Food synergy - Supercharge your superfoods!

Most people these days have a pretty good grasp of what foods are good for us and what foods aren't. But did you know that pairing certain foods can increase the benefit of both, many times over? This is what I like to call food synergy; simply put this is where 1 + 1 = 3. 

Here's a bunch of food pairings that really do work well together; my personal favourite is the red wine and almonds.. :-)

Steak + Rosemary
The Health Benefit: Neutralizing of carcinogens created when meat is cooked above 325 degrees Fahrenheit 

Why It Works: Rosemary is rich in rosmarinic and carnosic acids that stop cancer-causing heterocyclic amines from forming on cooked meat. Many health conscious people have a lot of concerns about eating grilled meat. "This combination is one way that I like to use food synergy to increase the health of a dish."

Beet Greens + Chickpeas

The Health Benefit: Natural mood boost from a much-needed mineral

Why It Works: Magnesium is essential for low anxiety and happiness, but 70 percent of Americans don't get enough. Beet greens are loaded with the calming mineral, and the B6 in chickpeas maximizes magnesium absorption in the body.

Fish + Broccoli

The Health Benefit: A delicious way to stifle cancer growth 

Why It Works: Many fish, salmon, and mackerel are rich in the thyroid-protecting, cancer-fighting mineral selenium. When paired with broccoli, a veggie rich in sulforaphane, the compounds are 13 times more effective in slowing cancer cell growth than when eaten solo.

Red Wine + Almonds
The Health Benefit: A natural combo that keeps your heart happy

Why It Works: The antioxidant resveratrol in red wine and almond's naturally high levels of vitamin E work together to thin the blood and improve blood vessel health.

Green Tea + Lemon

The Health Benefit: A delicious way to sip your way to natural cancer prevention while jump-starting weight loss

Why It Works: Vitamin C-rich lemons help to maximize your body's ability to absorb catechins, the heroic disease-fighting antioxidant found in green tea.

Turmeric & Black Pepper
The Health Benefit: Superstar spice combo erases inflammation and could ward off Alzheimer's disease and cancer while combating high cholesterol and improving liver function

Why It Works: Turmeric is one spice that everyone needs to use. Just be sure to combine it with black pepper, which helps your body absorb a thousand times more curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric. 

Pastured Pork + Sauerkraut
The Health Benefit: Non-starchy and fermented veggies/animal protein combo will keep your gastrointestinal tract on track

Why It Works: Steering clear of starches when eating meat will help your digestive system focus on breaking down the animal protein, boosting absorption and reducing uncomfortable bloating, heartburn, gas, and stomach pain. Fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut, bolster digestion-friendly probiotics in your body, building up your immune system in the process. As a general rule of thumb, Gates notes that animal protein meals go best with non-starchy vegetables like green beans, broccoli, kale, collards, and spinach. 

Eggs + Cheese
The Health Benefit: Clearer thinking, reduced PMS symptoms, weight loss

Why It Works: Naturally occurring vitamin D in egg yolks optimizes your body's absorption of the cheese's bone- and heart-protecting calcium. Sufficient calcium levels also promote neurotransmitter health and stabilize hormones, which reduces PMS symptoms and weight gain.

Tortilla + Veggies

The Health Benefit: A flatter belly, thanks to reduce bloating and gassiness

Why It Works: Pairing vegetables with grains or grain-like seeds like millet or quinoa—and leaving out the meat—will reduce unpleasant bloating and gassiness, according to gut guru Gates. Starchy vegetables like artichokes, peas, potatoes, yams, and corn and non-starchy veggies like broccoli, kale, and green beans will keep your gastrointestinal tract on track. "A corn tortilla filled with stirred fried vegetables like onions, red pepper, zucchini, and broccoli and seasoned with Tex Mex seasoning is actually delicious and so much more easy to digest than a tortilla made with beef or chicken," Gates says. 

Fermented Food + Anything

The Health Benefit: Sugar cravings float away with kimchi and other sour superfoods. 

Why It Works: "I can't say enough how wise it is to add a fermented food to any meal—no matter what you are eating," says Gates. Superstars in the natural food world, fermented foods like kimchi are loaded with feel-good probiotics that not only improve digestion, but also help stave off sugar cravings. "They must be in a program if you are trying to lose weight," Gates adds. "They taste sour and take away the desire for sweets."

