original caveman ways bringing us closer to our most natural state of being and optimal health. Try a few out this week!
September 21, 2017

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Keeping cravings in check

Food cravings.... they pop up out of nowhere.... and can easily derail a good day's eating plan. Usually these food cravings are for sugary or high fat foods and can very easily derail a good day's eating. Today, let's talk about a few strategies we can utilize to help us keep them in check.

Eat regularly and eat the right foods
Having a meal or snack every 3-4 hours can really help to keep cravings in check. There are many reasons for this. The big one is that it prevents you from getting too hungry. When we let ourselves get too hungry, blood sugar plummets and we can the signal "NEED FOOD NOW!" For instance, plan to have a snack around 3 PM so that you don't arrive home from work starving and searching the cupboards for a snack. You'll also want to ensure you are eating the right foods and in the right combinations.

Check in emotionally
Often cravings show up when we are stressed, lonely, sad, or tired. If you are feeling one of these emotions, check in and see if there is an alternative way to deal. Can you go for a walk? Talk with a friend? Write in a journal? Do some yoga? Eating a food that will make you feel bad won't solve the root problem. It will only help to numb things temporarily. 

Find a healthier alternative
If you're really craving a specific treat, more likely than not there is going to be a better alternative for it. For instance, if you are cravings pasta try out spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. Tacos? Try lettuce wraps. Got a sweet tooth? Check out Buff Bakery's latest blog post here

Decide if it's worth it
If you are really wanting to have a specific treat, decide if it's really worth it and if so, plan it into your day. You can definitely still indulge and enjoy treats occasionally. It shouldn't be an every day thing nor should it be in excess amounts. If you're wanting ice cream, pick the small cone and then ensure the rest of your day is clean and filled with proteins and veggies. Don't get the extra large ice cream and then go for pizza, followed by 6 beers, ect. 

Using these tips when a cravings strikes can really help to keep your diet in check and not ruin your good eating habits. Your food should leave you feeling satisfied, full of energy, mental clarity and emotional well-being. When a cravings pops up, determine the root cause, find a healthier alternative or decide if it's really worth it!
September 14, 2017

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Let's talk about stress

Stress is a big word. Today's lifestyle is set up for a high stress life. We all have many responsibilities like work, family, house maintenance, trying to fit in some social time, getting in your workouts, ect. Today, we're going to discuss a few strategies you can utilize to help you deal more effectively with stress.

Workout...but don't overdo it
Getting in a solid workout is an amazing way to de-stress and rejuvenate the body. A solid sweat session can help to clear your mind and relieve frustrations. A feel good session should last between 40-60 minutes, combine some strength training and metabolic conditioning and leave you feeling MORE energized than when you started. Watch for overdoing exercise however which can elevate stress hormone levels. If you are working out for multiple hours a day, feel more tired than when you started or very sore then it's a good idea to scale back or add in some extra rest days.

Stay well hydrated and well fueled
We've heard it a million times. "I was too busy to eat" or "I forgot to drink water". When your life is extra busy and stress is high, these are the times when prioritizing good, quality nutrition and hydration is even more important. Aim to get in at least half your body weight in ounces of filtered water every single day. Meal prep is key when life is busy. It doesn't have to be complicated or special. Keep it simple by grilling up some veggies and protein with a quality fat.

Shut down your electronics
Being accessible to the world 24/7 is a major stressor. Today, you can receive a troublesome e-mail about work at any hour, have your entire life on social media or be constantly entertained. Our brains need some down time too. A good suggestion is to power down all electronics for at least 30 minutes prior to sleep. Instead of browsing the internet, read a book, do some light stretching or just hang out and talk with a family member. Let your mind detach from cyber space every single day.

These are some quick tips to help mediate stress levels. Stay active but recover well, hydrate and nourish your body and un-plug every single day. Small things like this can have a huge impact on your stress levels and hence, your entire outlook on life!
July 15, 2017

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Mindset

This week we are talking mindset. Having a positive or negative mindset can impact the success or failure in any area of your life. Your mindset is creating your ultimate future outcomes. This week, let’s look at few areas related to mindset and how we can switch over to a more positive headspace.

Realize that situations are neutral
Having the realization that all situations are neither positive or negative, it is actually your mindset that determines it is SO empowering. It frees you up to know that you are in complete control of your thinking. Everything that is happening around you is simply a neutral situation. Two individuals could perceive the exact same situation completely differently. Let’s use the example of losing your job. A negative mindset would cause one individual to feel inferior, mad and have low self esteem. A positive mindset would allow another to take on a new challenge and expect something even better to come about. Same situation, two very different mindsets.

Look for positives in every situation
Regardless of what is happening, there is always something positive to be found. For instance, let’s say you have experienced an injury which doesn’t allow you to train the way you want. You can take a negative mindset and throw in the towel, give up working out and have a “why me?” mindset. Or, you can take on a positive mindset and look for positives in the situation. Does this make you feel more grateful for the parts of your body that are functioning well? Can you take this time to try a different type of training while you rehab? Can you seek out help/expertise to assist you in recovery?

Talk it out and seek support
If you feel like you’re in a negative headspace, one of the best things to do is talk to someone you trust. Sometimes just verbalizing how you are feeling can help to switch things over to a more positive headspace. If you have that one person in your life that you can trust and has a positive outlook, spending a few minutes chatting with them can help to turn things around. If you’re comfort level isn’t there with anyone, write it out! Write down a negative thought such as “I can never follow through with my diet” and change it to a positive one like “I have made mistakes in the past but I’ve learned from them and this time I can make it work”.

