Whether you’re just starting your exercise routine or have been exercising for awhile now there’s always the little voice in your head telling you there are other things you should be doing. But let’s face it, you don’t. Nothing is more important than doing something healthy for your body, which really translates into a happier you and being able to be there for those you love.
So what can you do to master the voice in your head?
• Acknowledge that it’s an ongoing process. There’s no ultimate end goal, it’s a behavior that is fluid and changes as you master a movement, or a running distance. Don’t get frustrated at a perceived setback, it’s all part of the process.
• Set reasonable goals, if you’re just starting your new routine don’t set your goals so high that you end up failing miserably. Your goal is to run a 5K? Don’t go out and buy the most expensive running shoes, start with a walk around your neighborhood for 20 minutes.
• Treat your exercise as training. Once your reasonable goal is set, train for that challenge. You can hire a personal coach, or try one of the many apps available. Educate yourself about your choice of workout. Is it weightlifting, HIIT, or running? There is an abundance of information via the Internet and social media platforms to help you understand what you’re doing and how to improve.
• Find a workout buddy or a gym that offers group classes (at Functional Performance Fitness we have many many group classes that are included in our gym membership). You won’t want to let down your workout buddy, they’re your accountability partner. As well, making friends in a group class makes going to class fun, enjoyable, and something you’ll look forward to going to.
• Create habits that will help you to stay on track. Plan on training in the morning, track your daily food and exercise, put your gym clothes in your car, post about your workout on Facebook. All little habits will turn into a routine.
• Create a recovery routine to help ease the soreness. You will be sore so don’t let that be your excuse to not do your training the next morning. Add stretching, foam rolling, proper nutrition, “rest days”, sleep, and hydration to your routine.
Remember this is a life long process that will change with your work and family life, your goals, your age, so relish in your victories, put the bad days behind you and stay on the right side of the mental side of getting and staying fit.
Looking to socialize while you’re working out? Looking for a change and master your mental side to get fit? Contact Natatia at Functional Performance Fitness to talk about all the new and fun group classes and the many other workout options being offered!
A delicious side for your summer BBQ!
• 1 head romaine lettuce (organic if possible, separated into individual leaves)
• 1/2 cup beet store bought hummus (no preservatives)
• 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
• 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
• 1 cup shredded carrots
• 3/4 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
• 1 ripe avocado, cubed
• 1 tbsp. hemp seeds
For the Sauce:
• 1/3 cup tahini
• 2 tbsp. lemon juice
• 1 tbsp. maple syrup
• Pinch sea salt
• Water to thin, if needed
1. Prepare sauce by whisking tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Add water 1 tbsp. at a time, until dressing thickness is to your liking. Taste and adjust flavor as needed. Set aside.
2. Arrange lettuce “boats” on a platter, and begin filling with 1-2 tbsp. of hummus. Top with lots of veggies.
3. Drizzle the dressing over the top, and serve.
We all know water is good for us and that we should probably drink more of it. So why, then, do people find it so difficult to sip from what is arguably the fountain of youth?
We're all guilty of it -- choosing a can of pop over a bottle of water. But what happens when our kids develop the same habits? Forty-five percent of Canadians drink an average of four or more non-water beverages per day, according to a survey released for Nestle Waters Canada. In the survey, 22 percent of respondents said their child drinks fruit juice the most often.
"It's scary to think about, but it does grab my attention," says Sherry Torkos, pharmacist and author of The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. "This issue needs attention because it can lead to larger health threats, especially for kids."
Water provides the body with health benefits…just take a look at how water helps:
• It balances body fluids. Your body is composed of about 60 percent water and performs vital functions such as protecting your organs and tissues, regulating your body temperature and carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells—essentially it keeps your body running like a well-oiled machine.
• It keeps skin looking healthy. Water moisturizes your skin and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss (think free anti-aging cream). In addition, it can keep your skin fresh and smooth.
• It boosts the immune system. Those who guzzle water are at a lower risk of getting sick. This crystal-clear concoction may help fight against flu and other ailments.
• It can help control calories. While drinking water may not be a weight-loss strategy, per se, substituting it for higher-calorie or sugar-filled beverages can help by removing by products of fat, filling you up so you’re not noshing, acts as a natural appetite suppressant and raises your metabolism.
Some additional reasons to get enough water throughout the day:
1. Maximize your physical performance.
2. Increase the your energy and brain function.
3. May prevent and treat headaches.
4. May relieve constipation.
You get it right? It’s important to get enough water, but how much is enough? There is so much information out there about what amount is the right amount, but a good guideline is to drink enough water so that you don’t feel thirsty – you’re body WILL tell you. And keep in mind the right amount of water is going to depend on your activities throughout the day. You’ll definitely need more water if you’re exercising, especially in humid or hot weather, if you’re ill, or you’re pregnant.
