All posts by Whitney

Let’s Shake it up!

Protein shakes provide a quick easy way to make sure you’re having enough protein in your daily meal plan. Here are some recipes for breakfast, post workout and if you’re in the mood for a little late night snacking.

 

Total prep time for shakes should be about 5min (yes, even if you’re not a morning person you CAN make breakfast!)

Your Breakfast Shake

With your breakfast shake you want to make sure it’s going to be enough to jump start your day.  Make sure you include protein, carbohydrate AND fat.

 

Strawberry Banana Madness

strawberry banana shake

1 cup of frozen mixed sliced banana and strawberries (I get mine from Costco in the frozen section)

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 scoop of Natural Factors Vanilla or Strawberry Whey protein

1 tbsp of almond butter (I like the Martha’s brand also from Costco)

Optional Add-in: cinnamon, vanilla extract, stevia or honey

Blend with Ice

 

Mocha Morning

mocha smoothie

1 cup of brewed cold coffee (you can make it the night before and keep it in the fridge)

1 cup of milk

1-2 tbsp dark cocoa powder

1 scoop of Natural Factors chocolate whey protein powder

1 tbsp natural peanut or almond butter

Blend with ice

 

Your Post-Workout Shake

Post workout you need to ensure you have two main ingredients in your shake  – protein and carbohydrates. 

 

The Chocolate Cherry

chocoalte cherry smoothie

1 cup of frozen cherries

1-2 cups of skim milk OR 2 cups of unsweetened chocolate almond milk

1 scoop of Natural Factors Chocolate whey protein

1 tbsp of dark cocoa

Optional Add-in: stevia

Blend with ice

 

Berry Smooth

berry protein shake

1-2 cups of skim milk or 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk

1 cup of mixed berries

1 scoop of Natural Factors vanilla or strawberry whey protein

Optional Add-in: stevia, honey

Blend with ice

 

Snacking Shakes

Shakes are a great way to include protein in a afternoon or late night snack. If you’re feeling hungry after dinner try a shake instead of the usual high carb snack (popcorn, chocolate, crackers, cookies). A shake will fill you up PLUS get your closer to your fitness goals. Note that ingredients for a afternoon snack or evening snack include protein and limited carbohydrates.

 

Chocolate Bomb!

Chocolate protein shake

2 cups of unsweetened chocolate almond milk

1-2 tbsp of dark cocoa powder

1 scoop of Natural Factors chocolate whey protein

Optional Add-in: Natural Peanut or Almond Butter

Blend with ice

 

The Chocolate Mint

chocolate mint smoothie

1 cup of iced ‘red my lips’ David’s iced tea

1 cup of unsweetened chocolate almond milk

1-2 tbsp of dark cocoa powder

1 scoop of Natural Factors chocolate whey protein

Optional Add-in: mint extract or mint leaf

 

Vanilla Ice Cream

vanilla protein shake

2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1-2 tsp vanilla extract OR vanilla bean (I like to use a little more in mine)

1 scoop of Natural Factors vanilla protein powder

Blend with ice

 

 

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.

 

Meet Sarah: 15lbs lost, 2 sizes down, feeling great in 2 months!

Meet one of our TT members Sarah. She has been training with us for the past 2 months and yes, she has had some incredible results.

So, what you all want to know is  – how did she do it?

I believe that in any goal you wish to accomplish, you can learn so much from those who are successful, and then start to identify the missing link in your own approach.

My hairdresser asked me the other day if I train any brides before their weddings, and so the story unfolded and I started to think more about the “essentials” when it comes to achieving your fitness goals with your coach. Ask yourself if you’re truly committed to each and every one?

1. Pick a good coach. I believe there is both an art and science when it comes to body transformations (in Sarah’s case her specific goal was looking amazing in her wedding dress next month). You need to work with a coach that both knows the science behind your training and nutrition program BUT also knows what is going to be the best fit for your timeline and your body type. Picking a educated, experienced coach is key, this may sound a bit self inflated but I’ve invested the time and education in being a good coach as have all of our other coaches at TT.

2. You need to trust in your coach 100% (ok maybe even more!). We have a trial membership at the studio and I remember Sarah’s first session. She came up to the front desk and said, I’m in! I don’t even want to try this out, I know you can get me where I need to go. Now that’s trust! You have to believe that if you follow your program that you will be successful – this is so critical to your success!

3. You need to stay 100% committed to your program and you NEED a program. From the very first day I had a training program and a nutrition plan that aligned with Sarah with her goals, her body, her experience and her timeline. I told her how many times a week she needed to do her workouts, what she had to eat and the rest was up to her. She hit every target for her workouts and her nutrition and stay focused on her goal. She made sure she felt on board with our program and was committed to staying on track (yes even on weekends!). Both her nutrition and training programs weren’t based on extremes or simply just cutting calories, which are detrimental to your long term health for short term gains. Sarah’s programs were based on periodized programming, researched based nutrition principles and consistent workouts NOT overtraining.

4. You need to pick a specific goal that is important to you (and yes everyone DOES have one, you just have to be honest with yourself). Sarah’s goal was very specific to her wedding dress.  We took pictures, measured and used a pair of skinny jeans to help us reach her target.

