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Four Favourites

5 Apr

This past week has been full of professional and personal excitement. Beauty and the Bod programs are starting to really take shape – literally! I couldn’t be more proud of what’s about to come. Thanks for being patient with Bod Squad sign-ups. We’re almost up with our new site!

I love Easter weekend. Really any holiday that focuses on chocolate and mini eggs is good in my books. I’m leaving tomorrow to visit my cottage in Grand Bend for the weekend. I hope to get in a few trail/beach runs and I also hope to follow some long chocolate trails. I hope you all have a great weekend!

{Easter “Eggs”: Mango frozen yogurt served inside half a Kinder Surprise for an Easter dessert!}

 

{My mom told me about this longevity calculator here, it will predict how long you will live for! I made it to 92.}.

{Gandhi’s guide to changing the world}

{To clarify this workout is a favourite thing … and this body is a bonus. Click here to take the workout with you to the gym!}

Four Favourites

30 Mar

{Sneak peak at my new logo!}

It’s hard to put into words how much I appreciate you for watching this blog grow with me. I am truly humbled at your interest and I thank you for spending time with me each day. It’s time for a blog lift and I’m so excited to launch the new and improved format very soon. As always I want to hear your comments and feedback. I hope you all have a great weekend!

{Weekend cappuccinos at Dark Horse Espresso Bar}

{New Brooks Glycerin 8 = fresh meat. I go through running shoes faster than most people go through toilet paper.}

{Amazing candle, this makes the entire apartment smell like a cookie.}

 

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

29 Mar

I LOVE Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. In fact, I love all things chocolate and peanut butter. Unfortunately my thighs and skin don’t take as well to milk chocolate and unnatural peanut butter.

I made these organic dark chocolate (70% cocoa) and almond butter cups earlier this week for a dinner and they were delicious little treats – and so easy!

Ingredients:
Makes 16 little mini cups

1 cup organic dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup almond butter

Directions:

Melt half of the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds
Fill a mini cup-liner halfway with chocolate. Make sure you smush it around so that it covers the entire lining. Put them in the freezer for at least 20 minutes or until hard.
Take out the cups and put about a 1/4 tsp of almond butter in each cup.
Freeze this for about 4 hours.
Then add the final layer of melted chocolate to the top and put in the freezer.

Bring them out and refrigerate before you serve them. The key is the mini cup, the normal sized ones don’t bite down as well.

Bon Appetit!

Toaster Toss

26 Mar

When Matt and I moved into to our apartment we focused on the essentials: record player: check, exercise equipment: check, pretty bowls for serving food: check!

Ok so not totally.

One “essential” that we didn’t include was a toaster. It wasn’t a conscious decision. I was looking around for a pretty one and of course Matt, my forever thrifty boyfriend was happy not to spend any more money.

Our bread consumption dropped tenfold. I went from making toast every morning and sandwiches for lunch to now almost never having any bread. At first I did miss it a bit, but not really enough to warrant buying a new toaster. There is a loaf of bread in our freezer that has been there for almost three months and I’m not the least bit interested.

What I have noticed is how much better my constitution works. Once a day, like clockwork – this did not happen when I was eating toast all the time. It would be more like every three days which now I can’t believe.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not totally done with bread. I don’t believe in food extremism. I find when I cut something out entirely I often overeat other foods to compensate. So bread is still ok but what I am done with making it part of my regular daily diet. We still make our own homemade pizzas once a week for date night and I will have a sandwich once a week if I’m out somewhere and it looks really good.

I’m a big believer in making your life easy to be healthy and difficult to be unhealthy. It’s now more difficult for me to turn on the oven and broil toast the bread than it is to make a salad.

So toss your toasters! Or just move it out of sight for a few weeks and see if you miss it.

What is “skinny-fat”?

19 Mar

“Skinny fat” is a buzz term for what has been scientifically named “normal weight obesity.”

A skinny fat looks decent in clothing but once some of it comes off, it’s not too pretty.

Research has shown that many people with an average body weight are harboring dangerously high body fat percentages due to lack of exercise and poor diet.

If possible have a professional measure your body composition. I do this for all my clients, it’s so important to track progress. Normal range men fall under 20% and women under 30%. I’ve measured my body composition most recently at 16% putting me in a ultra lean category for females but my BMI says I’m normal. I’ve measured clients with underweight BMIs who have abnormally high body fat % in comparison.

Don’t rely just on the scale! Track your measurements (chest, waist, hip, arms, thighs) and follow them closely.

How to avoid being “skinny-fat”:

  • Exercise! Not just cardio because this alone does little to help muscle tone.
  • Incorporate resistance training, doesn’t have to be weight training but adding strengthening exercises like a plank, or jump squats will go a long way!
  • Stop drinking alcohol – it doesn’t help your cause. Alcohol fat is unattractive.
  • Stop smoking. It’s ugly and it’s ugly on your body.

Food Volume

16 Mar

Our daily food volume has more than doubled over the last 50 years.

When you order an XL coffee at Tim Hortons they basically hand over the entire pot!

To see a change in your body you have to change your diet, it’s at least 50% of the equation if not more. I have one client who is drastically changing his diet. The biggest thing he’s noticing is the difference in the volume of food he used to eat vs. now. He is just amazed now at how little he can eat and still stay satisfied.

World famous chef, Wolfgang Puck has a great line about food volume. He says that a perfect meal is one that you could happily make love immediately afterward.

When I was growing up I was always told to clear off my plate. I’d eat until I was stuffed. I think this strategy worked for kids in the 1950s but the problem with eating until we are full now is that our plates are too big. The more I ate, the more my capacity for food volume increased and the bigger I got. I used to eat more than the rest of my family combined, now I’m on par with everyone or sometimes less.

When I was traveling through Thailand and South East Asia last year I was blown away by their portion sizes; they were tiny! At the beginning of the trip I was often tempted to order two servings but that would have been pretty embarrassing so I didn’t. After about a week I got used to it and really loved feeling light after every meal. When I came back to England we went out for classic fish and chips. After the dinner I almost keeled over, literally stuffed to the brim and I couldn’t even finish half!

Reducing your total food volume will guaranteed reduce your waistline. The only two things we need to consume in excess are water and green leafy veggies!

Tips I use to cut back on food volume:

  • Small people order smalls, large people order larges
  • Skip over the appetizers at dinner, it’s basically an extra meal, if one looks really good I’ll order two appetizers sometimes instead of a main
  • Put food on smaller plates at home
  • Tell myself that it’s not the end of the world if I’m hungry, I know I can always find food quickly

Four Favourites

14 Mar

{Blend into your surroundings with this super cute bike lock! Only in Japan.}

{It’s their time of year again! Hyacinths have the best smell}

+

= Amazing healthy treat

{Frozen blueberries with one tablespoon of maple syrup drizzled over top}

{Yoga motivation video – sequel to the original}

I’m off to Halifax for a March break long weekend! I’m meeting up with my super fun sister Lindsay so we should have some great videos and how-tos for you! Check back for daily updates!