Truth in coaching


These pictures were taken 15 seconds apart.
Looking through Instagram can either be invigorating or depressing.

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On a bunch of social media platforms I noticed people posting progress pictures of themselves and their clients. What a lot of them didn’t talk about was how their clients had lost the weight and in some cases had given the credit entirely to some nutritional shake program.

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I took both of these pictures of myself a couple of days ago because I thought about posting something that people could benefit from. Understanding and accepting the fact that products do not make the body.

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My body looks the way it does today purely out of hard work and dedication to a very regimented diet. It’s very disappointing to know that some people are falsely advertising before and after’s in a similar fashion to what I just did in these pictures: stick out my stomach in one and relaxed/flexed in another.

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There is no lucky person. There’s a hard-working individual who tries every single day. Be the truth. Seek out a coach who isn’t going to try to sell you the idea of skinny in a bottle. BE the coach that leads in truth by setting a healthy example.

Product Review – Premier Protein

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Product review: Premier Protein
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A month or so ago my Step-daughter came home with a jug of protein {pictured}. She had decided to go vegetarian and her BM was feeding her these shakes to up her protein.
*Insert panic attack and shock here*
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There are several reasons why these things are NOT good for you and especially why they are not good for children.
As her BM has convinced her that not eating meat puts you in a “bad mood” {more like the least she is like me or her father the better her BM’s mood} at the very least I am thankful that she is {most likely} not poisoning her with these things anymore.
Here’s what you need to know about these “cheat” foods and why it is imperative that we all hit the kitchen with gusto and consume whole foods with a TONNE of protein – after all, protein-rich foods are everywhere. Meat is NOT your only option!!
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My Biggest issue
This is a COSTCO product. Why don’t we like that fact? Well, like all Mega chains they have wishy-washy ethics to increase buying power. This means a lot of crushing the little guy and a lot of caselot buying from businesses that are downright dirty – GlaxosmithKline, Johnson, Unilever etc…
Do you own research however, Costco is on total boycott in our world.
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Ingredients (Chocolate Shake Tetrapak):

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These “nutrition supplements” are filled with highly processed animal proteins, chemicals, preservatives and additives. Not all processed foods are detrimental to our health BUT understanding what is in this shake is critical in determining whether or not to use it, replace it, or ditch the entire idea all together.
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Something you might find in a pre-mixed shake or powder is(Muscle Milk being the guiltiest offender of all) heavy metal…not the good kind….things like Cadmium:

Cadmium raises special concern because it accumulates in and can damage the kidneys, the same organs that can be damaged by excessive protein consumption. And it can take 20 years for the body to eliminate even half the cadmium absorbed today.” This is a highly toxic metal, and while there are some cases where decisions have to be weighed against relative risks, accepting that you have to be exposed to any cadmium at all in your protein drink after your workout is definitely not one of them,” says Michael Harbut, M.D., director of the Environmental Cancer Initiative at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Royal Oak, Mich.

“When these toxic heavy metals are combined in a product that is marketed for daily use, that raises serious public health concerns, especially for pregnant women, children, and young adults,” says Burns, who has been a toxicology consultant to state and federal government agencies.

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Acesulfame Potassium or Acesulfame K 

The artificial sweetener you find in this particular drink. Two rat studies suggest that the additive might cause cancer. In addition it is mentioned that large doses of acetoacetamide (a breakdown product of this sugar) have been shown to affect the thyroid in rats, rabbits, and dogs.
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Wheyeeet a minute!

Most whey protein is ultra-pasteurized from conventional milk full of growth hormones and antibiotics. The whey is acid processed and stripped of all of it’s alkalizing minerals (which include vitamins and minerals that we are all in need of). If you don’t balance the acidic state caused in your body by de-alkalized foods you will increase vulnerability to degenerative disease.
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Eating a variety of food provides more than enough protein for the average person – leave the protein supplements to the very malnourished and the bodybuilding set. 

If you’re part of the bodybuilding set (as I am) there are a tonne of healthy choices for you that don’t include all of the crappy ingredients found in these US made, Costco sold packs of shame.

