Coco Almonds

Coco Almonds!

Almonds are a naturally high source of vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, they are a natural source of protein, high in fiber and low in sugar.  BUT if you’re going nuts with eating plain nuts…here’s a way to occasionally add some kick to this awesome snack!

cocoa-almonds

– Place 2 cups of almonds in a large Ziploc bag

– add in equal amounts of cocoa to liquid egg whites in tbsp. portions

(I recommend 3 tbsp of dark cocoa and 3 tbsp of egg whites)

-optional add in: stevia or splenda

– mix in the ziploc then place aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and spread the almonds on top

– bake at 350 for about 15-20min to roast them

 

WTF is Clean Eating Part II

WTF is Clean Eating Part Deux.

We are all super awesome forces to recon with.

We all have different bodies, different goals and need a different approach to hit our fitness goals.

The way to success when it comes to your nutrition program, is to pick a plan that is going to work for your fitness goal, your lifestyle, your mindset and your body.  The second and most important part is to stick with that plan like it was your job! Don’t give it a week and decide to bail out, you have to give your plan some lovin’.  You have to snuggle up, get cozy and stick with it against all odds (dinners out, friends someimtes teasing you, and chocolate screaming at you to eat it).

Here’s the breakdown of the 5 clean eating strategies that I coach:

 

1) Rule Based Eating

Focusing on nutrient timing strategies is a great way to build your nutrition plan.  This style sets parameters around what and when you eat, but is not as ridged (or hard core as they say) as some of the other programs I’m going to chat about later on. This style of eating focuses on eating specifically timed meals to increase protein synthesis (build muscle) and decreasing insulin response (which is a hormone that is highly involved in the storage of body fat).  This style of eating focuses on using your post workout window to consume most of your starchy carbohydrates, otherwise focuses on eating foods in their most natural form.

 

As a certified Precision Nutrition Level 1 coach, here are the five effective habits of eating based on the research of Precision Nutrition:

The 5 Habits:

#1) Eat slowly and stop at 80% full

#2) Eat protein dense foods with each meal

#3) Eat veggies with each meal

#4) Eat a majority of carbohydrates after exercise

#5) Eat healthy fats daily

 

 

2) Clean Eats Planning

This style of eating focuses on consistency with your macronutrient ratios of carbs, proteins and fats. The macronutrient breakdown (shop talk for the specific amount of carbs, protein and fats) is based upon body type, fitness level, fitness goal and experience. Below is a picture of Taylored Training member Lindsay who followed this style of clean eating to hit the stage for her first fitness competition. Her plan focused on the strategy of very precise eating on a preset meal plan for the 12 weeks leading up to her show.  Her daily calories and macronutrients were carefully tracked, planned, periodized and manipulated to achieve her stage physique.  This strategy is best managed by using a desktop, smart phone or Ipad application to carefully track and plan out calories in advance.

3) Naked Nutrition

In the spring of this year we ran a Taylored Training Naked Nutrition Challenge.  We eliminated some of the most common dietary allergens including grains, gluten and dairy.  We ran a competition to see who would have the best physique transformation and let me tell you…it was hard to choose!  Participants were astonished at the increase in strength, energy and the amazing body transformation results. This plan also allowed participants to take a ‘recharge meal’ every week. They could ditch the rules, take a mental and physical break from the rigid plan and enjoy something that they truly loved to eat. This style of eating seems to elicit very positive strength and physique results and does allow for some room to adopt an 90-10% rule of following the rules  “most of the time”.

 

Below is one of our TT members Carissa who had some incredible physique changes during our Taylored Training 8 week Naked Nutrition Spring challenge. Carissa followed this 90-10% rule while joining us in the mornings for our TT group training classes.

