P.O.W # 20 Organic Grocery Delivery, DNA testing, EMS Training

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health”
 
The Power of 3..
 

PRACTICAL: Organic Grocery Delivery Service

We recently signed up with Fresh City Farms to receive fresh, local and organic groceries right to our door. The concept suits most people with busy lives that care about eating the best quality food and for the right price. For just $30 weekly (delivery cost included or free when spending over $75) we receive a 2 person bag every Monday (you can choose the day that suits you). We decided to chose the local only bag to ensure we eat what’s in season, although we may try out another bag as you can change your weekly order very easily on their website. You don’t even need to be home when the delivery is made, they will leave it at your door in a cooler bag and with freezer packs (if needed). So far, we’re very pleased and it’s makes for interesting meal ideas. Chef Andy is back at it! *as I kiss the tips of my fingers* . My other favourite part is that you can choose 6 items to put on a “never send” list.  So, if you have allergies or REALLY dislike Cilantro like myself, then you never have to see it in your bag! (No ruining Guacamole up in this house!)

Here’s what we received these past two weeks: Corn on the cob, Zucchini, Radishes, Beets, Micro-Greens, plums, purple grapes and peaches.  The Second bag we received :  Rainbow carrots, loose spring mix, a bag of white onions, squash, beets, mushrooms, nectarines, plums, and we replaced two local items with Bananas and avocados since we do eat those weekly. They have a bakery (regular and gluten free) and deliver local organic brands of dairy and eggs. So this week we also added organic eggs, goat yogurt and goat cheese to our order. You have the ability to request extra items to be added to your fruit and veg bag as “weekly” or just order it the one time as a ” one off” item.  You can change/customize your bag up to 24 hours before delivery. We are really enjoying the convenience and the the creativity in our meals. We’ve made zucchini pasta, roasted beets with goat cheese salads and used all of the greens attached to the radishes and beets, egg and mushrooms omelettes, added carrots and onions to our bone broths, and have snacked on fruit and yogurt for desserts.  We’re eating less animal protein per meal and focusing on lots of veg. We visit our local butcher every weekend to treat our selves to local, organic Grass-fed beef or pork and grab some bones for bone broth. Our digestion is at it’s best it’s ever been, we’re feeling stronger and not to mention looking pretty damn good! 😉

To try out Fresh City Farms for your slef click the link! AND if you downloaded Bikos as per my last blog post then you will see that you can get a $20 off reward with I believe 30 bikos (30 km of rides)

Click HERE to try it out!

 

PREVENTATIVE: DNA Testing- 23 and me/ UBiome

I had my 23 and me dna testing and my boyfriend had Ubiome this past year. Both are helpful in their own way by allowing you to better understand your genetic make up or gut micro-biome a little better. Knowing these things about yourself can really alter the way you eat or live and we think that knowledge is power, so why not learn more about what makes you, YOU? Some people need to be mindful of predispositions to medical conditions, while others just can’t count on good genes to help them fit into their jeans. We are all Bio-individual. You have to except that your journey man not be as “easy” as others but it can make you a stronger, clearer and healthier person in the end because you know your body in and out.

23 and me: They will send you a kit and by spitting 10x in a tube, 23 and me can tell you things like; what your ancestry background is, if you possess bio-markers for health conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease or Celiac disease. Your genetic weight pre-disposition, if your weight is affected by fat intake, how much caffeine is right for you, and the type of muscle fibres you have. These kinds of details are super helpful and informative. For instance, I am 43% Italian and 17% British/Irish (the other 40% is quite a mix, mostly european),  I absorb caffeine fast which is a good thing (allowing me to have 2-3 cups a day if I wanted), my weight is not affected by eating fats (duh, I eat a half a pound of butter a day) and I have fast twitch muscle fibres which are better for power training (weight lifting and sprinting) rather than long distance training (I loathe running). I also found out I have a gene present that says I may have a marker for celiac disease (a gluten protein intolerance) which I don’t have in that severity but I may take that information further to find out if I have a gluten sensitivity. All of which, have made me think twice about my eating habits, workout routines and what I could pass on to my kids one day. The price is $249.00 CND and you can look at the details any time on their website or download all of your personal info as a PDF. Expect up to 3 months for results to be ready.

Ubiome is a company that samples your fecal matter to see how your gut bacteria is surviving (or not). Scientists have linked good gut bacteria with better weight management, cognitive function, sleep and mood. They call our guts our ” second brain” because it is such a smart, intricate, and vitally important part of the body. The Scientific American.com writes ” This mind-gut connection is not just metaphorical. Our brain and gut are connected by an extensive network of neurons and a highway of chemicals and hormones that constantly provide feedback about how hungry we are, whether or not we’re experiencing stress, or if we’ve ingested a disease-causing microbe. This information superhighway is called the brain-gut axis and it provides constant updates on the state of affairs at your two ends. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach after looking at your postholiday credit card bill is a vivid example of the brain-gut connection at work. You’re stressed and your gut knows it—immediately. What about the microbial side? When the microbiota adjusts to a change in diet or to a stress-induced decrease in gut transit time, is the brain made aware of this modification? Does the brain-gut axis run in one direction only, with all signals going from brain to gut, or are some signals going the other way? Is that voice in your head that is asking for a snack coming from your mind or is it emanating from the insatiable masses in your bowels? Recent evidence indicates that not only is our brain “aware” of our gut microbes, but these bacteria can influence our perception of the world and alter our behaviour. It is becoming clear that the influence of our microbiota reaches far beyond the gut to affect an aspect of our biology few would have predicted—our mind.”

