Friday, August 19, 2011

What's My Motivation?

As summer is winding down (where does the time go?!) with the days getting shorter, vacations wrapping up and kids getting ready to head back to school, many people start to think about getting back to the gym or a regular workout routine. Around September fitness classes start filling up and people start signing up for personal training (much like January 1st) and then... by the end of September many have given up on their "losing weight" and general fitness aspirations. I've witnessed this year after year and would like to offer some of my thoughts and observations on staying motivated to keep you on track with your goals.

1. Rome wasn't built in a day.

I recall seeing Richard Simmons long ago on TV when everyone was doing "aerobics". He was leading a class in an energetic series of leg and arm lifts (I think he still does these type of classes) and barking instructions. One of the things he said has always stuck in my mind as simple but so true--he said (these may not be the exact words but they were something to the effect of) "remember ladies, you didn't put it on in a week--you won't take it off in a week."

He was talking about weight of course, but this is also true for fitness -- you didn't become deconditioned in a week so don't expect to be back "in shape" in a week. One of the keys to sticking with your new fitness class and goals is to take it easy and go at a pace that you can maintain. If you're too sore to function the next day (i.e. you can't walk up stairs or getting out of bed is near impossible) then you did too much. And, if you attempt to try to keep up that sort of pace, you will most likely give up in frustration.

When WILL you see results? It depends on what you're doing and how often. If, for example, you start doing an activity like boot camp three mornings a week you may see fitness gains (improved cardiovascular function and increased muscle mass) and perhaps some weight loss in four to six weeks.

You need to stick with it! Your hard work will gradually pay off!

2. Build a habit of exercise into your life.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: It takes as many as 66 repetitions of any action to make it a habit. That means 66 classes or 66 days (in however many weeks) of exercising. Also, if you don't have something you really like to do, you are not going to build it into a habit. The best thing you can do is find something you really like doing. Exercise should not feel like a chore.

You don't like going to the gym or taking yoga classes? Fine. Walk in the park, skip a rope, ride a bike, or swim. If group activities are more likely to keep you motivated, join a fitness class, softball team or go bowling. If you can't get away from your house because you take care of kids, or don't drive or (insert excuse here) then do something at home--get an exercise DVD or use a Wii Fit; put on some great music and dance! Also, gardening, house cleaning, chasing kids and pets all qualify as exercise.

Try and do something active each day, it doesn't have to be an hour of an organized activity, which brings me to...

3. Every minute counts!

You don't have to have a set block of time to "exercise". Studies a few years ago showed that small amounts of exercise (as little as 10 minute sessions) count toward a cummulative total for the day--a 10 minute walk or jog to work and later 10 minutes of resistance training (could be weights, body weight, or resistance band exercises) with 20 minutes of gardening at another point and another 10 minutes to walk the dog add up to an hour of activity. Also recent studies show that "even15 minutes of exercise a day can improve health".

Get moving -- even small amounts of time spent exercising can be beneficial!

4. Exercise for the Right Reasons/Numbers on the scale are not important

This morning as we were doing bootcamp a guy who had come to the beach early to do some fishing stopped and chatted briefly (he sees us there all the time) and remarked that he was lucky because he was fond of cookies and he could eat all he wanted without gaining weight--implying he never needed to exercise. I didn't say anything at the time but pondered how often I hear this type of comment. I should have said that I do not exercise to lose weight--I exercise to keep fit. These are two very different things.

Exercising will lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, keep joints healthy and bones strong along with countless other health (both physical and mental) benefits. Staying trim is a nice benefit but it's certainly not the main reason for doing it.

Conversely, staying away from unhealthy foods should be more about wanting to stay healthy and lowering our risk of diabetes, heart disease and numerous other risks and less about how it affects our weight.

If you adopt healthy exercise and eating habits, generally, you'll feel better--and that is definately a great motivator.