 

Carissa

 

 

 

 

4) Clean Brawn

If you’re goal is to significantly increase lean muscle mass and head from ‘scrawny to brawny’ there is a clean approach to get you there. While food choices are still focused on veggies, fruit, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats (just good clean eating!) the overall amount of calories needs to significantly increase during specific training times to increase the muscle building process.  Below is one of our Taylored Training members Phil. Phil is an example of what we call a ‘hard gainer’ (meaning he is naturally a very lean guy and building muscle takes a little more time and dedication). With a commitment to our training protocols and nutrition programming he was able to accomplish one of his goals to compete in a body building show.

phil before and after

5) Intermittent Fasting

By now you have probably heard about Intermittent Fasting or for the cool kids, “IF”. It’s all the rage right now BUT there is good reason why. IF strategies can give you freedom to be a little more loose with your diet at certain times/days exchange for complying with a selected fasting protocol (and there are many).  This can allow you to enjoy a larger amount of some of the foods you love while still working towards your fitness goals and taking advantage of the hormonal response that happens while fasting.  While this strategy is not for everyone, there are many different ways to practice intermittent fasting and we currently are coaching some of our TT clients with this style of clean eating and having some pretty sweet success!

After just 4 weeks of following our IF plan, you can already see the incredible physique changes that TT member Sarah has had.

Sarah 6 Weeks IF Front

 

Sarah 6 Week IF back

 

Oh! And did I mention these results include a meal plan with wine, chocolate, and homemade cookies?

So there you have it, 5 different ways to eat clean, still enjoy some of the foods you love and smash your fitness goals.

It is important to remember that you have to honour your body, honour your fitness goals and honour the fact that you’re human. Yes, no one is perfect and yes, even nutrition coaches like to enjoy red wine and pizza (we bleed the same blood…).

The most important rule I can teach you is that consistency is king.  Just like I believe you need to follow a consistent training program to get the best results possible, you also need to think in the same mindset when it comes to what you eat.  The majority of what you put in your body should be real food – think non-packaged stuff! That is one principle that is key in each program.

We design incredible training programs for our members outlining their warm-ups, exercises, lifting loads and even their rest times.  Think about eating in the same format.  There are times when you need to take a break (aka your rest time) but ultimately you have to follow a plan to get the best results.

Whether it is how you train or how you eat, make sure you have a good coach to help you build a plan that is right for you.  Enjoy the process on the way to smashing all your fitness goals!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WTF is Clean Eating?

WTF is CLEAN EATING?

Part 1

The phrase ‘eat clean’ is a popular term that is tossed around these days.  But what is eating clean? What does it involve? How do you do it? And most importantly will it help you hit your goals?

I selected ‘eat clean and train dirty’ for my personal facebook page, website and blog, as I think it is THE best way for women to get lean, get strong and most importantly foster a powerful and meaningful self image.

When I originally searched out the words to define this little term of mine, here is what I found:

CLEAN:

‘free from dirt; unsoiled; unstained’

‘free from foreign or extraneous matter’

‘free from pollution; unadulterated; pure’

‘characterized by a fresh, wholesome quality’

 

Other than the dirt issue…I figured that this was an accurate term to describe the way we should carefully select what we choose to fuel our body. Clean eating in a nutshell is taking out most processed food items (highly processed snacks, boxed foods, fast food) and making eating choices based on REAL food in its most natural state.

Here’s how I define clean eating

Clean eating; eating REAL food in a systematic way that works to achieve your specific fitness goal(s)

Clean eating isn’t a diet or a 6 week program, but an adaptable approach to your nutrition as you learn more about your body, your training and your physique.

I know, I know, nutrition can be terribly confusing as there are so many mixed messages when it comes to what you should eat, when you should eat and why you should eat it.  But hear me out.

My intention with this two part blog is to clear up some of the confusion and give you some useful tools to build the best nutrition plan for your body.

As of late you’ve probably heard a lot about:

-Gluten Free

-Grain Free

-Intermittent Fasting

-Fat Free (if you’re still living in the 90’s and eating Snackwell products)

-Whole wheat (if you actually follow the Canadian Food guide…)

-Clean Eating (which of course I’m partial too, obvi!)

