Skin Rejuvenation, High Heels and Self-Care

Today we announced a brand new service at my studio that is starting in March – skin rejuvenation. (PS For more info and details you can CLICK HERE).

I am SO Excited to be launching this new service that aligns with our message and philosophy of preventative, natural and sustainable health care.

While it might seems perhaps ‘out there’, so to did our initial philosophies on barefoot training,  non-supplement and whole-food based eating (even though we have been contacted by Isagenix reps too many times to count…) as well as our strong stance on non-machine based fitness and physiotherapy.

So why start offering this new service? How does it align with everything we believe?

Over the past few months we have been working on researching and studying the effects of acupuncture for skin rejuvenation.

We started with treating post-surgery scars in the clinic (for both pain and aesthetic reasons) and then began researching the affects of acupuncture for the treatment for varicose veins, post stroke paralysis, bell’s palsy, acne and facial acupuncture to treat fine lines and wrinkles.

A study of 300 cases treated with cosmetic acupuncture. The results were overwhelming with 90 per cent of cases showing marked improvements with one course of treatment.

Recently I attended the Queen’s University Ted Talks with two of my team members. It was an inspirational and invigorating day with some pretty fantastic speakers, most of whom, I’m proud to say, were female.

As I sat in the audience, having been exposed to many world caliber speakers during my 8 years working for the Queen’s School of Business, I was incredibly impressed by the content, confidence and charisma that was displayed on that stage.  One of the speakers, a Taylored Training member, truly knocked it out of the park with an incredible talk on compassion fatigue, a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.

What I couldn’t get over, was how some these incredibly talented and brilliant women were carefully and at time awkwardly navigating the stage in their giant high heels, wearing copious amounts of make-up as they presented their message based on the topic ‘the edge’.

Now when it comes to make-up, I get it.  As a former dancer when I was on stage being filmed and performing under the lights it was a necessity, but as I watched these women I couldn’t help but wonder how as women we have gotten to a place where wearing uncomfortable shoes while wearing a mask to cover our own skin is just expected of us?

What made me focus on this aspect of the female presentations, I don’t know, but my guess is that the bright red circular carpet that was placed at the center of the stage really stood out to be visually, but also made me so terrified that one of these incredible women would catch a carpet string and bail hard!

Recently, Harpers Bazar posted this incredible link of top female celebrities going make-up free and I absolutely LOVE this message! Who knew Lady Gaga actually looked like this?!  I think she’s even MORE beautiful minus the mask.

 

 

 

 

 

While I know that I’m naive to think we can single handedly change the way women feel about their high heels and make-up what we can do is offer a non-surgical, natural an effective way for women to truly embrace the skin they are in!

Similar to taking care and enhancing the way you look with fitness, the same can be said with taking care of our skin! The best way to take care of your body is with quality nutrition and quality training and I think skin rejuvenation celebrates taking care of ourselves in the most natural and self-loving way.

 

 

The Best Article I have ever read about Running

First off, let me say, I love to be outside and I love to run.

I have competed in many 5K, 10K and half marathons in Kingston, Toronto and Ottawa as well as that one time I decided it would be a good idea to do the Kingston “Limestone Mile” with my friend Steve, whom I should mention is an former Dartmouth athlete and incredible sprinter. It was a humbling experience to say the least.

I tell you all of this to preface my commentary on this fantastic article by Mark Rippetoe because I truly do love running.

I love being outside, I love the sense of accomplishment and I love travelling to cities to explore new places and get in a great workout.

Here’s the BUT.

I don’t run for my fitness, I don’t recommend running for our clients AND I’m going to explain why I transitioned my love of running by returning to a sport I love, tennis.

I sometimes run to my tennis club (mostly when I’m late for a match) but I no longer hit the pavement for races and long runs.

Why?

Long duration running has been a fitness trend for many years now. It is commonly touted as a cheap, easy approach to getting fit. How many times have you heard a friend say, “I want to get back into shape, so I’m going to take up running.”

I get it. It seems like a good idea. Running is cheap, gets you outside, and really shouldn’t we all just know how to run? Isn’t it just a part of our DNA?

