Winter Salad – Eating in Season

 

A beautiful salad I wish I could’ve chowed down on!

 

Another recipe from my Earl Grey School teaching series in Calgary. Keeping it simple and fun allowed the kids to have a blast putting this one together.

Ingredient by ingredient they identified in season veggies

These ingredients were a great segway into teaching about carbon footprints, our impact on the earth and what it truly means to be a locavore.

The kids love participating ~ even when it’s just emptying out a baggie into a bowl. Hands on is key & food is the way to their hearts and minds.

Another  vegan (nearly raw) recipe requiring no cooking – perfect for you to pick up and make at home with your family.

I was SO impressed by what the kids knew about the items that we discussed. One girl even knew (without using the exact terminology) that broccoli and kale belonged to the same family ~ brassicas ~ faith in some of humanity restored….look at all those hands up in the air!

 

The smart board here is showing my chart that addresses carbon footprint impacts in the food production industry.

With the use of technology we were able to forego our usual paper handouts (which I hope were making it home for parents to have a look at all the continued resources) and put up a lot of great information for the class to have a look through and comment on.

These kids will definitely be thinking more “Earth first” after going through how they themselves can help reduce carbon emissions by the choices they make as little humans – they seemed to come away feeling quite empowered. If you’re looking for the lesson plan I used to accompany this recipe – contact me!

Ingredients:

– 3 cups raw, washed broccoli florets

– 2 cups blanched yams, cubed

– 2 cups frozen or fresh peas

– 1 cup green onion diced

– 3 cups chopped kale (any variety)

– 4 tbsp lemon juice

– 2 tsp grated ginger

– 1 tsp Himalayan salt

Method: 

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, stir and serve. You can also store in the

I think this one works best if you settle it in the refrigerator for a few hours to let all the flavours combine.

Top this recipe with sesame seeds or toasted pumpkin seeds as I have omitted these due to allergies.

Great as a side dish, this recipe serves 8-10 sides.

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Kids {sugar free} trail mix 

This recipe comes from a recent unit I taught at Earl Grey School in Calgary, on Sugar. We put together a 7 minute NO COOKING REQUIRED recipe that’s loved by kids and is quite delicious.

The ingredients are simple to find, contain their own sugars and do not need any sweetness added whatsoever. The kids went nutso for this recipe as well as the teacher and the teachers assistant. I think it was a hit.

Try this for yourself and get out on the trails with your family!

Supplies

 Large bowl and mixing spoons

 Scoop or spoons for serving

 Small serving bowls, cups or plastic snack bags

Ingredients

 2 cups soy nuts or dried chickpeas

 2 cups plain air popped popcorn

 4 cups healthy boxed cereal – Kashi brand cereals are great in this recipe

 2 cups dried fruit like apricots, pineapple, or apples (look for brands with NO added sugar).

 1 cup of dried cranberries or blueberries (buy in bulk with no sugar added)

 1⁄2 cup of dried apples

 1 cup of granola – Bob’s Red Mill Crunchy Coconut is the healthiest other than homemade

 1⁄2 cup yogurt or carob chips

 Optional- 1 cup of nuts like almonds, walnuts or unsalted roasted shelled sunflower

seeds (Beware of nut allergies! If present, do not include.)

 Note: Many different ingredients may be added, as long as there is a good mix of whole

grains, dried fruit, and nuts if no allergies are present.

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Scoop about 1/2 cup into small bowls, cups, or plastic snack bags and serve.

Another playlist to keep you motivated

Far be it from me to keep a good playlist down, here’s my own personal “Sasha’s Workout Faves” which is heard at the gym at least twice per week.

