Doing Healing Supplements The Right Way

I wrote the following a while ago while I was training – I think it was the endorphins kicking in:

There is no “Theeee Best”. Each of us is gifted with the ability to peak at different times and that in turn helps others to rise to their next peak. When this chain continues, we continue to evolve within our families and community”.

I wasn’t sure where I was going to take this little piece of writing until now.

Each one of us has ups and downs whether it be in our daily lives or our journey in health. Just when you think you’ve got your nutrition down, your training is spot on, everything is coming up roses….life can throw a curve ball. That’s exactly what happened to me just a short while ago. An accident during a training session left me suddenly and (hopefully) temporarily unable to continue the pace I am used to.

I will without hesitation admit to having a solid cry or two…or three…OK whose counting? And then I realized that during this time I could share some great information for healing injuries through good quality nutrition and supplementation. YES! All was not lost!!!

Side note: It’s totally OK to cry your eyes out from disappointment at something unexpectedly derailing you from your goal. But after you’ve wiped your last tear, it is absolutely necessary to get back on that horse baby (I remind myself of this daily).

Here are some essentials for pulls and strains of muscles/tendons/ligaments and joints that you can obtain by eating good quality ingredients and taking quality supplements when necessary:

Curcumin: This is a strong anti inflammatory compound (reduces swelling of injured area) and antioxidant (prevent damage at the cellular level). It is present in the spice Turmeric and is also available in an extract form. The consumption of black peppercorn along with this aids in absorption into the bloodstream.

Vitamin C: This is responsible for synthesis of collagen and other compounds of tendons. It assists amino acids in forming collagen in our ligaments, tendons etc. You can get this by eating peppers, dark leafy greens and berries.

Vitamin E: This is a strong anti-oxidant and beneficial for reduced pain from muscle strain. Get this by eating spinach, nuts, avocados and shellfish.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Molecules that make up our cartilage. They are needed for cartilage regeneration and can be used to slow osteoarthritis related deterioration and pain.This can happen with repeated impact on joints from exercise and age. i.e. knees. Can be taken in pill or powdered form.

Flaxseed: Contains Omega 3 fatty acids and may aid in reducing inflammation and promoting tissue regeneration.

Cinnamon: May reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar levels and fight bacteria.

Ginger: Anti inflammatory compounds called gingerols help to relieve joint pain and prevent free radical damage.

It’s essential to remember to see a someone qualified in their field if you experience a strain or muscle pull to ensure that your are properly diagnosed. In addition, using these above healing foods can assist in providing the essentials in nutrition for a decent recovery time so that you can get back to what you love to do! Remember that no matter how severe your setback is, how you recover is in your hands. A positive attitude is worth it’s weight in supplements!!

Yours in Health and Happiness,

Lisa

Building Your Temple

When you pause to think of your week, what is the first feeling that comes to mind?

Here’s a list of answers I’ve heard:

Panicked!

Stressed!

Overloaded!

Anxious!

Holy that’s a list! My response is : Why????

The truth is that most of us “multi-complexi” task. Yup that’s right. It’s not enough that we have different daily events happening, they are often over-lapped in terms of

timing and what’s worse is that we actually think that we are supposed to live this way.

Example: Work 9-5, make food, children’s after school activities (sometimes more than one at a time), conference calls for work, some sort of exercise for your well-being, organizing for the week, extra learning…the list goes on….

To top it all off, we very rarely stay in the moment of all that we are trying to accomplish – we are busy planning the next few days of over-booked agendas.

Wow! No wonder our society suffers greatly from Cardiovascular disease ( brought on by stress and poor diet). That’s a double hit to our immune system when we aren’t able to create space in our day to connect with ourselves and take care of what’s important.

 

Remember: When you take care of yourself, you are better equipped to support the people you care most about.

Here are some tips to help you chill and regroup:

1.) Set reasonable boundaries in advance and stick to them. This will avoid piling too much on your plate. If you have pre-determined what is doable and what isn’t, you will be able to say “No” a lot easier without guilt.

