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

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

Spring has sprung! The sun is pouring into your home from every corner, and with it is all that dust you’ve been shutting an eye to all winter. Spring cleaning is so revitalizing after a long winter and getting it done with clean, non-toxic ingredients will leave your home fresh and ready for the new season.

Why clean with eco-friendly products?

It’s a constant battle against dirt and germs, especially if you have kids in the house. believe it or not there isn’t one single commercial cleaning product out there that you actually need.

You breathe in things like cleaning products, air fresheners, and detergents, so using all natural ingredients makes for a healthier environment all around. Most conventional products are loaded with chemicals and can have negative effects on your health and the environment. You don’t need a product for everything, but rather only a few simple ones that come straight from the earth. Popular natural cleaning solutions are made up of:

  • White vinegar (get into the habit of buying this by the gallon, it has endless uses)
  • Baking soda
  • Essential oils (specifically tea tree oil, lavender, and lemon)

Humanity is seeing a shift in the planet with climate change and slowly we are returning to our roots. As eco-friendly living becomes more popular, things like green cleaning products are becoming more accessible so if you don’t want to make your own there are natural solutions at every corner.

If you’re into the green life, there isn’t much a spray bottle with the above listed ingredients won’t tackle successfully.

Here are a few green tips to welcome spring:

  1. Throw open those windows and change that air, even if it’s still a bit chilly. This should really be done all year round, but we know… Canadian winters.
  2. Get rid of stink with baking soda. Put a big bowl of it in your fridge to minimize that muggy food smell. Freshen up your carpets by sprinkling a generous amount, then vacuum it up.
  3. Essential oils are super trendy right now but they have actually been a thing for centuries. Purify your air naturally by diffusing your favourite oils.
  4. When you replace your cleaning products be sure to dispose of them responsibly as tossing them down the drain may just put it back in your water supply.
  5. Hang your laundry. Switching to a natural detergent is great but think of reducing consumerism as one of those steps you’ll take to go green. Dryers use tons of energy! Get that clean breeze smell naturally and coddle the planet with this one simple step.
  6. While on the topic of laundry… ditch fabric softeners, and dryer sheets. They are totally unnecessary and loaded with carcinogens!
  7. Get a houseplant to help clean your air. Visit a nursery and talk to a consultant about what plant will suit your living quarters.
  8. De-clutter your wardrobe. Donate gently worn clothing to charity and start over by purchasing quality, local items for that beautiful, sustainable capsule wardrobe you’ve always wanted.
  9. Get some green walls. Are your walls in need of a facelift? Consider the VOC content when choosing a brand of paint. Eco-Spec by Benjamin Moore is a great option.
  10. Break up with paper towels. They are a waste of trees and money. Rags are great for pretty much everything and so much more environment friendly.

By now your air quality is pristine, and your lungs are saying thank you.

This spring fall in love with your home, body, and planet. Make small changes that will make a lasting impact on your health and surroundings.

 

 

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

We all have that thing we can’t live without. That thing that keeps us going, motivates us, keeps us from punching our coworkers. It’s our boost of energy—it makes us feel good. Without it, life is dull!

Dare we assume that for you that thing is Fitbox?

Yeah it’s hard but you keep coming back for more.

Here is a list of signs that you might be a Fitbox fanatic!

  1. 9 PM on Sunday is “Me Time”
  2. You find yourself jabbing in the car when your favourite Fitbox song comes on.
  3. You get to class early to get your favourite bob.
  4. Songs on the radio are just too slow.
  5. You consider faking a sudden headache when Pablo is subbing unexpectedly.
  6. You look at the clock at least once during class—this feels like the longest 45 minutes of your life.
  7. You’ve brought at least one friend to class with you just to show off.
  8. As your legs feel like they may give out on you, you question your sanity mid-class… “why do you love this again?”
  9. Sometimes you’re so into hitting your B.O.B you swear you could have been a prize fighter.
  10. You’re much more irritable when you miss a class, so much so that even your loved ones notice.
  11. You have a love/hate relationship with the wait-list system.

1-4: You’re definitely a fan, but not quite a fan-atic!

