3 Habits Holding You Back From Great Results

April 20, 2014

Over the weekend I posed a question on our Blast Fitness Facebook Page, I asked 'if I could wave a magic wand to solve your biggest struggle with healthy eating, what would it be?'

Aside from your requests that I make ice cream healthy and move into your home to chop vegetables, I realized that none of your struggles actually had to do with food.  They had to do with emotions, habits and the struggle that goes on in the place between your ears – your mind!

This April I have been avidly coaching a fantastic bunch of folks just like you in our 30 Day Challenge program. Every day we talk about food and exercise, but most importantly we tackle mindset roadblocks that are key to seeing great results! Here are three common habits holding you back with tools to conquer them. 

Searching in the cupboards or fridge after dinner.

Tool: Create a 'Pattern Interrupt'

Just like the title of this post, searching in the fridge is a HABIT. It takes a conscious thought process to break this cycle. We need awareness of what we are doing (searching in the cupboards for a quick sugar or salt fix) plus a change of action to distract ourselves (brush your teeth, drink a glass of water) A pattern interrupt is exactly as it sounds. It wakes you up and challenges your brain to think and analyze your actions causing you to break the pattern. Brushing your teeth instead interrupts your habit and will lead to you not putting anything else in your mouth before bed.

Feeling like you ‘deserve’ a treat after a long day.

Tool: Gain a fresh perspective.

Ok, time to put on the big kid pants here. Why do you feel so hard done by? Try taking responsibility for all of situations in your life. You chose the job you have, right? When I think back to my days of teaching a million fitness classes each week, I remember walking in the door, collapsing on the couch and thinking 'I wish I didn't feel this way, I wish I wasn't so exhausted.' Well who do you think gave the availability to teach all those fitness classes? Who said yes when they were asked to teach? ME! So I created my reality.

If this offends you, then consider you are not ready to take full responsibility for your choices. There is nothing wrong with that – it just is what it is. Sometimes you do have a long week and if you really want something to make you feel good, run a hot bath, get a massage or just hug it out! You DO deserve to feel great after all.

Falling off the wagon all weekend long.

Tool: Quit the all or nothing mindset.

The thing is, you think you won’t see results if you give up being all in or all out.

You think that throwing caution to the wind on the weekend doesn’t really affect you that much, its only 2 days vs. 5 days of eating great. And plus, its kinda freeing right? Who likes to eat predictably and controlled 7 days a week because that sounds soo boring.

So how do you feel after eating like crap for a few days in a row? You probably feel like crap – I know I do! And does that feel like freedom and fulfillment? Nope.

The first step to quitting the all or nothing mindset lies in getting back on the bus ASAP when you fall off (because you will fall off, you are human) DO NOT WAIT UNTIL MONDAY! Get back on the bus on Saturday morning - get a great breakfast and a sweaty workout under your belt. You will feel better, your results will be ahhhmazing and that sounds like freedom and fulfilment to me.

Until next time,

Lana xox

West Coast Salad Bowl

April 19, 2014

Being born and raised on Bowen Island, on the west coast of Canada, largely shaped many of the foods I love today. I was lucky to grow up on lots of fresh produce from my parents garden and weekly fresh fish from their work as commercial salmon fishers. 

If you have an hour to spare, you can ask my Dad about why eating wild salmon is the only choice when it comes to where to source your fish. Absence of growth hormones, improved omega-3 profile, and support of vital ecosystems are only a couple reasons. 

I created the West Coast Salad Bowl as a celebration of my favourite west coast flavours. 

The Salad: 

2 fillets wild salmon (about 6 oz. each or the size of your hand)

2 handfuls mixed greens

3 leaves swiss chard

1 carrot grated

1 small beet grated

20 almonds roughly chopped and toasted

2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese

The Dressing:

1 tbsp chopped fresh dill

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1/2 lemon freshly juiced

2 tbsp olive oil

Heat oven to 400F. Lay salmon fillets on tin foil lined baking sheet, sprinkle with rock salt and fresh ground pepper. Bake for 10 minutes in pre-heated oven, let cool. Place chopped almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 4 minutes at 400F then allow them to cool.

Assemble salad in a large bowl with mixed greens, chopped swiss chard, grated carrot & beet, feta cheese and cooled almonds. Mix olive oil and fresh herb dressing. Mash salmon in a separate bowl until fillets are separated and sort of crumbly. I placed the salmon in the fridge to cool for a few minutes. Add salmon to salad and drizzle dressing over the top and toss. Enjoy!

Serves 2-3 large portions. 

 

A Battle Worth Fighting

April 12, 2014

When I ask my clients to describe their relationship with food, I often wonder what emotions and feelings come to them when they initially read the question. If someone had asked me the same thing years ago I don't even know where I would have started. Now I could write an entire book on this topic! 