But, if you’re someone that needs a hard fast rule to go by, “The National Academies of Sciences suggests that women consume a total of approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of water from all beverages and foods each day and that men get approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces) daily. But these are just general guidelines and are not supported by firm scientific studies.”
Have more questions about hydrating for optimum health? Contact Natatia at Functional Performance Fitness. - she’ll help you get on the road to proper hydration.
Grilling season is here…put a healthy (and interesting – raisins!?) twist on your summertime barbeque!
Grill Up a Heart-Healthy Meal With Tasty Veggie Sliders
Makes 12 patties
1 can black beans (drained, rinsed)
1/2 small red bell pepper, (1/3 cup small dice)
1/2 small onion, (1/3 cup small dice)
1 stalk of celery, (1/3 cup small dice)
3 cloves garlic (peeled, diced)
1/3 cups raisins (finely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 teaspoons cumin
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
In a medium bowl, mash black beans until thick and pasty. In a small bowl, mix finely chopped bell pepper, onion, celery, garlic and raisins. Stir into mashed beans.
In another small bowl, stir egg, salt, chili and chipotle powder and cumin. Stir the egg mixture into mashed beans. Mix in breadcrumbs and quinoa until mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide into small patties.
If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and place patties on a lightly oiled sheet of aluminum foil and grill 8 minutes on each side.
If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees (F) and place patties on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes on each side.
Place on whole-wheat or gluten free 4-inch bun, and serve with avocado, lettuce, tomato and cilantro.
We hear it all the time…we’re eating too much sugar. Excess sugar contributes to weight gain (particularly around the middle), chronic inflammation and our ability to fight whatever bug is going around. But did you know that by cutting sugar out of your diet you’ll experience a mood boost and general all over good feeling? Sounds easy right? It’s not. Sugar is highly addictive recently compared to an opioid high!
So how do you beat the intense sugar cravings?
Keep your blood sugar level steady by eating regularly. Making sure your meals contain healthy proteins and fiber will keep you satisfied and help to deter that midday sugar craving. And keep healthy sweet snacks in your purse or at your desk.
In nature there is sugar and along with that sugar comes fiber, vitamins and minerals. Have berries, apples, pears, and carrots on hand when that craving hits. The ultimate benefit is not having that sugar crash that makes you reach for more sugar. Put a fruit bowl on the counter for easy access.
Make sure your getting enough sleep. Being sleep deprived makes your body produce the “hunger hormone” ghrelin – keep this sugar-craving hormone at bay by getting enough rest for your body. Put the phone away at least one hour before bedtime and create a sleep ritual to induce a good night’s sleep.
Did you know that there are good “bugs”? Some bacteria in your system are actually good for an overall healthy system. Your gut microbiota is part of what dictates what your crave. Satisfy your microbiota with good bacteria by eating fermented foods such as yogurt (choose Greek yogurt over the other heavily sugared options), kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut.
To help scale back that sweet tooth eat bitter foods before you eat the sweet foods. Some bitter foods include grapefruit, arugula, radicchio and Brussels sprouts. Veggies, like fruit will keep you satiated which equals less sugar cravings.
And don’t fret, like adding all new habits it can take up to 21 days for those sugar cravings to subside. Don’t lose sight during this time…remember all you’ll be gaining - energy, a great mood, lose of weight and finding new and delicious foods!
We know it’s not that easy so do you need that extra boost to get through those 21 days? At Functional Performance Fitness we offer nutrition guidance, CONTACT NATATIA for more information about the challenges you have when it comes to satisfying those sugar cravings.
2 Tilapia fillets
4 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta or rice brown rice pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups broccoli florets
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cut each fillet into four pieces and grill.
Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat for two minutes and sauté onion and garlic five minutes, add broccoli, sauté seven minutes, add pasta and remove from heat.
Combine remaining ingredients with broccoli mixture and arrange fish pieces over pasta and serve.
When you’re trying to lose weight what doesn’t get in the way right? Whether it’s work, play, kid’s activities, family obligations; the barriers are always there right? These are several of the pitfalls along the way, so let’s break it down to make your weight-loss journey a success.
1. So many of us focus primarily on what we CANNOT eat. Throw that idea out the door! First put your focus on eating less and then what you CAN eat. There are plenty of nutritious foods available that are easy to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Avocado toast is a great and delicious way to get a jump-start on your morning, a Hummus wrap for lunch, and a savory soup in the evening for dinner…all these are super easy to make and healthy too!
2. Guess what? It’s NOT all or nothing. Statistics show that depriving yourself of things you love will typically lead to failure. Don’t deprive, revive! Love pasta? Instead of a creamy fattening sauce, try a whole-wheat pasta with veggies. The herbs and spices will satisfy even the pickiest eater.
3. Don’t have a plan? You’re setting yourself up for failure. The pounds didn’t add up overnight and taking them off isn’t going to happen overnight. A solid plan of just a few attainable specific weekly or monthly goals at a time will help you make lifelong habits.