Dig in, I really love this one:

Finna Get Loose – Diddy

Blackened – Metallica

Don’t Worry – Madcon

Sugar – Robin Schulz

Work Bitch – Britney

Show Me How to Live – Audioslave

Black Betty – Ram jam

Head Like A Hole – Nine Inch Nails

Spread Your Love – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

R U Mine? – Arctic Monkeys

I Sat By The Ocean – Queens of the Stone Age

Last Night – The Strokes

Don’t Stop – Foster the :People

Who Needs You – The Orwells

Do You – Spoon

Phantom Limb – The Shins

Water Fountain – Tune Yards

Back in the Tall Grass – Future Islands

Lampshades on Fire – Modest Mouse

History Eraser – Courtney Barnett

Come Get it Bae – Pharrell Williams (no relation)

Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke

Money Maker – Ludacris

Aerosol CAn – Feat Pharrell / Major Laser

Hunter – Pharrell

Drop It Like It’s Hot – Snoop

We Make It Bounce – Dillon Francis

Smack My Bitch Up – The Prodigy

Paper Planes – M.I.A.

Bad Girls – M.I.A

No Sex For Ben – The Rapture

 

 

Happy New Year – Free Love


2016 Starts tomorrow! Can you believe it? Now is the time to for us all to forgive our overindulgences and get our health show back on the road. I thought a bundle of healthy tips for nutrition and detox would be useful for you all for a healthy journey in 2016 {tomorrow}.

Check out these food and living facts for a kickstart in 2016 ~ if you need more guidance, check out my discounted services for January sign up:

  • MACRO check/instruction
  • Supplement list
  • 2 week fat shed workout plan
  • $50 toward a 12 week tune up plan

❤ All the best.

S

Water in ~ first thing

Don’t mistake being dehydrated for being hungry. Reset that hunger feeling ASAP with water! You’ll also help your body flush out toxins, provide fuel for your brain and help boost your metabolism.
Magnesium is “the man”

Stressed out from the holidays? A simple snack may do you wonders. Pumpkin seeds or almonds are packed with magnesium, the anti-stress nuts/seeds. I take magnesium supplements nightly about 30 minutes before bed to improve sleep & relaxation – give it a try!
Eat greens

Nutrients that support your liver – and I’m sure you sort of killed your liver this holiday season, didn’t you? Do your best to include dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale and arugula to your meals – try to hit the 50% mark.
Avoid diary

They taste delicious but based on the way that they are produced……you may want to think twice about that whack of cheese. Or, maybe you did your research and found something ethical – good for you!!! Even so, your body is not meant to digest dairy past your breastfeeding babe days.

Sadly, dairy is also majorly acidic and really hurts our PH levels. Your body doesn’t do well with inflammation, so try to kick it to the curb and look for alternatives like nut milks and cheeses.

Fiber up!

Why? Regulate your blood sugar and banish toxins at the same time. Need a better reason? Ok, fiber also reduces that bloated feeling as well as hunger. The best kind of fiber comes from fresh fruit, vegetables, brown rice and oats. I start my day off 1/3 cup of quick oats and ½ a banana sliced ~ quick, easy and really gets the system going.
Alkaline all the way

Balance PH & reduce inflammation. If you haven’t included these already, please do: lemons, pears, kale & parsley.

Get the binge over with and get back to your 5-7 {balanced} meals per day. You might find very quickly that you shed 2-10 lbs of bloat in just 1-2 weeks.

Are you worth, your salt? – A recipe and a lesson…Lesscipe?

Spicy, sexy, salty.

Having a young child around is part of where I find my blog topics on food. This weekend Anastacia and I were preparing a meal together and I placed on our dinner table some sriracha salt. A wonderful mix of chilies, citrus zest and Himalayan sea salt – stick around for my recipe.

She began eating her meal and watched as I finished the preparation of my salad with this lovely salt. Timidly she asked if she could try some. “Of course you can!” I exclaimed, “salt is absolutely wonderful and this one is fabulous in the flavour department”. She looked up through sheepish eyes and admitted that at her moms house it is a banned substance because it’s “bad for you”.

Why salt has become the enemy for some folks floors me. With the information age we are far better off to do our own research than to buy into the latest fad food omission of the moment. Like fats, one day it’s great for you and the next it’s not.

