Posted by & filed under Kickboxing.

How do you get your day started?

Average answer: Coffee!

You can do better than that!

Turbocharge your day with a superfood-rich latte, with tea or coffee) and you will feel the effects of all that nutrition throughout the day. It’s a well known fact that how you begin your day determines how you will feel for the rest of it, so a little effort will go a long way.

What is a superfood latte?

Basically your good ol’ latte infused with nutrient-dense foods like matcha, turmeric, and mushrooms.

Mushrooms you say?? YES!! Trendy lattes are all about the mushrooms these days. You may see words like Chaga or Cordyceps at your local café, which stand for different types of mushrooms that are being added to the great list of superfoods. Mushroom lattes are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Matcha is a form of green tea that has been ground into a fine powder. It is a powerhouse of antioxidants. Can you say glowing skin!!

Turmeric is soul food. It is a yellow coloured powder that comes from the turmeric plant with origin roots from India and Indonesia. It is an ancient remedy for chronic pain, and inflammation.

Cacao… as in chocolate? You bet! Unlike it’s super-processed brother, coco, cacao is chocolate in it’s purest form. It has a much stronger taste as it is unsweetened. It is rich in iron, anti-oxidants, and possess cancer-fighting properties.

With the right ingredients any of these delicious options can be made from the comfort of your kitchen. Check out Joyous Health’s delicious Rise and Shine Turmeric Latte:

INGREDIENTS
  • Brew 1 tsp Rise and Shine loose leaf tea
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • Desired amount of nut milk (1/2-1 cup)
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Boil water and brew tea in a tea pot or mug. 1 tsp of tea per person.
  2. Steam milk or warm up milk in a small pot on low temperature on the stove until hot but not boiling. Be careful it doesn’t burn.
  3. If you’re following the method of warming the milk on the stove and you want froth simply place warmed milk in a high power blender and blend, or froth with an immersion blender.
  4. Pour warmed milk into mug of brewed tea and add honey, and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.

 

Mushroom Latte image: https://www.goodfood.com

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Yay, March Break! Yay, spring is almost here! Time to get active!!

You have the whole week planned to a T, am I right?

Maybe you aren’t so organized and that’s okay. The most important thing is to make sure your kids get the most out of this precious week off. If that means hanging out at home the whole time, that’s great just be sure to plan some activities other than video games. While we love the idea of letting them keep up what they are passionate about, make sure that staying active is always a priority. 

If you have the opportunity to be home with them and have no plans up your sleeve, here are some quick ideas to get you through:

Get Outside

Remember they aren’t forced outside for recess while they are home, so that extra time in the great outdoors needs to be made up for. This lack of time outside has a great impact on their well-being and development.

  • Go for a walk. Find a forest and make it a treasure hunt! Make a day of it and head downtown to High Park
  • Visit a local Maple Syrup Festival. Kortright Centre for Conservation has a great one
  • Go skating (weather permitting)
  • Snow Tubbing. With the warming weather you may have to head north for this one but it will be well worth the drive. Check out Horseshoe Valley.
  • Snowshoeing with the older kids is a great workout!
  • Solve a mystery at Black Creek Pioneer Village

Indoor Ideas

It’s not always possible to venture out, so here are some active ideas for a rainy day.

  • Visit a museum. The AGO, ROM, Aga Khan, and many others have great activities scheduled throughout the week
  • Camps. There are lots of great camp ideas out there that encourage movement. Karate camp is our favourite 😉
  • Casa Loma– always a hit!
  • Allan Gardens Conservatory– Check out the beautiful spring flower displays
  • Indoor Playground. These may be really busy and crowded but always great to get those little muscles going in a pinch
  • Swimming- Lots of indoor pools!

At Home Ideas

Want to be home bodies? That’s totally cool, there’s lots to do within the comfort of your own home.

  • Have a dance party
  • Build a fort
  • Clean!! Oh yeah, the kids will love getting involved… okay, maybe the really small kids, it’s worth a shot, right?!
  • Bust out some home workout videos and get down on the mats together

Tag us in your #EnergyMarchBreak fun!!

 

Image from: https://kortright.org/event/sugarbush-maple-syrup-festival/

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What are you doing with all of that stuff that doesn’t “spark joy”?