From Ubiome, we found out how diverse all of our gut bacteria is. The kinds of food you eat regularly, medications you take, how much alcohol you drink, and stressful world you’re involved in can all have profound effects on your gut micro biome. You can see which strands of bacteria you are low and high in, helping you make better food choices. They list which foods to find certain probiotics (food that contain helpful bacteria) and prebiotic fibres (foods that feed your already existing bacteria). You can check the data online and compare yours other anonymous profiles to see how yours matches up to people who may have better or worse habits than your own. Although helpful, this ratio of bacteria changes and if you make a point of changing your diet you would find it helpful to test again as they recommend but it’s not cheap ($300 a pop) and if you plan on checking up 2-3 times a year that can get expensive. But i’d say if you’re having serious digestive issues like IBS or Crohns disease, tracking this information for a year while you change your diet, stress levels and exercise habits may be super informative.

 

PHYSICAL: EMS (electric muscle stimulation)

a few weeks ago I tried my fist EMS workout, it took me about a week to recover so that’s why it took me so long to review it 😉  Essentially,  they spray you damply, put a suit on you and shock you while you workout.. But don’t that let scare you off! It’s actually fun and not as horrifying as it sounds.  “EMS stands for Electric Muscle Stimulation. Technically, EMS is a total body workout with body current. In this context, it might be helpful to know that our muscles contract through electric impulses (bioelectronics) in normal state. The EMS training makes use of this effect. By employing hardly noticeable external electro impulses, the natural effect is additionally intensified and an effective training can be achieved.” So, how does 20 minutes 2-3 x per week sound? Pretty good, right? How about that fact that you are accessing more than 90% of your muscle fibres and feel like you lifted like Arnold, except all you have to do is some air squats and bicep curls with a 2 pound weight! All the benefits of a long, heavy, sweaty workout except you won’t be putting an increased amount of pressure on the knees or lower back. Sounds almost too good to be true! Here’s why you should try it:

What are the benefits of EMS?

Elite athletes use EMS in addition to their training in order to improve their strength and speed. Physical therapists make use of EMS for joint-sparing muscle formation and for targeted back exercises. Personal trainers, gyms and beauty centers concentrate on the fitness and beauty aspects: body  shaping through muscle formation and catabolism of fat, stimulation of metabolism and tightening of connective tissue.

Why is the EMS training much more effective than conventional weight training?

The EMS full-body workout activates over 90% of the muscles fibres at the same time during each contraction! in a single 20 minute session, you’ll burn 500 calories! As oppose to conventional weight training, deeper muscles are demanded, as well. That enhances intra- and intercellular coordination. Therefore, the training produces an effect much more rapidly and effectively than conventional weight training. The training effect with EMS training can be up 18 times better than with conventional weight training.

Is stimulation current dangerous? 

No. Training or therapy using low-frequency current stimulation is not dangerous. Why? Our muscles work constantly. During this process, small intrinsic electric pulses initiate every movement. During the training with current stimulation, this pulse is simply fortified by the additional pulse from outside. Therefore, the impulse does not seem foreign to the body.

So..  are you ready to shock your body to ripped?

Check me trying it out here: Andy EMS1 Andy EMS2

 

and check out Whole Life Balance to try it for yourself!

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

AND Don’t forget to download our FREE PPP exercise E-Guide! Free only for a limited time.

Plus if you complete the challenge we have merchandise and trips to BALI to give away! Check it out you won’t be disappointed!

xx

Andy and Brit 

POW # 18- Farmers markets, Infrared saunas and Healthy popcorn

3 P’s for Optimal Perfomance and Health! 

 The Power of 3…  

PRACTICAL:  Farmers markets – Buying local and organic

Do you shop at your local farmers market? If you do, fantastic! and if you don’t, heres why you should 😉

  • The food is as fresh as you can get it outside of growing it yourself.
  • All fruits and veggies at local farmers markets should be Organic and non-GMO. That being said, speak to your local farmers, get to know them and ask about their farming practices. And yes, organic food can be expensive but it is our health that is most important. Check out this list of fruits and veggies called The “Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean 15”. This list refers to the fruits and vegetables that are the most and least contaminated by pesticide use. Let this guide help you with what to buy organic vs non-organic.
  • The Dirty Dozen (in order of highest contamination)
  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Nectarines
  • Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Blueberries
  • Potato
  • The Clean 15 (in order of least contamination)
  • Onions
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet peas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelon
  • Mushrooms

Remember, the process is gradual. Change takes time and all of us have to work within our budgets.

EAT YOUR VEG! – Support Local Farms

  • Vibrant colours in fruits and veggies are a reflection of the nutrients they contain.
  • Ethical Industrialized farming has become the norm. Industrial farming (both conventional and organic) is hard on the land, and utilizes environmentally unfriendly practices that are not sustainable over the long-term.
  • Support small businesses and families.
  • Eco-friendlyReducing the use of fossil fuels through less waste in the form of carbon monoxide, pesticide use and chemical fertilizers.
  • Invest in you and your families health.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint (the average meal travels 1200 km from the farm to plate. Food that is grown closer to home will therefore have fewer transportation emissions associated with it.