Lets settle this with a bit of my opinion shall we?

In and around the time that low fat, low carb and low calorie diets were making their way on the scene (read: microwaveable lazy man food and the like) scientists and snake oil salesmen alike were ramping up to tear down salt.

Like any decade, there are food fashion “do’s” and “don’ts” and a host of crazed food police supporters touting the benefits of the diet of the day.

I don’t support the anti-salt campaign.

History

Salt used to be such a hot commodity that the Romans used it as a paycheque for some. The word salary is even derived from the word Sal, Salarium = Salt Money-fancy that!

Salt is mined in a lot of places. Here in Canada one of the largest mines in the world is located in Ontario. Globally, you can find salt mines in Poland, Germany, England, Morocco, Italy, Ireland, Pakistan and the USA.

This LINK shows traditional and newer mining sites. Check it out. Here’s a great shot of an amazing salt Mosque from the Wiki link:

Beautiful Salt Creations

Beautiful Salt Creations

Salt types

Before I get into the pros and cons of salt it’s a good idea for you to know about the types of salt that are available to you.

Himalayan Pink Salt – mined in the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan, 300kms from the HImalayas.

Sea Salt – produced from the evaporation of sea water.

Watch a video on how to make your own sea salt here: MAKE YOUR OWN SEA SALT

Kosher Salt – mined underground or from the sea and compressed to make larger granules

Celtic Salt – harvested from the sea of NW France and also known as grey salt there are no additives and its colour comes from clays found in the salt fields

Table Salt – mined above or below ground, processed and stripped of it’s beneficial minerals, talc and silica additives to name a few. Find a listing of all the chemical agents here.

Weeding out the enemy

Have you heard of the term Full or High Spectrum Salt? This term refers to salts that have been refined but NOT stripped of their valuable mineral content which makes salt extremely important.

The beneficial magical ingredients in GOOD salt are:

  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Iron – oxygen moving helper
  • Zinc
  • Iodine – healthy thyroid & body temp regulator
  • Sodium – regulates blood PH & stomach
  • Potassium
  • Manganese – bone development, metabolizing

Salt is also a natural electrolyte that helps to retain water in our bodies. Water retention is hugely important as it stimulates the thirst function and keeps our blood pressure stable.

Salt prevents muscle cramps and stimulates the adrenal glands. The latter leading us to better sleep patterns.

Salt creates hydrochloric acid in the body which helps us to digest food in the stomach. If you are sodium deficient, you can suffer from muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness and could even place yourself in a coma.

Why can’t some people eat salt?

People with high blood pressure cannot or shouldn’t consume salt. Why you ask? Well, the kidneys regulate sodium in the body, if they are over burdened with this process the body will nearly self destruct which leads to hardened arteries, heart attack or stroke.

It is uber important to know if you have blood pressure issues and if so – ditch the table salt immediately. Ditch it anyway.

Foods to avoid – BAD SALT

Processed foods high in sodium from table salt. This is the worst type of food you can put into your body. Not only is it made in a factory with old ingredients that are irradiated and dead, these meals are bad for our environment due to the type of production used to create them – I know I couldn’t sleep at night knowing my poor taste in food was damaging our fragile eco-system.

The avoid list:

  • Potato Chips
  • Pop
  • Pre-made microwave meals / kids pre-made luncheon meals
  • Fast Food – Fries/Burgers/Chicken mysteries
  • Packed Pizzas/Pastas/Pizza Pops etc…
  • Raisin Bran
  • Pre-made sauces Asian/Italian
  • Meat jerky, pre-cut/sliced meats of any kind
  • Conventional mix or pre-made pancakes / waffles / muffins
  • Traditional ketchup, pickles
  • Cheese slices, cottage cheese
  • Several types of pre-made veggie burgers (check the lable)
  • Several types of breads/buns/bagles that are pre-made
  • Clamato/tomato/vegetable juices – juice your own!!
  • Canned mushrooms, soups, veggies packed in salt
  • Pre-made salad dressings – make your own!!
  • “Just add water” dishes like rice/paella/pastas/noodles
  • Boxed desserts like cakes/pudding

I think the general lesson here is – learn to cook. I mean REALLY cook. For the love of all things healthy.

