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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!}

What your poo says about you

3 Apr

The ideal poo is a type 3 or 4. Once or twice a day.

Regular poo type 3 and 4 is something that I now proudly can say I have but it’s also something I’ve certainly had my own struggles with … ok you’re all going to know WAY too much about me after this post.

When I was a kid I grew up in a household that firmly believed we shouldn’t eat junk food. To compensate for this harsh stance we were allowed unlimited amounts of fruits and veggies and I really took that unlimited to heart.

When I was around ten I got into the habit of eating anywhere from six to eight apples a day! I was a hungry kid and hey – they’re healthy right? At school one day I almost keeled over due to severe stomach pain. I had to be rushed to the hospital it was so bad. I was minutes away from being operated on to remove my appendix when the doctor asked when the last time was I went to the washroom. Initially I thought, ‘what a weird question’ but then I honestly couldn’t remember going number two in weeks. I’ll end the story here.

Basically I got that all cleared up and now I pay attention to my bowels and so should you! Especially if you’re trying to lose weight if you digestive system isn’t working like clockwork then you’re going to have a lot more difficulty dropping the pounds.

Here’s what I do now to say in the good poo books:

  • I have at least 2L of water everyday
  • I never have more than one apple a day … I guess one keeps the doctor away but take it from me eight will send you straight to the hospital
  • I take psyllium husk supplement drink if I’m having trouble (so gross but works)
  • Exercising regularly really helps keep things regular

If you’re over 50 and haven’t had your annual colonoscopy pick up the phone and get it over with. Uncomfortable for an hour but I’ve unfortunately seen what happens if you leave it too long, it can save your life.

How Long Will it Take to get in Shape?

2 Apr

I get this question all the time.

And truthfully I always answer, “the rest of your life.”

Back in October I started training this lady named Paula. Paula is a Brazilian bombshell and she often reminds me of Gloria from Modern Family – right down to the accent! When I met Paula our goal was to get her fit for her trip home to Brazil for Christmas. We worked on what we called “Project Brazil” three times per week for 12 weeks and boy was Paula ready. She lost about 7 lbs of fat and over 20 inches – her shape really transformed into a long and lean body – even more bombshell!

When Paula came back from her trip the plan was to cut out workouts with me. Paula realized, like many of us have that unfortunately there’s no box you can tick that will keep you fit without exercise. You have to keep going – forever! After about a week without me I got the e-mail, let’s keep going! We still workout together twice a week, now with a friend with a similar fitness level and the same type of intensity. When I train clients we have fun but it’s also totally focused. Paula’s old workouts used to consist of her walking on the treadmill at a 4.0 for 40 minutes. Last week I had her running intervals at a 10.0! She can easily do 40 real push-ups, compared to the eight we started with. Pretty soon Paula is going to start training me.

So keep going! Workouts are something you will have to do for the rest of your life so they should be fun. Start your own Project x and let me know how it goes!

How to Train for a 10k

27 Mar

When I was in high school I had the pleasure of running with the University of Toronto junior development track team. I’ve asked a friend and fellow (much faster) U of T runner, Jackie Todd for her tips on how to prepare for a 10k! Here’s what Jackie suggests:

The weather is getting warmer, the birds are chirping and it is time to get running! I know many people put running (especially outdoors) on hold over the winter, but it is time to put on those shoes and get out the door!

Along with the summer come a ton of road races and fun runs. Here is a quick and simple guide to prepping for a summer full of running!

