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Summer vacation doesn’t have to mark the end of your fitness routine. In fact, it’s a great time to change it up a bit.

No, you probably can’t lug B.O.B onto a plane to L.A, but you can definitely get a good sweat in some other ways. Embrace the land you are in and see what they do to stay fit. Staying on track is key, here’s how:

  1. Walk
    Walking on holiday is a no brainer. Depending on where in the world you are, you probably don’t have your car handy, so ditch the public transportation and get those steps in. This is an easy one because you’ll be so busy checking out the sites, you won’t even notice how much you are working.
  2. Gym
    Most hotels have a gym to try and get in a good sweat before heading out for the day. It’s not the most exciting way to get in a workout if you’re not a gym-goer but if it’s your only way, then definitely a great option to help stay on track.
  3. Fitness classes
    If you’re on a resort they likely have some sort of water fitness classes running throughout the day so grab a schedule and dance those mimosas away. Which brings me to my next point.
  4. DANCE!
    Night clubs, especially those in foreign countries are where the best fun is had. Integrate into another culture by a night of dancing, and effortlessly melt away all the extra holiday treats.
  5. Come back
    Make sure to get back into your normal fitness routine as soon as you get home. It’s so easy to slip while on vacation, and if you do that’s totally okay, just be sure to throw yourself in, full force as soon as possible.

 

Image: www.festivalsherpa.com

Posted by & filed under Cardio Kickboxing, Health, Kickboxing, Women's Health.

Summer is now in full force, and so are all the delightful things that come with it… pool parties, BBQs, late nights, and of course, school’s out so the kids are taking up all your time!

It’s easy to get off track in the summer when it comes to health and fitness because you are probably feeling really good about life, all the hard work you put in throughout the winter is paying off with that new swim suit you finally fit into, and you’re most likely spending a lot of time outdoors so, to heck with your cardio class!

The nice thing about routine is it’s something that comes easy. You make a plan, you stick to it and voila, the results come pouring in. Guess what happens when you lose your routine? You have a really hard time getting it back/ Something [like working out] that once seemed so easy because it was just another part of your day is now really tough to reel back in again come Fall.

Here are five tips to keep cardio in your life this summer:

  1. Find a cardio buddy! Guess who is dying to try Fitbox and be just like you? Your teenager, so bring them along to your next class.
  2. Schedule your classes Sunday night at 9 p.m when registration opens. You will be more committed if you’ve set the standards for the week.
  3. Missed a class because there are too many fun things going on? No problem! We have loads of class times to choose from, just be sure to make it up another day. You Fitbox four times a week? Be sure to get each class in somewhere.
  4. If you can’t make up that class, don’t beat yourself up, just be sure to stay away from the snowball effect, also known as the summer slump.
  5. Eat well [most of the time]. Feeling low about yourself is a sure way to get off track completely. If you over indulge at a party, no problem! You will make up for it next class.

See you on the mats, allll summmer looong!!!!!

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

Portion control is an important part of your weight loss plan—some might even argue, the most important.

Too much of anything is never good, so taking a step back and assessing how much of those good things you are eating is an effective way to keep off excess weight.

Even if you aren’t concerned with weight loss, portion control is important for easy digestion. When you eat too much you are putting unnecessary strain on your digestive system.

So, how much is enough?

Learning proper portion sizes and sticking to them can be really tricky, especially if you are used to binging. You need to train your stomach to be content with the proper portion size, and at first you will be feeling really hungry at the end of your meals. Try and stick to it.

Use a Portion Plate

These are great! They break down your plate into sections: 25% protein, 25% starch, 50% veggies.

Eat off Smaller Plates

Not into the portion plates? Eat off a dessert plate rather than a dinner plate. You will trick your brain into thinking you are eating a larger amount and just might find you are actually satisfied with a smaller quantity.

Weigh your Food

This may sound extreme, but most people cant visualize what an actual portion is so weighing food, and using measuring cups might just be what you need to get on track, especially in the beginning.