Here's hoping you have a happy, healthy, active, fall season!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Buyer Beware

Periodically throughout my years as a fitness professional I have been approached by people/companies asking if I would like to carry various products that could assist my clients in losing weight and getting in shape. The premise, I suppose, is that these products will help you lose weight rapidly so that you? Feel better about yourself and THEN feel better about exercising? Make you lose weight so you will not have to work so hard or maybe you won't need to exercise at all? (It also means that, as a fitness/health professional, I have an extra source of revenue that does not involve my actual time.)

I can understand wanting to lose weight quickly and wanting to see results faster but the truth is there is not yet a magic bullet to weight loss or getting in shape. For lasting results, a 1 - 2 lb weight loss per week is safe and about what you can expect if you start to watch your calorie consumption and increase your level of exercise. If you're losing more than that, chances are you are either: a) exceptional, or, b) losing water weight which you will gain back once you stop starving yourself and go back to your regular eating habits.

I can also understand, as a self-employed person who relies on giving my time for my income, wanting to add "revenue streams". Personally, I have opted to source out locally designed and produced athletic clothing and other products I think are eco-friendly to offer my clients. This is by no means a huge money-maker but I feel really good being able to offer products that I use myself and take a lot of pride in representing. 

And, as for getting in shape, it takes time to form the habit of being active or eating healthfully (studies say 66 days to form a habit of any kind) and to gain muscle mass and improve your cardiovascular system takes slow and steady work if you've been sedentary for an extended period. The best way to do it is to find an activity you really enjoy doing and start doing it. You may have to try a few--walk, jog,  do yoga classes, get a dog, join a dragon boat / softball / soccer / roller derby team! Get a Wii Fit!

But I digress, back to the "products". I get the phone call asking if I'm interested. Maybe *shrug*... but I explain that I'm not a fan of "cleanses" -- I've never heard any conclusive evidence that anyone needs them... "no, it's not a cleanse"... "ok, then what is it?"... "well, watch the videos"... ok, fine, you can't explain what it is... I go to the web site and watch 3 promotional videos that never once actually say what the product is made of -- just that it's the nutritional equivalent of a truckload of food--and will fill you up and make you lose tons of weight--and there are all manner of testimonials like "I lost 80 pounds", etc. Oddly, a disclaimer on the bottom of the opening page states:

"* Results not typical. Healthy weight loss is 1–2 lbs. per week. Results vary by amount of weight you need to lose, diet, exercise, and adherence to the program. ***** products are not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Note: You should not take this product if you are pregnant or lactating, or using blood thinning medication. Please consult your physician prior to use..."

At least they're honest here. Ok, so you want me to invest in your MLM scheme with a product or products that are not only not necessary, but also not approved by the FDA (or the Canadian equivalent - Health Canada)? Righhhhtttt. I attempt to search the site further for more information--maybe I'm missing something--ingredient lists, calorie counts... anything... Nothing!

Here's how this particular distributorship works.

Now, to be fair, I didn't find any sites that said the products were not good or injured anyone. Just many, many sites talking about marketing, sales, revenue streams and bonuses, etc. This particular line (Body by Vi/Visalus--in case you hadn't figured it out yet), has all manner of bonuses and incentives--for example: when you get 3 friends to join you in "the challenge", you get your own months' supply of products free. And something about luxury car bonuses after a certain level? I would love a free car but I would love know how a company can afford to give you a BMW for selling some health products... this doesn't compute unless your product is grossly overpriced does it? (Apparently, the car is not quite free as you are offered a $600/month allowance toward your own BMW lease as long as you keep your sales up--and it only includes a certain model and you need to add their advertising).

