This week's round-up of the good stuff!

What have you got planned for the weekend? I'm taking a little road-trip stateside, having a Health Coach friend coming to visit IRL for the first time and taking a trip to a local winery for a Organic Festival. I also love to squeeze in time on the weekend 'downtime' for some reading....Here's some great articles I've seen around the net recently!

Why I don't like working out

That's quite the statement! Is it just to catch your eye or is there some truth in it? I'd like to suggest that in many cases it's completely true...

We're told by 'the experts' that to be fit and healthy we should raise our heart rate for 30 - 40 mins 3 - 5 times a week, depending on what we read and which experts we listen to. Seriously, that's it??? We have these incredibly complex machines called bodies that are primarily designed to move; to walk and talk, to run and jump, to lift and carry, to feed ourselves and prevent us becoming food for others. Most of us have 2 arms, 2 legs,a multitude of muscles, tendons, organs, numerous blood vessels and arteries, 5 fantastic senses that all work tirelessly together with the tools we give them, (nutrition in its many forms) to get us through life - mostly by moving. We are designed to keep moving in order to survive!
Don't get me wrong here; I have nothing against a good workout - to experience that feeling of having pushed oneself to exhaustion is to experience one of life's most exhilarating feelings, but it doesn't, (or shouldn't) stop there. What do the majority of people do if they can't make their workout? Honestly - most do nothing, reasoning that they'll make up for it tomorrow; the next class, the next run etc. "I know I'm fit so what if I skip a day or two?"
But step back in time a couple of generations and reminisce with me; my grandparents didn't go to the gym; actually my Grandfather boxed so he did but back then that's what gyms were for mostly - boxing. Women certainly didn't go to gyms and most men didn't have the time. Really didn't have the time, I don't mean our perceived lack of time the media is always so insistent on pushing on us! The men worked long hours, mostly in physical jobs while the women looked after the home. They washed and wrung clothes by hand, they cooked real food and washed the dishes themselves. My grandparents had a coal fire that needed cleaning out every morning, refilling with coal scuttled in from outside, (which as it happens was where the toilet was, at the bottom of the garden!) and relighting each day. The men walked to work and back, the women walked to the stores, different stores on different streets, the kids walked to school and spent their lives playing outside. Remember the days when you couldn't get kids to come in? Now you can't get them to go out!
I'm not trying to prove that those guys had a tough life and we have it so easy these days - it's all relative and in fact we have a whole different load of challenges to complicate our lives - causing far more stress than they ever had to put up with - but that's another issue altogether. My point here is that the generations of yesteryear, the ones that didn't suffer our levels of obesity and weight related illnesses spent their waking hours moving. They may have spent an hour in the evening sitting reading or listening to the wireless, (that was what a radio was called before mobile internet resurrected the long forgotten word!) but pretty much from dawn till dusk they spent their whole day using their bodies as nature intended!
And that, my friends is what I am suggesting we all should do - move! Let's not call it working out or even exercise, let's call it what it is - physical activity and let's make it part of what we do, not just an event three times a week. Yes, go to the gym and workout by all means, but think functional too; walk when you can, park away from the supermarket doors, don't drive to the next store down the street, leave the car and carry your shopping, it won't kill you - say hello to others as you pass them by, you never know who you might meet. Use the stairs - always! Play outside, take your kids or dog with you - borrow someone else's if you have to; just make sure you give them back - not all parents will come knocking on your door and you may just find yourself with more than you bargained for :-) Try not using the remote, if you can figure it out! Ever lifted a garage door? Try it... Stop watching all those TV commercials punctuated by brief moments of entertainment called programs. Cancel the lawnmower guy, the window cleaner and clean your own house/car/patio etc. Being able to afford to pay for others to do your housework is not a sign of success, it's a sign of laziness, of inactivity, a lack of respect for the amazing body you have - look after it and treat it well after all, where else have you got to live? 
Use it or lose it, goes the saying. Strength and aerobic fitness are important, but flexibility, balance and endurance are just as vital. When was the last time you played 'hide and seek' in your own home? Go - now - move your ass!!!

