Sunday, March 30, 2014

Top 10 Healthy Breakfast Ideas!! (And some recipes too!!)

Hey there!!! Thanks for stopping by!! 

Almost weekly I am asked by clients, friends, and family for healthy breakfast ideas. If you follow me on Facebook you will know that I often post what I am eating for breakfast with the hopes that it will give others ideas and inspire them to also make health conscious morning food choices. Below I have put together My Top 20 Breakfasts (and a few recipes too!!)! Hope you enjoy!!! 

1) Veggie omelette with avocado on whole grain bread with fresh fruit on the side. A well-balanced and nutritious meal guaranteed to give you the energy you need to start your day!
2) Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal
I was in the mood for something different for breakfast so decided to spice up some oatmeal to add nutrients, protein and most importantly flavour. Here is the recipe I used:

1/3 C rolled oats
2/3 C unsweetened almond milk
A few frozen blackberries, mango pieces and strawberry slices
2 tbsp hemp hearts
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp pure maple syrup

Mix all ingredients together and cook on high in microwave for 3 minutes. Remove, mix well and let stand for 2 minutes. Serve and enjoy. Makes 1 serving 

3) Whole wheat toast with honey, almond butter, sliced banana, topped with hemp hearts and served with orange slices, grapes and a coffee  

4) Special K protein and All Bran Cranberry cereal with mixed fruit and almond milk
5) Vegan blueberry-banana protein pancakes

- 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
- 1 large ripe mashed banana and 1/2c blueberries
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vanilla vegan and gluten-free protein powder
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon 
- sliced bananas, blueberries, walnuts and 1 tbsp real maple syrup for toppings 

 Whisk wet ingredients and fruit in a small bowl. In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry mixture. Heat frying pan with coconut oil over medium heat. Cook pancakes until bubbles show through then flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes (approx). Transfer to plate, add toppings, serve and enjoy!!! Warning: this recipe makes lots of pancakes so if you're only cooking for one or two people I would recommend cutting the recipe in half!


Do you feel low on energy? Try making a GREEN SMOOTHIE! Add 60% green and other vegetables, 40% fruits, honey, (optional) and water to a blender. Blend, drink and feel your energy levels rise!! 

In the GREEN SMOOTHIE pictured below I included: Parsley, cilantro, spinach, banana, strawberries, grapes, chia seeds, hemp hearts, honey and water. Delicious!!! 

Other ingredients you could include are: Kale, mixed greens, romaine lettuce, avocado, apples, berries, celery, broccoli, peppers, carrots, oranges, dandelion greens, mango, kiwi, swiss chard, and cucumber. Google "GREEN SMOOTHIES" for recipe ideas!!

7) Breakfast wrap with fresh fruit. Whole wheat tortilla filled with egg, cheese, coleslaw, fresh salsa and guacamole. Served with a sliced banana, blueberries, and of course a coffee
8) Mexican style egg muffin. Farm fresh egg with low fat cheddar cheese, guacamole, and fresh salsa served on a toasted whole wheat English muffin with orange slices 
9) Egg and guacamole salad with hemp hearts, spinach and tomato on a toasted whole wheat english muffin 

 And last but not least my all time favourite! 

10) Delicious chocolate banana protein smoothie!! 

Recipe: 2 scoops chocolate protein powder, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup water, 1/2 banana, 3 large strawberries (I use frozen fruit), 1 tbsp natural peanut butter, 1 scoop greens+
Blend it all together, serve, and enjoy!!

Well there you have it!!! My Top 10 favourite breakfasts!!! I hope you enjoy them as I did and continue to do!!! 

Please feel free to comment below and tell me if you have made any of these and if you have any other healthy breakfast ideas! 

Thanks again for reading!!! Have a wonderful day!!! :) :) :)
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Christine's 90 minute "little bit of everything" intense workout!

I wanted to write a blog post on my awesome workout tonight but I must start off by saying what a great day I've had so far! I was super productive before going to work in Stratford today! Managed to get some work done from home and then cleaned and tidied my whole place. Then Molly and I got out for a 20 minute brisk walk and then she had a great 45 minute treadmill workout while I did my cleaning. After work I stopped to grab some groceries and was so happy to see what almost everything I wanted to buy was on sale!! P.s. if you are in need of toilet paper Zhers has it on for $6 (regular $17!!)

I also purchased a tropical house plant, and these lovely flowers. I figured if we could not feel Spring outside yet at least I could experience it indoors!! 

This evening ‎I had planned to meet my sister at Goodlife at 5 for a workout and was I ever looking forward to it!! I arrived at 5:15 eager and ready to work hard. I was full if energy and had my whole workout planned out in advance. I find pre planning my workouts helps me motivate myself to work harder. If I know what I should be doing with regards to reps, sets, and weights, I am less likely to skip out on some exercises, do less weight, or quit early on a set. 

Loving life on the elliptical 
I got a call when I got to the gym from my sister saying she was going to be late so I got started with a run. I followed this with the elliptical, weights, and finished with abs. 

