Saturday, October 29, 2016

No More Excuses! Helpful Tips for Creating a Home Gym

If you want to improve your fitness, you need to join a gym right? Wrong. While many people believe that a gym membership will help them get fit, it’s not the only option. Creating a gym in your home can be a fantastic alternative to joining a gym. It can help you to get fit, is more convenient and can save you both time and money. But many people overlook having home gyms because they think traditional gyms will benefit them more. So if you’re unsure whether you should cancel your membership and create a home gym, read these compelling reasons to help you decide. Personally, I love building on to our home gym. We have a weightlifting platform, kettle bells, my spin bike, medicine balls, and more. These really eliminate the opportunity to give the good ole' excuse of "I don't have time to workout".

My gym is a work in progress, but I love it!

A home gym can save you money

Gym memberships are notoriously expensive and a waste of money if you don’t use them regularly. Whereas home gyms can help you to save money. While they do require some money up front to buy the equipment you need, they can be created relatively cheaply. You can buy only the equipment you need rather than buying everything your gym has. Sale events and second-hand models can also help you get equipment at discounted rates.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Lose the Gym & Still Get Fit and Strong

f you're looking for a way to improve your general wellbeing and to lose weight you might be considering a gym membership. Some people just don't like the gym though and feel time spent there can be intimidating. There are so many ways to workout from home it would be silly not to thoroughly research that option too. Here are some ideas to kick-start a new keep-fit without the gym regime...

Image source

Join a local team

Whether you love to kick a soccer ball around or simply love to run track, team-sport is one sure way to get the adrenaline pumping. Not only will you increase your heart rate, release endorphins and get the blood pumping; you'll also make new friends. A competitive edge can be a real motivator to getting fit so joining a team is potentially a great way to lose weight. And if you are a parent, this is a great way to be a role model to your children by participating in activity!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Make Healthy Asian Food A Diet Staple With These Cooking Tips

Since the western world has been introduced to eastern cuisine, it seems we simply can't get enough of it. Curries, broths, noodles, you name it - we serve it. Of course, it barely compares to the authentic cuisine made by the professionals themselves. But, it is becoming a more and more common fixture in the everyday person's home due to the exciting, spicy flavours and interesting ingredients. The problem is that not many people know how to cook this kind of food in a healthy way. So many of us rely on canned sauces for our Indian curries or Chinese stir fries - many of which are full of chemicals and additives. We also skip many of the traditional vegetables that are used in these dishes, preferring to use ones that are familiar to us. There's nothing wrong with this, of course, but we could be missing out on not only amazing flavors but heaps of brilliant nutrients too. My entire relationship with food was changed once I started shopping at the local Asian grocery store. It has been amazing and exciting. If you think that Asian food is unhealthy and should only be had as a treat, then get ready to think again with these healthy cooking tips.

Image source

Authentic Indian curries

Curry is one of the most popular dishes in the whole world is curry. Although not known by that term in its homeland of India, there are still hundreds of different varieties that we westerners would all class as 'curry'. They differ so greatly depending on the region they come from. For example, the creamy Kerala cuisine varies greatly from the spicier Punjabi cuisine. In order to cook traditional, authentic Indian food, you must have authentic ingredients. Where we use oil or butter, Indian cuisine typically uses ghee. This is a kind of clarified butter high in vitamins A and E. If you are still concerned about the health factor of some of your Indian dishes, why not try simply cutting down on rice and naan? Many authentic Indian recipes are actually vegetarian, so bulk out your curries with chickpeas and lentils to save on carbs. Tandoori grilling is also a healthier way to cook your Indian cuisine and it tastes good too.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Get on Your Bike and Get Fit: Some Essential Advice for Success

Are you one of those people who has tried a thousand ways to get fit and found that none of them work for you? It can be a real frustration, but you shouldn’t just give up. The right way to get fit for you could be just around the corner. One thing that you should definitely try out is cycling. This is a great way to get fit and work out. It moves lots of muscles, and it’s a cardiovascular form of exercise. I found that I really enjoyed the challenge of spin classes a couple of years ago, but due to scheduling, I was unable to keep up with going to the studio classes. Luckily, I saved up some money and bought myself a spin bike for my home gym and have really enjoyed it (the pink bike in the picture above is mine). Here are some tips to help you get fit through cycling:

Fuel Your Ride the Right Way

What you put into your body is just as important as what you do on your bike. You need to eat healthily in order to ensure that your cycling efforts aren’t cancelled out by your poor diet. But, at the same time, you also need to make sure that your body is fuelled for the ride ahead. If it’s not, then you could run out of energy and burn out before you have finished your ride. That’s no good for your fitness efforts in the long-term.

