Posts Tagged ‘nutrition

Another day on the Fresh Fit Foods meal plan

- September 26th, 2014

I’m dining from the Fresh Fit Foods menu for 21 days. And I’ve gotta admit this is just sooooo convenient (I pick up my food every few days following an evening workout at World Health Glenora).

Plus, this is proof that good nutrition can taste good, too.

Here’s what another day on the meal plan looks like.

Breakfast:

Quinoa and oat porridge

Quinoa and oat porridge label

Lunch:

Turkey meat loaf

Turkey meat loaf label

Snack:

Muffin snack

Muffin label

Dinner:

Roast pork and veggies

Roast pork and veggies label

Snack:

Veggies and hummus dip nack

Veggies and hummus label

Who knew healthy food could be this delicious?

- September 18th, 2014

Fresh Fit FoodsFor 21 days, I’ll be dining from the Fresh Fit Foods menu.

Mmnnn … who knew healthy food could be this delicious?

For those who haven’t given their taste buds (and the rest of their bodies) the nutritious pleasure, Fresh Fit Foods is a food service that operates out of World Health’s Glenora location at 10720 142 St., in Edmonton.

I got my first taste of Fresh Fit Foods back in the spring when I won the 2014 World Health Media Transformation Challenge. I dropped 38 pounds during that six-week fitness challenge and Fresh Fit Foods was a big reason why.

Just like its website says, Fresh Fit Foods was my “personal chef, grocery shopper and nutrition coach” — all wrapped into one. All I had to do was pick up my food every few days — which was prepared fresh on location — and eat it at the right times (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks). That’s it. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, as my oldest daughter says.

Well … um … actually, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a tiny bit of discomfort in the beginning. You see, I had to get used to eating proper portions. Like many North Amercians, I like to “supersize” my meals. Fresh Fit Foods, of course, offers sensible portions — the amount that we should actually consume in one sitting. That was a bit of a reality check for me.

But thankfully, what my meal plan lacked in excessive calories, it more than made up for with quality. And that was critical to my success. Fact is, the food tasted great and didn’t leave me wanting more. I was satiated and energized after every meal — not sluggish.

So I stuck to the mealplan — veering off for only a few cheat meals — through the full six weeks. And along with my hard work in the gym under the tutelage of personal trainer Dennis Brent, I was able to melt the pounds off.

Fast-forward to today and I’m back on the plan after splurging a tad during the summer.

Here’s a look at Day 1.

Breakfast:

Day 1 — Breakfast

Countryside Breakfast

Lunch:

Day 1 lunch

Chicken Salad Wrap label

Snack:

Egg salad snack

Egg salad snack label

Dinner:

Day 1 dinner

Chicken salad label

Snack

Vega snack

Vega snack label back

Nutrition tips from an Ironman champion

- April 16th, 2014
Linsey Corbin finish line

Linsey Corbin is overcome with emotion after crossing the finish line at the 2014 Ironman on March 30 in Los Cabos, Baja, Mexico.

Fresh off her victory at the 2014 Los Cabos Ironman, professional triathlete Linsey Corbin offers the following five nutrition tips to get the most out of your training:

1. Know what works best for you: During your training you can afford to make mistakes and learn what you should and shouldn’t be eating. However, on race day you almost want to be habitual in how you’re going to eat. Particularly in an endurance event like a marathon or triathlon, you should have a nutrition plan set out beforehand.

2. Think carbs: In an endurance race you’ll end up tapping into all of your fuel reserves. Since carbohydrates feed the muscles, you’ll need to be thinking about carbs the moment you sign up for that long-distance race. Most athletes need 55-65 % of their calories to come from carbohydrates, and should be consumed the night (or day) before a race, long run or hard workout. You should be getting carb intake from “high-quality” whole grains, such as KAMUT® Brand khorasan wheat, as it offers immediate energy while also providing lipids to store additional fuel.

3. Keep hydration top-of-mind: Gulp 6 to 8 ounces of H2O or other fluids every 15 minutes to stay hydrated. If you’re running for over an hour, your body may require more than just water. Sports drinks can give you the electrolytes, fluids and sugar-filled carbs you need to make it through a long-distance endurance race. Linsey also suggests energy gels, as they can also provide a similar surge and settle your mental fatigue.

4. Plan your race-day breakfast ahead of time: If you’re heading out for an hour or more, you need some fuel at least 30 minutes before you run—this means skipping breakfast isn’t an option. Put thought into what you’re eating and avoid fat, fiber, or anything else that is known to cause stomach discomfort. Make sure you experiment with different types of foods during your training so you don’t surprise yourself on race day. If running longer, eat a combo of protein and carbs, like toast with peanut butter and banana (200 to 300 calories).