But let's get onto some product prices. Here's a copy of text from one site I actually found with price lists:

Body By Vi Transformation Kit - The "Transformation" Kit is packed with the ultimate in shaping and nutritional ingredients to help you see and feel maximum results. This Kit contains a 30-day supply of everything needed to help transform your body for a healthier, happier you. Included in this weight loss kit: 2 (30-serving) pouches of Vi-Shape™ Nutritional Shake Mix; an assortment of our Health Flavors, to add flavor variety, and added health benefits to your shake,1 bottle of Vi-Slim™ Metab-Awake Tablets; 1 box of Vi-Trim™ Clear Control Drink Mix; 1 box of each flavor of ViSalus NEURO™ Smart Energy (Lemon Lift and Raspberry Boost flavors); and 1 bottle of our Vi-pak Omega Vitals capsules. Product Fact SheetPrice: $249.00/month

Firstly, what the heck is a "shaping ingredient"?

It does also come with on-line support, etc. But $250 (rounded up a dollar) per month for 2 daily shakes and vitamins with a safe weight loss of 1 - 2 lbs/week that you could do many other ways without paying this premium for and without starving yourself?

Personally, I like to know what's in my "meal replacements". I often have a smoothie in place of a meal when I'm too busy to make something else, and will include frozen fruit, wheat germ, yogurt, almond milk and a banana. You could also include things like protein powder (though I don't see this as necessary for the majority of people) flax, soy/hemp/coconut milk, hemp hearts, vegetables... the list is endless, totally customizable to your own body and resources and, once you have a routine down for doing it, relatively inexpensive and easy. Here's a link to 101 Protein Shake Recipes!
That's not the pretty, tidy little package that could arrive at your door complete with a box of promises and additional revenue stream for whomever sold it to you but, with the money you save, you could invest in a few months of an exercise class to get you into an active habit, monthly sessions with a personal trainer to keep you on track, or a good bike to ride to buy your shake supplies at the local grocery!

(If you are considering any extreme diet modification and/or diet products I strongly urge you to go over the ingredients/plans with your doctor to ensure the product/plan is safe for you.)

Ed: Well, this post was marked "spam" by someone on FB. I stand by this post--I did as much research as I possibly could and posted only after long consideration and due diligence. I absolutely invite you to comment with your experiences--good, bad or indifferent. I would love to hear more points of view on this product or any other diet products you may have tried!

Ed2: One of my readers also noted that this company is not a member of the Direct Selling Association which companies such as Avon, Shaklee, Tupperware and others belong to - check out Thanks Melina!

Another thread on ViSalus at:

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

June already?

Ok, so... you're probably all wondering what happened to the "month of eating clean." Well, it actually continued--I just got too busy to post with weekends away and trying to get caught up on everything once I was back... not to mention... well, there are a million reasons/excuses.

Suffice it to say I was successful in changing my general eating habits in some ways including:
  • Started drinking more water -- 10 or more cups/day
  • Stopped having that glass of wine with dinner during the week
  • Made a conscious effort to have healthier snacks on hand such as low-fat cottage cheese and trail mix
  • Made a conscious effort to remember to have a multi-vitamin everyday--I also have an extra "D" vitamin daily...
  • I also instituted "meatless Mondays" in our house (there's just 2 of us and I do the majority of the cooking so that was easy)
And, although my body-fat ratio stayed where it was, I did notice more energy and better sleep patterns. Dramatic change? Maybe not, but sometimes you need to make small changes that you can incorporate into your daily life to make a significant change for the long run.

I'll be elaborating on that in coming posts ;-) Until then, Happy June!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

So this is what a "day off" looks like!

Ah.... Sunday! If you've been following along this month (from the beginning of the month), you'll know that it was my intention to post daily about "eating clean". I'm not trying to lose weight, I'm trying to lose some body fat and get a little leaner for *ahem* something happening at the end of the month--and I'm also seeing if cleaning up my eating habits gives me more energy and how hard or easy this whole process is!

Anyone who knows me knows how busy I am--teaching classes, personal training sessions, teaching voice lessons, writing, roller derby reffing... oh yeah, I'm also in the process of recording a jazz/R&B cd. Busy!