I absolutely love going to our local farmers market because you get to know your community better and its a great way to spend a Sunday morning.

Check out these lists of farmers markets that you can hit up ALL throughout the week in Toronto. Now you’ll have no excuse not to check them out 🙂

http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2014/06/farmers_markets_in_toronto_by_day_of_the_week/

http://www.blogto.com/toronto/the_best_farmers_markets_in_toronto/

 

                     

 

PROP: Infrared Sauna

Historically, heat treatments have been used to help heal the body for thousands of years. “Hot air baths” and sweat lodges were used for busting stress, increasing relaxation and detoxification among Native Americans, Eastern Europeans and in Ancient Chinese Medicine.- Dr Axe

What is an Infrared sauna?

A type of sauna that uses heat and light to help relax and detoxify the body.

Whats the difference between a regular sauna and an infrared sauna?

They differ from “regular saunas” because their light directly penetrates your skin but does not warm the air around you. — which is why most can stay in an infrared sauna longer than a regular sauna.

Do Infrared saunas really work?

There is still research being done on the long term effects but as of right now they seem to be safe.

There has been research and testing done proving that infrared saunas do in fact help many people reduce blood pressure and increase exercise tolerance- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16105634

There have also been tests done on improving cardiovascular healing- http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S073510970101467X

Cost

The average price for a 45 minute- 1 hour session is $50 Canadian Dollars.

Benefits of Infrared saunas

  • Pain reduction
  • Relaxation
  • Anti-aging effects
  • Increased detoxification
  • Joint and muscle support
  • Inflammation lowering effect
  • Boosts metabolism

So, our advice to you is try it out for yourself and see how it makes you feel 🙂

POTION: Healthy Popcorn

We absolutely LOVE popcorn as a healthy snack.  It’s high in fibre, low in carbs per cup popped and you can flavour any way you like! However, if you’re buying microwave or movie theatre popcorn that’s a different story. Microwave and Theatre popcorn use genetically modified corn, refined vegetable oils (margarine), refined sugars and preservatives. YUCK!  The type of popcorn you want to get is the organic, non GMO kernels that you can pop on the stove yourself. It takes a little bit more time to make ( 2-3 extra mins compared to bagged popcorn) but it is much healthier and the way we make it, MUCH tastier!  You can go to any health store and find this type of popcorn in the bulk section or buy in bulk on Amazon.ca . Once you’ve got your popcorn you will also need to purchase some Coconut oil / Ghee/olive oil, himalayan salt and nutritional yeast. We like to buy our coconut oil from Costco because you can get a massive 2.3 L tub of it (organic) for only 27 bucks! It’s a steal. Himalayan salt and Nutritional yeast will also be at your local health food store.

What is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a unique vegetarian food with pleasantly cheesy flavor and a powerful nutritional punch! It is rich in B vitamins, including B12, and provides 8 grams of protein per serving. For a rich umami flavor, add nutritional yeast to sauces, scrambles, kale chips, crackers and biscuits. To boost nutrition and please your taste buds, sprinkle over vegetables, baked potatoes or popcorn. *Vegan and gluten free.

Instructions

1. Get a large pot with a lid and put 1 Tbsp of coconut oil inside with 3 single kernels. Turn the heat on high and keep a close watch on the kernels to pop.

2. Once those kernels have popped, remove the pot from the burner and take the three pieces of popcorn out of the pot.

3. Wait about 30 seconds before putting the rest of the kernels in that you would like to make and add some more coconut oil if you need to.

4. Once the 30 seconds is up put the pot back on the burner and bring the heat down to a low/ medium with the lid on.

5. Wait for all the kernels to pop and when they are done remove the pot and pour the popcorn into a large bowl.

6. Pour 1- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil back into the empty pot to melt it and then pour it all of the popcorn. ( Can also use Melted Ghee, Grass-fed butter, Olive oil, Avocado oil, or Truffle Olive oil )  

7. Sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of your nutritional yeast and a couple pinches of himalayan salt.

Spicy Nacho: Nutritional yeast, Coconut oil or Ghee, Cayenne powder, Cumin powder, Paprika, Onion and Garlic powder, Salt

Spicy Sweet: Cayenne pepper, Cinnamon, Coconut oil, Salt

Cheesy Dill: Nutritional Yeast, Ghee or Coconut oil, Onion powder, Dried Dill , Salt

Truffle Parm: Truffle Olive oil, onion powder, Nutritional yeast, ( or high quality organic parmesan), Salt .

Salted Peanut butter Chocolate: Melt half a bar of Dark chocolate with a table spoon of coconut oil. After melted, stir in 1 table spoon organic peanut butter, 1 table spoon of maple syrup, half a tea spoon of salt and melt over popcorn. Put in the fridge for 30 min. 

VOILA! Healthy popcorn complete!

 

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

AND Don’t forget to download our FREE PPP exercise E-Guide! Free only for a limited time.