If you have no idea what I’m talking about… never mind, of course you know what I’m talking about.

Marie Kondo, society’s organization darling, is bringing joy to homes across the globe by getting them to chuck all their unwanted, unloved, this doesn’t give me butterflies when I hold it close, stuff.

Where is all this junk going? Is it even junk?

The sad truth is that most of it is ending up in landfills.

Why isn’t the goal to buy less stuff?

While Kondo does allude to the idea that you should only buy something you know you’ll really love, what happens to that once coveted new blouse? It meets the trash as soon as it’s done giving you all the feels, making space for the next whim. Consumerism at its finest!

Minimalism is using what you have, and only buying what you absolutely need.

Quality over quantity. This goes for fashion, home, and everyday life. If you feel like your life is too cluttered and you want to minimize, then by all means, sort through that stuff, but be sure to do it mindfully.

What to do once you have Kondo-d your home:

Donate

Of course, giving sparks joy! Charity shops will always take your unwanted things. Donate freely but be sure to choose places where your unwanted items will do good. Women’s shelters, and churches are always in need of things. There are multiple Facebook groups that reach out to the needy locally (check out It.Takes.A.Village.Support).

Reuse

Before tossing everything out, look for ways to reuse what you have. Old towels make the best dish rags. Your old fancy clothes would get tons of use in your kids dress up box. There are endless possibilities for your old stuff, and being mindful of what you already have can end up saving you a ton of money in the long run.

Hand it Down

Parents with small children! Find another family, even if you don’t believe them to be in need, and offer your gently used baby things. Hand-me-downs are not only to help out a family who can’t afford new things. A set of baby clothes can easily survive three or four children before deemed unwearable. When you pass them down you decrease the amount of stuff in the world. That’s the goal, right?

Marie Kondo makes some really great points. Our lives are definitely filled with too much stuff, much of which goes unused, and into the landfill; a lot of it in perfect condition. It’s unorganized, and that leaves us feeling disheveled. Making a conscious effort to dispose of your things with intention will leave you feeling better about your freedom of space.

Share your de-cluttering success with us by using the hashtag #kondoenergy

Posted by & filed under Health, Kickboxing, natural, Nutrition, wellness, Women's Health.

 

So, you have a new baby, you’re breastfeeding, and you’re famished… All. The. Time!

This is normal and let me begin by saying please, feed that body. Snack, and snack well. Your baby depends on it!

Time isn’t something you will have much of so when it comes to food, quick and simple is the way to go or else you’ll find yourself at the end of the day starving and in turn, binging on the wrong stuff. If you’re hoping to drop the pregnancy poundage, and eat well enough to nourish yourself and your growing babe, here’s your snack survival guide!

Breastfeeding fun fact:

You burn an average of 500 calories a day JUST by breastfeeding your baby.

 

Quick Tips:

  • Don’t buy a ton of perishable items unless you are expecting to cook a lot post-baby.
  • Keep snacks in your car and diaper bag at all times.
  • Set some time aside when you can get help with the baby to prep healthy snacks. You want to avoid preservatives as much as possible, especially while breastfeeding.
  • Store leftovers in individual packages to grab on the go or in-between feeds.
  • Drink tons of water. It’s almost more important than food. Gotta replenish those liquids!

Breastfeeding babies get everything they need from your milk, but it’s important to keep on top of your diet so that you can be properly nourished as you provide sustenance to your little one. While well balanced meals are essential, you want to be sure to have snacks around at all times. Not only does your body require the nourishment, but hangry and newborn don’t make for a happy mamma.

Trail Mix

  • Find a low sugar trail mix, or even better make your own and pack it with nutritious ingredients. Here is a great recipe.

Yogurt with toppings

  • Think high protein like chia seeds, and hemp hearts.
  • Opt for full fat yogurt. Babe needs that fat!

Muffins

  • Always homemade! Store bought muffins are loaded with sugar.
  • Look for recipes with super foods like sweet potatoes, grass-fed butter, and turmeric. Here’s a yummy one.