So, I did have good intentions of posting daily and, along with sharing with you the daily trials and tribulations of this "cleaning up my eating habits" exercise, I wanted to post food facts and maybe recipes... I'm afraid I just get busy sometimes though and cannot be regular with this (the posting, that is ;-). Nevertheless, I'll continue...

Since my last post I think I've been pretty good about staying on track--not having my usual glass of wine with dinner during the week, drinking far more water, making an effort to "mix it up" a bit with snacking during the day--I've been having a half of a Cliff Bar before my morning workouts and picked up some low-fat cottage cheese to have for lunch... when I'm away from home (nearly every weekend), I choose sushi and try to pick healthy options where I can. I think I could write a book on trying to eat clean in shopping mall food courts though!

In any case... I'll continue to post as I can--and please let me know how you are doing and if you have any food questions!

Random Food Example of the Week: A couple of nights in the past week we had home made pizza--yummy! Thin whole grain crust piled with cooked ground turkey and veggies (mushrooms, peppers, artichoke hearts, fresh spinach, onions, sun dried tomatoes) topped with herbed feta--very little tomato sauce as a base... this pizza was big enough for 2 dinners for 2 of us!

Last night we were at a friends for dinner -- a very lovely organic chicken with roasted veggies, a green salad and french bread... and a glass or 2 of wine. Tonight we're out for dinner again... and watching hockey...

I have noticed that with this combination of drinking more water, remembering to take my vitamins, not consuming alcohol on weeknights and cutting out white flour and sugar; I seem to have slept much better in the past couple of weeks--and that has definitely given me more energy early in the day... I'm still pretty tired by late afternoon but I suppose that's to be expected when I'm doing as many classes as I am and sometimes staying up late.

One thing you may have noticed in my food entries is a lack of fruit. Unfortunately I have a sensitivity to acidic foods--something I share with everyone in my family--and find that eating those foods too often has undesirable effects :( Which is a drag because I LOVE oranges, apples, pineapples, strawberries... so I limit my intake of fruit although I do have a fair amount of dried fruit and eat blueberries and other berries as often as possible.

More later...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

*le sigh* It was a busy weekend. As for the "eating clean" ... well, let's just say I did the best I could considering I was out on the town and staying with a good friend... who loves to feed his guests... and he apparently loves to get up at 5 in the morning to take unbaked croissants out of the freezer so they'll rise by the time the guests get up so we can all have freshly baked pastries with our excellent coffee in the morning. In cases such as this manners take a front seat to personal food needs ;0

I did, however, manage to have only a couple of drinks the entire weekend despite being at a practice Friday night that ended in the curling club lounge, a derby bout Saturday night and an anniversary with my sweetie.

As for other food... hmmm... Saturday we went to a Chinese Won Ton place for lunch--shared a bowl of won ton and prawns with broccoli and rice--it was still pretty fat-laden... after the bout we went for sushi...

Sunday, after the crossant and coffee I visited Costco before heading to the ferry home... got a jar of organic almond butter and some Cliff Bars--one of which I had while waiting for the ferry--which was pretty much lunch.

This, to me, is the heart of Costco...
As I missed my anniversary with my sweetie on Saturday to ref at the TCRG bout in Vancouver, we went out for dinner on Sunday evening to Molly's Reach... I had a totally not clean eating approved lamb burger with half salad and half fries... also had a glass of wine.

Monday I was back on track with my usual breakfast... grilled cheese sandwich for lunch (not so bad on multi-grain bread in a non-stick pan) although regular cheese has a fair amount of fat.

Dinner was steamed wild rock fish (in a steamer pot with a little lemon, soy, chives and honey) with brown rice and steamed carrots and broccoli...

Friday, May 06, 2011


I'm heading off for a weekend in Vancouver of  skating/reffing... more when I get back--we'll see how I do through the after party ;-) l8tr sk8trs!

Thursday, May 05, 2011


If there's one thing I like, it's empirical evidence! With that in mind I'll share with you my starting digits (as of today at least as I didn't manage to do this on the 1st!). I'm not a calorie counter or someone who cares so much about weight in lbs., so I am not sharing with you my weight--suffice it to say my weight is what it should be for an active person of my age.