Plus if you complete the challenge we have merchandise and trips to BALI to give away! Check it out you won’t be disappointed!

xx

Andy and Brit 

P.O.W # 14 Weight training, Gluten, Bulletproof coffee

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health

PHYSICAL: Weight Training 

Certainly, we’ve all experienced going into a packed gym, listening to a bunch of “meat heads” howling out and dropping barbells all over the place. Does this make you a tad apprehensive to start weight training? Or perhaps you’re also intimidated with all of the different kinds of machines and setup required? These are all totally understandable reasons for anxiety around weight training but don’t let that stop you from trying! The science shows that weight training not only helps get you into better shape it’s the only type of exercise known to slow or reverse all 10 biomarkers of aging! We suggest to ask a friend to be a “gym buddy”, consult a with a gym/personal trainer or do some of your own research on some easily integratabtle exercises for your next gym visit. Get off the treadmill and try it out, you will not be disappointed!

10 Anti-Aging Biomarkers

– blood lipids (mainly fatty acids and cholesterol)
– strength mass
– muscle mass
– bone density
– blood glucose control
– body composition
– cardiorespiratory fitness
– aerobic capacity
– blood pressure
– gene expression

Who wouldn’t want to jump on this anti-aging phenomena? Science has proven that the average person can add seven healthy years to their life through weight training! You can even change the hormonal and chemical levels in your body, slow down/prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and chronic pain.
Strength training is also one of the most effective ways to regain insulin and leptin sensitivity while reversing insulin and leptin resistance.

Leptin: is a hormone produced in your fat cells. Its primary role is to regulate your appetite and body weight. It tells your brain when to eat, how much to eat and most importantly when to stop eating. The Leptin hormone is also responsible for speeding up or slowing down your metabolism.

Insulin: Sugars and grains raise your blood sugar. When this happens insulin is released to direct the extra energy into storage. Only a small amount is stored as a polysaccharide called glycogen, but the majority is stored as your main energy storage supply—fat. Insulin’s major role is not to lower your blood sugar but rather to store the extra energy for future times of need. Insulin’s effect of lowering your blood sugar is merely a “side effect” of this energy storage process.

Insulin resistance: Insulin resistance occurs when your body becomes resistant to the hormone insulin. Any time a cell is exposed to insulin it’s going to become more insulin resistant. If you eat too many sugars or grains it provokes insulin surges. When your body is exposed to excess insulin,  it no longer responds to it properly and becomes insulin resistant.

An article in Forbes magazine highlighted the benefits of strength training for the aging population.

“The average 30-35 year old person will experience roughly a 25 percent decline in his or her muscle strength and tone by the age of 70-75, and up to a 50 percent decline approaching the age of 90.”

We don’t need to take pharmaceutical drugs to improve our bone density or find that magic pill/cream to decrease the rate at which we age. We just need to move daily and nourish our bodies with healthy, whole foods. Pharmaceutical drugs mask our issues causing long term effects, while weight training is one of the solutions to lasting longevity and vitality!

Happy lifting!!!

 

POISON: Gluten 

Sometimes we talk about the best supplements out there for you, but the best supplements in the world can’t reverse all of the negative effects from your daily diet. If you have food sensitivities and ignore the signs, you may be feeling fatigued, inflamed, or struggle losing weight even if the supposed food is coming from organic/clean sources. We may not always show an anaphylactic response to foods we’re allergic or slightly to. One of the most common sensitivities today is of course; Gluten.

What is Gluten? 

A storage protein found in wheat, barley, rye and most oats

Problematic for people with:

-celiac disease
-gluten sensitivity

Celiac disease is the most extreme reactions to gluten and effects about 1 % of the population. It is an auto-immune disease (when the body attacks it’s own immune system/cells). The tiniest crumb of gluten can have a damaging effect on your system when you have Celiac disease. Inside the small intestine there are little hairs called “Villi” and when we have gluten (and are sensitive to it) the Villi slowly will get eroded away causing nutrients and undigested food to pass through the intestinal walls, potentially leading to leaky gut syndrome.  You can be eating a healthy diet,  but if your small intestine isn’t performing optimally you won’t absorb the nutrients you intake.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease include:

– stomach pain
– diarrhea
– gas
– bloating

Long term Health risks:

– anemia
– infertility
– cancer
– other auto immune diseases


Testing for Celiac Disease


– blood test is about 95% accurate
– biosy to confirm
– must be eating gluten

What is gluten Sensitivity?

Gluten sensitive people are those who don’t have celiac but still show some symptoms of irritation and inflammation after consuming Gluten. These types of people also show an improvement when they take gluten out of their diet.


Gluten sensitivity often effects people with:

– irritable bowel syndrome
– neuropathy (nerve pains or numbness)
– autoimmune disease ( MS, Chrohns, Type 1 diabetes, etc)
– Inflammation

There have been studies on those with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome),  Type 1 Diabetes, Chrohns and Arthritis, that have shown improvement when gluten is taken out of their diet.


Gluten sensitivity test 

– gluten free trial for 2-3 months
–  important to test for celiac first

However, going gluten free for some is a lifelong decision, getting a concrete diagnosis can be very powerful and then it’s harder to justify cheating when there are significant long term risks involved.