Overnight Oats

  • Another great and quick make ahead snack.
  • Top with nutrient dense ingredients like blueberries, grass-fed sheep yogurt, and almond butter.
  • So many great recipes online. Try this one!

Loaded Toast

  • Grab some whole grain toast and load it up with your favourites!
  • Some ideas: avocado and scrambled egg, peanut butter (or if you suffer from nut allergies, sunflower butter) and banana.
  • Slice sweet potato really thin and pop in the toaster for a wheat alternative. Try this delicious recipe.

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As parents we don’t ask for much. Happy, healthy kids… that’s it. Luckily we are living in a time when self-love and being body-positive is priority, but at the same time, this is the era of social media, shares, and a strong desire to be accepted.

We want body-positive kids! When they love their body, they love themselves, and self-worth oozes out of their person. This self-worth leads to success in academics, extra curricular activities, and eventually helps them thrive in future careers.

So, how does one raise a body-positive child?

Model Self-Esteem

Be their biggest influence! We want to raise them to love themselves, but we have our own insecurities that, let’s face it, sometimes are hard to keep hush about. Nobody loves their body completely, but being kind to your temple will translate to her or him. Try to see yourself through their eyes; you’re beautiful, loving, nurturing. You make up their entire existence and nothing is possible without you. Take all that and own it!

Food Love

Nurture a good relationship with food. Young people, especially girls, are terrified of food.Take them grocery shopping. Offer healthy choices all the time so that they don’t need the junk. Involve them in the kitchen; kids LOVE eating things that they have helped prepare. Be sure to include things you know they will eat in their lunch. Never force them to eat, but set an example of you yourself making healthy choices when it comes to the food you eat.

Get Active

Beginning from a young age, children should be encouraged to take part in physical activity. This can be as simple as outings to the park, bike rides, swimming date with friends, or exploring new hiking trails as a family. As they get a little older they may join a team, or a karate class. Obviously not everyone is athletically inclined, and a sure way to make one self-conscious about themselves is to force them into a sport they just aren’t feeling. Model an active life. Make exercise a constant presence in your daily routine (now you’re getting healthier too, everyone wins)!

Please, Don’t Ignore the Boys!!

They need the reassurance just as much as the girls, and while they face different demons, they must not be overlooked. Media is constantly depicting unrealistic body types, and young boys are desperate to add up to the macho figure that they are made to strive for. Eating disorders are different for boys than they are for girls. Instead of wanting to be thinner they become obsessed with getting bigger. The root of this obsession may come from peers, coaches, or extended family.

Feeling comfortable in one’s skin is essential for healthy development. Let us empower children to love their unique bodies, and allow them to grow into confident, happy adults.

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It’s that time of year when your body is craving warm, comforting food to keep that chill at bay. It’s commonly referred to as soul food- the healthier cousin to comfort food. The days are short and the nights are long so cozy up to the idea of warming your insides with hot entrees, delicious spices, and steamy tonics.

Benefits of Warm Food in the Winter

Your body uses a lot of energy in the winter to try and keep warm. Eating cooked food gives it a break. You are also giving your digestion a break, because cooked foods are much easier on your digestive system than raw ones.

Aside from the health benefits, there’s something really satisfying about coming in from the cold and sitting to a great big bowl of something hot.

Warming tips:

  • Go heavy on the spices! Cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, and nutmeg go well with pretty much everything and do a wonderful job on your digestion.
  • Swap sugary foods for roasted sweet veggies like beets, and sweet potatoes. With just enough grill time, they are almost candy-like… almost.
  • Fall in love with soup as a meal. With just the right ingredients, it’s really all you need for a well-balanced dinner.

Here are some great recipes to warm you up:

 

Williams Sonoma’s Carrot Ginger Soup

Joy McCarthy’s (Joyous Health) Maca Hot Chocolate

Angela Liddon’s (Oh She Glows) Instant Pot Creamiest Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Hot and Sour Soup with Pumpkin

Indian Eggplant and Tomatoes with Fennel and Cumin

 

 

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Sugar Detox! It’s a term you’re probably hearing a lot these days. Sugar intake is majorly on the rise, with it being snuck into pretty much everything. On the other hand, people are coming around to the idea that sugar is extremely taxing on your health so best to avoid it wherever possible.

