Recipe: Almond Orange Biscotti

health recipes Nov 23, 2020

I rarely purchase packaged snacks, but I always have sugar, butter, and flour for my kids to make their own snacks.

Lately my daughters have been making chocolate covered biscottis which look soooo good. I am allergic to gluten and dairy so I can't eat theirs, but my craving was strong enough to bake my own.

I used to bake amazing "paleo" biscottis from one of my favourite cookbooks called Make Ahead Paleo by Tammy Credicott. So I pulled out my old cookbook and in the end the biscottis are as yummy as I remember!

Dry Ingredients

  • 0.25c coconut sugar
  • 1.5c almond flour
  • 0.25c coconut flour
  • 0.33c tapioca flour
  • 0.33c arrowroot flour
  • 0.5c chopped almonds
  • 0.5 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 0.25c maple syrup
  • 0.5 tsp almond extract
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 0.25c coconut oil, melted

Coating Ingredients

  • 0.5c Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips, melted in microwave
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp palm shortening, melted in microwave

Preheat oven 350F

Combine all dry ingredients. Combine...

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Exercise is an Immune Booster

fitness health workout Nov 17, 2020

Given that we are seeing rising numbers of those affected with COVID, it often feels like this whole situation is beyond our control. I don't know about you, but lately I have felt overwhelmed with the amount of unknowns. I thought to write an article about the tiny bit we can control. 

We can try to boost our immune system by eating healthy foods, especially a diet rich with a colourful variety of fruits and vegetables.

Another great way to boost our immune system is through exercising with moderate intensity. This is one of the main reasons I am so passionate about teaching healthy movements for our bodies and minds (mental health).

Studies show exercise:

  • Increases blood flow which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently
  • Strengthens antibodies that help fight infection by causing change in our white blood cells. WBCs are the body's immune system cells that fight...
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Why Focus on Changing Habits?

habits health nutrition stress Nov 10, 2020

Diets don't work. Clients may lose weight initially, but diets don't get to the root of the issue. The main issue concerns your habits. 

Focusing on changing habits is much less painful than starvation diets where you have to rely on pure discipline and willpower.  

40-45% of your decisions actually come from your habits. A problem emerges here because most of our habits are autopilot. Habits are more powerful than conscious thought and willpower. 

We can use habits for positive or negative ends. We have "bad" habits (we can break those with skillful strategies); however, we can use this autopilot habit feature to create "good" habits too. 

Many of our current habits help us feel safe and secure. When we feel stressed a certain part of the brain is activated which then gives us a powerful urge to do something to relieve that stressful feeling. When the distress is relieved, our brain relaxes and it remembers that habit for next time. 

For...

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Successful Habit Change

habits health nutrition Oct 09, 2020

Most of you don't know that my older brother is a really cool guy and we have the most interesting conversations (some of you know my older sister as she comes to my classes and she is awesome too). My brother Ron is a Mindful Habit coach. If you are interested he wrote 100+ Habits of Great Leaders

Habit change is super important for exercise and nutrition. If we can master our habits, then we have the ability to get the body and health we desire. But as we all know, incorporating and sustaining healthy habits can be very challenging. 

I enjoy the way James Clear of Atomic Habits describes habit change. I have summarized his main takeaways below:

Clear says "your entire day is a summary of your life's habits." Powerful stuff to ponder!

He says "what you repeatedly do ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality you portray."

Clear has broken the process of building a habit into 4 steps: cue, craving, response, and reward

The cue...

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Top Six Reasons Why Running Rocks!

fitness health running workout Aug 30, 2020

1) Running is Good for Your Heart

Running doesn’t just strengthen your heart muscle, but also improves your entire circulatory system by making the lining of your blood vessels more flexible. When your blood vessels are more flexible the heart doesn’t have to work so hard to pump blood throughout your body. Another bonus is blood vessels of a fit person tend to accumulate less plaque than those of an unfit person, leading to a much lower risk of a heart attack or stroke.