4-7: You’re hardcore, that’s for sure!

7-10: YOU ARE A FITBOX FANATIC!!!

Keep the Fitbox love alive!! Like and comment with your tally!

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

Sleep deprivation is an obvious reason for feeling tired and run down, but it’s definitely not the only one. The pressure of careers, family, and extra curricular activities has us constantly on the run, leaving little time to unwind and recharge.

Do you find yourself constantly feeling sluggish and out of it? Do you go through your days just dreaming about hitting the pillow at night? Are you getting the right amount of sleep, but it just never feels like enough? Here are five possible reasons you are always tired:

You’re Eating Too Late

There is nothing worse for sleep than going to bed on a full stomach. Your body is in full on work mode trying to digest all that food, and if you suffer from heartburn, trying to sleep while full won’t help.

You’re Going to Sleep too Late

Here’s a quick science lesson for you: Your body produces melatonin, but barely any in the morning or throughout the day. At around 8 or 9 pm production starts, and really peaks at 1 or 2 am lasting about 12 hours but slowing down at around 8 am. Melatonin decreases our ability to stay alert so that’s why we get tired at night. When we skip that window of premium melatonin production, we skip the best sleep.

You’re Exercising Before Bed

Schedules are tight and sometimes your only option is to workout late at night. Unfortunately this can affect your body temperature and hormones. If possible, wake up earlier to get in your sweat, or else leave at least an hour before bedtime, giving your body time to unwind.

You’re Skipping Meals

We get energy from food and if you aren’t giving your body the right nutrients it needs, you’re going to crash. Eat well, and drink lots of water throughout the day.

You’re Obsessed with your Phone

Spending hours on your phone [or laptop or ipad etc…] before bed can make for a poor night’s sleep because of the bright light stimulation. You may be out but your brain is still working a million miles a minute, as it does while you scroll through pages and pages of information on social media.

Making a few small changes in your life might get you the rest you need, and boost your energy levels.

Posted by & filed under Kickboxing.

Guess what!! Chocolate is good for you!

Well, sort of.

Cacao is good for you and shouldn’t be confused with its processed cousin, cocoa.

How is Cacao different from Cocoa?

Cacao is chocolate in its purest form.

The more popular “cocoa” has been chemically processed and roasted, stripping it of antioxidants and flavanols (magical ingredients that keep you young and healthy). Non-organic cocoa has been heavily treated with toxic pesticides, and has undergone “Dutch processing”, which reduces the bitterness of chocolate, tones down its dark colour, and leaves it with hardly any nutritional value at all.

Raw Organic Fairly Traded, on the other hand, has incredible benefits including:

  • Extremely high in antioxidants (40 X more than blueberries!!!)
  • High in Magnesium (promotes heart health)
  • Great source of iron
  • Calcium (even more than cow’s milk)
  • Anti-depressant—get ready for a great mood boost

Cacao can be purchased in the form of nibs or fine powder, similar to cocoa powder and is great for baking among other things. Here are some amazing uses for cacao powder:

Smoothie

Pair it with your favourite nut milk and avocado for a chocolaty treat.

Hot CACAO

Add it to a mug of hot water or milk, toss in some natural sweetener and you have a delicious, and healthy hot chocolate.

Chocolate Bar

Most health food stores will have some variety of raw organic chocolate so treat yourself.

 

Images:

  1. miomente.de
  2. well.ca

Posted by & filed under Kickboxing.

Your 45 minute Fitbox class is a well rounded, full-body workout. Our instructors, each in their own way, add their personal touch to make each class unique, while guiding you through the routine step by step.

The rounds, however, are all you and shouldn’t be overlooked as a time to slow down. Quite the opposite, in fact. This minute [ or so ] of time should be where your great bursts of energy come into action.

But you’re tired, you know the 45 minutes are almost up, and you’ve put such an awesome effort into the rest of the class.

Do not slack during your rounds!!! Here’s how:

Repetition

Stick to one routine. If you’re feeling up for a leg day use your time during rounds to exhaust them. Squat, kick, do anything your heart desires just keep at it for the entire time. Repetition is where results come from.