4. Don’t cut food groups. Eat balanced meals and snacks that include healthy protein, carbs & fats. Forget the latest diet trend, eat balanced and nutritious meals and you’ll beat the scale.
5. Don’t replace meals with green juices and smoothies. Often the ingredients in these are not satisfying leading to eating more later. They often don’t offer the right amount of nutrients and can be loaded with sugar.
6. Don’t restrict your calories. Eating less is typically the best way to lose weight, although this is because you’re probably eating too much. But actually restricting your calories can backfire. Think about the quality of the foods you’re eating first.
7. It used to be the trend…low fat…remember that? But research is now showing that this isn’t so good for you. There are plenty of healthy and delicious foods high in fat you should have in your diet such as, nuts, avocados, whole eggs, and extra virgin olive oil.
When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight there are more benefits than just weight-loss. Many of us will be able to better manage chronic diseases, manage our stress, make new friends, improve our mood, and protect ourselves from future health problems. And this is important for people of all ages! Start implementing healthy eating early in your child’s life, and it’s not too late for you either. Did you know one in four adult Canadians and one in 10 children have clinical obesity, meaning six million Canadians living with obesity may require immediate support in managing and controlling their weight? Don’t be a statistic…you can find delicious and healthy recipes with simple Google search.
At Functional Performance Fitness we also offer nutrition guidance, CONTACT NATATIA for more information about the challenges you have when it comes to eating a health diet. We also have some DELICIOUS RECIPES for you to check out!
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons mixed dried herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, oregano or marjoram
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pork tenderloins (10-12 ounces each)
2 red, yellow or green bell peppers cored and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium yellow onions cut into 3/4-inch wedges
1 small eggplant cut into 1-inch pieces
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling
To prepare the marinade, combine the Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, garlic and herbs in a bowl. Whisk until blended; add salt and pepper to taste.
Place the two pork tenderloins in a large sealable plastic bag. Pour in half the marinade and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Pour the remaining marinade over the peppers, onions and eggplant and toss. Arrange the vegetables in a large oiled roasting pan. Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the pork from the marinade. Add to the skillet, and brown on all sides.
Transfer the pork to the pan of roasted vegetables. Return to the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the pork registers 155 degrees on a meat thermometer. Slice the pork, and serve with the roasted vegetables. Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over finished dish.
Social isolation is a little thought of, but growing, factor in the health and well-being of people 65 and older – and it may play a greater role than obesity as a public health hazard, according to research at Brigham Young University. But what does “social isolation” really mean? It’s how often we interact with others, and how much we enjoy those connections. In fact, social interaction is so important that it’s actually a key factor in maintaining good health. As we age, a support system is more important than ever – because often, basic life circumstances may have changed. For example, seniors may be on a fixed income, with less money to spend on eating out. Or may not see well enough to drive. Bottom line, it can become difficult to fulfill the basic human need to connect with others.
"Relationships really do matter when it comes to healthy aging, because there’s a strong correlation between a satisfying social life and a senior’s overall well-being," says Larry Weinstein M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Humana Behavioral Health. "If you’re feeling isolated, the first step is to talk to your doctor, and it’s important to reach out to family and friends for encouragement and support."
There also are lifestyle changes we can make to better nurture our emotional health, and by extension, our physical health. "Humana’s Dr. Weinstein recommends five ways in which to become more active and engaged:
1. Socialize on Schedule. Nurture existing relationships by scheduling a weekly phone call, coffee date, or game night with friends or family
2. Volunteer. If you love animals, consider volunteering at a local shelter. Or comforting babies at a hospital.
3. Stay Active. Functional Performance Fitness offers programs specifically designed for seniors.
4. Learn Something New. Join a book club or take a class to learn a new skill. Local libraries are a wonderful community resource, often offering seminars free of charge.
5. Get a Pet. Pets are wonderful companions. Choose a pet that suits your needs. For example, an older, trained dog is easier to care for than a puppy. Or a cat or fish might be a good fit.
When it comes to maintaining good health, social interaction matters. If you – or a loved one – are struggling with social isolation, please contact your physician.
Exercise is a great way to connect with others! Our next Functional Aging Group will be starting soon, contact Natatia at Functional Performance Fitness for more information about this group.
Salads provide a healthy and easy avenue to gather several of the recommended nutrients.
4 firm, ripe pears (Bosc or Bartlett) peeled, cored and cut into 8 slices
1 teaspoon olive oil
8 cups baby greens
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Choice of salad dressing
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
On a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle pears with olive oil. Roast in oven until edges of pears begin to brown, but still firm. Cool.
Gently toss baby greens and cooled pears in salad bowl. Sprinkle feta and walnuts over salad. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with choice of dressing.
Suggested dressings - Ranch, Champagne Vinaigrette and Strawberry Poppy Seed.
I'm Natatia Gemmell. No matter how busy life gets, eating well and exercising is always a priority! I LOVE fitness, and I teach my clients how to stay on the health & fitness path by exercising, eating better and staying healthy!