NB Some of the above information was adapted from Rodale News one of the most authoritative sources for trusted content in health, fitness, and wellness around the world.

I am a Tough Mudder!

I know, at my age I should know better! At least that's what I thought until I did this year's 'Tough Mudder' at Whistler; possibly one of the most scenic locations in the series - and maybe even the most inhospitable terrain - who wouldn't want to run up the side of an Olympic ski jump park??? (and don't mention the bears...!)

It had been on my mind to do at some point since the event became world wide; but clearly not on my mind enough to make the effort and actually go and do it! So it was my wife who mentioned it after last year's event and then a friend suggested we join his team when I'd let slip that I wanted to do it. It may have only been bravado but when said friend is 12 years older than me and his daughter, herself a mother of three were in the team, how could I not?

The challenge, (as it's not a race) is basically a 10+ mile obstacle course and was originally designed by ex British Special Forces although don't let this put you off if you're thinking of entering; there are no bullets flying and no ridiculously heavy packs to carry, nor are there any night parachute jumps to be made. Instead the obstacles are more challenging and fun than out-and-out dangerous and most can be performed with a decent level of fitness an attitude of 'feel the fear and do it anyway' and an open minded sense of humour.

The event is about teamwork and not just your own team as everyone seemed to be helping everyone else across, through and over the obstacles. Some of the obstacles included the electric eel - a shallow pit of water with live electric cables hanging into them - ouch, the Arctic enema - a deep pit of ice water with a barrier across, so submerging was necessary - also ouch(ish), some high walls to climb over, with team assistance, tunnels buried and flooded, long deep muddy trenches to run/walk/slip/squelch through, a high jump into a deep pool of murky muddy water, a monkey climb over, yes you guessed it - more water and a final dash through more hanging live wires - really ouch this time!

I didn't count but I believe there were around 20 obstacles over 18 kms which when cold and wet is enough to challenge the hardiest of 'players'. Having said that though, I would certainly encourage anyone with a relatively decent level of fitness, (it really isn't an event for just the elite!) to grab a team, sign up for the next Tough Mudder nearest you, and go and have the time of your life - it really is that much fun!

GMO for beginners!

So we've all heard or seen the acronym GMO bandied about these days...well, haven't we...?

Obviously there are two sides to this story, like any controversial topic, there are those for it and those strongly against it. In the US recently a bill was passed allowing food manufacturers to use GMOs in their products without labelling the fact. Many countries around the world either label GMOs or ban them all together. So are they dangerous or not? I've gathered some undisputed facts together for you to make your own informed choice...

GMO, (also known as GE - Genetically Engineered) stands for Genetically Modified Organism and means one of two things; either the crop itself has been engineered to resist pesticides allowing pesticides to be used with no outwardly obvious harm to the crop. Or, the crop itself has been grown with a pesticide grown into it so that when bugs try to eat the crop, they are poisoned and their stomachs burst, killing them.

The main company involved in producing GMO, (Monsanto) has funded its own research and claims that GMOs are safe and there is no need to test long term effects on humans. Other, more independent research however, shows that GMOs are linked to all sorts of diseases when tested on animals, such as brain damage, cancer, and a multitude of allergies.

Another major issue many have is that cross contamination, (seeds blowing on the wind or being moved be bees) cannot be avoided and that eventually even organic crops may well become affected.

However we look at it, this is currently an unregulated industry where it seems 'the foxes guard the hen houses' and much more research needs to be done before GMOs become all encompassing and irreversible...

For much, much more information on this topic read more here on the Non-GMO Project

And for an entertaining yet informative animation, watch this GMO A Go Go!

Motorcycling in BC - My kind of Father's Day!

You can't beat British Columbia for long hot summer days, and on two wheels is my perfect way of spending at least some of them. And so it was that myself and two other non fathers found ourselves heading out at 6:30 am this Sunday for a day of long distance sport bike riding. We had decided to load the bikes onto a truck to get the first 150 kms of straight, (i.e. dull) roads over the mountain range and into the next valley out of the way nice and early so we'd be in a good place at a good time to ride. It also makes sense not to be riding in the countryside at 'wildlife o'clock'! 9 am and two hours from home, three good friends on three modern sport bikes are gearing up under wall to wall blue skies and warming temperatures - it doesn't get much better than this!