So we know that ‘eating clean’ or ‘clean eating’ involves eating foods that are whole, natural and free from extra additives and processing. While this can’t be followed 100% of the time, as a rule, most of the time these should be your main choices when it comes to what you put in your body. In my opinion and expertise, you should let go of hoping that fat free, sugar free and 100% whole grain products should be the staple of your diet.  Yes, I said it. If you’re eating a bowl of whole grain cheerios while consuming a sugar free latte from Starbucks and you are excited for the lunch you packed with vanilla Snackwell cookies, then perhaps you should stop reading this, because you might get disappointed.

clean eating cupcakes

We all have different bodies, different metabolisms, different goals, different hormonal profiles – yeah, we’re all different! So you have to choose the best plan for your body.

Since that is a lot to digest (pun of course 100% planned)…stay tuned for Part II! We are going to chat about 5 different clean eating approaches that you can choose from to smash your fitness goals, help you train dirty and meet your abs! (Perhaps you’ve invited them to the beach, but they have yet to RSVP…).

 

Taylored Training turns 5 today!

5 years ago today we opened Taylored Training. And all I can say is WOW – it’s been quite the amazing ride!  Taylor and I didn’t know what to expect when we ventured off on our own to start our own business and a new approach when it came to ‘going to the gym’.

Our mission with Taylored Training was to create a place where the best trainers would want to work and the best members would want to workout. We wanted to create a new approach to what going to ‘the gym’ was all about.  We wanted to create a place where everyone had a coach to help them look, move and most importantly feel better in learning how to train and how to eat.  We wanted to create a place where our members felt excited to come train. A place where members would be greeted at the door with a smile from a coach who new their name and truly cared how their day was, and how a their workout would make it even better.

We feel we have the best members we could possibly ask for. They train hard, want to learn and they ARE all the motivation we need to keep pushing our business forward via education, expansion and the adding of integrative services like physiotherapy and massage.

The first five years were filled with a lot of highs, a lot of lows and a lot of ‘what the f*#@ were we thinking?!”.  But we always knew we were on the right track along the way, when members told us how a TT workout had changed their day, had changed their mindset and had changed the way they could approach their everyday.

As for the person who I choose to jump into business with head first…Well, I couldn’t ask for a better partner in business or in life. Taylor is someone who is always 100% committed to whatever he puts his mind too and is one of the smartest and most caring people I know. He is absolutely an incredible person, innovator, entrepreneur, coach and husband (I don’t tell him this ALL the time or else it would go to his head… and we all don’t want that to happen). Thank-you for always being you and making me see the importance of being that way to.

As we celebrate today, I want to say a huge THANK-YOU to our members, our family, our supporters and our team Vanessa, Cassie, Brandi (and Tyson!!), for all that you do.  We are very excited as we approach the next 5 years and continue to change the way fitness is done!

This is a short video from our website for anyone who hasn’t seen it, all about TT!

Taylored Training!

 

 

Road Trip Snacking!

You’ve hit the open road and you’re on your way to your destination but wait…how does eating clean fit in? Is this possible?

YEAH it IS!

We all know almonds are amazing, but let’s be honest, you can only eat so many…

Here are some snackin’ ideas to go the distance, when you…go the distance!

1) Tuna Snack Attack (flavoured mini tins or sealed packages)

-enjoy with crackers as an option, such as Nut thins or Mary’s Crackers (both gluten free)

2) Get Nutty (other than almonds)

-check out: pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, chestnuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds

3) Apple and PB

– sliced apple and peanut butter was actually the number #1 snack of choice on our latest nutrition challenge at the studio! (because it tastes awesome!)

 

 

4) Turkey Pepperettes

-I recently rediscovered my love of these easy protein packed snacks this weekend. 50 calories, lots of protein AND gluten free!

 

5) Protein Pudding

– try 1 scoop of chocolate protein + 2 tbsp of dark cocoa + water to mix = awesome

– check out 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder + 1 tbsp of cocoa + 1 tbsp of natural crunchy peanut butter + water to mix =win!

 

 

6) Cheese Please!