With the holidays, it’s hard to cut back with delicious sugary treats everywhere you turn.

Here is your Refined Sugar Detox guide… save it for the New Year; your body will need it.

Where does sugar hide?

So we aren’t just talking sugar in your coffee, and cookies. You’ll need to ditch things like:
Pre-made pasta sauce
Granola bars
Ketchup
Cereal
Alcohol (you’ve probably binged the last month or so, so this shouldn’t be too hard)
Flavoured yogurt
Soft drinks
Energy drinks
Sports drinks
Refined Carbs (cookies, donuts, cakes, pastries, dinner rolls)
Juice
Flavoured oatmeal
Packaged bread
Protein bars
Frozen waffles, and pancakes
Dried fruit
Salad dressing

That’s the short list.

It’s really important to get in the habit of reading packaging.

How long should I detox?

At the very least, seven sugar free days would be a great start, but try to push for at least two weeks. Feeling very brave? A whole month will leave your body feeling amazing and rejuvenated.

What are the benefits of going sugar free?

The best part about an extended sugar detox, is your body feels so great you won’t want to go back to your old ways. You’ll see the benefits with glowing skin, higher energy levels, and an appreciation for good quality food. You may notice some aches and pains slowly disappear. You have better stamina during your workouts. You wake up refreshed, instead of sluggish. You experience just how great your body is made to feel. All that can happen just by cutting out sugar, you ask? Absolutely.

How will I feel during the detox?

Crummy. Miserable. Expect headaches. This is all normal, and it is your body’s way of getting rid of all that bad stuff.

How can I assist the detox?

Drink tons of water, and herbal tea. Flush it all out and stay hydrated. Eat nutrient dense food like homemade stew, roasted veggies, and warm salads. Try and take it easy from over stimulating activities. The first week or so is the hardest but you can get through this!

What are some substitutes for refined sugar:

 

Maple syrup
Honey
Stevia
Apple sauce (for baking)
Coconut sugar
Brown rice syrup
Black strap molasses
Agave

January is a cold month and our bodies are craving warm, nutritious food. That’s what’s on the blog next week, so stay tuned!

 

Image

#1 http://dailyhive.com

#2 https://www.splendidtable.org

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Beauty starts from the inside. Proper digestion is essential for that glowing skin, lush hair, and overall youthful look.

Our liver does a lot of work to keep us looking and feeling great. When you nurture that important organ, it does a great job detoxifying all the bad stuff, environmental, and all that goes inside your body. When you constantly give it extra work, it can’t keep up. When it can’t keep up you can see it in your complexion. It comes out as inflammation, acne, puffiness, redness—premature aging.

No one wants that!

A healthy gut is crucial for beautiful, glowing skin.

Proper diet, paired with a high-quality probiotic can help you get the complexion you want.

Here are some foods that are bad for beauty:

Fried food

Most fast food is fried in refined oils like vegetable oil, canola oil, peanut oil—all of which are loaded with trans-fat. Vegetable oil might sound like it’s a good thing to have in your diet, but it is actually way too high in omega 6 fatty acids. Although we do need a certain amount of these omegas for proper health, too much can cause inflammation: swelling, pain, redness.

Replace with: healthy omega 3 rich foods like grass fed meats, algae, wild fish, chia seeds. Avoid grabbing lunch on the go, especially if your options are limited to fast food. Keep your car stocked with trail mix, granola bars, fruit and vegetables to hold you over if you get hungry.

Refined carbs

Cutting white sugar out of your coffee just isn’t enough. Look for all the hidden sugars that wreak havoc on your liver. They fuel oil production in your skin. Processed sugar ages your skin by a process called glycatin. When your organs try to digest refined carbs, the sugar molecules become “co-dependent” and attach themselves to proteins such as collagen. The body just can’t break this down and you put unnecessary strain on the liver and other digestive organs, depleting your healthy gut bacteria.

Replace with: Raw honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar

Dairy

About 75% of the world is lactose intolerant. It isn’t human food, and our bodies really aren’t able to digest it. Many people who have this sensitivity don’t even know it, but it comes through skin issues, and digestive problems. Skin flare ups, acne, eczema, have all been linked to dairy consumption.