BC is renowned for its stunning scenery and lack of traffic, so the next four hours were a constantly changing abundance of snow capped mountains above us and raging rivers in valley floors far below us as we passed by myriad Provincial Parks; glistening lakes seemingly at every turn and endless miles of twisting turning roads. Around every corner there's a classic photo opportunity; but this day wasn't about the photos (stopping upsets the flow of smooth 'swift' riding ;-). Through Spence's Bridge, Litton and Lillooet we made good time - very little traffic and zero police presences tends to help with this...;-)

Lunch was in an exceedingly healthy cafe in the town of Pemberton in the valley, (of the same name) floor that surrounds the famous Whistler/Blackcomb year round 'ski' resort and was our brief interaction with other humans for the day. It was also our turn around point in order to keep our riding to the 'middle of nowhere'. The nearer to the coast you get in BC the less predictable the summer weather and so it was under dark and gloomy skies we headed back up toward the mountain pass, (part of the Coast Mountain Circle Tour) for our return trip. Unsurprisingly the rain started as we got higher and the temperatures dropped to considerably lower than they were down in the valleys. But it's only an hour up and over and by the time we headed down into the small town of Lillooet, we were already 'blown dry' and warm again.

Gassing up here we stopped to chat to a solo Ducati rider who was making the most of his Father's Day by leaving the family at home and heading out for his own ride. So we invited him to join us for an hour or so before he turned round and headed back to what Father's Day is really about - being a father!
Logan Lake, and the rain!

We followed the Marble Canyon road that leads from Lillooet to Cache Creek through fast flowing and carving turns hugging the Fraser River. From here it was south through Ashcroft and Logan Lake before our last 'up and over' and back to Merritt. High above Logan Lake is a copper mine and the lake surrounding it looks like something found on a South Pacific island - because of the copper? This was where the rain really came in! It was hard enough to sting and heavy enough to soak us through in seconds. You know that feeling when the first drip of rain gets down your neck and trickles down your back - how suddenly cold it can feel... this was then followed by what seemed like the floodgates opening as the torrent found its way down my back and into my shorts. Too much information? Tough, just be glad you didn't have to put up with it! By now we were starting to tire and were looking forward to getting finished, so we were all glad when the rain stopped and the last half hour served perfectly to dry our leathers and warm us back up again. A quick snack stop, load the bikes and it was time to settle back into the comfort of luxury seating for the two hour drive home.

Three happy 'boys'; exercised, giddy and revitalised for the week ahead...:-)

For those interested; this is our route on Google Maps

Cinnamon - Healthy Recipes Blog Carnival

Welcome to June's Healthy Recipes Blog Carnival! This month's featured ingredient is Cinnamon.

So, what's so special about Cinnamon then??? Listen in and I'll tell you...

What is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is the bark of one of a group of trees belonging to the same family. Many related species are marketed as cinnamon. "True cinnamon" is from Sri Lanka and is more delicate tasting than what is commonly sold as cinnamon in the United States, which is also called "cassia" or "Chinese cinnamon." Cassia has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. There are many other species of cinnamon, mainly from Asia and Madagascar. Cinnamon "sticks" or "quills" are rolls of dried bark, and can be grated into a powder or soaked in liquid. Most people buy cinnamon pre-ground.

Cinnamon Nutrition
Would you believe that a mere teaspoon of cinnamon contains 28 mg of calcium, almost one mg of iron, over a gram of fiber, and quite a lot of vitamins C, K, and manganese? It's true. It also contains about half a gram of "usable" (non-fiber) carbohydrate.

Health Benefits of Cinnamon
In traditional medicine, cinnamon has been used for digestive ailments such as indigestion, gas and bloating, stomach upset, and diarrhea. More recently, modern medical research has turned its eye on cinnamon and is coming up with some intriguing results. It has a mild anti-inflammatory effect. It also slows the spoiling of food (which is probably related to why it was used as an embalming agent in ancient Egypt), and has anti-fungal properties as well.