– goat cheese and apple make a great snack

-also try goat cheese on some Nut Thins or Mary’s crackers

– cheese strings are also easy to toss into your purse or travel bag

 

The Survival Guide to Ordering Clean

So you’re out with family and friends at a restaurant and you panic!

 

What should you order?
How can you eat clean off the menu?
And how do you not seem like ‘obsessive fitness weirdo’ in your group and fly under the radar without a battery of questions on your food selection?
menu dude
Alright. Here’s the game plan:
1) First off if it’s dinner time skip the giant loaf of sugar on the table known as the bread bowl. Avoid it like you want to avoid added fat on your butt- cause it will lead you down the path to making poor choices the rest of the night. This is a non- negotiable!
2) If you are hungry or everyone else is ordering an appetizer, start with a salad (hold the nasty croutons, candied nuts and creamy dressing) or ask for a side of roasted veggies to start ( on a side note I did this a couple weeks ago at the Keg and was served a massive portion of yummy roasted mushrooms, asparagus and peppers). Other clean choices include scallops, mussels, olives and cheese or chicken skewers -avoid fried foods and dips!
3) For your main dish repeat after me: Protein and Veggies!
Here are some options to scout out:
*Order the steak or chicken fajitas hold the wraps and ask for more veggies. Enjoy this with guacamole and salsa
*Order seafood ( lobster, salmon, scallops etc…) with a side of veggies
*Cruise the salad menu and add in grilled chicken, steak or salmon. Like I mentioned before, avoid croutons, candied nuts and switch out the dressing for salsa, oil and balsamic or mustard (don’t knock the mustard before you try it at least once on a salad). One of my favorite salads is the Grizz salad at the Grizzly Grill in Kingston- greens, feta, roasted sweet potato with the option of steak, chicken or salmon on top!
*Get wild! Try a new protein option: steak( adventurous for some perhaps), lamb, bison, ostrich, alligator….a great excuse to eat on the wild side
*Want a burger? See if they have a lettuce wrap option or just get that burger naked without the bun. Ask for your veggies or a side salad
*If you’re at a pub you might find chili on the menu, most come with a big mother piece of bread so ask for chopped veggies instead ( if they serve carrots and celery with breaded hot wings…it’s not a stretch my friends)
*Eat a breakfast of champions with an omelet, grilled ham and/or bacon and eggs any style ( I must say its my favorite meal to go out for!)
*Dessert? Yeah…just don’t do it. Order a cappuccino, coffee, expesso or tea to keep you from going on chocoholic on me…
Order clean and order proud. If you want to change the way you look and feel you have to change the way you train, eat and order!  Get creative with the options you have and if someone gives you a hard time at your table just know you’re going to look better naked in the end.

Look Better Naked

Taylored Training – MAKING YOU LOOK BETTER NAKED

When we decided on a slogan for Taylored Training, there was much debate between Taylor and I.  We had originally used ‘life changing fitness, fitness changing life’, but had decided that although it was representative of our business and our training, we needed to push the envelope a bit, as we like to do.

 

‘Making you Look Better Naked’ was our end result and is our slogan to this day.  Me being the more conservative of our duo (SHOCKER…I know), I worried that perhaps some would assume we simply have only one sole focus with our training. I thought that even though as a team we display 5 undergraduate degrees, 3 Master’s degrees and a copious amount of certifications on our wall, that some might think we weren’t qualified or educated. I thought that even though we have successfully trained many clients recovering from chronic injuries who now lift, feel and move better, that this message might overshadow our skills.  Lastly I thought that even though we train local, varsity and national level athletes and have the most qualified strength coach in Kingston, that athletes might unknowingly think that other less qualified trainers would be a better fit.

 

Fortunately, for the most part our slogan (with the except of ONE recent and uneducated facebook comment) has allowed us to demonstrate who we are, what we’re all about and why we break away from the traditional view points on fitness, health and working out.

 

At Taylored Training we aim at Making you Look Better Naked! And here is why we stand behind our slogan and embrace being different!