As with all things we consume, salt should be of the simplest and purest form as well as used in a somewhat civilized manner. When you’re looking to cook with salt ensure that you’re only using it as a “finisher” in dishes and not as part of an over-salted recipe.

If you will note in all of my recipes I rarely use salt for anything but “to taste”, or to use directly before consuming.

If you feel like a hero taking good salt off the table – you’re wrong. Check your kitchen, scrap the garbage and start eating good salt now. You owe your body and the bodies of the people who are in your care.

Sriracha Sea Salt Recipe

IMG_0534-1

Ingredients:

3 tbsp dried hot chilis

5 tbsp Himalayan Salt

1.5 tbsp Lemon zest

2 tbsp Dried diced garlic

Method:

Combine all ingredients and place into grinder.

If you do not have a grinder, place in a salt pig/vessel and sprinkle on salads, soups, pastas and meats.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 6 – Phase II Realities

Fasted cardio to the max begins…and it’s not easy.

Phase II of my program started in September and BOY was that a shock. Leaving behind cardio of 3 days per week with 1 fasted cardio day I embarked onto 5 days a week fasted cardio (5:40 am) AND a fasted cardio on the weekend. Still continuing with weights 5 days per week – but the workouts changed and the weight increased.

Adding weight week over week isn’t too shocking to the body. I’ve really been able to increase by anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds depending on the exercise.

One thing that both Jeff and I have been shocked over is how little we are sore to the point of wanting a quick death or a slow painful root canal….had to add that in there for the Bill Murray fans. We’ve attributed it to the glutamine, stretching and our hot tub as well as our muscles becoming conditioned to working out HARD 5.5 days per week.

Don’t fool yourself, doing plyos at 5:40 this morning burned like an SOB after my big leg day yesterday. I just repeat the mantra “pain is finite”…… until it’s over.

Body Changes

After 6 weeks of hard work I have graduated down from a 34 inch trainer to a 32. I have to say that the new 32 I bought from Figure Slim has WAY stronger boning and is way more uncomfortable so I am back to wearing it an hour at a time until I can work my way up.

1 month – down from 34 to 32 inch waist trainer

Sleeping in neoprene pants is NOT comfortable.

I think it’s really important to have progress shots weekly at your disposal. You’ll start to feel like you’re plateauing and when you do, line up those shots and give yourself a pat on the back. Changes are happening all the time but because you’re probably constantly scrutinizing yourself, you won’t be noticing as much. At least, that’s what I feel I’ve been doing.

Posing Camp

September also means attending posing camp in BC and getting some needed time in with my trainer as well. We message/email a lot and I’m starting to hone in on what poses and shapes will be the best for my body.

I’m not sure which way I prefer out of the two below however, I know I won’t be doing the cross-legged “I have to pee” pose in this competition.

Finding the footing that looks best on your body.

If it hurts, you got it right.

Diet Changes

There aren’t too many changes in phase 2. I lost out my 1/4 cup of blueberries per day, which I loved and I also lost out on my 1 reload per week which I craved so badly psychologically. I have been given protein pancakes as a reload every third day but I hate them. I just hate them. So, physically they may be doing their trick however, emotionally they’re not.

I’ll be posting the recipe for them even though I detest them in case you all would like to try them out.

I’ve been eating a 6th meal (protein shake) regularly and have finally gotten my BCAA intake down. A lot of the supplementation timing is so confusing I nearly give up, then I figure it all out again.

This phase brings me up to 6 litres of water per day – it’s nutso. I fill a 3 liter jug and pour glasses at work and then worry about polishing off 3 1 litre jugs as well. 1 at the gym with my BCAA’s and then the rest at home and in the car.

