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 ( P’s of the week ) 1 leg Squats, Spices and Yoga Props

Hey Y’all!

Each week we will be providing you with tips, tricks, hacks and useful knowledge all pertaining to health, fitness and wellness. This weekly list will be unique and current to what we’re testing out at the moment or to share a result of a consistent trial that has produced a profound effect on us. We hope this list will help you on your journey to better health as we sieve out the best of the best to ensure you achieve your goals in no time!

Here’s your POW!

PHYSICAL : Pistol squat

This week we’re loving the pistol squat! The Pistol squat is a one legged full range squat where you keep one leg elevated as you slowly bring your bum to your heel. It’s a great workout targeting glutes, quads, hamstrings with core and ankle stability. There’s many variations and modifications. Learn more by watching below!

 

POTIONS:  Cayenne powder.

Just a pinch added to coffee, tea, water or foods can aid in digestion, improve circulation and rev up your metabolism. Our favourite way to consume it is in our coffee with cocoa powder for a spicy mocha, in guacamole, or on chicken or tofu with coconut oil and sea salt.

Cayenne Pepper Benefits Your Gut, Heart & Beyond

 

PROPS : Yoga wheel

Similar to a foam roller this wheel can be used to roll muscles and assist in stretches. However, the biggest difference is the unique circular shape ( see below ). The wheel helps open the chest by elongating the fascia and muscles which in our modern society have become tight, short and stuck. It also allows for wider range in shoulder mobility by lengthening the serratus anterior and triceps and it safely supports the spine so the back muscles don’t over-work on your way into full extension. I find this very useful if you’re looking for better form in your wheel ( straighter arms and more flexible thoracic spine) or would just like to stretch and open up before practice. Using this daily can slowly and safely prepare your body for deeper back bends rather then pushing into such an intense posture when your body may not be ready.

We use Yoga Dev

Here’s Amanda using it before teaching a class at Whole Life Balance

Hope you enjoyed the P’s of the week!

Check in next Monday for more!

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#POW

Amanda and Brit xx