 

Taylored Training MAKING YOU LOOK BETTER NAKED

 

–  Feel good about yourself from the inside out. Wear clothes that make you happy and be confident in the skin you’re in.

–  Don’t rely on the latest cellulite cream or firming face wash to make you feel better, train hard, eat clean and look better by taking care of your body.

–  Don’t rely on machines that you need to strap yourself into like a ride at Canada’s Wonderland to work your body. Make your body your machine! (as they say at TRX) Learn how to train your body so you can move better!

–  Get a tattoo or don’t get a tattoo. We like tattoos we have lots! But the fact of the matter is – Love the skin you’re in, however you choose to present it!

–  Don’t focus on ‘weight loss’ focus on ‘fat loss’ if that is the goal you choose. You can weigh less by eating less calories OR chopping off an arm for that matter…OR you can train and eat clean so your body is lean, strong and healthy.

–  If you’re working with an injury don’t expect a ‘band-aid approach’ to fix it. Take the time to recover through stronger and better movement and treat your injury so you can get back to feeling better.

–  Get your feet naked!  Some of the most impressive athletes in the world who just competed in the Olympics demonstrated this best in their barefoot and minimalist shoes.  If Bolt can be the fastest man alive without wearing special shoes, than I think we can all start believing in the incredible synergy of the human body free from fancy shoes and fashionable footwear.

–  Be you, the naked ‘no holds barred you’! Cut the bullshit and be yourself. Don’t hide behind who you think you should be or how you should behave. At Taylored Training you will hear grunting, groaning, some swearing, and uncontrollable laughter and we love it. Above all else, no matter what, be you, THE NAKED YOU!

 

Are you in a workout slump?

Somedays are harder than others when it comes to fitting in a workout, but workouts and clean eating are essential to hitting your fitness goals.

But what if you had a ‘carrot’ at the end of the road?  We all need goals, and we all seek rewards that motivate us to work harder and train dirty!

 Try this idea on for size.

Get a jar, a pretty jar, one that is big enough, because there are lots of loonies, quarters and toonies that are going to get dropped inside!

Get a calendar and start tracking your workouts, because you are going to be blown away when you hit 100 workouts (YES, 100 workouts!).

Here’s how this is going to roll:

 

  1. Do a workout (a dirty one, make sure you’re pushing hard)
  2. Drop a buck in your jar every time you’ve completed a good workout (you know the difference…a slack ass workout versus a good sweatfest!)
  3. Once you hit 100 workouts on your calendar, you’ll have $100 bucks in your jar!
  4. GO SPEND THIS $100.00 on you! Go to the spa,buy a new lululemon outfit, buy a new pair of jeans (in a much smaller size with all those consistent workouts!) maybe buy a new dress – The possibilities are endless!

Now go, get your jar, start marking your calendars and let’s smash some fitness goals, shall we?

Beware of Weight Loss Scams!

Recently, and again, (yes this hasn’t been the first time) we were sent a message on our Taylored Training fan page to sell yet another ‘revolutionary health product’ to our members. It actually got another member of our page to write in to us about how we should not think we are ‘experts’ when it comes to all products. SO you might be wondering what this guy was selling after a comment like that, which is what I did.  So when I clicked on his Facebook page, surprise surprise, he sells shake supplements that some of you might have heard of.  Here is a blog post from one of our TT members Mariane on her experience with this product.

Remember: Eat clean (aka real food), Train Dirty (challenge yourself to your capability) this is the revolutionary practice of feeling good and looking great!

Beware of Weight Loss Scams by Mariane Héroux PhD, MSc., BSc., RHN

A few weeks ago I was approached by a friend who tried to convince me to join the Body By Vi Challenge. He pitched the challenge to me by telling me that he had a way for me to get my dream beamer within the next few months at no cost. Immediately I was skeptical. He then went on to tell me a bit about this 90 day challenge which is meant to help people lose weight, get healthy, and get free stuff (i.e. a BMW). Those of you who know me well would agree that I certainly do not need to lose weight and that I am a total health nut. So why was he pitching this to me? I immediately started doing a bit of research on the challenge to find out what it was all about. I found the website (http://www.visalus.com/bbvi/home/) and in less than 1 minute could tell that this challenge was yet another scam in the nutrition world with a pyramid type scheme.