Here's what I was able to accomplish in 90 minutes; 
- 15 minute treadmill run ranging from 6.5-8.5 mph ( gradually increased the speed as time progressed)
- 25 minutes on the elliptical at level 14 with forward/backward intervals
Superset 1: seated wide grip cable row x12 70 lbs with narrow grip push ups on bench x12- 2 sets each 
Superset 2: Romanian deadlifts with shoulder press 60 lb barbell 2x 12 each 
Reverse lunges with knee up 2x12/ side 

After this my sister was done her cardio and she joined in with me. She did the first part of the superset while I did the other then we switched.
Superset 3: Burpee, mountain climber/push up, shoulder press x10  (yes it sounds complicated and it is so I included a video of this one. Replace the jump with a shoulder press! ) with 5 lb prone reverse fly (5lbs) and tricep to extension (15 lbs) x12 each- 2 sets total of each of the three exercises 

Roman chair back extensions x30. Why wouldn't I do more of these after doing them last week during our Filthy Fifty workout and not being able to walk for three days after!? :P

I finished off the workout with a very short ab workout. I had plans at 7 this evening so I was a little pressed for time! Nevertheless I did get this done:

20 ab crunches 
20 oblique crunches
20 oblique crunches with knee in 
20 crunches legs in air
20 oblique crunches legs in air
20 bicycle crunches 
20 double leg extensions with reverse crunch 

My friends are here now so I have to go!! Hope you enjoyed this post!! I know I enjoyed the workout and can't wait to do it again! 
Girls night!!! 

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

How we defeated the Filthy Fifty and how I am recovering from my DOMS

Hello again!!! Welcome back!

This week's workouts have been great so far and I wanted to share with all of you lovely readers how much I enjoyed it despite wanting to vomit a few times and waking up barely being able to climb down my stairs and lift my arms to dry my hair! :p

The week started with a pre St. Paddy's Day workout at Goodlife Fitness which consisted of 40 minutes of interval cardio training followed by some light stretching and core strengthening.
Good ol' cardio workout

Well deserved and much needed prior to partaking in some Paddy's Festivities! Great times were had by all!!
Yesterday I was feeling a little unmotivated to workout so my sister suggested we follow a workout she had done recently and was super challenged by. Little did I know how extremely difficult it would be!!! It was brutal...but I loved it! I especially loved the variety and intensity of the exercises, highly recommended! 
I introduce to you The Filthy Fifty: 
Here are the modifications we made:
- I added 30 lbs to the lunges and did dynamic forward lunges instead of walking (to save space)
-did 30 lbs for the push press and 15 lbs for the kettle bell swings
-added 10 lbs to the back extensions
-did sit ups instead of wall balls (her workout didn't even have wall balls but I'll try that next time!)
-did jump squats instead of double unders (not enough room to use a skipping rope at the gym!)

She said the goal is to try to accomplish this in under 30 minutes. We did it in just over 26 MINUTES! She warned me I would want to vomit after and she was right. So that's what Crossfitters go through every single work out!? No wonder they are so fit and strong! I think I will be doing this workout again very soon and am determined to beat my time each workout! This routine combined with a 15 minute run was just what I needed to sleep like a baby last night!
This evening we hit the gym for over 2 hours. I had a little more energy today and so my sister and I began the workout with 30 minutes on the elliptical. For the rest of the workout we decided that we would each choose two exercises and super set them for 3 sets each then the next person would choose the exercises. Here is what we accomplished:

Superset 1: 2 minutes treadmill sprint + 2 minutes rowing
Superset 2: Narrow/wide grip lat pulldowns + seated leg extension (felt awesome after yesterdays crossfit workout!)
Superset 3: Weighted calf raises + Plate weighted oblique side bends
Superset 4: Dumbbell chest press + shoulder press
Superset 5: Cable oblique trunk rotations + double arm cable row

We finished the workout with a family stretch and core session!

Trying to play volleyball tonight proved to be a huge challenge and I was reminded of the 500 reps I did yesterday every time I squatted or lunged for the ball! Nevertheless, we came away with a BIG W and it feels great! Tomorrow I plan on another gym workout- most likely only cardio- that is if I can walk down my stairs to get there!

Oh how I love exercise! Really, I do!

Here are three ways to deal with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) following a hard workout:
1: Heat- think hot bath, hot tub, or sauna. The warmth will bring oxygen to the area sending more nutrients to soothe the aching muscles.
2: Movement and stretching- gentle and low intensity. Nothing that will work the already sore muscles too hard. A brisk walk, jog or yoga class should do the trick. As much as you feel you just want to sit still to avoid pain, you will feel better after you move- trust me on that one!
3: Massage: The increase in blood flow and circulation will again deliver more oxygen and nutrients. Plus it feels great!

I would love to hear if you have ever experienced DOMS after a workout, sport, or activity. And if so, what caused it and how did it feel? Any tips on how you survived the pain!?

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