 5. Make recovery nutrition a priority: It’s important to get calories in within 30 minutes of finishing an endurance activity, when your muscles replace their power supply fastest. Linsey suggests the right combination of carbs (75 to 80 percent) and protein (20 to 25 percent). Chocolate milk is a great recovery drink because it has a quintessential ratio of carbs to protein and it’s easy to drink. Four or five hours after a race, Linsey suggests eating a well-balanced meal, as well as a celebratory treat.

More on Linsey Corbin

Linsey, who claims the fastest Ironman time recorded on U.S. soil and holds five triathlon course records, believes that a proper diet is an essential part of any training program and can have a major influence on your results. She is currently working with Kamut International, who produce an organic, non-GMO, ancient wheat variety known as KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat, to talk about nutrition for endurance training.

Top trends in personal training

- November 26th, 2013

Here are the highlights from the latest report on fitness industry trends. Always an interesting read …

Market research reveals top trends in personal training

IDEA Health & Fitness Association has published the results of the 17th IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends Report. The Web-based survey, which was completed by over 2,800 fitness professionals, summarizes what fitness equipment and programs are being incorporated the most or the least in studios and facilities around North America. IDEA used the results of the survey to conduct an independent analysis of the responses from personal trainers, revealing the top personal training trends that have emerged over the past 6 years.

The data indicated the strongest trend in personal training is the move to training with more than one person at a time in small groups. Personal training sessions that included 2 people sharing a trainer increased 10 percentage points, whereas 3-5-person sessions increased 18 percentage points. “IDEA believes this reflects a practical reaction of consumers to cut costs during the ongoing recession, as well as personal trainers preserving their business base by retaining clients at lower hourly fees through shared group costs. However, trainers are actually making more per hour by increasing the number of people they train during that hour. This single cause-effect trend has changed the face of personal training by ushering in the era of small-group training,” said Kathie Davis, Executive Director of IDEA.

Other highlights from the research included:

• Over the past 3 years, body-weight leverage training (body-weight only, TRX Suspension Trainer, GTS (Gravity Training System), climbing ladders, ropes, push-up and pull-up devices, etc.) has experienced a steady increase (70% to 83%).

• Outdoor activities have declined over the past 6 years, with outdoor personal training sessions decreasing by 25 percentage points and outdoor group activities declining by 10 percentage points; however, outdoor boot camps have remained relatively stable.

• Exercise programs for chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or coronary heart disease have increased by 11 percentage points.

• Personal trainers have increased the amount of lifestyle coaching they are providing (37% to 50%).

• Nutrition assessment and nutritional coaching programs have increased by 6 percentage points and 12 percentage points, respectively, over the past 6 years.

• More personal trainers are programming mind-body sessions such as yoga, group reformer, tai chi, Pilates and Pilates and yoga/mind-body fusion.

• Very slow strength training programs have increased by 25 percentage points over the past 6 years (30% to 55%).

Detailed results from the 2013 Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends Report are available at

http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/2013-idea-fitness-programs-equipment-trends-report.

About IDEA Health & Fitness Association
IDEA Health & Fitness Association is the world’s leading organization of fitness professionals. We deliver world-class content and continuing education through three channels: our seven publications, including the award-winning IDEA Fitness Journal; our world-class fitness conferences; and hundreds of streaming videos and DVD courses available on our website www.ideafit.com. Additionally, with IDEA FitnessConnect, we have created the largest national industry-wide directory linking over 250,000 fitness professionals to more than 16 million consumers.

Run Gary, run!

- October 24th, 2013

He’s a friend, colleague, mentor … and one heck of an inspiration.

Gary Poignant, veteran news editor at the Edmonton Sun, ran his 24th marathon earlier this month in Chicago.

Chicago 2013

Gary Poignant post-race. (Photo by Linda Snydmiller-Poignant)

Gary, alluding to the above photo, said he was “in desperate need of a couple of toothpicks to keep my eyes open after the marathon.”

He was sporting pink shoe laces to highlight the fact that he was raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Chicago 2013 046

The scene near the halfway point of Gary’s run. (Photo by Linda Snydmiller-Poignant)

“I deliberately behaved like a jogging tourist in a sea of 40,000 other runners,” Gary told me, “finishing with a smile on my face in a personal worst time of 4 hours and 18 minutes. Truly a magical morning.”

Now for the back story, which is the truly inspiring part.