My choice: Iron Vegan

Jeff’s choice: Beyond Yourself

If you’re thinking that you could be low on protein, try making a minimal ingredient nut butter smoothie or choose some real food sources of protein:

Meat – beef, pork, poultry, eggs, yogurt, cheese, fish. Choose ethical, choose organic, choose hormone free. Be wary of mollusks and shellfish. Read meat can be left out entirely for heart health.

Vegetarian sources of protein – legumes (dry beans, lentils, and peas), nuts and seeds (almond butter, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds), whole grains (oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, pasta), dark leafy vegetables, avocado.

Sunless tanners – good for you & our animal friends.

 

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I think Jeff took this picture to make me look like a beer drinking cigarette smoking lunatic. Be warned: these are not mine AND I don’t recommend you smoke either. ❤

Winter travel season is here and it’s time to get ready to hit the road AND be #fitontheroad. This includes keeping your skin safe from the elements…..and your abs safe from over indulgence.

I am writing a quick post (after a request from my Winter Reboot group) to outline my favourite/highly recommended self-tanners.

I am a sun baby, worship that thing like it’s going out of style BUT I rarely (if ever) use a tanning bed. Spray tan for competition etc…

The tanners I’ve used for competition are NOT friendly for your body or environment and are of course, ridiculously expensive.

While I don’t usually use these things (because regardless of how they are applied I suck at it) there are a few brands that seem to actually deliver on the non-orange front. These ones also have the highest quality ingredients you can find in a sunless tanner.

Hard to find in Canada? Yes. Your best bet is to order online.

If you’re brave enough to try them out on your own here are tree recommendations from me:

True Natural – organic product

Vita Tanz – these guys boast free radical protection.

Chocolate Sun – if you hate the smell of spray tans, these guys found the magical chocolate code to expel that.

As always, make sure you’re applying sun screen regularly when you’re out in the tropics. While the sun up here in Canada is far more cancer-causing, getting burned is never fun.

Take care of the skin you’re in!

Sugar – some things you may need to know.

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I was packing a school snack for my step-daughter the other day. Seaweed crisps, dates, strawberries and a vegan marshmallow for a surprise treat, which is super rare. You’ll have to notice that my blog also rarely includes sweets.

For whatever reason, she got into her head that dates are “just full of sugar”. SO I had to have the *birds and bees* conversation about sugar. Good sugar, bad sugar and how it’s processed.

If you’re struggling with how this sugar game works, there are some pointers to keep in mind in the grocery store and out on the town when you’re met with uneducated comments on sugar.

Remember, not all sugars affect our insulin levels, but some do. They also interfere with our overall energy levels. Be sure to meet with a medical professional if you’re suffering from Diabetes or any other illness which may be adversely affected by changing your sugar intake.

As a cancer survivor, my road to recovery did not include any processed sugars or foods in a box. I am 10 years free and clear and I attribute a lot of my success to the respect I’ve paid my body since diagnosis.

Sugars are simple carbs. They contain about 4 calories of energy in each gram. This energy fuels your brain and nervous system – precious operating systems of our beautiful bodies.

Complex carbs are not broken down easily and take ages to process while spiking your insulin. I call them “dead calories”.

Natural VS Processed Sugars

Natural sugars are found in a high amount in most fruits. Sugar is made of two components – fructose and glucose. These two components are IDENTICAL in fruit and in pastries/pop/candies etc…make no mistake.

The ratios of fructose and glucose are nearly the same in fruit and table sugar with fruit being about 40-55% fructose. (Ever wonder why your kids LOVE bananas but not kiwis?). This does not mean that the sugar composition in cake is the same as fruit.

Fruit has added vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, water and fiber – candy/cakes/sweets are a nutritional wasteland.

A half a cup of strawberries has around 3.5g of sugar while ice cream by the same measure has around 15g!!!! Not to mention the added bad fats from dairy.

Neither type of sugars are necessarily “bad” for you however, your body does process refined sugars a lot differently than natural sugars. FRUCTOSE breaks down in the liver and has no insulin response. GLUCOSE breaks down in the stomach and requires insulin to be metabolized.

Insulin spikes are not good because over time it leads to fat gain. Unhealthy fats to boot! This can lead to sugar crashes, hypoglycemia, which also triggers your body to believe it is hungry even when it is not.

Insulin table.