The biggest question is; is a gluten-free diet healthy? Well, that all depends on what you are putting into your body. It can be extremely healthy but it could also be extremely unhealthy. 
Gluten-free foods are usually not enriched (meaning they are lacking in nutrients) and they are often higher in sugar.  So, those Gluten-free brownies aren’t a nutritious option for breakfast, sorry!

Eating gluten-free doesn’t have to be hard, you just need to eat whole, real foods! ( Unpackaged, unrefined and unprocessed) If you are eating a balanced diet then it is definitely okay to treat yourself to gluten-free treats from time to time. I mean, come on we’re all human! Just be aware of what you are putting into your body on a daily basis and read your labels.

Label reading (all of these have gluten in them)

– Wheat is labeled
– Barley (containing gluten) is found on the label under:
– malt
– malt flavouring
– malt vinegar
– beer
– brewers yeast

Cutting back on gluten basically means eating less PROCESSED foods and this is good for everybody! Whether you have celiac disease, a gluten sensitivity or nothing at all! The more whole foods, the better!

Whole food that are naturally gluten-free

– fruits
– vegetables
– nuts and seeds
– beans
– most dairy
– eggs
– fish, poultry, meat
– herbs
– rice, wild rice
– sweet potato

When I’m trying to cut back on something that isn’t benefitting me one of my favourite Philosophies to live by is to “CROWD OUT!”

You don’t need to quit everything all at once, as this may back fire on you. Instead, start by eating more whole foods, drinking more water and slowly they will start to “Crowd out” the Not-So-Good-Stuff. Take it one day at a time!

Do your own research as well and if you feel that you have some of these symptoms that I have spoken about, then go see your health care practitioner.

In the end, it’s all about feeling good!

POTION: Coffee (Bulletproof)

I don’t know about you guys but we absolutely LOVE our morning coffee! Sipping that warm cupp’a joe in the morning. Mmm absolute bliss!

Health Benefits

  • Alertness
  • Caffeine has been shown to to improve mental performance, even in low doses.
  • Mood
  • Some people say they feel happier, more energetic and sociable 
  • Boost metabolism
  • Performance

Bulletproof Coffee is coffee with two tablespoons of grass-fed butter or Ghee and a tablespoon of MCT oil ( Medium chain triglyceride oil).

The healthy fats from the grass-fed butter and Brain Octane Oil give you a stable current of energy that sustains you throughout the day.

The Brain Octane Oil (which is derived from coconut oil)  also serves to increase ketone production (Ketones are the result of the body burning fat for energy or fuel instead of carbohydrates – we will speak more about this more on another P.O.W) and boosts your metabolic rate by up to 12 %

Drink as much Bulletproof Coffee as you like in the morning.  However, we just suggest no coffee after 2:00 PM or you might not sleep!

As a Vegan option, we use Cocoa butter  or Coconut Butter instead of the grass-fed butter. You will still get a lot of healthy fats plus the brain octane keeps you going for hours.

If you are not a coffee lover or looking to go caffeine-free like the two of us then here are some recipes to help give you a morning or mid afternoon kick!

Vanilla Rooibos Tea

Ingredients

  • Rooibos tea – 2 table spoons of loose tea or 2 bags
  • Half a teaspoon Vanilla extract ( or use vanilla flavoured rooibos)
  • 1/4 cup Full fat ( min 60%) Coconut milk or 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter or Almond Milk
  • 1 teasp -1 tblsp of MCT or Coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon Stevia or Vanilla Flavoured Stevia Drops ( 5 drops )
  • 1 tablespoon Grass-fed Collegen powder ( optional )

Instructions

  1. Brew and steep your tea for about 5 min
  2. In a blender combine all ingredients and pulse until mixed!

You can use any tea you like for this (Chai, Matcha Green tea)

Turmeric Latte

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh turmeric root, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root (or 1 teaspoon ground)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil Raw honey or sweetener of choice to taste
  • Pinch of black pepper (optional)Instructions

Instructions

  • Gently warm a cup of almond or coconut milk in a small saucepan.
  • Do not boil.
  • Add turmeric, ginger and cinnamon
  • Combine the coconut oil with the mixture
  • Gently heat together until melted.

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

 

POW # 11 (Mindfulness, Jump Squats and Connection)

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health

Firstly, thank you to Brit & Amanda for asking me to do a guest post on their blog. I absolutely love the idea of the 3 P’s and I’m so excited to be able to share three P’s that resonate with me this week. Here goes …

PRESENCE : Mindfulness

We all know how hard it is to be truly present in the moment. As a working mom, this is especially difficult, but so important. But kids or no kids, what I believe really helps is meditation. Meditation can recharge us, as well as get us back to centre. I know you might be thinking it’s crazy to try and find time to sit in silence, but start with just 5 minutes a day and work your way up each week. If you commit to even a short amount of time, you will find that meditation helps to reconnect you to your inner self and will help you be more grounded, less stressed and more PRESENT.

There are three types of meditation including guided meditation (lead by a series of vocal prompts); mantra meditation (mental or verbal repetition of a phrase or affirmation); and relaxation (imagining each area of your body relaxing and listening to your breathing). Whatever you choose, the benefits of meditation are endless and improving your presence in the moment is just one of them!

Suggested apps:

Insight Timer and Headspace

PHYSICAL : Jump Squats

Movement keeps our blood flowing and ultimately, it keeps us alive! This week I encourage you to challenge yourself to move a little more than you usually do. Try that new fitness class. Go for a run or a walk outside. Stretch. Stretch a little more. Recruit a friend. This week just MOVE.