In my studio I use a bio-impedence scale to measure weight and body fat ratio (one of my clients has lovingly dubbed this the "porkometer"). As this is an upper-end, home-use scale and not a more commercial model, the results should really be taken only as a rough guide--there is a much higher degree of inaccuracy with these--but, if you do your testing at the same time of the day each time, before coffee  or other liquids and (if you're a woman who still has their cycle--I am through with those myself) at the same time in your monthly cycle, then it can be useful to see the differences over some period of time. I recently stepped onto a more commercial version of this scale at our local health fair and had pretty much the same result so I'm going to assume mine is relatively accurate.

This morning I weighed in at 19.7 % fat -- and this is a little lower than the healthy range for my age group (40 - 59 years). The healthy range for us is, apparently, 23 - 34% (ed: by "healthy" I mean "average"--not necessarily active). For men in this age group it's 11 - 22%. My bf, whose only exercise these days is occasional walks and short stints on our exercise bike weighed in at 23%. Women in the 20 - 39 years age group should be somewhere between 21 and 33%. Athletes (women) will sometimes be as low as 14% for women (any lower can be dangerous) and 8% for men. There are, of course, always exceptions to these rules.

From the American Council on Exercise:

General Body Fat Percentage Categories

Classification Women (% fat) Men (% fat)
Essential Fat 10-12% 2-4%
Athletes 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-25%
Obese 32% plus 25% plus

*American Council on Exercise

I'm going to see if I can move mine down a couple of percent over the remainder of the month--I'm also pushing myself a little harder in my workouts--which consist, this month, of 5 fitness classes per week, at least a couple of hours of roller skating and some additional weight training as time allows.

...oh, yeah, as for food yesterday...

Breakfast: switched to almond butter on my toast just to mix it up. Coffee.
Lunch: Oatmeal with blueberries, nuts and raw sugar.
Snack: 1 Tim Bit (they were sitting on the counter of my hairdressers! Couldn't avoid it!)
Snack: Yogurt with fruit on the bottom
Dinner: Chicken salad (chopped organic chicken breast, shredded carrot, organic greens, red pepper) spritzed with balsamic and olive oil; 2 slices of whole grain toast, 1 square of dark chocolate.... ;0

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Time fries... er, flies... when you're having fun!

First of all, what the heck did I do yesterday? There was quite a bit of running around followed by yoga in the evening and then a long stint on the couch watching The Voice--which I'm enjoying... as for food yesterday... hmmm...

I started with my usual toast and coffee and then off to pick up my first client...
... a lovely woman who is training for the Summer Special Olympics in Greece in a couple of months. I pick her up and take her home after her sessions but as soon as she's in my car when I pick her up, she asks if we can get coffee when we're done ;-) So our routine is to drop into the local Starbucks after her workout, where I get her a tall coffee and I sometimes get tea... and usually an oat bar. On this day I opted for only this picture.

It's lucky that I don't like most of their baked treats--they're just really not that good! ...except for the pumpkin scone which, although on the dry side, still manages to get my attention--it's just lucky they don't have them year-round! Here's a link to the calorie count/nutritional info -- this is for a "120" gram serving but I'd bet my muffin top that those servings are a lot bigger than that!

After dropping her off, I headed home and, for lunch, I went with a couple of eggs and the rest of the yam that I'd steamed the night before--ok, if I wanted to get really serious about "clean" I might have just eaten the egg whites. But that's just silly.

Headed off to my second client of the day who resides at an elderly care home and then to an appointment in Sechelt... after which I did stop for a Rooibos tea latte at Starbucks -- definately not clean-diet approved with a couple of shots of vanilla syrup...

