15 12, 2015

Food is Your Fuel. What To Eat Before And After Exercise.

December 15th, 2015|Blog, Exercise, Nutrition, Q & A|

This is one of the number one questions I get asked by both my personal training AND nutrition clients. Since there are several factors to take into account with regards to eating around exercise, allow me to shed some light on the topic..
The first thing to establish is what kind of exercise you are doing. Your requirements will be very different if you’re lifting weights for 45 minutes versus going on an hour run in the heat for example. The former will require you to eat a good combination of carbs and protein to power and repair your muscles.  The latter will demand more quick digesting carbs as well as a lot of water for the high calorie and sweat expenditure.
Pre-Workout
The goal of pre-workout nutrition is to:

supply necessary energy to maximize performance during your workout.
help prevent a crash in blood sugar which can lead to hitting the proverbial “wall”, where you’ve just got nothing left yet you know you should be able to keep on going. You workout peeps know exactly what I am talking about! This can even lead to fainting. So in other words, properly fueling before your workout – very important!

In general I would suggest eating no closer than 1-2 hours before your workout. The more time you allow between eating and exercise, the larger the quantity of food you’ll be able to eat and still have time to digest. If you workout first thing in the morning you may be able to fuel off your food you are still digesting from the night before. But this does not work for everyone so make sure you figure out what works for you!

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2 09, 2015

Why You Should Make Breakfast Your First Priority

September 2nd, 2015|Blog, Nutrition, Recipes|

I get asked questions about breakfast all the time – Why is it so important? What’s the BEST breakfast? how much should I have? What is the best time to eat it? I could […]

17 03, 2015

Recipe: Bacon sautéed kale with shrimp & roasted cauliflower

March 17th, 2015|Blog, Nutrition, Recipes|

Wow that’s a mouthful.. oh and I’d like to add LOTS of garlic, and mushrooms to that title!

If you’re looking for a nutrition powerhouse of a meal then look no further. On top of it, this recipe is so incredibly tasty! It’s loaded with veggies (who knew kale could ever taste this good!) and protein with the right balance of fat to create a well rounded meal- perfect as a post-workout lunch or dinner! I used to always add pasta to this dish but after making it without I realized how delicious it is on it’s own. There are tons of textures, flavours and richness that you don’t even need the pasta. But if you’d like to stretch this dish out and perhaps serve to a few more guests it goes great with tagliatelle or wide egg noodles as they hold up well against all the ingredients.

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1 12, 2014

Holiday Dish: Goat cheese & Walnut Sweet Potato Canapés

December 1st, 2014|Blog, Nutrition, Recipes|

The holidays are upon us.. yes we must admit this fact. And it’s never to early to get ready for holiday entertaining. Simplicity is a key for me when planning a menu for guests, especially if I plan to actually be able to enjoy the evening and food myself.. I would imagine many of you feel the same way I do. So, this is why this recipe is perfect for starting your guests off on a night of deliciousness… Finger foods, canapés! Always a hit.
Check this out though – Sweet potato is used here as the canape base,  instead of the traditional refined toast or crackers. And YES it works great as a healthier, tastier substitution. There is something about the smooth sweet taste which makes this ideal as an appetizer for your next holiday party, or just to impress loved ones at any occasion.
Trust me – IT”S A WINNER!

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11 11, 2014

5 Tips For Eating Healthy at Home

November 11th, 2014|Blog, Nutrition|

As the colder weather and shorter days are setting in, so is our desire to stay in on our couches and hibernate. We also tend to turn to food to comfort us, and usually not the most fresh and nutritious choices, leading to overeating and weight gain during the winter months. That is why planning and preparing ahead is extra important at this time so we can assure we have plenty of healthy options to choose from when hunger strikes!

This day in age, we’re pretty lucky as there are usually tons of local markets at our disposal to help make shopping for fresh and/or organic food that much more convenient. Even our big chain grocery stores now offer more and more healthy items.  But just buying healthy food isn’t enough- how do we implement and sustain good habits from home? Here are 5 ways to to start on the right path, without needing to leave your house.

 

1. Stock your pantry!

A well stocked pantry (or cupboard for those of us with micro-apartments) is the first step to keeping your home healthy. Fill your pantry with easy to use items like canned beans, coconut oil, brown rice pasta and nut butters. If you only keep one thing on hand make it all natural nut butters. Peanut, Almond, Cashew- these high protein spreads make a perfect emergency snack smeared on toast or an apple or thrown in a smoothie.