2) Running Boosts Your Mood

When you run, your brain pumps out a feel-good hormone called endorphins. Endorphins are natural pain killers. The cool thing is these endorphins don’t just last during your run, but they also stay in your body for hours after, helping to boost your mood throughout the day.

3) Running Strengthens Your Bones and Joints

A recent study showed that runners were half as likely to suffer from knee osteoarthritis compared with walkers. The reason for this is every time your...

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Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

health recipes Aug 24, 2020

This isn't something I often advertise to my clients, but I have a condition called IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I was diagnosed in my early 20s and I have lived with it's symptoms for over 25 years. I attribute it to beginning my mission to eat healthy. 

IBS is caused by abnormal muscle contractions in the intestine. What causes these atypical  contractions is unknown, however, specialists believe that abnormalities in the nerves in the digestive system can cause a faulty connection between your brain and your large intestine, causing it to either slow down contractions or speed it up. There are certain triggers: specific foods, stress, hormones, and the condition may be hereditary. 

Symptoms of IBS

  • the number one symptom is severe diarrhea
  • the other symptom is constipation, though I rarely experienced this, I know other IBS sufferers do
  • pain in the lower abdominal area
  • bloated abdominal area
  • fatigue (from lack of nutrients being absorbed)

When I...

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The Importance of Exercise Recovery: Step 6 Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Hygiene: What Is It and Why Do We Need It?

Over the past several weeks I have been exploring methods of recovery. It’s not simply about resting the body after an exercise session, but about intelligently helping the body heal and move to reach healthy balance within the body.

In the first post I explain there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other parts of the body function best when flexible and mobile.

In the second post I explore how strength training helps build the body to function optimally. I highly recommend strength training with a plan designed by a certified personal trainer, as it’s important to have a solid program and system built to work with your unique set of strengths and weaknesses. More info about training here.

In the third post I delve into stretching and self-massage.

In the forth post, I explored how stress can limit...

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The Importance of Exercise Recovery: Step 4 De-Stress Techniques

 

Over the past several weeks I have been exploring methods of recovery. It’s not simply about resting the body after an exercise session, but about intelligently helping the body heal and functionally move to reach healthy balance within the body.

In the first post I explain there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other parts of the body function best when flexible and mobile.

In the second post I explore how strength training helps build the body to function optimally. I highly recommend strength training with a plan designed by a certified personal trainer, as it’s important to have a solid program and system built to work with your unique set of strengths and weaknesses. More info about training here.

In the third post I delve into stretching and self-massage.

In today's post, I am exploring step four of six of my recommended recovery methods: ways to...

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The Importance of Exercise Recovery: Step 1 Strength Training

 

Last week I wrote an article on exercise recovery and mentioned that within the body there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other areas of the body function best with more range of motion. I also briefly explored how six practices can help your body recover from exercise. Each week I will explore the six in more detail. 

The first practice I list is strength training, which at first may seem like a funny activity to put in a list about ways to recover from exercise. And while strength training doesn’t directly help our bodies recover from bouts of exercise, what it does do is far more important. Strength training lays the foundation to building a highly functional body. In the end this helps your body perform optimally so that it eases the demands on the body when you exercise, so less recovery is needed.

Strength training develops better force-couple relationships, which in turn creates a...

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The Importance of Exercise Recovery

 

Exercise recovery is more than just resting after a workout. In this article I go over a few important practices that can help increase your body’s ability to recover from exercise.

Within the body there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other parts of the body function best with more range of motion.

ACE Personal Trainer manual (5th Edition) has a helpful list locating key mobility and stability areas within the body’s kinetic chain: 

  • Glenohumeral (ball and socket joint where the top of the arm and the shoulder meet): mobility
  • Scapulothoracic (shoulder blade attachment to upper back): stability
  • Thoracic spine (upper back where ribs are): mobility
  • Lumber spine (lower back): stability
  • Hip (ball and socket joint where the top of the leg and side of pelvis meet): mobility
  • Knee: stability
  • Ankle: mobility
  • Foot: stability

If you have ever taken one of my classes, you may have heard me speak...

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