Set Your Bike Up Properly and Make it Comfortable

You should set your bike up in the right way. If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to get what you want from the bike. You won’t be able to cycle it properly or for as long if you’re not comfortable when you’re riding it. Your leg should be straight when the pedal is at the lowest point. So, adjust the saddle of the bike until that’s the case. Bicycle insurance is important if you want to make sure that your bike is safe when you’re not using it too. I have too many friends who have lost their expensive road bikes due to accidents or theft that this is a pretty great idea.

Do Intervals

Intervals are short bursts of cycling that you should do when you’re on your bike. It’s all about changing pace and putting your body through a more intense workout for a short burst of time. These bursts of increased intensity don’t have to last for very long. It can be good to make them last for about a minute before going back to your normal cycling pace again. If you want to lose weight and improve your fitness, going at a steady pace and not changing things up won’t work as well. Instead, you need to push yourself a bit further sometimes. There are actually a lot of good youtube videos and apps out there that have virtual trainers & playlists to keep you motivated for rides either on the road or on your bike at home.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Nutrition tips to keep your immune system tough through the flu & winter season

While we all have a good idea that what we eat affects how we feel. It can be easy to forget that before the pharmaceutical industry, our medicines came from natural sources.

At the time a lot of these things were consumed as food or drink, and we can still receive the benefits of imbibing them now. Read on to find out what they are.

Vitamin C

There are plenty of things that contain a good dose of Vitamins C like carrots and bell peppers. But did you know that Brussel Sprouts also have lots too?


Well, if you are a sprout fan, then you should definitely start eating them on more than just your Christmas dinner. This is because getting enough Vitamin C can help boost your immunity to disease. It acts as a natural antibiotic killing off harmful bacteria in your system. I love grilling Brussel sprouts but in the winter, I often steam them.


We hear a lot about antioxidant and free radicals these days but does anyone known what they actually are? Well, free radicals are the nasty things that our cells produce when they take in and use oxygen.

These can be harmful your systems so we don't want too many of them hanging around in our body. That is where antioxidants come in.

As we don't want too many oxidants or free radicals in our system eating foods like sweet potatoes and oysters are a good idea. They release molecules that attached to the free radicals making sure that they don't get reabsorbed by the body and cause harm. Oysters are also high in magnesium & zinc, which help boost immunity.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

So You're More Active...What's Next?

Most of us have had some fitness aims or goals over the years. And most of us know how hard it can be to achieve them. Some people find it easier to scale things back a bit and concentrate on one thing at a time. You might try increasing the number of steps you walk or try being a little more active at lunch time. Increasing your activity is certainly one of the best ways to improve your fitness and tone up a little. But what comes next?

Health and fitness go hand in hand. It’s worth considering how you can also improve your health now you’ve made those big steps toward fitness. Walking is one of those activities that can help you become more active and make you healthier. It’s not just your physical health you need to consider. Your mental and emotional health are just as important. Walking can help calm your mind, and you’ll feel emotionally well by taking in the fresh air and beautiful surroundings.

This picture is from

Monday, October 17, 2016

Health is Wealth Toolkit: Addressing & Eliminating Food Guilt

One strategy in both weight management and healthy lifestyle modification that does not get enough attention is the concept of addressing and eliminating guilty eating. Have you ever felt guilty about eating a meal before it has even been served to you? Do you feel bad whenever you eat something sweet, like a donut of piece of cake? Do you eat food that tastes bad to you because it’s “healthy”?

We know that training of behaviors is possible (Pavlov’s dog for example) and sometimes we develop behavior patterns that are completely unintentional. When you are happy and eating, your body saves that information as something that brings you pleasure & positive things happen down to the cellular level in your body. When you are sad/guilty and eating, your body saves this information as something that is negative and negative things happen in your body (such as increased cortisol).