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1 10, 2014

PROTEIN 101: How important is it? What kind? How much? All your questions answered!

October 1st, 2014|Blog, Nutrition|

Protein is probably one of the hottest topics nowadays when referring to nutrition, fitness and overall health so needless to say it is a subject I care deeply about! And for good reason…

Protein provides us with the building blocks for healthy muscles, organs and immune system. When we consume it, our body breaks it down into individual amino acids (the building blocks) which is what in turn nourishes it. There are 9 essential amino acids (EFAs) that need to be present in a food source for it to be deemed a complete protein: Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Valine. Only some individual food sources fill those requirements. In other cases, you must combine foods to obtain proper EFA amounts.

What does that mean?? Well.. when discussing protein, nutritionists often speak in terms of “complete” and “incomplete” proteins. Complete protein foods contain all of these EFAs and in appropriate amounts of each for supporting biological functions in the human body – while foods that contain only some or not enough of each EFA are said to be incomplete.

Eggs, fish, meat, poultry and dairy products are considered to be complete proteins. Apart from some exceptions, vegetable sources tend to be missing or do not have enough of one or more EFA. For this reason vegetarians, and especially vegans, are often not absorbing enough quality protein in their diets. However, there are complete vegetarian protein sources.

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22 04, 2014

Ditch the Dairy – The Wonderful World of Plant Based Alternatives

April 22nd, 2014|Blog, Featured, Nutrition|

Dairy is highly inflammatory and high in unhealthy saturated fats linked to increased heart disease. Furthermore, the protein in dairy is very hard for humans to digest. In fact, about 75 percent of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. Allergies, acne, asthma, arthritis and eczema have all been linked with dairy consumption. It’s not hard to believe that dairy- naturally intended to fatten baby cows, will have a fattening effect on human bodies as well. While it may seem impossible to give up your ice cream or cheddar addiction, even swapping out cow’s milk for a non dairy milk in your diet can save you from a bounty of health issues. Luckily, we now have so many healthier, and tastier, alternatives to choose from for a dairy-free lifestyle. See what works best for you!

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15 04, 2014

Organic Food 101

April 15th, 2014|Blog, Featured, Nutrition, Q & A|

In our last nutrition instalment we went over the basics of the raw food diet. Today we cover another common, very controversial nutrition topic: organic food- “certified organic” of course. What does this all mean and how important is it for us and our precious bodies?! Well, read on, for the 411.. or the 101.. or whichever you prefer;) as well as a fun and simple infogram which will help clear things up even further.

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31 03, 2014

Raw Food 101

March 31st, 2014|Blog, Nutrition, Q & A, Recipes|

Many of you have asked me about the raw food diet so I thought I’d take a little time to explain this healthy lifestyle choice. While there are many variations on Raw Foodism, the most common approach is to eat 80% raw, plant-based food that has not been heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit.  Leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fruit and a world of vegetables are the basis of this very earth-friendly eating style. The emphasis on plants and whole foods makes this lifestyle an extremely healthy one, although some may find it too restrictive.  By simply eliminating processed foods, you are putting yourself so far ahead of the game. If you think this way of eating might be for you, a good place to start is making one raw meal a day, whether that be a salad, raw soup or something more complicated like a dehydrated pizza or Cashew “Cheese” Beet Raw-viloli. For those of us in Toronto, we are very lucky our city is home to a number of great raw food restaurants like LIVE Organic Food Bar, Rawlicious and our own East End Belmonte Raw.

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7 03, 2014

Top 3 Healthy Take-Out
 Joints in Toronto

March 7th, 2014|Blog, Nutrition|

Earlier this week we covered the top 3 healthy dine-in restaurants in the city. Today we tackle the world of take-out. Toronto is a city that is go go go all the time. Dine and dash, hit and run, in and out. There are endless take-out joints lining our streets or in many underground food courts. Here are 3 of my favorite clean eating options, covering different areas of the the city when you’re looking for a healthy alternative to traditional fast food.

Urban Herbivore
With locations in Kensignton Market, The Eaton Center and College St. W, this is probably the best salad bar in the city. You choose a greens or grains base, 6 toppings, and one of their house dressings. Everything is prepped on site, and the staff are super helpful in offering suggestions. Look out for the baked goods though, just because they are organic & vegan doesn’t necessarily mean they’re healthy. While delicious- The Toronto Star discovered that the Sweet Potato Date muffin contains 38 grams of fat and 986 calories!
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