Replace with: nut milks, oat milk, hemp milk, coconut milk.

Wheat

While definitely one of the lesser evils, wheat is getting higher and higher up the list of “sometimes foods”. “Modern day wheat’ is quite different from the ones our grandparents ate and is higher in gluten, which causes inflammation. This is why gluten sensitivities are becoming more and more common.

Replace with: Spelt, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice

Alcohol

Alcohol is very high is sugar, and spikes blood sugar levels, depleting collagen. Your skin thrives off moisture, and alcohol is dehydrating. A glass of red here and there is okay, but definitely not an everyday thing if you’re concerned about premature aging.

Replace with: Sparkling water with lemon, coconut water ( a wonderful, hydrating agent), kombucha. We know there is no replacement when you’re out for drinks for your friends—limitation is key.

Processed Meat

Think sodium overload. Puffy swollen skin is the result of a diet high in salt. Things like packaged meat, cold cuts, bacon, cured meats, are packed with sodium which results in water retention, killing your beauty regime.

Replace with: Grass fed meat (higher in omega 3s)

Caffeine

This is a tough one to kick to the curb, and as always, a bit is okay. Caffeine increases your cortisol levels, which causes inflammation, and throws your hormones all out of whack.

Replace with: Bone broth (Aaamazing for your skin), herbal teas like dandelion

 

 

Image:
Best Health Magazine

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What’s so great about Energy Fitboxt? How can I benefit from this 45-minute class? Will I see results?

There are lots of questions when choosing an exercise regime, and I’m here to tell you all about the changes you will see when you join our Fitbox fam.

  1. Beginners will Thrive
    If you have been off your workout game, or even never really been into fitness, Fitbox will help you fall in love with taking care of your body. We have had people come to us with absolutely zero fitness background, and within a few short months are bouncing to the beat like pros. Don’t be scared to try something new. In no time you will find yourself feeling better, and making healthier choices.
  2. De-stress
    You have a lot going on, we know it! Family, work, endless commitments… you just need some time for you to let loose and unwind. Studies have shown that high-impact exercises like Fitbox will help you release tension, and in turn manage stress much more efficiently.
  3. Improve Physical Health
    Our bodies weren’t designed to be sitting around all day. Moving around gets those muscles going, and encourages blood flow. At Energy Fitbox we hit, we jump, we burpee, we push-up, we skip, we stretch, and we have a ton of fun doing it!
  4. Weight Loss
    Here’s the one that everybody loves!

    Burn up to 800 calories in just one class!!!

    Pair that with a well-balanced diet and watch the pounds melt away.

  5. We Infuse Happiness
    It’s a well known fact that exercise triggers the release of your feel-good hormones, more commonly referred to as endorphins. Studies have shown that high-impact training, like Fitbox,  release significantly more than less demanding workouts. Our high-energy, and motivating instructors are specifically trained to push your limits, and make sure that you leave with a smile on your face.

With perseverance and a lot of hard work you can reach those fitness goals with this class that has it all. See you on the mats!

 

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Cardio on its own is awesome, but strength training, coupled with intervals, burns more fat, and in turn you feel better!

Because we are constantly losing lean muscle mass, strength training is especially important as we age.

Here are some benefits of strength training:
  • Develop stronger bones by increasing bone density, and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
  • Improve your quality of life by feeling better. Over time you will notice that everyday activities come easier when you are stronger to tackle them.
  • Manage your weight and increase your metabolism to burn more calories.
  • Manage chronic conditions like back pain, obesity, heart disease, and depression.

As you incorporate strength training into your workout routine, muscle mass will increase, and you will slowly notice that you feel stronger, and more in tune with your body. Over time you will likely increase the frequency and intensity of strength training and, with consistency, notice yourself getting in better shape.

Here are some forms of strength training you can find incorporated into our Fitbox classes:

Weights
The classic strength training tools

Resistance bands
You may have noticed these awesome bands being incorporated into our classes. Tell us all about that burn the next morning!

Body weight
Push ups, pull ups, burpees, planks, crunches, and squats are only some of the ways in which you are using your own body weight to get stronger

Don’t be afraid to pick up those weights!!