Eat your Greens First

Fill your plate with green veggies and eat them first so you aren’t starving when you get to the more starchy foods.

Put away Leftovers Before your Meal

Out of sight, out of mind. Serve your plate and put the rest of the food away so you are less likely to be tempted to pull it out again.

 

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Dads are the hardest people to shop for. They either have everything they want, don’t want anything, or simply like to pick their own stuff, so don’t even bother because you probably won’t get it right.

Want to get it right this year?

Food! Dad’s LOVE food!

Brunch is always a winner. I have never met anyone who didn’t love a hearty late morning spread, and don’t worry, we aren’t going all hearty-healthy, and gluten free on you.

Roll up your sleeves and get cracking… literally!

Eggs Benedict

Eggs are great any way but these are a real crowd pleaser and go with just about any sort of brunch. They are perfect on toast, even better on waffles, and for the dad who is watching his figure, they are wonderful solo too.

Deep Dish Bacon and Leeks Quiche

filled with fluffy eggs, cheese and crispy bacon this quiche is a meal on its own, but a wonderful addition to your Father’s Day brunch.

Apple and Sausage Patties

These are a definite hit! The delicious blend of sweet and savoury make it a perfect addition to any menu.

Nutella Stuffed Pancakes

If your dad has a sweet tooth, he’ll love these Nutella flapjacks. Also a great option when getting the little ones involved with the cooking.

Posted by & filed under Kickboxing.

Ever take a drive up to the country just because? The difference in air is so refreshing!

Now would be the best time to head north as there are bustling farmer’s markets at every turn just bursting with fresh produce. Shopping for local food is an amazing way to get the best quality, for lower prices. Shopping in season is so easy throughout the summer months because of how accessible things like asparagus and strawberries are. In winter we revel in warm comfort food but with this recent heat wave (and all those to come) bring on the salads full of crunchy goodness!

Here are some great tips on what to look for when you frequent a farmer’s market:

Buy local/organic

This is so easy to come by this time of year and quite cost effective. A lot of farmers are organic certified but many aren’t because of the cost to obtain certification. That being said, many farmers follow organic procedures even though they are not certified so be sure to chat them up about their produce.

Farm fresh eggs

There is nothing like whipping up a vibrant YELLOW omelet with some farm fresh eggs. Lots of farmers have chickens on the side providing them with a bit of extra income. Farm eggs are usually less costly than grocery store eggs at about $4 a dozen, and there’s a good chance they were laid that morning so take advantage while you are there.

Natural sweeteners

You can be sure to always find at least one honey farmer on site so keep your eyes peeled for that natural sweetness. Bee farmers are an essential part of keeping bees from becoming extinct and they rely on our support!

Local seafood

This one may be a bit tricky to come by in our neck of the woods but if you are traveling to areas where fishing is a thing then take advantage of the freshness that comes with each catch of the day.

Wild game

Not everyone has a palette for moose but don’t be afraid to try something new. The benefits of wild game are abundant as you can get quality meat without the added hormones and antibiotics that come from factory farming.

Fresh bread

You will definitely find some homemade baked goods at most markets so make sure to follow your nose and indulge in some artisanal breads.

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

Happy Friday and happy long weekend!

Let’s talk Instagram!

Anyone else really inspired by social media these days? Instagram is basically the new google with trending hashtags for anything you could imagine #HealthyLiving .

Health and wellness experts have booming accounts and between daily posts, Insta posts, and Live videos (Wait! That’s Facebook?… It’s okay, Facebook is still fun too), following these health nuts is the best way to get inspired these days. We are all wanting to live our best life, and this is amazing, free information right at our fingertips!

Want to whip up a new healthy recipe? Check Instagram.

Looking for some encouragment to “self-care”? You can probably find that on Instagram!

Want some wellness advice? You got it, it’s on Instagram!

Here are five fantastic Instagram accounts we think you’ll love!