In one fun (but unpublished) study, researchers found that sniffing cinnamon resulted in improved brain function -- subjects did better on memory and attention tasks when taking whiffs of cinnamon as opposed to other odors or no odor. However, the potential health benefits of cinnamon that have received the most attention have to do with its effects on blood glucose and cholesterol.

Here are 10 specific health benefits of Cinnamon that may make you want to include it in your diet every day.

Lower Cholesterol
Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.
Blood Sugar Regulation
Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Yeast Infection Help
In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections.
Cancer Prevention
In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
Arthritis Relief
In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.
When added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
Brain Health
One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.
E. Coli Fighter
Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.
High in Nutrients
It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

And lastly, here are some awesome ways to enjoy Cinnamon in your diet; experiment and enjoy…Just click on the links below to see the full recipe details;

Chocolate Pudding by Me!
Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa Parfait by Anna from Your Healthy Place
Gluten Free Granola Bars by Laura from Mommy Run Fast
Cinnamon & Spice Donuts by Barbara from Rawfully Tempting
Easy Granola by Angelique
PPK (Potato, Pineapple & Kale) Curry by Helen from What Happened Next...

Join me next month for the next Healthy Recipes Blog Carnival - the featured ingredient will be posted on the first of the month and recipes will be posted on 15th July!

Healthy Chocolate Pudding

When you're craving something sweet this is a great choice with lots of healthy fats and full of flavour, plus no sugar, no dairy and no gluten - is there anyone that wouldn't enjoy this?!!


  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Frozen Banana (make sure you chop into chunks before you freeze!)
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Flax
  • 1 Tbsp Cacao Powder
  • 1 tsp Honey (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Almond Milk (Coconut milk would work great too!)
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp Cacao nibs

Put everything (except cacao nibs) in a blender or food processor until smooth - the frozen banana will take a while to break down so you may need to stop, scrape the sides down and restart several times. The finished consistency should be like soft-serve ice-cream. Add the cacao nibs and mix briefly to combine.

You could also add nut butters, coconut or nuts to change things up!

What does healthy really mean? (Part 5 - Career)

Work to live or live to work?

We spend an inordinate amount of time in our lives working, so shouldn't we enjoy it? Who says work has to be work? Somehow society has seemed to accept the fact that work is something to put up with, a less than pleasant necessity where the means justify the end.  Even the name 'work' is wrong! Yes, we need somewhere to live, the ability to pay the bills, to feed ourselves - and of course to be able to afford those little luxuries and to enjoy ourselves.

But let's rethink the whole approach to earning a living; what do you really want to do? What would you do if money were no object, if you didn't have to re-train? Most people end up in a job that's 'ok' - not great, but not bad enough to make the change worth the effort. But I say good enough is not good enough.

If you don't enjoy going to work, you're in the wrong career - period! I don't mean if there are certain aspects to your job that you don't enjoy; that's normal. Or a tough patch. And I don't mean if you merely don't like your boss or colleague; that's a relationship issue that needs sorting out. I mean if you sit there watching the clock or wake up in the morning and dread going to work, you need to change what you do!

Three attributes make up your ideal job - make a list; things you enjoy, things you are good at and things that you could get paid for. Anything in all three lists is what you should be focussing your career on. And don't blame age or money; they're just excuses!

The only difference between those following their dreams and those not is one small five letter word - ACTION! Take it and your dreams really will come true - small steps really do lead to big results...:-)

Put the last five days posts together, give each one your maximum effort and live the life you deserve. And remember this famous quote...

"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy" - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life

This is Part 5 of a 5 part series covering the five key aspects that make us 'wholly' Healthy; SpiritualityRelationshipsFoodExercise and Career. They all work symbiotically but do you look after yours and how would YOU prioritise the list?

What does healthy really mean? (Part 4 - Exercise)

Don’t waste your time exercising!

Seriously, did he just say that? Sure I did but not in the way you may be thinking. Here’s what I’m saying in that statement;

Exercise is a pretty commonly recognized and appreciated healthy habit here, but will any exercise do? I personally don't think so. Sure, anything is better than nothing and I definitely agree with the small but important things like walking instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. In fact if there's ever an option to do something for yourself instead of letting technology do it for you - make like Nike and 'Just do it!' Did you know that lean muscle actually burns when when you're sat still!