5 Benefits To Movement

1. Improve your metabolism and control weight

2. Boost your energy levels

3. Support heart health

4. Improve your sleep

5. Better your mood

Suggested move of the week:

Jump Squats. They work your whole body and can be done just about anywhere. Here’s how you do them:

• Stand with the feet shoulder width apart.

• Squat down as if you were performing a normal squat.

• Engage your core and jump in the air explosively.

• On landing lower the body back into the squat position and that is one rep.

• Be careful to land with control and if there is any pain in knees stop immediately.

PEOPLE Awareness & Connection

If there is one ‘P’ that you should remember from this post, I hope it’s this one. With our busy schedules and the madness of social media, it can be easy to lose that human connection. Instead of walking into the gym with head down and mid text, put your phone away and get eye contact with people. Say hello and engage those around you. This real human interaction is so key to a healthy state of mind. We learn from each other that an Instagram post can never replace a face-to-face conversation. This week focus on PEOPLE – family, friends or even strangers at your local coffee shop.

Did you know?

There are studies that have shown that a lack of social connections was associated with a significantly increased risk for inflammation, becoming overweight, and even developing high blood pressure.

For more information you can find Trisha at notummymommy.com 

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit

P.O.W # 9 (Power, Passion, Purpose)

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health!

Greetings Leaders and Healers from around this beautiful planet,
My name is Anthony Cheam and I am so honoured to write a blog post for a dear friend and colleague of mine, Brit Mcquarrie.
To go along with the theme of Brit and Amandas “3 P’s” I am going to share something from my upcoming book, soon to be released in the summer, YOU 2.0. The basis of YOU 2.0 teaches a multi-dimensional approach to upgrading human software and hardware – mind, body and spirit. The YOU 2.0 system upgrade is powered by what I call the P³ Performance System – Claim Your POWER, Clarify Your PURPOSE, Cultivate Your PASSION!
POWER – Claim Your POWER!
The easiest, most effective and fastest way to claim your power is to utilize the power of your physiology. Your body consists of one hundred trillion cells all working in total harmony with one another and you don’t have to consciously get involved in any of it. Imagine if you could utilize the gift of all that power. Well…you can!
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is what I call power breathing. Power breathing is simply deep diaphragmatic breathing where you engage and turn on your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for disposing of any garbage that is lurking around in your body. The problem is that the lymphatic system needs to be activated by deep diaphragmatic breathing. How often are you deeply breathing throughout your day? Unless you exercise at high intensities you are not activating your lymphatic system regularly, therefore, toxins may be slowly taking over your body. The more toxins and pollutants the less energy and power you will have. The more you cleanse your body through high intense exercise or power breathing the greater your lymphatic system will dispose of unwanted material.
How do you do this? Easy. Close your eyes. Stand up. Spread your legs and stand tall with your shoulders back.Take a deep breath in through your nose. Make sure you can hear the air going in. When you can no longer take in any more air immediately breathe out through your mouth. Again, make sure you can hear the out-breath. Do this at least 5x. Once you have a rhythm, increase the speed of your in-breath and out-breath until you are almost hyper-ventilating. Keep your eyes closed while you do this so you don’t feel too light-headed. This should only take 30-60 seconds. You won’t believe how great you will feel.
Do this at least twice a day or anytime you need a charge. It’s a great substitute for coffee or caffeine stimulants.
Claim your power!
PASSION – Clarify Your PURPOSE!
One of the best ways to clarify your purpose or reason or “why” for living or being on this planet is to start by “not-making-it-about-you,” but rather, making it about something bigger than you. And, that means helping others, serving the greater good, contributing your gifts, talents and capacities to make a difference in the world. Wherever you are and whomever you are, you have been blessed with life. I heard once, “God’s gift to you was ‘life.’ What you do with your life is your gift to God.” 
Make sure your reasons or purpose for life is about service. I know life can get tough, tragic and hard. But, it’s not the wounds of life that define you, but what you do with yours wounds. Some of the most beautiful things have been created and discovered out of major failures, disappointments and seemingly impossible odds. Is it not through pressure and extreme heat that a diamond is formed? Is it not through torrential storms and wind that a tree gets firmer and its roots go deeper? Is it not through struggle and pain that a human is strengthened and his or her character revealed and sculpted?
There is a Chinese proverb that states, “A diamond cannot be polished without friction nor man perfected without trials.”
Make your purpose greater than any circumstance or suffering in your life.
Clarify your purpose!
PURPOSE – Cultivate Your PASSION!
Cultivate your passion simply means doing what you love. I remember hearing a study that concluded that a whopping 80% of people hate their job.
Here’s something to ponder: Do more of what you love, less of what you tolerate, and none of what you hate.
What do you truly love to do? Are you doing what you are passionate about in life? Is there something that you have always wanted to do but have kicked it to the curb because of distractions or life circumstance?
One of my original mentors told me this: “Doing what you love not only brings more years to your life, but more life to your years.”
Life is too short to be doing the things you hate. There is one thing to be working three jobs to support your four children even though you may hate your job. Yes, those circumstances do certainly exist, and I honour and applaud your courage if you are doing this. However, even these unique and powerful individuals know that at some level they are doing this because the purpose of doing it is to put food on the table and provide a roof over their loved ones heads, and that in itself gives them meaning and a sense of love and gratitude for their job.
If you are doing something because you believe you are forced to, then, at the very least, bring more love to what you do. Don’t wait for things to bring you more joy and love, be the source of more joy and love that you bring to the things in your life. That’s the fundamental shift that makes the difference.
If that doesn’t help, then be bold, make the decision to leave and live life on your terms, according to the music that your heart hears. Go ahead, march to your own drum beat.
If it’s a book that your heart is telling you to write, then write it; if it means adopting a child from Africa, then pursue it. Whatever it is, listen to your intuition and the whispers of your heart. Trust it.
Cultivate your passion.
 