Bikini fitting

I chose GREEN (thank you FB family for all your votes) and paid my $100 deposit. My first glimpse will be on September 24th when I have my first fitting. I’m pretty excited because I think that a regular bikini has been not as flattering as what the real deal suit will be. If you haven’t seen a link from me already, I’ve gone with Buttercream Bikini’s out of BC.

Information sent by INBF

There hasn’t been much sent out yet. Only two emails from the regular system of newsletters that are supposed to be motivational and give some insight about what’s going to happen. This is all on the website anyway. The INBF was a little hard to get hold of for questions but I’ve finally heard back, so there’s that. I sill feel a little out of the loop missing camp day because I won’t know show timing etc…hoping the posing training below will help.

What I do know is the pre-judging is at around 10 am and the final show is around 5pm. Following this – I eat!!!

Posing training via skype with promoter

In a burst of desperation I contacted the INBF Edmonton promoter directly to ask about doing a posing training with me because I’ll miss their training camp while I’m in Vancouver. She agreed to help me out and do a session via Skype which is fantastic.

I have no idea what that will set me back but I’ll be sure to keep clips and update you all.

Supplement changes – magnesium

I have added magnesium to my nightly ritual on top of all the other supplements. This is supposed to aid with fatigue and trouble sleeping – meh, not so sure. For a few nights I’ve had a really terrible time getting and staying asleep because I have to pee so much. I’ve started ending my liquid intake at 8pm now. Hoping this will help out soon because I don’t feel the magnesium is really doing much.

Additional costs:

Food luggage. Yes. I bought this. ISO brand and SO helpful. This little unit really keeps you on track when you’re on the road – which for me is nearly all the time so….click THIS LINK to see pricing and sizing.

 

Suit deposit: $100

Contest fees: $185.00 for registration, $65.00 mandatory 1 year membership, $100.00 personal stage photos.

Photography: So far I have paid $100 to the federation to take professional stage pictures of me. I haven’t paid the nearly $500 for “other” pro pics. I’m hoping that Jeff can do these for me as we have literally all the professional equipment you need. The recommendation has been to shower off the tan and take pictures the next day. These can be used for self promotion if you want to get into fitness modeling and repping brands etc…

Hotel fees: $380 for two nights at the host hotel plus fees and taxes.

Travel costs: Driving to Edmonton isn’t that bad (3 hours) so lets call that a $70 tank of gas. What is a little crummy is the $500 flight home and $60 training sessions x2 this month however I couldn’t find a decent coach in Alberta, so I had to go back home.

Supplement costs: We did this through Vitasave– they were cheapest by far AND were usually delivering within 4 days of ordering. 1 hiccup so far but it’s been worth it. We tried SVN and they dragged on forever – 2 weeks!!!! They’re both out of BC. Combined we are spending about $400 a month on supplements. I think we are about 50/50 on that front. As a reminder here’s MY list of supps:

  • DIM
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • C
  • D
  • B complex
  • Blood builder
  • Probiotics
  • Magnesium
  • Iron Vegan Protein
  • BCAA’s
  • Glutamine
  • L-Carnitine – liquid & vege caps
  • Greens
  • Spirulina

Average food bill: If this was all going down vegan for one person, it would be about $150 per week (max) for delivered organic produce, beans and rice/quinoa. With no restaurants or alcohol you’re actually going to save money here which is great because it’s all going to go to supplements.
The most important thing I can stress is that you have fun and try to keep a light mood as much as possible. Changes in sleep patterns, hormones, hunger, fatigue are really hard to deal with but NOT driving your friends and family away is essential. THAT my friends is the toughest nut in this game so far.

Next post will be getting right to the nitty gritty – covering the last couple of weeks before the big day which includes travelling and working out in San Francisco and 100 Mile house – the challenge continues. ❤

I hope you find amazing support from your partner in life – Jeff is exceptional.