2.) Use your daytimer! This may sound silly but many of us have the technology and fail to use it (yes I am guilty)!

3.) When you notice that you are feeling any of the above stressful feelings (panicked, overloaded), take an adult time out to regroup. Many of us neglect ourselves, feeling like we cannot take time for us. But it’s necessary so that we can in turn support and help others we care about- count to 10, breathe deep, take your mind to the present moment- these are a few ways to come back to a grounded state.

4.) Communicate. You’d be amazed at how many families go and go with little to no communication…and them BAM! Huge explosion of frustrations and feelings flying. This is the exact OPPOSITE of building your temple. Take the time to talk to you “family team”. Talking out your feelings works wonders for stress levels and builds an even stronger foundation for everyone.

5.) Eat Regularly! You didn’t think you’d get away without me saying that did you?? It’s me after all! Eating at regular intervals throughout the day helps our body’s metabolism and keeps our blood sugar in check. This helps with important decision making – have you ever experienced decision making while you are starving?? It’s never a good outcome (and yes, I am guilty of that too). Take the time and make the time. Creating space to nourish your body is essential. I cannot say it enough. Think you don’t have the time? Refer to our first point and re-evaluate your boundaries. Even if your food is made for you do to your schedule, have it be wholesome and nutritious. We definitely are what we eat.

I’d love to hear your tips and tricks to getting through the week with great success. Share them here in the comments!

With much love,

Lisa

Six Things Your Personal Trainer Expects You to Know about Nutrition

IMG_0879

So you want to get fit? Feel overwhelmed? I’ll let you in on six things that you should know (nutritionally speaking) before you pick up your weights or do your first half mile dash. Above pic is from my second Crossfit competition…believe me, I needed my nutrition!!

I’m in the food business for a number of reasons. Pretty much the biggest one (in the beginning) was my love of cooking for friends and family in my late teens/early twenties. I decided that I should just go ahead and make a living from it. The problem that arose from this were the pounds I started to accumulate from taste testing my creations at all hours of the evening.

AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

I get booty, but honestly….it just didn’t suit me, or my health for that matter.

I needed to make a change. And I did.

Enter second phase of food love: Food and Nutrition.

Yes they can go hand in hand, and your trainer knows that! The following are six nutritional kick-starters to get you up and on your feet – so you can shine when you train!!

1.) Be honest with where you are. When you are asked how often you exercise or what your eating habits are like, the only person that pays the price good or bad is you. Be honest with yourself (first) and your trainer. This way you are both set up for success!

2.) I don’t care what you tell me. Increase your water intake. Generally speaking men should consume approximately 13cups (3 litres) and women should drink 9 cups (2.2 litres).  Below is a link to the Mayo Clinic recommendations:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256

Note: I know some of you are itching to flavour your water with your favourite sugar substitute. Don’t Do It! This leads to more sugar cravings and will ultimately backfire on your health goals! Not to mention the chemicals seeping into your system to later wreak havoc on your body….

3.) Starving yourself does not equal healthy. Eating to fuel your body is the way to set a great foundation to perform well during your training sessions. There are many informative websites and nutritionists that provide information on how to take your eating to the next level.

4.) Eat Whole Foods. If you shop on the outsides of the grocery stores, chances are you are doing a great job at purchasing and preparing whole foods. “Whole foods” are items that have not been processed, broken down or packaged. Most of the “inside isles” in the grocery store are filled with processed foods that are high in sodium, sugar and preservatives. Yes they might be a time saver, but those food choices aren’t helping you fit into your summer clothes. Ditch the middle isles, pick up a cookbook (or blog post) and create the healthy whole food that will reward you for life.

5.) Buy a high quality multi-vitamin and use them. We are a society that is on the go with never enough time (or so we tell ourselves). A good multi-vitamin is insurance that you are getting essential vitamins and minerals that are not always available with our daily eating.