To your continued upgrade and evolution!
 
Anthony

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

 

P.O.W # 8 (Box jumps, Borage oil and Anthony Cheam)

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health”

PHYSICAL: Box Jumps 

We absolutely love box jumps! We all need speed to bring our strength to new levels and box jumps are the quickest way to get explosive, express power and practice landing softly (sound landing mechanics take a lot of core strength, which is great because its easy to forget about keeping our core activated throughout workouts)

Things to be aware of while completing a box jump

  • Feet are flat while landing.
  • Knees stay neutral (they are not pointing out too much or buckling in)
  • Core is engaged.
  • Shoulders back and chest up.
  • When landing on the box, extend the knees and thrust the hips forward.
  • Eyes are always looking forward or up. You never want to be looking down because thats the direction you will go in.
  • Step back down off the box one foot at a time.

We know box jumps can be intimidating, so try practicing first by placing an object on the floor in front of you and jumping over it, tucking your knees in close to your chest. Once you’ve mastered this you should have no problem taking on the box jump!

              

POTION : Borage Oil (GLA oil) 

Borage oil is a natural substance that provides high levels of the fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a strong anti-inflammatory found in certain plant oils.

While gamma-linolenic acid is derived from extracts drawn from the seeds of plants like borage (Borago officinalis) and evening primrose, it’s not found in high amounts in the human diet. Therefore, taking a supplement is the way to go.

Borage oil is one of the most popular natural anti-inflammatory supplements because it has one of the highest amounts of GLA of all seed oils, a total of 23%! Whereas, Primrose only has 9% .

Benefits of using GLA Oil

  • PMS symptoms (I did notice less breast tenderness and skin breakouts but still felt cramping.)

       Bone loss and osteoporosis

  • ADHD Symptoms
  • Menopause symptoms
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Ongoing Fatigue (I have felt less fatigued)
  • Inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Dealing with Stress
  • Managing Diabetes

I have been using Borage Oil (GLA Oil) now for three weeks and I absolutely love it. Some call it a facial in a bottle and I believe it! Stay tuned for future updates.

PERSON : Anthony Cheam (Life Coach, Personal Trainer and Motivational Speaker)

I have known Anthony since I was 14 years old, thats 14 years! When I was 18 he started to train me. However, through working with Anthony I gained so much more than just a fit body. I was inspired, motivated and driven to be a better version of myself every single day. I couldn’t wait for our sessions together because I would always leave with more knowledge than what I came with. He shaped part of the individual that I am today. He is one of the reasons why I became a personal trainer and why I wanted to work with others to help them to be better versions of themselves.

Since I’ve known Anthony he has gone on to write two books, give a TED talk, hosts numerous teaching events about how to be the best version of YOU and SO much more.

Stay tuned for a guest POW from Anthony soon!

You can find all that Anthony does at:

http://anthonycheam.com/

  (Anthonys Book)

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

P.O.W #7 Hydration, Peppermint oil and Foot Release

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health”

 

 

PHYSICALHydration

This past week I (Amanda) had another kidney stone attack. This isn’t a first as it is a hereditary condition that I have had trouble with since my teens. Unfortunately, there isn’t much advice out there that is congruent enough to follow rigidly. Most people assume it’s from too much salt or protein in the diet but a majority of stones today are made from Calcium deposits. But don’t go thinking that means you have to limit dairy, quite the contrary.. some advise to eat more. It could also be a mineral build up from the unfiltered water you drink.  I’ve also read that high oxalate foods such as, dark leafy greens, dark chocolate, green tea, coffee, sweet potatoes and tofu are the culprit. Which is unfortunate since those are all super healthy foods I eat on the regular, and quite frankly I don’t intend to stop eating them any time soon. They could get a sample from a stone and tell you what yours specifically is made out of but it’s not the easiest process. Even then the causes are not completely known. The only consistent piece of advice I found was of course to drink more water. We all know we should drink more water but busy days get the best of us or our favourite beverage takes precedence . Not to mention how active you are and during the summer months we need to hydrate even more. I gather that albeit having to go through this pain that I think I have made a difference in the size of the stone that was lessoned by my diet and water consumption. My theory is my diet had broken down the stone rather than having it build up and become larger. So, I won’t become paranoid about the foods I eat I’ll just remember to always increase my water consumption to flush out and clean those precious kidneys of mine.

