1000s of years ago humans were stressed out. Not because of a broken blackberry, or a midterm exam looming. Famine stressed us out. We were stressed because winter was coming and that meant we were going to starve.
Back then mother nature intervened and helped us out. Whenever we were stressed she would increase our drive for fatty foods and released a hormone (cortisol) that would make us hold onto to fat longer which would allow us the best possible chance for survival through the famine period.
The only problem is now we aren’t starving, and our waist lines are BURSTING. You are biologically predisposed to crave fat and hang onto it when you’re stressed out. We can’t eliminate stress entirely but we can manage it more effectively.
So what can you do…
At least 30 minutes everyday.
Take a deep breath and spend more time doing and less time worrying.
Gym accessories have stepped up a lot in the past decade. Gone are the sweatpants and XL cotton t-shirts. I've complied a list of 10 amazing gym accessories, some that I already have and some that one day would be great to have.
1. M0851 Gym Bag, $540
This is a wish bag! I have two clients with this bag and the leather is so soft it makes you just want to sit and pat it. At this steep price tag it's a little out of the realm of reasonable – but they are a great Canadian business success story so nice to support them.
2. Yogamatics Personalized Mat, $89
Great gift for the yogi who has everything. Jennifer Aniston made one for Oprah with a picture of her dogs on it! Such a great idea!
3. Hermes Scarf, $380
I have a client who always comes into our workouts with one on and she just looks so perfectly cool. H&M makes more reasonably priced options … but this is still my dream bag post.
4. Water Bobble, $9.99
Not your average water bottle. This bobble is a stylish, reusable bottle that filters tap water as you drink, using a replaceable carbon filter.
5. Timex Heart Rate Watch, $89.99
This is so cool! My Dad and I bought matching ones at the Can Fit Pro Expo and they are really neat. You don't need to wear a monitor, this watch will pull a pulse directly off your wrist.
7. Lululemon Scuba Hoodie, $108
I live in mine. Very comfortable and perfect for traveling to and from places.
8. Stella McCartney for Adidas Top, $65
I love this top and just might be purchasing it for Bod Squad! Stella McCartney for Adidas is a great place to find original gym wear – I love lulu but so does 98% of the female population now at the gym.
Friends of mine know that I’m all about making life plans. I have a new plan at least once a week. One reoccurring life plan I have is to move to Indonesia and start a chocolate covered frozen banana stand. Who’s with me?!
This is my healthy take on classic valentine’s chocolate. These taste like ice cream truffles! You can make this frozen treat in less than 30 minutes!
Serves 2 Ingredients:
1/3 cup chocolate chips (i used organic milk chocolate but use whatever your favourite is)
1 tbsp almond butter
If you have a cookie sheet use that or make a little aluminum foil tray for the banana pieces. Cut the banana into small bite sized pieces … otherwise it will taste like you’re biting into an ice cube. Put the banana tray in the freezer for at least 20 minutes and up to overnight.
Once your banana bites are frozen melt your chocolate and almond butter in a microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring to mix well.
Then dip your banana bites into the almond-chocolate mix!
Place back into the freezer for at least 10 minutes and up to overnight.
Before serving take out for 5 minutes and let them thaw slightly.
To my valentine, Matt. Thanks for being my biggest supporter and constant believer, I love you so much. I’m hoping you don’t see this before tonight!
Let’s just say it’s a great relationship tester – you really get to know everything about eachother quickly! We don’t have a lot of space to decorate so I really like things that hang and are out of the way.
I love flowers. I spent three summers working at Foliage Fetish, an upscale garden company in Toronto. Our average summer flower budget was anywhere from $10,000 – $75,000! My appreciation and understanding of how to care for them really developed there.
When I found this floating vase (click here for tutorial) on a blog that I’m in love with – cupcakes and cashmere I was so excited to make it! It’s perfect for small spaces!
Here’s what I did:
Went to Home Depot and bought wood (10″ x 8″ x 1/2″), steel wire (a wire hanger would probably work too), white matte paint, and a paint brush.