And just a reminder about my Fall Detox program starting on either 3 or 21 October. The 2 week program uses no pills, potions, supplements or special products just REAL foods and natural cleansing from the inside out!  You can expect to lose weight, have more energy, less stress and better overall health, reduce your susceptibility to illness and disease, have healthier looking and feeling hair and skin and a marked reduction of cravings, old patterns and bad habits once and for all. Find out more HERE

Taking time for Self Care - My Hiking and Camping trip

Since our Vizsla pup Meli arrived in our family 14 months ago, my wife and I had been looking forward to turning her into a camping dog. Being a very active kind of pup we knew we'd never get a peaceful night's sleep in a tent unless she was completely worn out and would sleep the night through. She's been my hiking buddy and Helen's running partner for a year now and is never too tired to 'bring it on' so we thought we'd test her up in the Selkirk Mountains with a long weekend away to Glacier National Park.

Isn't it funny how camping always seems to have that 'aaaand relax' feeling about it and sure enough, as soon as we pulled in and started pitching the tent, the rest of the world and its problems just disappeared. We got there Friday night, too late to go hiking so the three of us strolled around the camp ground checking out the camp-fires and raging torrent of a river that marked the edge of the site. Why are we happy to sleep with the sound of rushing water in our ears and even trains, but not road traffic?

Saturday brought the weather we'd been promised with a cool start followed by temps in the high 20s as the sun made its way over the mountains. We choose a longer hike knowing we'd be glad of a shorter one on Sunday morning; the Asulkan Valley would be a 16km round trip with a 3,000 ft elevation gain , and would be more than enough for two of us...

With the clear weather, the views were spectacular as expected, what wasn't expected however was the cell service in the middle of what seemed like nowhere; is there no escape from Facebook??? Getting back to the camp-site around 6 pm made perfect timing for a roaring camp-fire a well stacked BBQ and of course a bottle of BC's finest :-) To say we all slept well that night would be stating the obvious; even Meli with all her excitement and her 'gentle trot' to the top of the valley was glad of the rest.

Sunday dawned even warmer so we lazed around the campsite for the morning and slowly packed up our site. Check out was Noon so we loaded up the car and moved to the trailhead for our brief 'warm-down' hike. This was just an 8km out and back along what used to be the railway back when the main railroad ran through back in the days before the highway was built. The campground is near the site of the old Glacier House; a place where first class passengers on the Trans Canada Railway would swap their carriages for remote luxury for a few days. The buildings are now all gone but you can still see the ruins of what harks back to a magical time in the history of cross country travel; when to travel meant to adventure...

It was a wonderful weekend of self-care, relaxation, gorgeous weather, great company, challenging hiking, amazing views. In short...Pretty darn great!

My too-gorgeous-for-her-own-good, friend and fellow Health Coach Anna is doing a Self Care September challenge on her blog which is what prompted me to make the most of BC's amazing fall weather and get away for a couple of days. Join in with Anna's challenge on social media by using the hashtag #selfcaresept when posting your status updates or photos!

Apples Healthy Recipes Round-up Blog Carnival!

How can anyone not like apples? There are over 7,500 varieties grown throughout the world, so surely one must take your fancy! Me, I love them; they're tasty, can quench hunger, thirst and have awesome health benefits. There's truth in the saying; "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"which originally came from the old English adage; “To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread.” and here are some of the reasons why;

  • Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.
  • Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fibre.
  • Apples are high in antioxidants, mostly in or near the peel.
  • Many apples after harvesting and cleaning have commercial grade wax applied. Waxes are made from natural ingredients.
  • The average apple contains around 80 (all good) calories.
  • Eating apples regularly has been proven to reduce risks of heart disease, skin disease and asthma.
  • Apples are high in both vitamin C and A.
  • A medium apple has a GI of 38 and a GL of only 6. To learn more about GI & GL see here

And some lesser known facts about our colourful friend;

  • Apples are a member of the rose family.
  • The science of apple growing is called pomology.
  • The apple tree originated in an area between the Caspian and the Black Sea.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family.
  • It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.
  • iPhones are made entirely from recycled apples... ;-)

Did you get your dose of apple today? If not, then here are some recipes to get your taste buds juicing!