Your mindset it truly the starting point of all success. Entering into a goal, project or relationship with a positive mindset sets you up for success every time. If you think and truly believe that you will be successful, you will ultimately find a way to make it happen. We are here to help all our members and clients be successful in every aspect of your lives. This week, if you need some positive encouragement or words find one of us! We’d be thrilled to get you there!

July 11, 2017

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Smart Snacking

Snacking is one of those things that can easily throw off our diets, especially when we are extremely hungry. Mindlessly eating out of a bag can accumulate a huge amount of food intake without even realizing. Today, we are going to look at some strategies for smart snacking and how you can make your snacks actually work FOR you.

Include some protein
A great idea when it comes to snacking is to ensure that you are including some protein. Having a balanced snack that is high in protein will leave you feeling full and satisfied. Easy snack ideas are a fruit with some nuts or nut butter. Carrots & celery with hummus and cheese. Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit.

Portion it out
Portion sizes can easily get way out of whack when we are mindlessly eating out of a large bag. It’s a really great idea to portion out your snacks ahead of time so that you can avoid over-doing it. Have some mini pre-portioned zip lock bags ready to go so that when you are hungry you can just grab one and know exactly how much you are consuming.

Plan for them
Plan a few snacks in your day if you know you are going to be hungry before meal time. Having a planned, well balanced snack can help you avoid over eating later in the day. Have you ever had the experience of coming home from work starving and scavenging the cupboards for anything. Having a pre planned, well balanced snack ready to go can help you to avoid those situations which would likely cause over eating.

These are some quick tips to keep your snacking smart. Include a balance of all the macro nutrients, portion it out ahead of time and plan for them! If you follow these quick tips, your snacking will be smart and you’ll continue to make amazing health and fitness gains. For more help with your nutrition check out our nutrition program here or for high protein snack ideas check out Buff Bakery here.

July 07, 2017

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Summer Fitness

Summer is officially here, which can sometimes lead to a more relaxed regimen with your fitness and nutrition. There are many easy ways to keep things in check over the summer months. This week, we are diving into strategies for summer.

Use the BBQ for meal prep
The sun is shinning and it’s the time to be outside! Take advantage of the warmer weather and do your meal prepping outside. It’s so simple to grill your lean protein and veggies. Chicken breast, pork tenderloin, sirloin steak and salmon are all fantastic on the BBQ. Pair it with some foil packed grilled vegetables and you have your meals prepped for the entire week. All the while, catching a few rays!

Get creative when away from home
Summer can often involve more travel or time spent at camp. There are many different things you can do away from home to keep fitness up, especially when the weather is warmer. Take advantage of body weight movements when you are low on equipment. Do an AMRAP of air squats, push-ups, sit-ups and a sprint. You can also do a “for time” workout such as run a mile for time 3x and try to best your time each round. Bike, Swim, Walk, Run, Rollerblade, whatever! Do anything outdoors to increase your activity while the sun is out.

If you want to drink…
Alcohol consumption is usually higher in the summer months. If you want to have a drink, fit it into your daily nutrition program. It might mean not having starchier carbs at dinner or skipping desert. You’ll also want to set a limit to your drinks. Having way too many will create an over consumption that will make it really hard to make up for. Setting a limit to 1 or 2 can easily be adjusted in your daily nutrition. If you want to take your drinks further, add a non-caloric drink to it in order to make it last longer.

These are some quick tips to keep fitness and nutrition in check over the summer months. Staying on top of things during the summer makes fall much nicer! Putting on weight over the summer or loosing your fitness gains never feels great. Stay in your workout routine, add in the few tips we have here and you’ll be at best come September.

November 17, 2016

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THE 80/20 RULE

It’s very easy to get caught up in goal setting, turning over a new leaf and jumping head first into a new diet, workout program or any new habit for that matter. Typically, we try to go from 0 to 100 percent and expect complete perfectionism from ourselves. This usually lasts a few weeks, days or even hours before we are frustrated, give in just a bit and then figure we have blown it so give up completely. This week we are going to look at the 80/20 rule and how it applies to multiple aspects of health and wellness.


Exercise
Here’s a big one. Many set out to create lofty goals for themselves. For instance, someone isn’t active at all and decides they want to start coming to the gym 7 days a week and pushing very hard. That may last for about 7 days but eventually, you’ll get burnt out. There needs to be balance in your week between workouts and recovery. 5 days of intense exercise is great. In between that, you’ll want to have a complete recovery day and perhaps one active recovery day where you might for a light hike, run, walk or do some yoga. Equally important to your exercise program is your recovery program. That’s when you’re muscles will be repairing and positive changes to your body chemistry are happening.


Diet
This area seems to be the one we expect the most of ourselves from. We want perfection. In fact, this is the very thing that sets us up for failure. Expecting to never again indulge in a dessert, piece of bread or glass of wine is not realistic. We need to be able to enjoy life. Food can be very social and cultural and it’s important to still honour those aspects. While we do want to eat for health, energy and vitality, there is nothing wrong with having a planned treat in moderation. The key is to have these indulgences every so often so we don’t feel deprived. For instance, this Christmas plan to have something you love. Maybe it’s eggnog or a gingerbread cookie. You’ll find it much easier to not fall off the deep end (and eat 2 dozen in one sitting) if you know you are “allowing” yourself to have a few.


Sometimes the key to just be gentle with ourselves and realize that we are not designed to be perfect. Having unrealistic expectations will ultimately backfire and leave you feeling frustrated and discouraged with yourself. Plan to have a rest day in your training so that you are energized and ready to it it hard the following day. Plan to indulge in your favourite treat once a week so that you can spend the rest of your time enjoying clean, healthy foods. 20 percent of down time and treats in your diet will not derail your progress and in fact, might even accelerate it. It’s both good for the mind and the body!

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