For dinner I did a roasted organic chicken with celery, carrots, whole garlic cloves, and onions. I drizzled a small amount of olive oil over the veggies and used lots of herbs. I added mushrooms in the last 5 minutes. I had 1/2 a breast (skin removed) and my bf had a wing and drumstick and we saved the rest for today.
The vegetables do pick up some fat from the chicken during roasting--although organic chicken does not seem have as much fat as a regular one, so, to make this a really "clean" meal I could have roasted the vegetables separately but I love having everything in one dish... and it was really good.

...later I had a yogurt with fruit on the bottom... and a square of dark chocolate.

A couple of things I have also been doing in the last few days since starting this eating blog fest:

I've been making a concerted effort to drink more water... at LEAST 8 cups a day--I keep a filled Britta filter jug next to the kitchen sink with a glass and have a cup almost every time I go to the sink. Drinking water is so important--even more so when you're active!

According to Wiki (random search) it "is your body's most important nutrient, is involved in every bodily function, and makes up 70- 75% of your total body weight. Water helps you to maintain body temperature, metabolize body fat, aids in digestion, lubricates and cushions organs, transports nutrients, and flushes toxins from your body." Read the whole article here.

The other thing I've been doing is remembering to take a multi-vitamin and vitamin D supplement daily. I know many people recommend many things but I prefer to get my nutrients from natural sources. We don't, however, get enough sun most of the year here to absorb enough Vitamin D naturally, and *shrug* it never hurts to cover your bases with a multi-vitamin because, personally, I'm sure I'm not getting everything I need from the variety of food I eat.'s menu selections tomorrow as it's late and I also need to get more sleep these days!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Yesterday... all my troubles seemed so far away...

My weekdays start early and are generally quite busy--yesterday was one of those. I started off with a 6:30 am boot camp in my studio... now, when you're active you should eat something before you engage in a strenuous workout. For the last few months I have not eaten before my early morning class--that would be fine if I wasn't doing the entire class with the class... but I am, so it's just silly. The reason I stopped eating something beforehand was I usually rushed through my usual toast with peanut butter and coffee (at 6 am) before running off to my class and I would rather take a little time to enjoy my first (and only) coffee of the day. Clearly, I have to find something else to have before my class so that I have enough energy to get through it at the level I would like!

I always recommend people have something before working out--something that includes a small serving of carbs with a little protein and easy to digest--a piece of toast or a couple of crackers with peanut (or other nut) butter, an apple with peanut butter, a small amount of granola with milk or a granola bar... one suggestion from the nutrition class the other day was a half glass of fruit juice mixed with water.

So... class... toast and coffee... 2nd class at 10 am (covering for someone) at the local rec. centre before coming home and having "lunch" -- a bowl of oatmeal with organic blueberries (which I have on-hand frozen), a mix of nuts with dried cranberries and a little raw sugar...

In the afternoon I had a pedicure followed by a meeting at one of our most popular places for meeting... Wheatberries, an excellent bakery/coffee shop. And hence the reason for the muffin at the top of the post. It was maybe 3 hours after lunch and I was starving... I thought I would order soup while there but, alas, they were sold out... which leaves many choices of fabulous-looking muffins, scones, cookies, and cakes... all high-fat, sugary--and definitely not on the "clean" list--I LOVE their raspberry muffins and, had I not been trying to eat well this month, would have gotten a muffin or piece of carrot cake, but I settled for a less offensive decaf, skinny latte. So this experiment has already made me notice how often I go for those types of foods...

I did, however, go home and have another couple of pieces of whole grain toast with peanut butter (are we seeing a pattern here?) before heading off to class #3--Butts & Guts-- at 5:30 at the rec. centre.