But I say exercise like you mean it, quite literally like your life depends on it. Be honest with yourself here; how many times do you finish a workout and really feel like you’ve given it 100% and how many times do you ‘go through the motions’ in the belief that you’re working out and can tick it off your to do list? We all like to claim, whether to ourselves or someone else, that we worked out today but there’s really very little point if you’re not putting the effort in. You’re in the gym for 30/60/90 minutes so make every minute count – don’t waste that time, you’re there anyway so you might as well benefit. If you’re not seeing the changes maybe it’s because you’re not making the changes! Don't waste time plodding aimlessly on the treadmill for an hour, or half heartedly pushing weights, just going through the motions. If your heart's not in it how can you expect your body to be? The definition of insanity - doing the same thing every day and expecting different results!

Find something you enjoy; take your walk outside, invite a friend! Join a class and workout together, cycle in the countryside - whatever the weather. If it rains, get wet - you'll dry...:-)

But don't be disappointed by the results you didn't get for the work you didn't do...

This is Part 5 of a 5 part series covering the five key aspects that make us 'wholly' Healthy; SpiritualityRelationshipsFoodExercise and Career. They all work symbiotically but do you look after yours and how would YOU prioritise the list?

What does healthy really mean? (Part 3 - Food)

Let's start with the definition of 'diet. I mean of course diet in the true meaning of the word, i.e. what you eat in general. Not 'I am on a diet'. (and let's not focus on the one bad meal out or 'grab and go' snack here, consider what you eat 90% of the time). One bad day won't make you unhealthy any more than one good day will make you healthy!

There are hundreds of different dietary theories out there today and to be honest - most of them work - for some people, just not everyone! What we need to nourish ourselves individually can be as different from one person to the next as the difference in any other aspect of our lives; our size, shape, colour, gender, name, hair style etc. If you only take away one thing from this post, it should be... we are ALL different and what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for the next. 

However, there are some basic rules that none of the 'experts' seem to disagree on;

  • drink more water
  • eat more greens
  • stay away from processed food - if it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don't!
  • eat smaller portions
  • if you can't pronounce something - you probably don't want to eat it! The longer the shelf life, the shorter yours. 
  • Don't eat on the go; sit down, turn off distractions and eat slowly - you'll fill up more quickly
  • Chew, chew again and keep chewing - the more liquid like your food becomes before you swallow it, the less your digestive system has to work. Less bloating, less hunger and guess what - you even get to taste it!
But most of all; even though food should be seen as fuel for our lives, there's no reason not to enjoy it, it's what gives us life and keeps us healthy!

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" - Hypocrates

This is Part 5 of a 5 part series covering the five key aspects that make us 'wholly' Healthy; SpiritualityRelationshipsFoodExercise and Career. They all work symbiotically but do you look after yours and how would YOU prioritise the list?

What does healthy really mean? (Part 2 - Relationships)

'Love' the one you're with!
Let's start with the obvious here; our partners (if we're fortunate enough to have them). Do you still treat him/her your the way you did when you first met them, or even better, when you wanted to meet them? If you really wanted to, how could you make their lives better? ....Then do just that!

Of course this goes for friends and family too; how do you relate to them these days? They can be annoying at times but let's face it, so can you, and you (hopefully) don't treat yourself badly... do you...? If you don't love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? Go ahead, you're worth it!

And what about the other people we deal with on a day to day basis? Our work colleagues; and not just the ones we work closely with or those we like. How many people at your work do you know or more importantly, how many could you know if you just made that little extra effort? The receptionist on the way in, the fork lift driver in the warehouse, the cleaner, the stressed executive... do you know anything about these people you pass everyday with the same joy, sadness and problems you have. You could be missing out on your new best friend or the love of your life! 

Finally let's not forget our attitude toward strangers; the checkout person in the supermarket, the bus driver, the person you pass on the street? They're all real people with real life battles going on, so aren't they also worthy of your best? The affect you can have on someone's day, (or even life) just by the way you treat them in those few small moments can be profound. Be kinder than necessary to everyone you meet. Be the best you can be; say hello to a stranger today, it may just make their, (or your) day...:-)

This is Part 5 of a 5 part series covering the five key aspects that make us 'wholly' Healthy; SpiritualityRelationshipsFoodExercise and Career. They all work symbiotically but do you look after yours and how would YOU prioritise the list?