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Breast Cancer Nutrition Awareness featuring GoMacro

October is breast cancer awareness month and I'd like to introduce you to Go Macro. GoMacro is a family-owned vegan food company that was started by a mother-daughter duo on their organic family farm. They have two different lines of products- MacroBars and Thrive. In honor of their co-founders breast cancer recovery, they have released a special “give-back bar” that donates 10% its proceeds to the Keep a Breast Foundation. I love this bar because it touches on some important nutritional concepts (antioxidants, fiber, plant-based). Learn more about the awesome Keep a Breast Foundation here. Let us get brought up to speed on some breast cancer stats:

According to, here are some recent statistics on breast cancer in the United States (source here): 

  • In 2016, there are more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
  • About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
  • Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2016, it's estimated that just under 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
  • About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

Amelia, Breast Cancer Survivor & her daughter: Co-founders of GoMacro

Here’s the thing, no matter what illness or disease a person may become afflicted with in life, they can fight it better if they have been following a healthy lifestyle beforehand. Being an overweight woman is a risk factor for developing breast cancer, possibly because the more the fat cells grow, the more estrogen is produced from the fat cells. That production of excess estrogen can signal breast cell growth, which in turn increases the risk of developing breast cancer.

What can you do from a nutritional point of view?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The protein powder and coffee mystery has been solved!

A few weeks ago, I tweeted out to my universal fitfam asking the question on whether there had been any success on mixing protein powder and coffee together. There was a lot of interest in the question, but no one seemed to have answers. Until now. I had a very successful afternoon in my test kitchen and just could not wait to share the results with you all! This is exactly what I did:

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Vegan & Gluten-Free food that tastes good? Absolutely Yes!

One of the greatest things that I have learned about following a low-Fodmap lifestyle is the incredible amount of gluten-free foods that actually taste good because I have tried many GF foods that initially turned me off from the idea of even trying to follow a low-Fodmap plan but luckily, I have been able to try quite a few GF foods that seriously impressed my taste buds. I reached out to 88 Acres because I was searching for something that I could keep on hand when I am commuting around, shuffling the kids from one place to another, or simply to satisfy my cravings without the panic of reading every food label in the convenience stores. I was able to sample the Triple Berry, Apple & Ginger, and my personal favorite…the chocolate and sea salt bars.

Here is the deal with these: These are handcrafted by people who have first hand experience with the dangers of food allergens. Their bakery is free of peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, dairy, sesame, eggs, fish, and shellfish. These are vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO project verified. And, I also was impressed that they mention that their bakery is latex-free. Many of you reading might look at the list of things that are not included in their foods and think “that sounds way too healthy, it must not be that good.” FALSE! Not only are the bars really good, but also how many times have you been able to look at food you have purchased and identify the ingredients listed on the label while you are actually eating it? I took the picture of my chocolate and sea salt bar and did not use a filter so you can see that these are the real deal.

No Filter. Look at the goodness!

Monday, October 3, 2016

PB Chocolate Coconut Protein Balls featuring Paleo Pro Powder

Who doesn't love to make homemade protein snack balls? I have had the wonderful opportunity to try the Paleo Pro products and I am SO impressed. In fact, I used their Aztec Vanilla protein powder in what has now become my favorite shake combination ever (1/2 frozen blueberries, 30g Aztec Vanilla protein powder & 10 ounces of coconut almond milk). I am an unbiased and honest reviewer for everything I write on this blog and can tell you, as someone who has a sensitive stomach, these products made me feel great: no bloating, etc. And OMG THEY HAVE A PUMPKIN SPICE FLAVORED POWDER! Yes, I am one of those people who loves on that pumpkin spice. Judge away. You know you want some- click here to get some. No soy, no whey, no added sugar, no gluten, grains, wheat. artificial ingredients, and so on. The cost for these products is very reasonable given their high quality. Way to go, Paleo Pro! You have a fan for life. I loved making the protein balls and was originally going to use almond meal in the recipe but am so glad I used the coconut flour because it added some great fiber content. The recipe is below- give them a try!