I borrowed my boyfriend’s drill and carefully drilled 4 holes into the wood.I painted the wood white and attached the wire around a well washed jar of honey.Attached the wire around the top holes and hung from our wall! Ta da!
Tips on Tulips:
Cut the stems on an angle under cold running water. This way they will absorb more water and look healthy longer.
Put ice cubes into cold water – tulips will stay closed and last about three days longer than without ice.
Don’t change tulip water – they are too temperamental.
Interval running is the number one thing to do if you want to see fat loss from your cardio workouts.
Intervals can dramatically reduce the time you need to spend running. In less than 15 minutes I now accomplish more than when I used to run on the treadmill for 60+ minutes.
Formats of Interval Training
Equal to half time
Equal to twice time
1:1 to 2:1
1:1 to 1:2
2 minutes: 1 minute
3 minutes: 90 seconds
30 Seconds: 30 Seconds
15 Seconds: 30 Seconds
I pulled this chart straight from the best kinesiology university class ever: Physiology of Exercise Training Prescriptions – thank you Dr. Don Patterson!
What I do for Interval Running
I try to do one longish run (45 minutes), one High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) run and one Super High Intensity Interval Training (SHIIT) run every week. Here’s the thing … intervals are not easy. In 15 minutes you should basically want to die. There is no talking, it’s focused intense work. Intervals aren’t just a shorter continuous run, they are ramped up.
Below I’ll share two examples of my interval workouts to give you an idea so you can set your own interval speeds.
Typically I do one long run per week – usually outside – but if I’m inside I usually pace it out around 7.0-7.5 for 45 minutes.
My HIIT workouts begin with a 5-10 minute warm up with some dynamic stretching and then I’m off to the races! 1 minute @ 6.0 mph 2 minutes @ 11.5-12.0 mph x 5
My SHIIT workouts scare people in the gym around me! I warm up for 10 minutes and do dynamic stretches. Then I hop back on and ramp up the treadmill – it should sound like it’s taking off on a runway. CAUTION: don’t just hop on the treadmill at super high speeds, stroke and hover over the belt for 3-5 seconds before you get going. This will be better on your joints and you will be a lot more likely to stay on! 30 seconds @13.5 – 14.0 30 seconds off just marching in place on the side of the treadmill x 10-15
- The treadmill takes awhile to get up to the speed – so when you’re doing SHIITs inside you will have to come off and rest completely. Don’t try to reset your speed to a jog for your rest because it will take too much time getting there. If you’re outside you can walk or light jog for your rest phases.
It took me a long time to go this fast. If you’re new to interval running play around with your speeds. These also aren’t the only interval workouts that I do – I always mix it up, 3 minutes, 4 mintues, 45 seconds etc.
Most people I train start off around a 7.0-8.0 on their HIIT intervals and 3.5-5.0 for their rests. Their SHIITS are around 8.5-10.0 for 30 seconds.
Here are two sciency terms that help explain why interval training is the boom digity:
Oscillation: This is what happens inside your body when you’re on your rest phase of the interval. After you finish your hard phase your body comes down to a rest but your heart is still beating very quickly and you’re still sweating and red in the face, those are indicators that your body is still working at a quick rate and it hasn’t caught up to the fact that you’re on a break. Essentially you’re tricking yourself into thinking that you’re running at top speed for the entire workout when really you’re only doing so for less than half of the time.
Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC): After you finish a 30 minute jog you hop off and your body can essentially shut down and return to normal – you haven’t shocked it into change. After an interval workout you will notice that you’re hot and usually sweat more after you’re done – that’s EPOC. To put it simply the EPOC means you’ll keep burning fat at an increased rate after an interval workout as your body tries to erase the “oxygen debt.” This increased rate of oxygen intake following intense interval training is what’s going to have your body burning fat for more than 30 hours following these workouts. You’ll be burning more calories while you sit, sleep, etc.
So give it a go! You will notice a huge difference in your normal running speed and see a difference in those skinny jeans!