I wrote this article commentary because I cannot tell you how many members we have worked with over the years who have come to us with the following problem:

They used to run.

They competed in races and events

They got injured

They had to stop running.

They stopped doing any fitness.

Recently I did a tour with a new member who actually told me her family physician told her she had two options: Continue to run and get a knee replacement in a year or find a different and more sustainable approach to fitness.

THIS is why we are passionate as fitness professional about teaching, educating and coaching our community on the BEST way to train your body. Because I’m here to tell you the truth. There IS a BEST way to train your body for long-term sustainable health and if you are going to dedicate an invest the time in your well-being, don’t you deserve the best?

Sure, like I said, I too loved running, loved the thrill for signing up for races, being outside and grabbing that medal at the finish line but after I started racking up the injuries, I realized how I needed to be smart about taking care of my body and channelled my running into what it is today (running short distances at my studio and playing tennis).

Over the years we have written and talked about running as a method to get fit. We actually wrote this article for the Huffington Post about running as a method to start with getting in shape – Running is not the Best Exercise to Get Fit

This is the full article from Strength Coach Mark Rippetoe –Why You Shouldn’t Run. It is a longer but excellent read. I wanted to take the time to comment and summarize what Mark is saying. Sometimes, I know, strength and fitness professionals tend to forget that what we write makes sense to us but perhaps not everyone out there who doesn’t have years of physiology, anatomy, biomechanics and experience under their belt.

Buckle up. Here we go.

Mark makes some excellent points the first being:

Strength is the ability to produce force with your muscles against an external resistance.

What’s the value in being strong?

We need to be strong for life. Carrying kids, groceries, fighting off illness, being able to be as self-sufficient at age 80 as you were at age 25 …you get where I’m going with this.

You can’t exclusively train endurance (running, cycling, epliticizing…etc) and get stronger. “The more you run, the better you are at running and the worse you are at being strong”.

Endurance training is directly antagonistic to the creation and retention of muscle mass.

Let’s talk about your physique.

From a physique standpoint for anyone out there wanting to tone, look leaner and get nicer arms, without increasing your muscle it’s just not going to happen.

Running, cycling and ‘ellipticalizing’ directly competes for the muscle resources that maintain their size and strength, therefore changing your body composition to more muscle and less body fat isn’t going to happen with endurance cardio.

The reason we’re so concerned with “cardio” is that we’ve become indoctrinated into the belief that activity that elevates the heart rate for an extended period of time is the only way to keep the heart healthy. We need to shift our mindset to realize that doing “cardio” does not mean you must run, bike, elliptical or walk for multiple hours. There are so many other ways to train your cardiovascular system using load bearing activity that will actually enhance your strength, improve your posture and alignment, help your bones get stronger, improve your mobility and increase your muscle mass!

Jump rope
Kettlebell swings
Weighted carries
Turkish Get-ups
Medicine ball slams, throws and chops
Sled Drags/Pulls

Battle Ropes at TT!

Trust me, this is a very short list of just a few examples!

Repetitive motion injuries like tendonitis are quite common in people who engage in high-volume endurance activity.

Probably one of my favourite lines from Mark’s article: “In fact, the term “Sports Medicine” really means the branch of orthopedics that deals with inflamed joints in runners and cyclists.

Brutally honest but true.

As you hit 18K in a run your repetitive stride mechanics will deteriorate, often to the extent that a joint or several joints are being used improperly. I’ve been there, done that. The typical result is overuse injuries which most commonly include:
– Patella femoral pain
– Iliotibial band friction syndrome
– Achilles tendinopathy
– Stress fractures
– Shin splits
– Hip bursistis
– Muscle strains
– Plantar fasciitis

 

Just to name a few.

What is my advice?

If you love to run and enjoy time outside find a way to include it in your fitness programming by way of playing a sport you love (tennis, ultimate Frisbee, soccer) or include a healthy dose of running into your fitness. Instead of only running for your fitness try a run or two a week intermixed with a good strength training program and intervals.

