10 Fitness Tips from North Americas Top Trainers

1. Follow the 80-20 rule, Eat whole unprocessed health food 80% of the time and occasionally treat yourself. “Jillian Michaels”

2. It takes 28 days to change a habit, and one of the best ways to shift a bad habit is to replace it consistently with a healthy choice. “Mandy Ingber”

3. Eat 30-50 grams of fibre per day. “Bob Harper”

4. Learn how to soak, ferment and sprout as part of your cooking regimen. “Ben Greenfield”

5. No matter who you are or what you do, you probably sit too much. You can—and should—try to sit less. “Kelly Starrett”

6. You can’t out train a BAD diet. “Dolvette Quince”

7. Fast for 12- 16 hours each night. “David Zinczenko”

8. Eat a large glass of water before EVERY meal. “Bob Harper”

9. Break through or break down. Rather than back away, throw yourself into a high-intensity workout. “Mandy Ingber”

10. For anybody looking to transform, you have to implement small changes, and allow them to develop over time. “Chris Powell”

How to take a vitamin and actually absorb it

tips for taking vitamins

Get your vitamins and minerals from a healthy diet…If you can. When you eat an orange your not just getting the vitamin C, it actually has over 28 different elements plus fibre and water that all work together perfectly in order to be absorbed and beneficial to your body.  Its impossible to isolate a single vitamin or nutrient and think it will work the same way as real food does.

However – almost all doctors recommend taking a multi vitamin because almost all people don’t eat a properly balanced diet.  People who take a multi hope that it will act as a nutritional insurance policy, but there has been some debate as to whether or not vitamins are even absorbed by the body.  I’ve always taken supplements off and on but lately I’ve wondered if they are really doing anything or am I just wasting my money? I decided to do a bit of research and here’s what I learned:

- Many one a day multis are tightly packed into a capsule so that they can be easily swallowed but the problem with this is that they then cannot be broken down by your stomach, X-Ray technicians often see these pills far from the stomach.

1. Crush your vitamins, or take them in liquid form for better absorption.

2. Avoid taking your multi with milk as it blocks the absorption of iron.

3. Taking them with OJ actually increases your absorption thanks to the vitamin C.

4. Water-soluble vitamins such as B and C are more easily absorbed, but most vitamins are fat soluble, so taking them with dietary fat will enhance absorption, try to take your vitamins with meals, or a tsp. of good oil.

5. Many brands contain unnecessary additives, fillers, sweeteners, preservatives and artificial colors.

Research your brands CAREFULLY.

Cooking Grains: Cheat Sheet

how to cook grainsWhen I first started preparing my meals at home from scratch I was intimidated to cook grains, so in this post I’ve written a simple cheat sheet on how to cook some of the healthier grains plus some of their nutritional benefits.

Quinoa- A major super food, quinoa is the only grain that is considered a complete protein with all 9 amino acids. It has a nutty taste and can be substituted in any dish that you would typically use rice for.

Rinse the grains until the water remains clear, then put in a pot with 2 parts liquid for every 1-part grain. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, (you will know its done when there is no excess liquid left over) take off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Fry up some shrimp with veggies in a pan while the quinoa is cooking then mix it all together and you have a healthy great tasting meal in less then 30 minutes.

 Cous Cous- Cous Cous is usually seen in a lot of ethnic dishes, but is a great alternative to pasta containing twice as much riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate, plus it contains four times as much thiamin and pantothenic acid then traditional semolina pasta.

This is one of the quickest grains you can make, just boil 1.5 parts of either broth or water, take off the heat and add one part cous cous, then cover and let sit for five or so minutes, finally fluff with a fork and add a little splash of olive oil.

For a cold salad mix together some oil and vinegar to create an instant dressing, mix in some chickpeas and bell peppers with the cous cous, toss with your dressing and refrigerate

 Brown Rice- Choosing brown over white rice gives you 4 times more fiber, 2 times more potassium and more than double the amount of Vitamin B per serving, plus its gluten free for anyone with a wheat allergy. The prep method below can be used for both short and long grain brown rice.