Insulin table.

Natural sugars are found in foods like milk and fruit but this doesn’t mean you should be eating a whole tonne of them. Especially if you’re eating a diet that is mainly out of restaurants, packaged and pre-made foods and lacking in fresh green leafy veggies. The standard diet of people today does not hold any space for going crazy on fruits all day!! Where the average diet is concerned, women and men should consume no more than 6-9 teaspoons per day, respectively.

For me? Well, I eat a vegan diet full of fresh fruits and veggies. Never out of packages and rarely at restaurants. If I’ve ever cut out fruit I’ve never lost a pound or inch!

Health foods to avoid

Running through the grocery store and stocking up on quick “healthy” snacks for you or your family? Think twice and avoid these items: 

– Granola bars – Here’s my RECIPE for a healthy homemade version packed with protein

– Fruit juices/from concentrate

– “Real Fruit” jellies of any kind

– Sports drinks

– Microwaveable popcorn

– Powerbars and all types of bars found at supplement stores that are not NATURAL. I reommend Vega bars.

– Flavoured yogurt (the kind with radioactive fruit fillings)

– Canned soups / boxed lasagna & pasta dishes

– Pre-packaged apple sauce/puddings

– Cheese strings

– Fruit leather

aaaand obviously: cookies, muffins, cake pops etc…

We all know that feeding ourselves and our family through a drive-through window is insanity – I feel sorry for those folks who don’t feel like they have the time to do the right thing by their bodies. You also have to know that eating out of a Starbucks Coffee pre-made food display is equally horrific. I’ve got a few things for you to carry around that are amazing for your body and mind.

Don't eat out of windows!

Don’t eat out of windows!

DO’s 

– Baby carrots

– Dates

– Seaweed crisps

– Trail mix

– Natural beef/chicken/turkey/ Jerky or Vegan Primal Strips

– Vega, meal supplement powder with water or almond milk

– Raisins

– Nut crackers and hummus

– Apples

– Bananas

 The best thing to remember is; if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. We have become so accustomed to eating unnatural foods and thinking we can “diet” the pounds, bad skin, rotted teeth, damaged hair, insomnia and digestive issues away. We can’t. If you treat your body like garbage…….garbage in, garbage out is the saying. You cannot exercise away poor nutrition and if you are prepared and aware you’ll never have to eat out of a drive through window (aka the trash can) again.

For more information to add to your library of health check out these links:

That Sugar Film – LINK HERE

Article, Glucose & Cancer – LINK HERE

Article, Kids & Sugar – LINK HERE

Article, Sugar Addiction – LINK HERE

Article, Sugar & Cocaine – LINK HERE

Article, Sugar & Weight Gain – LINK HERE

Article, Your Brain on Sugar – LINK HERE

Chup. You are no longer a slave to the Heinz corporation

REAL tomato ketchup. Like my mama never made.

REAL tomato ketchup. Like my mama never made.

 

This recipe started as a challenge for me. I want to reduce plastic use wherever I can BUT good ketchup is hard to make when you aren’t using artificial ingredients or preservatives and when you’re looking for the right colour or thickness.

Make no mistake, this recipe is NOT like conventional Heinz ketchup. I like to think that it’s far more sophisticated.

I would try adding different flavour combinations to make awesome mashups next time like, curry. Ya, curry.

Ingredients:

4 fresh tomatoes chopped – do not use frozen tomatoes there will be too much water from ice

1 med clove fresh garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 med sized shallot or 1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp paprika or get crazy with 1/2 tsp cayenne and 1/2 paprika

2 tsp salt – I used black volcanic salt from the Hawaiian islands

1/2 cup molasses

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup ground flax seed

Method: 

Mix all ingredients in food processor or blender & bottle.

Do NOT be afraid of its runny nature, once you have placed in your selected bottle and popped in the fridge, you will see by the next day that it has thickened quite a bit.

If you are still worried, you can add tomato paste however, this doesn’t stop the waste insanity. My ketchup turned out great and with the bottle I chose above, can be used to decorate savoury dishes.  I bottled the rest in an old ketchup bottle for when the kids ask for it – see no evil.

Should keep for at least a month in the fridge.

 

Adventure – 27 reasons why you need it.

