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 # 16 – German Volume Training, Nature and The Vitamix

3 P’s for Optimal Perfomance and Health! 

 

The Power of 3…

 

PHYSICAL : German Volume Training

What is German Volume Training? GVC is a program to do if you are looking for rapid size gains. Usually this would involve lower reps (about 8 or lower) and for many this works great. Whereas, many high rep programs are geared more towards conditioning and fat loss.

But then, there’s German Volume Training, also known as the 10 set method. “This method was, to the best of my knowledge, popularized by Rolf Feser, the German National Weightlifting Coach of that time, and was quite popular in weightlifting circles as a method to gain weight, often causing athletes to move up one full weight class in only 12 weeks.”- Charles Poliquin

The standard protocol for German Volume Training (GVT), consists of choosing a large movement for a given muscle group (Legs-back squats) followed by another movement from the same muscle group (Legs-hamstring curls) and performing 10 sets of 10 reps with 90 seconds between sets.

Now, for most this is a 12 week program (for those looking for massive gains) but I did it for 7 weeks knowing that I would like to put on mass but not 12 weeks worth of it. When I finished this program I went straight into two weeks of HIIT ( high intensity interval training) strength and strength and endurance classes. Im still in this phase and will move on to another one shortly. I will keep you posted with my results!

GVC can be incorporate in a number of ways but this is what my 7 weeks looked like:

(Remember, you want to choose your weight carefully. A good weight to start with is 60 % of your 1RM so if your back squat 1 RM is 175lbs  you would start with 105 lbs. I know this seems light but trust me, its going to get heavy real fast. If you can get through all 10 sets hitting 10 reps each time then its time to bump up your weight.) 

 

Day 1/5- Chest and Back

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Tempo

Rest

A1

Flat DB bench press

10

10

4020

90

A2

Negatives/pull downs

10

10

4020

90

B1

Incline Flies

3

10-12

2020

75

B2

SA DB row

3

10-12

2020

75

 Day 2/5- Legs and Abs

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Tempo

Rest

A1

Back Squats

10

10

40X0

90

A2

Hamstring curls

10

8

40X0

90

B1

Hanging leg raises

3

10

2020

75

B2

Seated Calf Raise

3

10-12

2020

75

Day 3/5 OFF (Rest)

Day 4/5- Arms and Shoulders

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Tempo

Rest

A1

Bicep curls

10

10

40X0

90

A2

Tricep dips

10

10

40X0

90

B1

Standing lateral raises

3

10-12

2011

75

B2

Bent over lateral raises

3

10-12

40X0

75

 Day 5/5 OFF (Rest)

Back to Day 1

German volume training is not for everybody but its effectiveness is indisputable. If you are doing this program on your own I’m not going to lie to you, its tough to push through! The first 4 sets I found were the hardest and come the 8th set you actually start to feel stronger due to neurological adaptions. My advice to you is to always listen to your body. Do not go up in weight if you did not get through all 10 sets. When you have, that is the time to move on and you can push through even when you start to feel tired. There will be days that are much harder than others but you will get though it and you will be damn proud of yourself! Nothing easy is ever worth it. Not only did I put on mass but I saw strength gains as well and I’m very happy with my progress thus far.

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” Napoleon Hill

                                        

 PRESENT: Nature

Imagine this, it’s 6am on a Sunday morning and your alarm clock goes off. You roll out of bed, whip up a Natural PB and banana sandwich (yes please), brew up some coffee and you’re out the door. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Why the hell would I be up at 6 am on a Sunday morning?” But let me ask you, why the hell not!? We’re always searching for more hours in the day when really we could create them for ourselves. We can choose to embrace every moment of our big, beautiful lives and thats exactly what I did on Sunday morning. I walked outside and it was pretty brisk for a summer morning so my coffee was tasting extra good. I went down to the beach with a friend and we rented paddle boards. We dipped our feet in the water as we went to hop on the boards (MY GOD, it was FREEZING!). I’ve never hopped on a board so fast before. However, we forgot about how cold the water was really fast as we paddled on. The energy on the lake was so calm, so still, so serene. It was crystal clear and we could see right to the bottom. As we began to paddle out the sun was rising ever so slowly and it was absolutely epic. The sun was glistening off the water over the horizon and I thought to myself, “Thank god I’m not in bed right now”

Whenever I start to have feelings of anxiety, worry, anger, frustration, sadness, etc. The solution I always come back to is to get outside. My thoughts just seem to disappear and it’s just me, in the moment with my breath.

My advice to you, whether it is paddle boarding, walking, hiking, kayaking or anything really that gets you outside is to spend more time with nature, with your shoes off and away from social media (of course you can take some pictures) but really, find yourself there. Find yourself in that present moment. It will truly give you feelings of euphoria. I’m sure you will want to get up a little earlier every morning and really start to embrace you day. Really start to LIVE your LIFE

   

 

PRACTICAL : Vitamix

We just purchased the vitamix about a month ago and we absolutely love it. Don’t get me wrong, our last blender was good. We had the Ninja and it cost us about 100 bucks. It definitely did what we needed it to do, which was make smoothies. Now, not only can we make smoothies we can make ice cream, hot soups, sauces, hummus, dips and sauces. Whether you are creative with trying/ making new things the vitamix is a must-have. You can do so much with it. I don’t know of any other blenders that can make soup and blend it so fast that it heats up the soup for you. You will no longer have to chew your smoothies and you will have a variety of new sauces to make your meals new and different every time!  Eating breakfasts, lunches and dinners just got a whole lot more exciting!

Is it worth the price?

I paid a little over $400 for my Vitamix and if it lasts me 15 years, it will cost me $26 a year, which seems very reasonable.

A $40 blender replaced every three years would cost me $13 a year

A $100 blender replaced every five years would cost $20 (which is almost the same as the Vitamix)

So, yes,  INVEST in the vitamix… Its totally worth it!

Recipes to try

Ice cream- Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter

1 frozen banana

1 Tbsp of nut butter

1 Tbsp of cacao

1 Tbsp of coconut oil

Toppings

1 Tsp of chia seeds

1 Tsp of hemp hearts

1 tbsp of pecans

Place banana and nut butter in blender. Give it a little bit of time and if it isn’t blending up for you (it definitely should if you are using the vitamix) then you can add a tiny bit of almond milk. I like to add a pinch of himalayan salt and cinnamon to my blend. While this is blending take a tbsp of coconut oil and a tbsp of cacao and heat it up in a sauce pan for a minute. Once your ice cream is all whipped up, pour it into your bowl and pour your chocolate sauce on top. Add any extra toppings you like:)

Soup – Beet soup

Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion (yellow)
2 medium beets
½ cup water + more
salt to taste (¼ tsp or more

Makes ~3 cups: 2 large servings or 4 medium.

Peel and chop the onion and beets (½” by ½” sticks is good for the beets) Add oil to pan, sauté onions on medium-high heat for ~1 minute, then add beets and no more than half a cup of water to soften the beets.  Reduce heat and cook 3 minutes

Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes, then transfer to blender. If you want a really thick soup, you don’t have to add any more water. Blend on high until smooth. Himalayan salt to taste, serve, garnish, and enjoy!

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 # 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