Here’s a column that Gary wrote 15 years ago about his painful struggle with arthritis (which is now in remission) …

Thursday, October 1, 1998

OVERPOWERED BY PAIN

NATUROPATH GIVES RELIEF TO SUN STAFFER WHO WAS BEDRIDDEN WITH ARTHRITIS

BY GARY POIGNANT, EDMONTON SUN

This is the story of my great escape from the jaws of excruciating pain. Namely — arthritis. Joint pain so severe that one day last April I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t get dressed. And, obviously, I couldn’t go to work.

My knees were the worst. My feet simply throbbed. My right hand, right elbow and right shoulder also ached.

This form of arthritis — diagnosed as ankylosing spondylitis when it first hit me five years ago — was back and it was all-consuming.

Some days were better than others. But most days were simply brutal.

Attempting to manoeuvre down a flight of stairs had become a ridiculously difficult chore.

For a 41-year-old guy who had always been very active, this was tearing me apart emotionally.

All I could do for exercise was limp to the pool and perform a very slow breaststroke.

What was especially maddening was that the prescription medication that was supposed to make me feel better appeared to be making things worse.

I was receiving a weekly injection of methotrexate, a couple of anti-inflammatories a day along with several Tylenol 3 daily to ease the pain.

And despite assurances from rheumatologists for more than six months that these drugs would eventually start to ease the pain, I was feeling worse.

Time for a change, I thought.

I threw caution to the wind, found a naturopath in the Yellow Pages and booked an appointment.

I initially told Dr. Wayne Steinke I wanted immediate relief and would simply pay for a couple of acupuncture sessions.

He took one look at me, heard the standard life history and said, “You don’t need acupuncture. You need to change your diet.”

Steinke explained my body and joints were full of toxins and to get rid of them I needed to eliminate certain things from my diet.

As it turned out — it included nearly everything. No red meat. No sugar.

No alcohol. No coffee. No tomatoes. No dairy products. No wheat.

When trying to walk makes you cringe, you’re willing to try anything.

Steinke added several supplements to the mix — including flaxseed oil and an assortment of vitamins. I had already been taking vitamin C, garlic pills and fish oil pills.

He told me to stick with the diet, eat only the foods allowed — which included fish, chicken, rice and fresh fruit — and give it a month.

Sounded fine. Besides, I was too uncomfortable to be skeptical.

Within three weeks the pain began to ease.

I had stopped taking the methotrexate, had cut out the Tylenol and was down to just one anti-inflammatory a day.

The prescription drugs — which can harm the liver and kidneys with long-term use — had been making me feel sluggish.

By June I was able to ride a bicycle and was taking an anti-inflammatory every couple of days.

By late July, I was able to comfortably walk nine holes of golf and I was taking an anti-inflammatory every week or so.

I haven’t had an anti-inflammatory since early August and I have complete use of my joints again.

I can now walk up and down stairs without trouble. I can cycle 30 km and feel refreshed afterwards.

So what is going on with my body?

Why am I feeling so much better?

The rheumatologist I had been seeing simply says the arthritis is in remission.

“Keep your fingers crossed, it could come back at any time,” he says.

He could be right, because in 1993 when I was first diagnosed the arthritic symptoms left completely after eight months — but only after a change in diet and an assortment of natural remedies from a different naturopath.

Steinke has a different view, thankfully.

He says what I’ve managed to do over the past several months is reduce the toxicity in my body through a combination of improved diet, vitamin supplements and exercise.

“What you’ve done is improve the overall terrain and environment in your body,” he said, explaining people who suffer from arthritis have difficulty metabolizing food.

“It all comes down to what you do and don’t put in your body.

“This has allowed the cells in your body to work the way they should.

“This in turn improves your autoimmune system.”

Steinke says what has happened is my body has been allowed to fix itself over the past several months.

His theory certainly seems to hold true whenever I try to add certain foods to the mix.

The day after eating either tomatoes, bread or sugar, I feel pain in my joints. Thankfully, it’s not that severe and it’s usually gone within 24 hours.

Oddly, I can safely have the occasional beer or coffee without any noticeable problems.

There is still some mild tenderness in my knees, but the pain is virtually gone. I’m working at building the strength back up in my joints and enjoying my new-found freedom.

So am I out of the woods? Will the arthritis strike again?

The rheumatologist, of course, says it’s simply a matter of time before it returns.

Steinke, however, says if I stick closely to the diet, I’m destined to keep those pains away indefinitely. That’s a recipe I can live with.

* * *

Like I said, Gary’s one heck of an inspiration. Run Gary, run!