First rinse your rice! Then combine 1 part rice to 1.5 parts liquid. Bring to a boil then reduce heat put a lid on and simmer for 25 minutes.

To make any grain taste WAY better I highly recommend cooking with an organic broth rather than water.

To create a creamier dish after the grain is cooked add a couple of tablespoons of greek yogurt.

6 High Protein Low Cal Snacks

Simple 2 ingredient high protein low calorie snack ideas, great for post work-out!

5 Guidelines for Eating that I know are true… for sure.

rules of clean eating

With every new piece of dieting advice comes a new contradiction, after reading countless diet books, wading through hundreds of studies and…watching Dr OZ every day (of course!) I have boiled all that food advice down into these 5 guidelines.

      1.  Most Importantly if you do nothing else…..EAT REAL FOOD!

Really try to stay away from anything in a box or processed, shop the outer perimeter of the grocery store. So choosing chicken breast over prefrozen nuggets, or a real potato over the boxed stovetop kind. Don’t eat packaged diet food, its not real food and it will just mess you up. I could go on and on but please just eat real food and that’s most of the battle, your body will begin to regulate itself once in understands the fuel your putting in.

  1. Buy organic/no spray, ESPECIALLY YOUR MEAT

You know I’m not completely sold on the whole Paleo lifestyle, although they have many good points and what I agree with the most is making sure your meat and vegetables (but more importantly meat because you can wash vegetables) is organic. I have never been inside of an industrialized farm- but I have watched many a documentaries and the stuff they give to livestock is nasty, and toxic. You don’t want that in your or your family’s body. Plus the way they treat animals is so sad.  I know its more expensive but my response to that would be to eat less meat but of higher quality.

  1. Eat Less Meat

This is not just the yogi in me, eating less meat is directly linked to a substantial reduction in heart disease. Heart disease is the biggest killer of human beings, taking more lives each year then even cancer.  Speaking of cancer those who followed a vegetarian diet were also less prone to certain cancers,  (by the British Journal of Cancer) they think either because the high fat content increases the hormones in our bodies that trigger cancerous cells to grow, or because of the hormones contained in the actual meat itself. There’s a lot more research but I’ll save it for another post, the take away here is add more vegies to your diet and reduce the meat. (And there are a tons of plant based sources)

  1. Avoid Processed Wheat

Now notice I didn’t say Glutton Free, although if you can handle that all the more power to you. Most studies have found that eliminating wheat greatly reduces inflammation in the body. Sadly Canada has some of the worst wheat in the world, its 99 percent genetically modified and in almost everything. Food manufactures love to use it as filler because its cheap and addictive. For many people going glutton free is said to clear rashes, improve digestion and aid in weight loss, but it takes a while for the main protein to clear your system about 3-4 months, so stick with it if you are experiencing any of those side effects. To be clear I still eat artisan/organic sprouted grain bread and wraps on occasion but my feeling is that since its not GMO or sprayed it would likely have a different effect then the traditional stuff on your body. The point is to be conscious about your consumption of wheat products and to eat sparingly.

  1. Consume Dairy in Moderation

Many people think beans are the most difficult food to digest, but turns out that’s not true. A recent study (as seen on Dr Oz) determined that the most difficult things for humans to digest is actually dairy products, mainly due to a protein called casein, its also been shown to increase inflammation in the body, and creates excess mucus.

Disclaimer!

I feel like it always has to be all or nothing, most diet plans say no meat, or no dairy or no carbs ect, but life doesn’t have to be black and white, I think most of us live in a “grey” area. The key is moderation,  follow the 80/20 rule- eat good most of the time but leave an allowance for the occasional indulgence.  Plus if you live a healthy lifestyle most of the time your body is able to heal itself when you don’t make the “right” choice… just remember point one (Eat Real Food!)