Cinnamon Apple Crisps by Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes
Slow Cooker Bacon Wrapped Apple BBQ Chicken by Nikki from Chef in Training
Apple Chili by Candy from Health in Candyland
Apple Butter by Amanda from Moms with Crockpots

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad by Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers
Apple, Cranberry & Beet Chutney by Jenessa's Dinners
Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars by Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread (sweetened with applesauce) by Helen from What Happened Next...
BBQ Chicken Apple Pizza by Cathy from Lemon Tree Dwelling

Pin it Party!

Today I'm linking up with Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean and her 'Pin It Party' - I'm featuring 5 of my posts I’d love to see on Pinterest. Click on the link below the image to be taken to the original post and PIN away!!

Pinterest is such an awesome place to collect recipes, inspirational quotes, workout routines and food reference guides. Come and check out my pinboards! Follow me on Pinterest!

So here are my 5 favourite 'pinnable posts'!;
Everything you need to be convinced to start Menu Planning today!
No sugar Healthy Chocolate Pudding
How to be yourself, and love every moment of being single!
Supercharge your Superfoods - how 2 foods paired together can boost the nutritional benefits

Detox, not Diet!

The word 'detox' seems to strike many people as some form of self inflicted torture; a punishing way to sacrifice all that they enjoy and to go hungry for a week. Well, the good news is that couldn't be further from the truth and I'm going to tell you why. Let's start with the reasons why a detox is so beneficial;

What does a detox offer;
  • The first and most obvious is a well executed detox will clear your body of the toxins that our lifestyle and climate bombard it with. Our bodies are phenomenal healers if only we let them be, but how can they look after our interests if they are constantly fighting off the poisons we inevitably give them! A good healthy gastrointestinal system is vital for fighting off disease. Once cleansed, we feel lighter, have more energy, less brain fog and we lose the bloat. Our skin and hair often look better and weight loss is a pleasant side effect of our bodies not having to carry around those excess pounds of toxicity.
  • A detox is an amazing way to find out what foods our bodies don't agree with; by eliminating the foods that are the most common sources of sensitivities, we get to reset our bodies to where they should be. We then slowly start to introduce each food type one at a time to see which one(s) are causing us issues. A two week detox can identify and eliminate issues that can take months or even years to discover otherwise. 
  • It can get us started on a journey of awareness. A well planned and thought out detox gives us a chance to really look at what we are putting into our bodies everyday and helps us to find healthier alternatives - we make changes for life that really do change our lives. 
What a detox is;

A detox is a three phase operation; 
  • Pre detox is a period where we wean ourselves off the food that we should be eating less off - the fast foods, the processed food, the high caffein double extra strong power coffees many of us start the day with. This takes away the shock of going 'Cold Turkey' and lets our bodies adapt gradually.
  • The actual detox is usually a 5 - 7 day period of regular meals and snacks made from real whole food - and that's it! No other great changes except maybe to exercise levels depending on how you feel.
  • The transition phase is where we slowly start to reintroduce the foods we have cut out. I'm not talking about the take away burgers or ice cream - I'm talking about eggs, dairy, nuts, grains, corn or sugar. We bring these back in one at a time every 2 - 3 days and we watch for adverse effects, this way we find out what our individual bodies work well with and work best without.
And what a detox isn't;

A detox is NOT a starvation diet, there is never any need to go hungry. When we let ourselves get hungry, that is usually the time we make a grab for instant gratification - the junk! If you need to eat more, then eat more - simple! If your body craves animal protein then eat animal protein - I do when I detox. We all have different needs, whether it's quantity, type of food, hot, cold etc. Just make sure if you need more, you are eating more of what is good for you. This is not about making short term sacrifices or abstinence, but a time of learning how to correctly fuel our bodies so that they can be the healthiest possible and can carry us through our day to day challenges with ease.

I guarantee one thing; you WILL feel better after a properly thought out and designed detox - try it; what have you got to lose - apart from lethargy, brain fog, excess weight.....