6.) There is no ideal diet! What works for you may not work for another. We are all individuals and for that reason, certain foods work better for some than for others. Start with one methodology. Stick with it and then make modifications as necessary. The key here is to FOLLOW THROUGH. You have no way of knowing if a program or eating style is working or not if you haven’t followed it. It’s that simple.

Wow. Ok that was a lot of information to absorb even before a trainer is involved! But the good news is that all you have to do is start! Try things out, make mistakes, just stick with it!

Save Your Marriage Using Only Chicken Curry

Yes, it’s true. You can save your marriage using just this chicken curry recipe. But you better follow the recipe exactly….no pressure right?

Ok, ok. I might be exaggerating a tad. But there is no faster way to your loved one’s heart that an expertly prepared flavourful dish. I see it every time I make a meal for my partner. His eyes light up, like I’ve presented him with a piece of gold, or season’s tickets to his fav hockey team. Making him food is my get out of jail card and I use it a lot! Wow! I didn’t intend on a confession here, but none the less there it is!

This curry is unique with the addition of bananas, apples and raisins which adds a nice sweetness and is reminiscent of the Caribbean. I cook the chicken separately and use the bones to make stock for another use.

Coconut Chicken Curry:

1 whole chicken, roasted  and diced in 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoons Olive oil or Coconut Oil

1 tablespoon Cinnamon

1 tablespoon Turmeric

1 tablespoon Curry powder

1 stalk lemongrass (bruise with the back of a knife in 3 spots and put in whole for flavour!)

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled,finely chopped

2 onions, medium dice

1 cup butternut squash, 1 inch dice

4 stalks celery, cut on bias 1 inch

2 carrots, peeled, cut on bias 1 inch

1 banana, peeled and diced 1 inch

1 Granny smith apple, diced 1 inch (peel can stay on)

1/2 cup Thompson raisins (any type will do, these are my favourite!)

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

2 cans Coconut milk

To taste salt and pepper

Roast the chicken in a 350F oven for approximately 50 minutes or until the juices run clear. Set aside to let cool. Remove meat from bone and cut into about 1 inch cubes. (You can use any type of chicken for this – thighs, leg or breast meat – I like to use whole chickens for more flavour and to utilize the bones after).  Set aside.

In a large pot heat oil and put in spices, stir for a minute until you can smell the spices from the pot. Add your onions, ginger, lemon grass and celery. Stir for another 2 minutes. Now add the rest of your ingredients except the chicken and cilantro. Add coconut milk. Simmer gently until vegetables are tender – about 15 to 20 minutes.

Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Now add the chicken and heat through.

Most important point here: Always do a final taste!!!

Just before serving, remove the lemongrass stalk and throw away. Add chopped cilantro and serve.

Let me know how you make out in the comments! I’d love to hear from you and what your favorite “get out of jail free” recipe is!

Happy cooking!

6 Reasons You Should be Talking about Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom-Tomatoes-from-Market-with-names

You SHOULD be talking about Heirloom Tomatoes.

Because they rock.

And they look super cool. But don’t just take it from me. There are many families that have known this for much longer than I’ve been touting how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Heirloom tomato seeds are viewed as a valuable family legacy that is passed from generation to generation. For an heirloom tomato to qualify for heirloom status it has to have been around for at least 50 years. Newer genetic variations are classified as hybrids.

Here’s the scoop:

1. Heirloom tomatoes store vitamin K, which is necessary for strong healthy bones. Back this up with consistent weight training 3 -5 times/week and you are on your way to preventing osteoporosis as you get older.

2. These great tasting unique looking tomatoes pack Vitamin C which lends to boosting our immune system and are rich in potassium – this aids in protecting our cardiovascular health.

3. Organically grown have higher levels of lycopene – this is a type of carotenoid that has been shown to protect against a multitude of cancers such as bladder, breast, cervical and skin to mention a few.

4. They are rich in potassium, which is known to lower blood pressure.

5. Heirloom tomatoes add a ton of  flavour to recipes while low in calories. At about 30 calories per cup, you can enjoy these flavourful gems anytime you like, adding them to many dishes for extra flavour and colour.