Essentially this challenge lasts 90 days and apparently results in weight loss and happiness. Upon signing up, you select one of 4 challenge kits that contain meal replacements (range from $50-$249). The main product is the shake. Drinking one serving of this shake apparently provides your body with the same nutrition quality that you would obtain from eating: 12 eggs, 1.5 cups of broccoli, 5 peaches, 2 chicken breast, 1.5 cup frozen yogurt, 1.5 cup bran flakes, 18oz tomato juice, 5oz cheddar cheese, 3 cups lima beans, 15 slices whole wheat bread, 30 whole apples, 20 spears of asparagus, 2 cups of sliced mushrooms, 10 celery stalks, 3 pineapples, 3 tomatoes, and 30 prunes! To entice you more, it is mentioned that consuming this much food is equivalent to about 8662 calories and would cost over $100.00 but that you can get all the health benefits of these foods by drinking 1 shake at a cost of under $2.00 per serving (check out the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OVYGdfEJQo). The question I ponder is: would anyone in their right minds ever eat all that food at once? Our bodies are not meant to consume an overwhelming amount of vitamins, minerals, and other food components (i.e. lycopene, isoflavanoids, antioxidants, etc) all at once. In fact when you consume too many of these at one time they actually compete for absorption in your body and are therefore not utilized optimally.1 It would be completely unnatural to consume so much food at once and it is even more unnatural to consume it all in the form of a “magical” shake.

Nowhere could I find the exact ingredients that are used in this “magic” powder known as the Vi-Shape Nutritional Shake Mix. I asked my friend Neil Fine (check out his blog at http://finefitness.ca/) if he had any information on it. Interestingly enough, he had also recently been approached by someone pitching this miracle program to him! Out of pure curiosity and skepticism, Neil went to a “recruitment party” where he got to try a sample of the shake and took a quick peek at the ingredients. He mentioned that the second ingredient was maltodextrin and that there was also sucralose and many other ingredients that seemed quite unnatural. Now, maltodextrin is a food additive and sucralose is a manmade artificial sweetener for which no studies exist looking at its long term effects on the body. Food additives and artificial sweeteners are ingredients that everyone should avoid as they are unnatural!!!!!! Neil also mentioned that the program does NOT recommend exercise; in fact some of the ads for it say that weight loss can be achieved without needing to exercise at all. While exercise does help with weight loss,2 it is also extremely important for cardiovascular health, muscular strength, mental health, prevention of several chronic diseases, etc.3 In my opinion, even those who aren’t seeking to lose weight should exercise!

In summary, if you want to lose weight or strive to achieve better nutrition and fitness the best way to go about it is to make a lifestyle change whereby you eat healthy natural foods (i.e. fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein, unprocessed grains) and exercise! Taking unnatural products and paying money for challenges like Body By Vi will not help you achieve a healthy lifestyle change. Losing weight and providing your body with the nutrients it needs should be done with natural sources coming from foods that are as close to their natural states as possible and of course exercise which as I already mentioned helps improve cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength while also decreasing your risk of many ailments.3 So next time someone approaches you about a nutrition challenge or magic pill/powder think twice, do your research, and remember that nothing is healthier than foods that are in their NATURAL states and of course exercise!

References

1. Groff J, Gropper S. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. 3 ed. Belmont, California: Wadsworth, 2000.

2. Blair S. Evidence for success of exercise in weight loss and control. Annals of Internal Medicine 1993;119(7):5.

3. Warburton DE, Nicol CW, Bredin SS. Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Cmaj 2006;174(6):801-9.

 

Alright…time for my bikini shots.

 

Eat clean and train dirty – that’s how body transformations happen. But what if you are training hard and eating clean and nothing is changing? What then?