Tips to increase water consumption :

  • Drink only water with your meals and when out a restaurants ( and add a little lemon too!)
  • Add fruit to flavour your water!
  • Use an on the go Brita water bottle to filter water where ever you are – No excuses! (I use this one )
  • Drink coconut water as well ( but don’t over do it as it is high in natural sugars but also full of electrolytes, potassium and magnesium)

 

POTION : Peppermint Oil

After being on heavy pain meds my stomach hadn’t been feeling so good. I was nauseous and felt I had heartburn 24/7 ( which I never get ) I was desperate to find relief and stumbled upon my peppermint oil in my cabinet. I read online I could apply it topically to my belly and throat as well as make a tea with one little drop. I applied it to my temples as well to sooth my aching head. Finally I was able to sleep! The cooling sensation calmed my belly and my mind and had me thinking why I hadn’t used that in the first place!

I used doTERRA Peppermint oil 

 

 

PROPS : Foot Roller 

Until my training was interrupted by my kidney stones last week, I was about to complete my certification in Fascial Stretch Therapy. My lovely lady Brit had received her certification back in Oct and I wanted to do mine with her but the timing didn’t work out. Fascial Stretch Therapy is a relatively new release therapy which enables a trainer or bodyworker to stretch the client in a realxed state that activates the parasympathetic nervous system, better allowing facilitation of the fascia, muscles and connective tissue . It also incorporates PNF ( Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation ) which has shown great results in increasing range of motion and flexibility as opposed to static stretching which commonly has resulted in either over stretching or just an ineffective stretch. It is also important to think of the body as having connection fascial lines or “nets” and all of these nets correspond at our little piggies. So releasing the tight fascia in the feet is a great addition to add before workout or before bed time! It has the ability to already increased flexibility by doing that alone. You can use a Lacrosse ball, tennis ball or a foot roller. Check here for how to!

 

 

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

 

 

P.O.W (P’s of the week) Breathing, Pulling and Vegan Brekkie

PRANAYAMA: Adham Pranayama (Abdominal breathing)

Here is a description of how to start practicing Adham Pranayama, abdominal breathing.

Sit in an upright comfortable position. Shoulders back and chest up with a nice elongated spine. Begin to breathe in through your nose feeling your belly rise and fall. Feel the movement. The diaphragm muscle move down onto the digestive organs during inhalation and back up into the chest during exhalation.When the air is expelled the diaphragm is pulled in as well, the navel being drawn in towards the spine so as to squeeze all the air out. This movement of the diaphragm muscle provides a massage for all of the organs in the lower body area, stimulating better function of those organs, improved circulation, digestion, elimination and healthier sexual functions. Many physical disorders below the rib cage can be prevented through this form of breathing. This includes all the digestive organs, down to the intestines, bowels, reproductive organs and prostate gland. Abdominal breathing also has a positive effect on the kidneys and adrenal glands.

“Oxygen is, by far, the most vital component humans need to live. We can go weeks without food, days without water, but only a few minutes without air?”- Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/deep-breathing-for-lung-cleansing/

PHYSICAL: Pull ups

Pull ups are one of our fave exercises but man, are they hard! However, we keep practicing because consistency and frequency are what help us achieve our ultimate goals, in this case, One. Freaking. Pull Up. :p

This is a great video by Charles Poliquin on how to improve your pull ups. Now, the woman in this video has been practicing pull ups for quite some time but none the less the 24-30 seconds of time under tension she is doing is great for pull up progression. Use a bench to help you grasp on to the bars and go! You could always as ask a friend to assist you as well. Happy pull up-ing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2rDdhR3ils

PLANT BASED: Vegan pancake recipe

Our obsession with meat and its low cost has led to HUGE scale factory farming around the globe in order for the industry to keep up with the demand. Now, about 70% of poultry meat, 50% of pork, 40% of beef and 60% of eggs are factory farmed. In factory farms these animals often endure dire conditions that can be detrimental to their health and wellbeing. Factory farming is currently the #1 cause of animal cruelty. So if you do choose to eat meat try to buy ethical, good quality meat (organic) and eggs that come from organic free range farms. The only way us as consumers can have an impact on this is through our choices when we shop, the market will match the demand, and if we stop buying cheap and inhumane products they will produce less of it. These less cruel products are often more expensive, so eat less of it! try having meat/eggs only once per day and have a couple of meat free days!

Here is a tasty plant based breakfast recipe for you to try out by Angela Liddon (who is amazing and has SO many incredible, plat based recipes on her blog check her out!

http://ohsheglows.com/

Vegan & Gluten-Free Vanilla Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats (not kasha), ground into a flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 medium ripe banana, diced
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (optional)
  • Directions:
  • Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  • In a blender, blend the buckwheat groats on high speed until a fine flour forms. Place into a large bowl. Now whisk in the rest of the dry ingredients (rice flour, cornstarch, baking powder).
  • Pour in the almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk the batter until no clumps remain.
  • Fold in the diced banana and scraped vanilla bean. If using fresh blueberries, mix them in now.
  • Lightly grease skillet. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter onto the preheated skillet. If using frozen blueberries, sprinkle on a heaping tablespoon of blueberries. Cook until many bubbles appear and then flip and cook for another couple minutes. Repeat for the other pancakes.

Hope you enjoyed the P’s of the week!

Check in next Monday for more!

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Amanda and Brit xx