What does healthy really mean? (Part 1)

I think most people realise these days that there is far more to being healthy than just eating the right foods and avoiding the bad ones, (most of the time anyway, let’s be real here…!). And everyone knows to take time to exercise....but is that it?

Absolutely not! What about the reasons we eat badly or don’t exercise in the first place? An unhappy relationship is unlikely to inspire us to cook when we get home, and a long day at a job we don’t enjoy can soon curb any desire to workout that evening. Have a think about the following list of aspects of our lives that all go hand in hand to make, (or break) your health. There's more to being healthy than 'not being sick', or even just being fit. We can only have true health when all these pieces fit together.

Over the next week I’ll very briefly talk about the these areas of our lives that I believe make us ‘wholly’ healthy; 

  • Spirituality
  • Relationships
  • Healthy eating
  • Exercise
  • Career 
They all work symbiotically but do you look after yours and how would YOU prioritise the list?

What would you do to take your health to the next level? Read, inwardly digest and hopefully enjoy the next few days...:-) 


I'll start with this one as it's often the most misunderstood term!

Many people straight-away think religion when they hear the word spirituality - I however, beg to differ! Some people find all the spirituality they need from their religion and that's all good. But shouldn't non religious people be able to reach the same spiritual plain too? 

So what else constitutes spirituality?

Yoga is a common and very popular answer; it's also a perfect way to fend off the stiffness that comes with getting older - trust me, I know... But here's some more; hiking in nature with your dog, paddling out on an empty lake, riding your motorbike or even skydiving... Whatever your passion is, whatever make you appreciate just how awesome and special life really is, wherever you are, (usually but not exclusively alone) when you appreciate that life involves something bigger than just you or me - that to me at least, is spirituality and is as big and as important a part of true health as anything else! What calms you and makes you realise we're here for far more than just getting through to the end unscathed...?

Watermelon Agua Fresca

It's hotting up here in beautiful BC! And the watermelon is front and centre as you walk in most of the grocery stores. There's something about this lovely fruit that screams 'summer' to me!

Check out this super-simple refreshing drink, sat on the deck after a long, hot day at work or play!

  • 1/4 Small seedless watermelon
  • Sprig mint
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Water
Directions: BLEND! Add some ice for a super cool drink! Enjoy!

Guest Post: My Journey to Healthier Living on the Road

Today I'd like to welcome Les, who has kindly written a guest post for me. Les has been a client of mine since January of this year and has made huge changes in his life over the last few months.....but I'll let him tell you all about that....

Myself and Les at the start of this weekend's Whistler 10km race!