I arrived back home after class and (a stop to vote) to make dinner--in my effort to eat more vegetables I chose some organic local greens spritzed with balsamic, a piece of halibut (grilled) topped with a teaspoon of sweet chili sauce, half a steamed yam and half a red pepper lightly sauteed (I used a little olive oil in a non-stick pan for the halibut and pepper).
Oops, slightly blurry...
Portion sizes are one of the biggest downfalls of our North American diet--it's important to remember that, for example, a single serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand--the portion size of my halibut yesterday was approximately 1 and a half that but it was actually the smallest piece available at the supermarket at the time... and I was starving. Lesson of the first two days is start stocking and carrying around healthy things to snack on during the day.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Day 1... (drum roll)

Ok, this was a tough day to start this in some ways. First of all, I was up at 4:30 am so that I could catch a 6:20 am ferry to Van. And I did not leave myself enough time to prepare any food to take with me--not even to throw some granola mix in a to-go container... I did, however, have my usual breakfast--a cup of coffee (with cream and raw sugar) and 2 pieces of multi-grain toast with peanut butter and a little honey...

...headed out to the league practice at UBC for 9am -- and no time (especially being on the bus) to stop anywhere--especially in light of the fact that I didn't have a clue where I was going so wanted to give myself plenty of time to find it. Getting off the bus there was a Shoppers Drug Mart that was luckily open so I grabbed a bottle of water and a bag of trail mix with cranberries... not the best but I knew that after a couple hours of skating I'd need something...

The cup is actually from the ferry on the way home--more water!
...after practice there was, coincidentally, a workshop on nutrition and injury prevention (which I'll say more about later--don't have time for a long post at the moment) at the new digs of -- we headed there, but on the way we stopped to pick up sushi--despite the abundance of white rice in the rolls, it's not a bad choice... and a side of gommae (spinach with a sesame sauce) and green tea...

After the workshop I strolled down Main Street for a while--funny how I notice the abundance of hamburger places, bakeries and coffee shops all of a sudden... I stopped for a skinny, decaf latte before heading out to do some shopping and heading home... decided to wait until I got home to have dinner--one of the things I was reminded about at the workshop was how I seldom eat the daily recommended servings of fruit and vegetables so, opted for a dinner of veggies and quinoa...
Above is my favorite appliance--it's a rice cooker which I use almost daily--it's also great for quinoa and oatmeal--this one also has a handy steamer which I use to steam veggies as my rice or quinoa is cooking--you could also use it for steamed fish dishes... doing carrots in it here...

...and some organic swiss chard--I just wash it and then throw it in a non-stick pan with the water on the leaves, a tiny bit of olive oil and some minced garlic and saute until the leaves are just wilted... season with lemon pepper...
...and that was it for dinner...

I did nibble that entire package of trail mix during the day... and, after dinner, had a square of dark chocolate.

And now off to prepare for an early morning (6:30 am) bootcamp class...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Month of "Eating Clean"

So, (as Randy from American Idol likes to say)... here's the thing. Someone on my FB list mentioned wanting to "eat clean" and the only thing she was eating these days was tuna on salad... I gave a few suggestions but I'm not a nutrition expert (very few personal trainers are BTW--if they say they are--ask for credentials!). I have, however, been a fitness professional for some years and, although my eating habits are pretty good, they could be better. I also have a few reasons for wanting to lean up in the next month (I won't get into that right now though I may have something to share toward the end of May ;-)

So, what I'm a gonna do is... try to eat as cleanly as possible for the next month--this should be long enough to develop better eating habits and also gauge if this does anything for my: energy level, lean to fat ratio and, though this is not my major concern, weight.

I'd appreciate if you: follow along; try it yourself with me; give helpful, friendly suggestions and recipes... or some combination of the preceding.

I'm not extreme about anything--I am going to be realistic about this and allow myself the occasional indulgence--I'll try and keep this to about 10% or less. I don't plan to give up my (1 a day) coffee with cream and sugar, or a glass or 2 of wine on a weekend. Other than that, I will make a concerted effort to cut down on white sugar or white flour products (I don't eat much of those now anyway), fast foods, fatty foods, and a minimal amount of dairy products. I will try to find more creative things to do with vegetables and lean meats and fish and share these with you and let you know my progress.

I'm starting May 1st! Here we go...