31 ways to enrich your life right now

All last month I spent 31 days making my August Awesome! I created my list of tips, inspiration and ideas and invited friends to follow along on social media taking a moment out of the day to appreciate this awesome life we live (yes - all of us!)

Of course it doesn't have to be August - any month is a good month to stop and appreciate your awesome life - and here are 31 ideas to get your started. Jump in at any time - with the corresponding day of the month or just pick out an idea at random and DO IT!!
  1. There are 2 ways to get richer. Have more or want less! Wanting less is more satisfying & healthier for you!
  2. You're wiser than you've ever been and you'll never be this young again! How will you take advantage of this moment?
  3. Ditch the scales - Don't let a piece of junk determine how you're going to feel about yourself. Measure waist not weight!
  4. No media day! Just for today turn off the TV, radio, smart phones, computers & anything else that poisons the mind - talk!
  5. Ban technology from the bedroom - permanently! Make your bedroom a place of peace & tranquility set the mood for sleep & love
  6. Squat! Don't just stand there waiting for the shower, elevator, bus, or cooker! Squat, keep squatting, and feel the burn!
  7. Be silent! Turn off the noise to get in your head, escape from everything, however briefly. Be still & enjoy the silence
  8. Make 3 lists; things you enjoy, things you're good at, things you can get paid for. The one activity in all 3 lists is your perfect career!
  9. Eat green! Buy 5 new greens on your next grocery shop. Use Google & your imagination to discover new recipes & explore
  10. Go one whole day with no caffeine in your life; make it 2 or 3, Now keep going till the headaches disappear. How do you feel?
  11. Breathe! At every opportunity be quiet & concentrate on deep belly breathing. In thru the nose & out thru the mouth. Repeat.
  12. Take time out! Just once today take 1/2 hour, find a quiet place alone, lie down & let your mind wander without judgment
  13. Go the long way! Walk everywhere - don't take short cuts, use the stairs, take the long route & waste time - you DO have it!
  14. Water water water! Replace everything you'd normally drink today with a glass of cool, live-giving H2O. Filtered is best
  15. Double the stairs! Quite literally, every time you walk up/down stairs go back & do it again - EVERY time, & do it quicker!!
  16. It's ok to laugh! Find your favourite joke (Google it!) tell it to everyone & challenge them to beat it with one of their own
  17. Eat Raw! Cook nothing all day, eat only raw veggies, nuts, seeds and fruit (organic/ local if you can) Eat all you can!
  18. Treat everyone with kindness for all have their own personal battles. Treat yourself best - you may even thank yourself
  19. Random act of kindness! #RAK Do something good anonymously for a stranger. You'll never know the ripple effect you may start!
  20. Try a new workout! Sign up for a new class, try an online video or new piece of equipment, cycle instead of run - surprise your body
  21. Never aim for mediocrity, there's too much competition! Strive for the top; you'll be surprised at the amount of support!
  22. One minute #meditation! Sit, breath hard, fast & noisily 15 times, in thru' the nose, out thru' the mouth. Close your eyes & relax!
  23. Don't take yourself too seriously! Watch the people at the top of their game; lighten up & be like them - it's only life after all!
  24. 100 years from now You, Me, our problems, failures, won't mean a thing. The world will still keep on turning whether we mess up or not!
  25. Enjoy the ride! Everything we do now becomes a future memory, good, bad or in-between - make sure it's all worth remembering!
  26. Just for today find something positive in everything that happens & everyone you meet - it's there if you're open & willing to see it!!!
  27. Get up early! Just one day, get up an extra half hour/hour early. Use the time to relax quietly!
  28.  Make time for a hearty breakfast - everyday! High in protein and healthy fat, low in sugar
  29. Chew your food - chewing aids digestion & helps you feel full quicker. Aim for 50 chews but try for at least 20 per mouthful
  30. Set goals! Always have at least one goal to achieve. Break it down into bite size steps and don't give up!
  31. Repeat!!! Start the whole list over and do it all again. Or make up your own list...
And if you'd like to download the graphic to print (it's a great reminder pinned to your fridge door or mirror!) then click on the picture below to preview, then right click and 'save image as'....when printing select legal sized paper (8.5 x 14")! 

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