It was January 2013. I was 5’9½”, 215lbs with a 38” waist. I was living on the road, spending a week or two at a time away from home, making poor food choices. I was using a major back surgery a couple years previous as a convenient excuse not to exercise. The unflattering physique in my vacation photos stared back at me. It was time to get serious. 
I was lucky – I already had incredible support from my wife Deanie – who unlike me does follow a regular exercise regimen and eats an extremely healthy diet. I needed to change and become more healthy and fit. And after enlisting the help of Chris as my Health Coach I had two people in my corner ready to help me on my journey.
At that first meeting Chris worked with me on my specific goals and particular challenges – for me it was my limited British pallet when it came to food choices and preferences and the work schedule (or lack of one!) that I kept. I didn’t expect any magic pills and my first rule was that if we are going to do this it is not a quick “Diet” to lose some superficial fat. If I lost any it would be a pleasant side effect of changing my lifestyle.
When I was at home I was pretty good. With help from Deanie I cleaned out all the pre-packaged rubbish foods; the commercial white breads, pre-packaged pies, soups and beans, sausage rolls, cookies and potato chips. These got replaced with healthier alternatives I could enjoy; fresh vegetables, beans, nuts and dried fruit – and I realized just how many veggies I did already like and enjoy! Deanie helped me make some great bean and vegetable soups/stews which could be made in a slow cooker and then separated into baggies or plastic containers and frozen for future use. And at home I had a treadmill and was able to use it.
So my issues would be mostly on the road.
I was not familiar with many healthy eating options where I travelled  and it was so convenient to swing by a drive-through and grab a quick bite to go or something for dinner and take it back to the room. That along with some strange food intolerances meant that most places preparing healthier options were difficult to order from.
So what did I do? Well, I would stop at the grocery store on the first day on the road and pick up a large bag of snap-peas, carrots, maybe some broccoli pieces, apples, oranges, a bag of mixed nuts and trail mixes and a case of water. This served to both fix the snacking issues and improve the lunches and dinners.
I found it was still easy to go out and get a grilled chicken breast, chicken or turkey breast sandwich or soup or even the occasional burger or personal pizza, but now instead of having the burgers and sandwiches loaded up with cheese and bacon I switch out to lettuce. Instead of fries and onion rings I now have my veggies and fruit for dessert. Instead of Pepsi I drink water or a fresh vegetable and fruit juice. I realized that there were actually plenty of choices for me after all!
I now have cut the caffeine from my diet almost entirely. I skip the coffee in my hotel rooms, and when I need a warm drink I search out a good caffeine free tea instead. My new favourite drink is water and I drink about 2-3 litres a day!
So what about the exercise?
Mornings would often start with phone calls and e-mails at 7am. When I was at home this was fine as my treadmill was open at all hours, but at the hotels I did not know which ones had exercise rooms and what their hours are. I worried that the gyms might be too busy, and what other people might think of me – yes lots of excuses!
After 3 weeks of using the treadmill at home and building my stamina to walk/run 30 mins I didn't feel like I would out of place in a public gym – that’s one excuse checked off. Secondly I discovered that most hotels DO have a small exercise room with a treadmill or stationary bikes and some sort of weight machine/bench, with really flexible hours.  So I’d head down to the hotel gym before work and just get on with it. Sometimes if I had extra energy when I got to the hotel in the evening I would go down and exercise for an hour then too. You see there really never seems to be an issue with equipment and I believe in all the hotel gyms I've stayed at I've only had company maybe 3 or 4 times. As a bonus most gym rooms have a good TV so I can tune in the news while jogging or even watch the Hockey game during my evening sessions. I stopped making excuses, stopped worrying if it might be too busy, or what other people thought and GOT OVER IT. I realize that no-one is in there to judge you, if there’s even anyone else in there with you in the first place!
I met with Chris every 2 weeks and it meant a great deal that I had someone other than myself to answer to. We had set a goal of completing a 10km run within 3 months from when I started this, and when things were going well with my exercise regime I signed up for the Vancouver Sun run – my first ever 10km which I finished in 1:09*. We also had set a goal of trying new vegetables which has broadened my pallet of healthy food options, and along the way Chris has provided many nutritional information guides to help me make better choices.
These days I can wake up without coffee and have more energy after exercising. Oh, and the 30lbs weight loss to date and 2 inches off my waist size have certainly helped to keep me motivated…
Thanks to Chris at InSpiral Coaching for your help in leading me down this new path, and to my wife Deanie for putting up with me and helping me stay on track! 
*Les since ran his second 10km this weekend in Whistler, BC and knocked 4 minutes off his time! Great Job Les!

June's featured ingredient...

If you'd like to take part in June's Healthy Recipe Blog Carnival then read on....

The next Blog Carnival will be published on Monday 17th June, 2013

June's featured ingredient is CINNAMON!

If you've got a great recipe to share that contains cinnamon then why not submit it?! All submissions must be received by the deadline of Friday 14th June to be included. 

Here's how it works;

Each month I pick a particular ingredient that all recipes should feature and anyone that would like to participate can link up their favourite/best recipe for inclusion.

On blog carnival day I publish a blog post featuring that ingredient with fun and factual information about it and link all submitted recipes in one convenient place. All recipes will give full credit to the author and link back to your own blog or recipe site so everyone will need to visit your site to view the full recipe details. Your recipe can be something you posted today or a year ago – it doesn't matter, but they must appear on your blog with a full ingredient list, directions and at least one photo (because everyone loves seeing pics don’t they?!

Sign up and join us HERE!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...