@joyoushealth

If you follow our blog and our Facebook account you know we are huge fans of Joy McCarthy from @joyoushealth. Her account has it all. Delicious recipes from her incredible cookbooks (she’s working on a third one right now, EEEEP!!) and blog, a wonderful list of clean beauty products and advice, mom inspiration for those of us who never know what to feed our kids, and bonus, she’s based out of Toronto #ShopLocal.

@ohsheglows

Ahh, Angela Liddon. This mamma of two is a vibrant vegan with an account bursting with healthy, plant-based recipes. Be sure to check out her blog and cookbooks as well!

@theplantedone

Get really comfortable because you have so much to discover from this amazing account that’s bursting with meal-prep tips. Jenn will completely dissolve your previous notions of meal-prep being a boring and mundane idea.

@thedishonhealthy

Aleyda is a mom, recipe developer, and health food blogger. Scroll through her mouthwatering feed and be ready to take notes, because she comes armed with tons of recipes with all the frees ( you know, refined sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, and so on)!

@cleaneatz

Greta is all about the good food and fitness. Her feed is bright and cheery, splattered with bright recipes you’ll be inspired to make asap. Waffles, buddha bowls, ice cream sandwiches, with some quick workout videos sprinkled on top, she’s just what you’ll need to get in gear.

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Dear Mom, you’re amazing!

Have you ever written your mom a letter telling her just how you feel about her? It might just end up being the best thing you ever give her so that’s why it’s first on our list of thoughtful gift ideas for Mother’s Day. Just pour your heart out on some pretty paper, tie it up with a string, and voila, you’ve made her day!

You can never, ever go wrong with chocolate. Try getting your hands on some artisanal truffles for an extra special treat. Soma Chocolatemaker is a great stop if you find yourself in the city.

The gift of relaxation is always well received so find a nice spa and treat her to a day of coddling. For something local, check out Water Roots in Bolton (a true hidden gem), or else venture North for some hydrotherapy at Scandinave.

A box of wellness goodies is sure to inspire some self love so grab a pretty basket, pack it with some eco stuffing (lots of paper options around), and fill it to the brim with some of these fun picks:

  • Beeswax candles
  • Sage stick
  • Body butter
  • Massage oils
  • Dry brush
  • Face mask
  • Hand tied bouquet (check out Coriander Girl in Toronto)
  • Local honey/jam
  • Homemade baked goods
  • Organic dark chocolate
  • A handmade card

Wishing all moms a most wonderful day!

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

Who doesn’t love an all you can eat buffet? Unfortunately all those binge eats can lead to a ton of strain on your stomach, and ultimately that dreaded weight gain.

Why do we overeat?

There are lots of reasons why we choose to overeat.

  • Holidays
  • Family gatherings
  • Cultural ideas “clean your plate” or “don’t stop until you’re full”
  • Busy schedules (I only have time for one meal today so better make it count)

When you eat too much your stomach hurts from the pressure. Mindless eating, which is basically eating without a thought as to what, but more specifically, how much, is hard on the digestive system and can lead to some pretty serious health issues.

The average stomach can hold a decent amount of food and although it’s impossible to actually burst, overeating stretches out your stomach giving you a tummy ache. The first few times you binge eat you’re in excruciating pain. Over time, if you overeat often, you get used to that painful feeling and it begins to feel normal, which makes you believe you need even more food. This is where weight gain comes in. You’re eating more than your body can burn so it just isn’t going anywhere.

Aside from stomach pain some common ailments that come from binge eating are:

  • Acid reflux
  • Heartburn
  • Gas
  • Nausea

Eating too much causes your organs to work extra hard, which leaves you feeling sluggish and unmotivated. Developing healthy eating habits is the first step to get your stomach back to normal.

How to Stop Overeating

  • Meal prep with special attention to portion size
  • Fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables (fiber helps break down the food)
  • Use a smaller plate… seriously, it’s basically all visual!
  • Eat slowly and chew a lot
  • Drink lots of water
  • Keep a food journal
  • Avoid distractions like TV while you eat

Posted by & filed under Health.