We include a lot of running in our fitness programming by way of sprint drills, focusing on direction changes, sprints with jumps and a variety of foot work that is fun, incorporates sprints and runs but also trains the body without the strain of long duration running work.

Same goes for cycling. Have you ever tried the airdyne bike? Even though it looks like something straight out of 1985, it is no joke. Try 30 -60 seconds as fast as you can for interval training and I promise you will feel your heart racing, sweat pouring down your back and 6-8 rounds are truly ‘breath taking’.

My job as a coach is to offer my clients and community the best advice when it comes to taking care of their health and fitness.  I want you to be independent at age 80, pick up your grandkids when you take them to the park and not worry about your low back, knee or hip hurting, and I want you to rock out your outfit at the next wedding you attend and feel proud, confident and strong when you hit the dance floor.

And that is why I think this is the best article I’ve ever read about running because perhaps it will make you think about what is best for your body when choosing your training program.

Let’s Talk Clean Eating

Today I wanted to chat about “Clean Eating” because I’m still a fan even though the term does seem to get demonized in the media these days.

Someone asked me the other day about ‘my take’ on clean eating so I thought I would share.

Clean Eating for me has two components:

Focusing on REAL, WHOLE food. Sure, the odd protein bar or shake can be convenient but to be honest you have to ask yourself why you are choosing to put something into your body that is composed of a lot of hard to pronounce, man made chemicals?  Now I have had my fair share of protein shakes and bars over my fitness journey but after taking them out of my diet  a few months ago, I can honestly say I really don’t miss them! I actually walked into a supplement store last week and was over whelmed by the artificial smell. It really made me realize that they just isn’t a need to have supplements in my diet and in fact I turned around and walked out of the store.  These days if I want something sweet I have a piece of fruit, dark chocolate or one of my favourite cookies from a local bake shop (which by the way smells MUCH better when you walk through the doors).

My Advice:

Instead of grabbing a bar, grab a piece of fruit or some nuts & seeds (and yes, salted are aok)!

Instead of worrying about your post workout window and how quickly you can guzzle down a protein shake, focus more time on getting in lots of water and adding in a few extra minutes to foam roll and stretch!

Instead of focusing on calculating out each gram of carbohydrate you eat and stressing that bananas, potatoes  will make you huge, enjoy some fruit, add in complex carbs (rice, homemade breads, quinoa…etc) and be mindful that yes, ‘it is ok’.  Heck, I have even recently started incorporating fresh bagels into some of my meals!

2. My clean eating philosophy is very strict. Everything I now eat is 100% clean and free of anxiety, guilt, shame or restriction. 

Don’t be afraid…Eating clean CAN taste good if you learn how!

 

Back at it! Stay Tuned!

After attending a coding course yesterday I’ve decided it’s time to get back to one of the things I love to do the most as a Coach and Entrepreneur – helping others by providing quality, interesting and fun content!

As I approach 40, as I have changed and evolved over my almost 2 decades in fitness, I do have a lot I want to say!

So what will be my focus?

Teaching, educating and hopefully inspiring women of all ages to not fear fitness, fasting, food and approaching or surpassing the magical age for women, 40!

Stay tuned!

Fat Loss Tip #10 – Forget about the past and move forward!

Here we are!  Fat loss tip #10.

If you have been over fat, if you have tried every diet and training program under the sun but have never achieved long-term success, than it’s time to leave your past behind and focus on your future;the one in which you achieve all your fitness dreams!

WIth over 15 years of coaching experience, trust me, this is a common obstacle. You can’t focus on the past, how you wish you wouldn’t have let your health go, how you wished you would have started sooner…Start on a new path today!

Find a good coach or a team of coaches who are educated, current and who are focused on helping you achieve your fitness goals!

‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.’

Chinese Proverb

regrets

Fat Loss Tip #9 – Don’t Weigh Yourself!

This is probably THE most important concept when it comes to success with fat loss.

Don’t use the scale. It’s not the best way to measure your progress.

Here’s the thing.

Weight on the scale measures your total body composition including your water, muscle and bone mass.