This is something I know about all too well. The before pictures you see are from June, 2011 last year and I had been recently diagnosed as having hypothyroidism. I wasn’t feeling well, felt tired all the time, and I knew something wasn’t right with my body.  After analyzing my nutrition and training program, things weren’t adding up (well they were…but not the way I wanted them too!). I had much debate with my doctor at the time who said I was just ‘working out too much’ and despite my lack of energy and plethora of other symptoms, he told me my body was ‘just fine’ (he is no longer my doctor of course…). I had grown out of my clothes but was working out 6 days a week, eating a traditional body building style diet (oatmeal, egg whites, chicken, brown rice…etc), and was feeling frustrated. I was getting amazing results for my clients, but I couldn’t figure out why my body fat was increasing despite my commitment to eating clean and training hard.

whit before and after

 

whit before and after back

As a fitness professional I felt like I wasn’t representing everything that I was coaching. I also felt the pressure of wanting to look like a fit fitness professional, something that I feel strongly about.  Although I don’t think all coaches need to always look like they are ready for a physique competition at any given moment, I do feel we need to be committed to a high standard of training and nutrition. Not only did I not feel I looked my best, I was also losing strength and felt very weak in comparison to the weights I was previously lifting.

The past year was quite the journey and I am fortunate to have worked with some incredible nutrition and training coaches to get me where I am today. Marianne, my nutrition coach and Taylor my strength coach (husband and best friend) were instrumental in helping me work towards my fitness goals. I really can’t thank them enough for all the help and their patience (emphasis on the patience).

Looking back a year ago, I remember meeting with one specialist in Toronto who told me that I just had to get use to eating 1000 calories a day and do 2+ hours of cardio in order to ‘lose weight’ with my condition.  I remember leaving that appointment thinking, no wonder people are pushed into extreme diet and exercise programs with all the horrible advice and information from so called experts.  I left that appointment after initially thinking I had wasted my time and a lot of money, but as I sat on the train ride home I decided to turn a negative experience into a positive one.  I made the decision to commit to finding out everything I needed to know about my thyroid condition and become my own expert and build a team of coaches to help me find my way back to looking and feeling better.

I had to relearn what training and nutrition worked best while I was in transition to regulate my hormones (not an easy and quick process…trust me!). I became committed to new changes with my own eating to better support my hormone health and in the process I became certified as a fitness nutrition coach.

I would be lying if I said this process wasn’t frustrating or at times or I didn’t feel sorry for myself, because I did! We’ve all been there, but on a positive front I now have a much better appreciation for what it feels like when we start to change the way new members workout and eat.  It’s not easy, but it is worth it. And having support is very key in the process.  I remember thinking to myself that perhaps my situation was karma getting back at me for making so many people do countless burpees…lol

I’m fortunate to now have a healthy body and I have made a commitment that I will never take my health and how I feel for granted after such hard work. I have learned an extraordinary amount of information about nutrition, training, life and happiness along the way and I feel that I’m a better coach for it.

You might be wondering if my results are merely based on medication to regulate my hormones and that is fair enough to ask.  The answer is NO (trust me…) and it is just a small piece in the puzzle actually.  I still train 5 days a week, I have revamped my diet which has been one of the biggest factors contributing to my physique changes and I still take time for recovery with rest days, physiotherapy and massage treatment at our studio. To be honest I’m now training and eating smarter than I ever have before and I’m happy with my progress.

As I always tell our members, the key to being successful with your health and fitness is truly about respecting your body and what it needs.  There are so many people out there on the same journey, trying to feel their best but going about it the wrong way.  I meet women thinking running will make them lose weight, weights will make their legs and arms look bigger, using the scale will show them their progress, and eating carbohydrates will immediately add a donut size piece of fat onto their ass – all not true! It’s not about being extreme, it’s about training SMART and working with the right coaches to help you hit your goal.  You can read countless workouts and diets in fitness magazines, but none of them are designed with you in mind.  There are millions of readers of those magazines of all different ages, shapes and sizes but there is only one you.Your health and happiness is depended on what you choose to make of your opportunity to live your best life.  So get out and make it happen!