A little Cabo.

A little Cabo.

Thank you to Elephant Journal for posting some top notch bloggers from time to time. While I don’t love ALL their stuff, amazing quotes that inspire are always welcome in my life.

1. “No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.” ~ Lewis Carroll

2. “Never say ‘no’ to adventures. Always say ‘yes’, otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life.” ~ Ian Fleming

3. “Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.” ~ Judith Thurman

4. “I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.” ~ Anaïs Nin

5. “Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” ~ J.K. Rowling

6. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman

7. “Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson

8. “If you don’t take risks, you’ll have a wasted soul.” ~ Drew Barrymore

9. “Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” ~ Barry Finlay

10. “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller

11. “Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” ~ Jack Kerouac

12. “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” ~ C.S. Lewis

13. “Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.” ~ Ray Bradbury

14. “Not all those who wander are lost.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

15. “Life is for deep kisses, strange adventures, midnight swims and rambling conversations.” ~ Author Unknown

16. “You belong among the wildflowers, you belong in a boat out at sea…You belong with your love on your arm, you belong somewhere you feel free.” ~ Tom Petty

17. “Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” ~ Oliver Goldsmith

18. “If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.” ~ John Green

19. “Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.” ~ Roman Payne

20. “I think people spend too much time staring into screens and not enough time drinking wine, tongue kissing, and dancing under the moon.” ~ Rachel Wolchin

21. “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” ~ Paulo Coelho

22. “There is your car and the open road, the fabled lure of random adventure. You stand at the verge, and you could become anything.” ~ Dan Chaon

23. “The best thing you could do is master the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire, you are the fire.” ~ Mama Indigo

24. “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.”~ Roald Dahl

25. “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

26. “And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.” ~ Shanti

27. “Stop contemplating and start celebrating…Yeah, you gotta live before you die.” ~ Mike Ness

Skinny fat / Fat skinny – why you’re rotting

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You’re skinny. You never have to work out because you just can’t gain weight. You’re a “lucky skinny girl”, you have “great genes”….blah blah blah.

What if your luck was actually a curse? On the outside you look amazing (ish) but on the inside, you’re falling apart.

I took this AMAZING 😉 picture of myself in the washroom today just before I went to work out and was reminded that of an experience I needed to blog about.

I was prompted to write this post after a short vacation we took to Mexico last month. While strolling by the beach, a young girl in front of us was preoccupied with a conversation on her phone. Twenty, thin and wrinkle-free, I was drawn to her as she walked ahead wrapped in a towel. I looked her up and down (as most females at least do) and as I came to see her knees and what dangled below them, I was shocked. Twenty-four inches of noodles held together by feet and knees stood erect, tubular and without shape. Slightly bowed, thin and tanned.

I looked at my partner and said “please tell me that my legs do NOT look like that, they’re so dead looking!” He quickly responded with a “NO!” and something like “gee, those things have no shape….”

My mind swam with all of the STUPID ideas that women have been made to accept, and I was mad. Nuts are fat, avocado is fat, coconut milk is fat, you have to weigh XXX in order to be sexy…diet, lean cuisine, Dr. Bernstein, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers. I mean c’mon, space food in micro-portions, filled with preservatives, GMO’s and carcinogens, burned to a crisp in your microwave is healthier than eating heaps of REAL food and moving your body???

There’s something very wrong with this picture.

And so the person that lingered up the beach before me bore the resemblance of what I see so often in the mainstream media and unfortunately in the general public.

Skinny-fat people, as they are sometimes called, fall prey to some pretty harsh health realities because of the neglect and damage they unknowingly subject their bodies to. Namely a lack of exercise/nutrition. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes(not just for fatties), dental hygiene damage, hair loss, dermatological issues, stress, depression, anxiety…..you name it.

Why you would neglect your HEART, the force that gives you life, I do not know. But PLEASE, please for your own sake, educate yourself. Go for a walk, do some weight training, be active, see the world. There is a happier, healthier, more amazing person in that tiny flabby body, I promise.

If you choose not to, that’s your life, but please, for the love of all things holy, do not breed. The world does not need any more people with nothing to give back. Even better, get yourself fixed.

If you want help, Google is there for you. If not, I am. You can do it.