In the name of a concise take home message, lets talk about food battles that are WORTH fighting. For example, what is the point of food in the first place? Sustenance, enjoyment, taste, regeneration, social connection, the list goes on. 

Simplifying my relationship with food has done wonders for my enjoyment, comfort and physical results. If you have read my story, then you know that while I have always enjoyed food, it wasn't always a harmonious relationship. In the past I ate mindlessly, felt guilt and even confusion with what choices to make. Count calories? Eat low fat? Eat a whole foods diet?

Over the years I managed to find what worked for me. The greatest thing is that YOU get to decide the best diet for you. The one that leaves you satisfied with taste, amount of food and physical results. Satisfaction is not eating everything you want, it is eating foods that make you feel great mentally, physically and emotionally.

Just like you do with your loved ones, there are some battles that are worth fighting and some that are not. Sometimes the amount of effort you put in will not reap the rewards you desire. Here are some of the battles that I think are worth fighting for:

Stop labelling foods good or bad.

Once I stopped labelling pizza as bad and spinach as good it gave me way more satisfaction and freedom with my food choices. Pizza tastes good to me! I don't want to feel badly for eating it, but I also want to see results physically. I pack my day with foods that give me energy and leave me feeling great like salads, scrambles, smoothies and enough water so that when I do have pizza I really enjoy it without any guilt at all. 

Eat protein at every meal or snack.

The bottom line is protein helps to keep you full, maintain muscle mass and control the hormones insulin and cortisol. I am not talking about eating a steak three times a day. Choose eggs, fish, quinoa, hemp seeds, chicken etc. Adequate amounts of protein help to prevent cravings and energy highs and lows too.

How much is enough? Health Canada describes the minimum amount of protein intake to be 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. If you are active, it should be at least 1.2 grams per kilogram. Ex. An active individual weighing 60kg would have a daily protein goal of 72 grams. 

Find easy ways to eat vegetables every single day.

Cut them up ahead of time on Sundays. Buy pre-cut veggies at the store. Pick 3 green vegetables you love and eat lots of them. Put butter on them for heaven's sake. Make vegetables enjoyable and prioritize them. They are low in calories, high in fibre, full of vitamins and will keep you lean.

Avoid deprivation and find a treat that works for you.

If the path you are currently on is leaving you feeling deprived an unexcited about food, here's a news flash: it will end in a sad binge and a teary phone call with your bestie. Have a couple squares of dark chocolate, harness your willpower and order a kids size blizzard.

Notice if your indulgences actually satisfy you. If a couple squares of chocolate takes the edge off and allows you to enjoy vegetables and lean protein for dinner, that is a win!

Find a treat that tastes great and enjoy it mindfully. Having a treat regularly (I try 2-3 days between treats) will actually HELP you stay on track. 

The take home message is we need to eat to stay full and satisfied. Perfection with eating simply does not exist, and if you think it does it is fleeting anyways! Take a long term view, fight the battles worth fighting and you will experience joy & satisfaction with food.

Lana xox

 

Easy Protein Pancakes

April 12, 2014

At the beginning of the day our body needs protein for fullness, carbohydrates for energy and concentration plus a little bit of convenience. These easy protein pancakes are quick, filling and made of real ingredients. 

Ingredients:

1 cup egg whites

1/3 cup old fashioned oats

sprinkle of cinnamon

There are two options for combining the ingredients; you can place in a small bowl and stir, or place in a blender and blend! If you choose the stirring option, you will experience that the egg white 'runs' a bit when poured in the pan. Not to worry, simply spread the oats around a bit and all is well. Cook for 2 minutes per side and top with fresh berries.

Big Crunch Salad

April 10, 2014

This has quickly become one of our fan favourites. I can't tell you how happy it makes me that my reader's favourite salad has kale and brussels sprouts as the base! Both are a cruciferous vegetables (along with cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and more) which are high in fibre, super filling, have a ton of anti-cancer properties and loads of vitamins. Increasing your intake of cruciferous vegetables weekly can help to maintain a lean physique as they are filling with a relatively low calorie content.

Ingredients:

2 kale leaves

12 brussels sprouts

1/2 small purple cabbage

8 sundried tomatoes in oil

1 carrot

1/4 white onion

6 slices cooked bacon

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 lemon freshly juiced

balsamic reduction

To prepare; cook bacon in a frying pan, blot with a paper towel and let cool. Shred kale, brussels sprouts and cabbage into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Chop sundried tomatoes into small pieces and mix into bowl with fingers to coat salad mix with leftover oil. Finely chop carrot, onion and bacon, add to bowl. Toss in parmesan cheese. Drizzle lemon juice and balsamic reduction over top of salad and mix. This makes 3 large servings and keeps well for 2-3 days as the cruciferous veggies do not get soggy or wilted!