5. Don’t be afraid of hitting your goal OR that you won’t get there. I see this happen all the time.  Someone will try a sample of this program for a week or two, then join another bootcamp program, then the week after start a new ‘diet’…Guess what, this approach WILL NOT WORK!  You have to be consistant and in my experience consistancy on anything is at least 4-6 weeks.  If you’re are always searching for the next best training program, workout plan or diet but never sticking with anything than you will always be disappointed.  I think sometimes people get so scared they won’t be successful that they give up way too easily. If you do this, the best time to stop this cycle is NOW, leave your past in the past and step forward!

6. Have fun in the process! I think you have to see the humour in any situation to come out better on the other side.  Yes you might be sipping on a glass of perrier while your friends are getting hammered on the weekends, or you might get made fun of for being the ‘fitness girl’ at work with your tupperware containers and gym bag always prepped, but I think that you can have the last laugh when you are at your fitness goal and planning your next!  Sometimes we sit at the studio with our members and laugh at how much someone’s arms feel like jello after a good set, or the fact that they are so sweaty from hard work the leave an ‘ass print’ on the gym floor…but in the end you have to see the humour in the process on your way to smashing every fitness goal you have!

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

The TRX – a great train dirty tool!

I love the TRX and I have from the first time I used it.  We bring our TRX wherever we travel and have used it in hotel rooms, hotel gyms, in our backyard and at playgrounds (great for anchoring the TRX and for doing pull-ups!).

One of my goals last year was to complete the TRX 40/40 challenge at the IDEA world Conference we attended in Los Angeles CA last August.  Here is what I did!

-Goal: TRX 40/40 challenge winning myself a new TRX!

-Program: I made myself a 4 week training program that I followed to allow me to build strength and work on the endurance needed to complete 40 TRX atomic pushups and 40 TRX low rows

-Goal Date: TRX had a booth at the IDEA tradeshow, and on the second day of the conference I signed up for the challenge!

-Outcome: SUCCESS! I completed the 40/40 which was a great feeling! (the TRX was just the ‘icing on the cake’ so to speak).

Pick a goal, make a plan, make it happen! You won’t regret it.

Here I am:)

Whitney’s TRX 40/40

Chicken Skewers with a peanut sauce

chicken skewers
Ingredients:

-1 red pepper

-skewer sticks

– thin stripes of Chicken breast (400 g in total for 6)

*Make the 6 skewers with 3 long chicken stripes per skewer, weaving them onto the skewer (this is way easier than you think!). Add the red pepper pieces at the end of each and grill or bake. For more flavour you can soak them in hot sauce or spray them with flavoured olive oil.

Ingredients for the satay sauce:
-Juice of two oranges

-3/4 cup of natural peanut butter

-Cayenne pepper

-Sea Salt
*If it’s too thick make it lighter with water

Serve the chicken squewers with this Satay sauce on the side.

Don’t let “The Wagon” run you over!

Don’t let “THE WAGON” run you over!

 

A common phrase when people derail from a nutrition plan goes a little like this, “Well, I fell off the wagon…and I didn’t get back on track so I gave up”.

 

OK, here’s the secret:

When you fall off the proverbial wagon you GET BACK ON or else the wagon will run you over (and it will hurt!).

That one bad choice can lead to a day, a couple days or a week of putting garbage into your body and slow down your progress, and really, who wants that?!

Depending on your goal, here are a few strategies to help you stay focused and keep your eye on the prize (your ultimate goal!).

  1. Give yourself a “free” meal or snack once a week so you can enjoy something you really love.  Have it, enjoy it, then go right back to your plan.
  2. Intermittent fasting is becoming increasing popular, and for good reason. Strategies such as including a high calorie day following by a fasting day give you more options to plan out and include food choices that wouldn’t be considered ‘eating clean’.  If you are interested in trying intermittent fasting work with a nutrition coach to help you create a plan.
  3. Speaking of nutrition coaches…hire a coach to help you on stay focused and be accountable for your food intake.  A coach might have you send them your daily intake or track your food selections in a journal. This is a great way to stay focused and keep track of your progress.  It is also a great way to stay motivated.
  4. ENJOY FOOD! There are SO many amazing clean eating recipes on the net (and on this page).  Experiment with food, try new things and you will be amazed at how eating clean can taste!

Grain and Gluten Free Pizza

This is a recipe that one of our Taylored Training Members shared with me – thanks Shannon!

Cauliflower Pizza!
1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
olive oil (optional)or other spices that you have handy 
To “Rice” the Cauliflower:
Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes (some microwaves are more powerful than others, so you may need to reduce this cooking time). There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself.
One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
To Make the Pizza Crust:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray or use olive oil with aluminum foil.
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9″ round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

For the tex mex pizza I used salsa as the base sauce, then spicy chicken, then red onions, red peppers, a couple tbsps of shredded cheddar, a tbsp of crumbled goat cheese. Place back in oven on broil for 5-6 min. then enjoy 

Gluten & Grain Free Pancakes!

pancakes

Ingredients:

-4 eggs

-1 cup unsweet. almond milk

-2 tsp vanilla extract

-1/2 cup coconut flour

-1 tsp baking soda

-1/2 tsp sea salt

-cinnamon (as much as you like)

 

Instructions:

-preheat pan over med-low heat

-beat eggs in a mixer until frothy and mix in almond milk and vanilla

-in another bowl combine coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt with the cinnamon and whisk

-combine both dry and wet mixes until coconut flour is mixed in (add in a little more coconut flour if you prefer your pancakes thicker)

-cook 2- 3minutes flip and cook another 2-3minutes