  1. Work up the mileage. The golden rule of mileage is never add more than 10% per week. It is important to remember that our bodies need to get accustomed to new or increased amounts of exercise. If you are new to running a great goal is to run a total of 10k (3-4k a day), second week up to 15k (4-5k a day) and work up from there.  Go at your own pace and keep challenging yourself! If you are already an avid runner and are confident running 10k, then work on gradually decreasing your 10k time throughout the summer, you can do this by introducing interval workouts.
  2. Rest. It is important to remember that our bodies need rest! Running every day, especially for new runners may lead to fatigue and injury. Make sure you take at least 1 or 2 days off running each week.  Your body will thank you!
  3. Variety, variety, variety. Running the same loop at the same pace every day may get really boring, really fast. Instead, try switching up routes so that you have at least 3 to work from.  As well, add some intervals into your runs! Try this to start: 1 minute running hard, 1 minute running easy, repeat 5-10 times.  Remember to always do a 5-10 minute warm-up before any interval workout!
  4. Make friends!  Running with other people is great, especially if you have the same goals! You can work together to push and motivate each other, helping both of you stay committed to the program. If you have friends that run, make a point of running with them, if you don’t, think about joining a running group!
  5. Have fun! You put in the hard work, toughed through some grueling runs, so its time to show off! Whether you want to race for time or just run with your friends, road races are a great way to see the benefits of all your hard work. Rewarding and fun, what could be better??

There are tons of road races and community runs throughout the spring and summer. Coming up in only a few weeks is the Mercedes-Benz Oakville 10k! This run series is known for having a great, fun atmosphere, and includes a 10k run/walk, 5k run/walk, 1k Junior Jog and 300m Toddler Trot! If you feel like you are ready to go, get on the road and run for a good cause! Check out the MB10k website for more info and to register! I’ll see you there!

Workout – Post Run Interval Circuit

23 Mar

Two Circuits:

1. Backward Lunge Kick-Up

30 reps on each leg

2. Power Lunge Jumps

30 reps on each leg

3. Warrior Three Lunges

15 reps on each leg

4. Downward Dog Kick-Ups

15 reps on each leg

5. Dancing Planks

15 reps on each leg

6. Dive Boomers

So give it a go! The best part of these workouts is you can be anywhere to do them – no excuses!

I hope you have a great weekend and please let me know what you think of this workout.


Jock Yoga

20 Mar

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the yoga jock himself, Michael DeCorte.

I took his class here. Michael followed my golden rule of exercise and had me dripping sweat within the first 10 minutes, something that never happens to me in yoga – and this wasn’t hot yoga!

The class was 70% female, 30% male – a nice mix for a yoga class. The 75-minute session was set to really fun modern music, a refreshing change! It is easy to see why Jock Yoga classes appeal to everyone, they are challenging yet approachable. And the mini massage after is pretty great too!

Michael’s story is incredibly inspirational:

The yoga jock grew up in Northwestern Ontario a very overweight and unhealthy child. At the age of 20 Michael made the leap to Toronto and found himself lost in the club scene of the early 90s. He found immense release in the drug-saturated environment and popularity/notoriety of being a bar star. Chewed up and spit out by the party life, Michael fled back home to Thunder Bay in 1997, where he began a battle between addictions and recovery.

After a few years of dabbling in sobriety, exercise and different spiritual traditions, Micheal moved back to Toronto restored and revitalized. His physique as well as psychology were transformed. He became a bodybuilder, marathon runner and a certified personal trainer.

After attending his first Bikram yoga class in winter of 2002 Michael was hooked! In fact, he became obsessed with yoga, he had found something which he believes to be spiritual as well as physical.

Gradually, Michael let go of his strict body builder workout regimen, and began a daily yoga practice. He enrolled in the Downward Dog teacher-training program and never looked back.

“In practicing yoga, I’ve found my passion.

In teaching yoga, I’ve found purpose.”

– Michael DeCorte, Founder of Jock Yoga

It’s incredible how often people ignore their passion and pursue a career in business just because they think that it’s the right thing to do. I know personally members of my family encouraged me to find a secure job in financial services world. When I told them I would be a trainer at first I was looked at like I was taking the vow of poverty … I think they are ok with it now! Michael wisely decided to “Do what he loves, and the money will follow.” I love that – Go Michael!

Where to find him:

The best thing about Jock Yoga programs is you can do them all over the city! You don’t have to join a special gym just to take his class. He teaches at Moksha and 889 Yoga among many other places that offer single class passes.

On his website Michael offers a schedule of where his next class will be. This makes him really easy to find!

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.