If you lose 10 pounds on the scale, unless you do a body composition test, you might be losing vital muscle and bone.

When people drastically reduce calorie intake it is very common to lose weight on the scale without knowing they are also losing vital muscle and bone mass! *Not good for anyone, but especially women!

In an ideal world, any ‘weight’ loss on the scale would exclusively be body fat (trust me, I wish I could make this happen for you!) but that’s just not the case; especially without the presence of training to increase muscle mass and strength.

This infamous “10 pounds” that everyone wants to lose or that random goal weight that people get so stuck on does the opposite for their fitness goals – it leads to frustration and ultimately giving up, so PLEASE don’t get caught in the scale trap!!!

 

So how to we measure progress at my studio? With pictures, measurements AND more importantly how much stronger our members feel!scale 2

Fat Loss Tip #8 – Stick with 0 calorie drinks!

Stick with 0 calories drinks. Check out where most people make this fat loss mistake.

water

 

 

 

 

 

Liquids can seem very innocent yet…

Rum and coke                                              270 calories/40g sugar

Can of coke/pepsi                                     150 calories/40g sugar

Starbucks Green Tea Crème Frap    430 calories/68g sugar

Starbucks Vanilla Light Frap                180 calories/40g sugar

Starbucks Strawberry Smoothie        300 calories/40g sugarstarbucks

Don’t fall into the liquid calorie trap! As you can see, a quick afternoon ‘pick me up’ can turn into a high caloric sugar bonanza that can derail your hard earned progress.

 

 

 

Here are some liquid suggestions to keep you on track with your goals:

 

Water                                                                  0 calories of awesome

Iced/Hot Starbucks coffee                      3 calories of awesome (#love)

Iced/Hot Tea (herbal optional)             Minimal depending on blend

At the Bucks here are some other ‘go to’ drinks I recommend for a walk on the sweeter side:

Earl Grey Tea Misto (milk, sugar free vanilla shot, earl grey tea)

Iced Passion Tea (hold the lemonade)

Iced Green Tea

Caramel Iced coffee (1 shot sugar free caramel, iced coffee, splash of your favourite milk).

Bottoms up!

 

 

 

 

Fat Loss Tip #7 – Journal your food

No. I don’t think you should journal your food forever BUT I do think it is a valuable tool when starting out with your goal for the following reasons:

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1  – It can help  you learn about food and nutrition. 

Journalling your food and working with a good nutrition coach can accelerate the learning process when it comes to nutrition education. You can start to learn the nutrient information for what you are eating and how best to plan a  strategy to hit your fat loss goals.

2 – It will help you learn how much food and the right types of foods to consume, to hit your fitness goal(s).

Depending on your goal, what you’re eating has a HUGE impact on your success! Are you training for a sport? Are you training for a fitness show? Are you trying to decrease the likelihood of getting osteoporosis ? Are you prone to kidney stones and want to ensure you can prevent them? Are you looking for fat loss?

Your goal will dictate the total calories and total macronutrients that you need! Your training program, age, gender and body type of course will also come into play.

3 – It will keep you accountable and help understand what you need to work on!

When you work  with a coach and journal your nutrition as a team, you can work together to make sure you have a strategy for success.

Journalling coupled with nutrition coaching is an excellent way to ensure you have all the education, info and strategic planning needed for success!

Fat Loss Tip #6 – Focus on whole food eating!

This is an easy and effective way to ensure that you stay on track with your nutrition and on course to hit your fitness goals!

Whole food eating is built upon one important rule: If it’s processed, comes out of a bag or has more ingredients than you can count on your fingers – don’t eat it!

Now you will have some exceptions for foods that must come in a package such as eggs, meats, oatmeal etc…but I think you get the idea!

When it comes to including items like bread or sauces still try to go as natural as possible. Bread purchased from a local bakery will have far less ingredients, fillers and artificial flavours versus store bought bread. Try using spices, balsamic vinegars and olive oil to give your food optimum flavour! The same goes with peanut butter (the perfect compliment with a banana or an apple). There are a variety of nut butters that are natural and taste delicious or make your own!

apple and pb