Can you imagine a world with no plastic? Probably not.

Can you imagine a world where you are not handed a plastic straw at every turn? More and more people are working towards such a world and with minor, everyday changes, so can you.

Environmental activists like The Last Straw Toronto have taken the situation into their own hands by urging bars and restaurants to ditch straws for one day (April 21st) in an effort to decrease the impact of seemingly harmless straws.

So what are you supposed to be doing? Tucking a reusable straw in your back pocket in the event that you might need one?

Pretty much!

By switching to reusable straws you will drastically contribute to the decrease in plastic waste that ends up in landfills every day.

Did You Know?

  • Disposable plastic straws are TOXIC! They contain BPA, which has been linked to brain and behaviour problems, increased risk of cancer, and other health issues.
  • Disposable plastic straws are among the top 10 most common items of garbage found in oceans? The U.S alone consumes over 500 million each day.
  • Disposable plastic straws are really hard to recycle because they are so small. They may get broken down but never really biodegrade, they just get dispersed as trash, and usually end up in the oceans—an extreme hazard to marine life.
  • It takes roughly 200 years for a disposable straw to leave the planet.

Back to keeping that straw in your pocket…

Reusable straws are on trend, and people are literally carrying them around for their water, smoothies, fast food meals, and juice.

They are becoming easier and easier to come by as more and more environment-conscious consumers take part, and come in a bunch of different forms:

  • Stainless steel
  • Glass
  • Bamboo
  • Silicone

Brands like Glass Sipper and Enviro Glass Straw are eager to eliminate the use of disposable plastic straws and draw more people into a more sustainable way of life.

Ways you can help
  • Decline the straw
  • Invest in a reusable straw
  • Dispose of your plastic straw responsibly

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

Cutting sugar out of your diet isn’t easy, in fact most find it extremely difficult, but the benefits that come from eliminating this addictive ingredient are life-changing!

Sugar has a sneaky way of tricking your brain into wanting more and more so when you consume it on a regular basis you are continuously feeding this craving and in turn robbing yourself from feeling good.

Luckily not all sugar is bad for you. The sugar found in whole foods like fruits and vegetables are backed up by a great supply of fiber, which helps to break it down. Juice on the other hand, while still natural, is missing that helpful dose of fiber so should be consumed in very minimal quantities.

Sugar makes you sluggish. When you eat too much of it you are putting a lot of strain on your liver, making it work overtime to detox all the extra bad stuff.

When you quit sugar you may experience symptoms of withdrawal such as headaches, fatigue, or mood swings. Once you get passed the cravings you can expect some pretty great things to start happening. A few of them are:

You lose weight

Get rid of all the sugary foods you’ve been eating and you are sure to see a significant drop in weight. Your body will start burning fat because it isn’t too busy burning all that sugar. Once you omit sugar you will find yourself focusing on nutrient dense, whole foods instead.

Your skin will glow

Sugar has a dehydrating effect on your skin, especially your face, so you may find yourself beginning to look more youthful.

You will sleep better

Avoid a rise in blood sugar levels, which can affect your sleep habits drastically. When you eliminate sugar you avoid all those crashes that happen after a sugar-high. Those crashes stimulate your brain and keep you awake, or give you interrupted sleep.

You will have more energy

When you are feeling tired in the afternoon and grab a soft drink or sugar-filled coffee you are setting yourself up for a sluggish slump. Replacing these sugar cravings with healthy fats and complex carbs like sweet potatoes or oatmeal will give you that energy boost you are looking for.

You will feel amazing

Feel as good as your body is designed to feel. Often times sugar is seen as comfort food but in the end it only makes you feel bad physically, and about yourself. Your mood is off, you’re bloated, and even after all that, you want more. Cutting out sugar will leave you feeling better overall.

Replace your sugar intake with something else such as fibre and protein. Exercise more, and drink lots of water. Once you get past the cravings and see how your body is designed to feel, it’s only a matter of time before you have no interest in that very temporary sugar-high.

 

Image: That Sugar Film