Fit on the road – an introduction

Bagging Peaks in the Rockies

Bagging Peaks in the Rockies

My love of health and travel has led me to really push my abilities to stay fit and focused while traveling – a lot.

Whether it’s to a beach destination where the gyms and yoga classes are scarce…………..

Beach yoga Maui

Beach yoga Maui

……….to Sin City where in May, 45 degrees is too damn hot to work out in so you cruise through the Valley of Fire before hitting the Casino gym…………….

Working out late at night in the Nevada desert

Working out late at night in the Nevada desert

…………..to music festivals & hillside metropolitan cities where you walk all day from venue to venue………………..

Walking for hours at Coachella

Walking for hours at Coachella

Long walks and hilltops in the San Francisco Bay

Long walks and hilltops in the San Francisco Bay

……………….to the planets amazing mountain peaks that provide enough exercise for an army, or European escapes where you could nearly get arrested while in a Yoga posture in front of a Government building, or you may split your pants doing a maneuver after a scotch tasting..

Hikes & Yoga in Scotland

Hikes & Yoga in Scotland

Yoga in Moscow

Yoga in Moscow

I want to be able to keep a routine and feel great emotionally and physically without any excuses. Bad moods and lethargy don’t just come from celebratory holiday hangovers and that time of the month. We need to be sure to keep our “good vibe” chemicals in check – through movement.

Fit on the Road - Cancun

Fit on the Road – Cancun

What keeps you from being the best version of yourself while you’re on the road? For me, it’s already easy enough with diet; I don’t like sugar or treats, I don’t eat dairy at all unless there’s cheese on the odd item, pasta makes me feel like a lead balloon and meat, well, you know my stance on that. This may not be true for everyone out there. I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Jalapeno chips and Gin Gin’s, luckily I have the will power to rarely buy these things. I guess I would have to say that my kryptonite in the food department is alcohol.

Raw & Vegan meals in LA

Raw & Vegan meals in LA

I love the taste of bourbon, Whiskey and Gin…on a Sunday brunch date, either white wine (sangria) or Caesars. I have made peace with the fact that my abdominals may never be washboard again as in my 23 years of Dance….Old Fashioneds taste too damn good. We all have our treats, vices and little cheats we wont give up. That’s ok, as long as we’re making sure liquor, cake and reality TV aren’t on the agenda every evening. Oh our poor livers, kidneys and grey matter!

I digress. We all know what good eating looks like: no preservatives, no packaging, home-made, nutrient dense, fresh, GMO free and mindful.

Real food & hydration rule.

Real food & hydration rule.

So, if Safeway isn’t coming to Namibia with you, how do you stay in shape cardiovascularly and muscularly with no gym?

For starters, you could prep for your trip and do a 1, 3 or 5 day juice cleanse to fire up your immune system and purge toxins….

3 day "Juice Juice" Cleanse

3 day “Juice Juice” Cleanse

But the answer is far more obvious and simple. Bodyweight workouts with little-to-no equipment. Write them down, download them onto your laptop and bring a GYM BOSS interval timer or download one for free for your smart phone HERE.

Camping - workout hacks

Camping – workout hacks

If you’re traveling soon (as I will be) take some time to look at these resources for workouts and making sane meal decisions while abroad. As usual I will be posting my #fitfam and #fitontheroad pics for inspiration on my INSTAGRAM , which reposts to my FACEBOOK PAGE, which will repost to TWITTER.

Workout Hacks

Workout Hacks

You should also check out my YOUTUBE channel for (literally) like 1 million amazing workouts.

You should also consider bringing a water canteen with you. Think before you buy. Nalgene tests on animals so maybe try something like this S’WELL bottle. S’well is great because it’s double lined and can hold hot and cold bevvies. This will increase your intake of water as well as save a bunch of plastic bottles from hitting the landfills and our beautiful oceans.

Follow my posts on FB often for more ideas. Here are a few you can start with…

wo3 wo2 wo4 wo1

Bon Voyage and stay fit.

XX – Sasha