6. You’ll be the coolest kid on the block when you take this salad to your next family event.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

2 pints assorted Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced

1 bunch green onions, sliced thin (use greens and white part)

1 bunch Basil, cut Chiffonade (thinly sliced)

2 cups Baby Arugula

1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

to taste Himalayan Salt and  Fresh Ground Pepper

In a bowl gently mix together tomatoes, green onion, basil and half of the balsamic and olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Let sit for 20 minutes for flavours to blend. Combine remaining oil and vinegar and set aside.

When you are ready to serve, plate 1/4 cup of baby arugula and top with tomato mixture. Dress with remaining vinaigrette as desired. Top with more fresh ground pepper.

Super yummy and refreshing! The varied colours of the Heirloom or “Heritage” tomatoes make this an easy dish to wow guests….and it’s so good for them too!!!! That’s a double win for sure.

Happy eating!

Vibrant Carrot Coriander Soup

Vibrant carrot soup

Thanks to some fabulous ladies last Thursday night, we had a chance to talk, eat and learn a bit about Paleo cooking and healthy eating in general. This pic was the first course during the cooking process. A light, fragrant vegan dish that has a hint of ginger and is highlighted with coriander spice. A puree that holds its own with sweet carrots, we finished it off with a little coconut milk and fresh chopped cilantro to lighten the flavours.

Here’s the scoop on how it was made:

Vibrant Carrot Coriander Soup

2 lbs smaller carrots, peeled and chopped (no particular shape since it will end up a puree) *the smaller the pieces, the quicker it will cook!

2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped roughly same size as the carrots

2 cooking onions, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil (you choose!)

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp  ground turmeric

to taste salt and pepper

8 cups vegetable stock or water

1 can coconut milk (use regular, not “light”)

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (clean well, this herb can carry a lot of dirt!)

Heat your oil in a large pot and add your dry spices. Adding them to the heat will bring out the flavours of your spices (not too hot or they will burn). Now add onions, cook for 3-5 minutes. Add carrots, sweet potato and stock. Hold back 1/3 of the stock and add more as necessary to adjust consistency.

Let soup simmer for 35-45 minutes until the vegetables are REALLY tender. At this point, use an immersion blender to blend soup. This will make for a smooth puree. Don’t worry! If you do not own an immersion blender, a food processor works too!

Adjust seasonings, add more stock if needed along with coconut milk and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.

Serves 6-8 portions.

How Cinnamon Chicken Salads Make You a Better Lover

It’s really in the nutrition boys and girls. Take any mix of healthy, good ingredients and mix them up. Then voila, there’s enough stamina in you to do well, ummmmm…. whatever you choose.

The truth is, to keep up with anything we want to get done, we need good solid nutrition to back us up. Make this on “Sunday Prep Day” and you’ll have a flavourful protein packed salad to keep you going all day…or night…long.

Cinnamon is a great spice that can be used to enhance flavour of both sweet and savory dishes. Here’s an awesome link that has information on the great health benefits of using Cinnamon more in our everyday cooking:

http://www.organicauthority.com/health/11-health-benefits-of-cinnamon.html

Cinnamon Chicken Salad:

1 cup Butternut Squash, peeled cubed and simmered until tender

2 whole Chicken Breasts, skinless and boneless

1 tablespoon Olive oil

1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground

1 tablespoon Parsley, chopped fine

1 tablespoon Cilantro, Chopped fine

1/3 cup Thompson Raisins

1 whole Lemon

to taste Kosher salt

to taste Fresh ground black pepper

1 cup Baby Kale (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a bowl combine chicken, olive oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Let stand for 30 minutes to an hour (can be made the night before too!). Bake in oven on a lined sheet pan for 25 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F.

Take out and let cool. Dice into cubes the same size as squash. Mix all ingredients but lemon in bowl.

Using a rasp, zest the lemon into the salad mix, then squeeze out the juice over top of the mixture. Taste for seasoning and add a bit more salt and pepper if needed. Serve on baby kale if desired.

This will keep in your fridge for up to three days!