Switch it up every round.

If you’re not set on a specific focus for your workout, work on a different muscle group each time by changing your routine each round. You may wish to do hooks round one, then switch to kicks, etc. This is a great way to use your full-body throughout the class.

Get in the right mindset

Put your heart and soul into your rounds. Tell yourself this is where you will give it your all. You are tired and exhausted at this point but give it your all. You will be so proud at the end of it.

Don’t break

Try not to take a break until the round is over. Hydrate during the time before and after so that once your round begins, you can give it your 100% attention. It may feel like it’s lasting forever but persevere.

Note: These are only to be taken as suggestions to keep your energy up and get the most of your time during rounds, but ultimately rounds are your time to perform as you feel fit to do.

Posted by & filed under Kickboxing.

Self-care is our most basic requirement.

Contrary to popular belief it does not involve a weekly trip to the spa, hours of meditation, or gourmet meals, however if you have the time and funds for all that, all the power to you.

For the busy folks out there who shoot down the importance of self-care, simply being mindful of your basic needs is your first step to avoiding a burn out. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, or have a full time career your days are jam-packed with a million things to do for everyone around you so taking care of yourself may fall through the cracks. It’s easy to neglect yourself, especially when other people are depending on you.

What is self-care?

It’s taking care of yourself, simple as that. It is not selfish and it does not need to take up hours from your day. It should involve something you enjoy, something that makes you feel good within. If you find yourself with no time to breathe, you may need to reevaluate certain aspects of your life. What is really important? Are you prioritizing?

When you aren’t healthy, and collected, it’s not only you who suffers but those around you as well.

So, for those you on a time budget, here are some quick self-care tips:

Eat Well. Limit junk food. Eat nourishing food will not only make you feel good about yourself, but will give you a mighty energy boost also. Being very mindful of what enters your body is one of the best things you can do for yourself physically. Junk food will only leave you feeling bad about yourself and your choices.

Quiet time. A few minutes of quiet time are so beneficial for anyone with a busy schedule. This time for yourself can happen at any time but the best time to reflect is early in the morning so try and squeeze it in. Your quiet time can be with a good book, a journal, or even just sitting still with your eyes closed.

Personal Care. This is a big one. Take some time in the morning to put yourself together. Dress up, exfoliate your face, or put on some makeup (if that’s important to you), even if you’re spending the day at home. This is not in the name of vanity but rather just a feel-good ritual everyone should adopt. There is nothing like feeling put together to give you a good mood boost.

Move. Make a realistic workout plan. Exercise is amazing for body, mind and soul. Walk, take a class, but just make sure to schedule it in so you know that it’s part of your day. If you’re walking, try to get close to nature, it is incredibly detoxifying.

Unplug. More and more people are discovering the benefits of shutting out social media for a period of time. This could be over a weekend, throughout the day, or best of all one to two hours before bed. Without realizing it we can spend hours upon hours just scrolling with no real purpose.

There are so many simple ways to feel rejuvenated and they don’t have to take up too much time. Remember, self-care is a necessity, not a luxury.

Posted by & filed under Kickboxing.

There’s a sweet little phrase being thrown around here and there by those looking to make a difference in the way they eat, the way they live, and the way they care for this amazing place called earth.

That phrase is sustainable living

What is sustainable living?

Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce one’s carbon footprint by being conscious of the Earth’s natural resources. Its focus is on preserving the environment through mindful and compassionate choices.

We all know that global warming and climate change are very serious concerns, and more and more we see efforts being made to go green, from the cars we drive, to the clothes we wear. Going along with major changes is great, but what can we as individuals do to contribute to the saving of this planet?

Let’s begin in the kitchen.

Go Meatless

Choose a couple of days a week where you don’t consume meat. The meat industry, more specifically factory farms, have devastating impacts on the environment because of air pollution, mass water consumption, and hazardous soil contaminants.

Making an effort to skip out on meat a few meals each week will not only benefit your overall health, but you will be actively contributing to a decrease in the need for mass factory farming.

Choose Meat and Dairy Wisely

Luckily, there are sustainable farms all over Ontario so shopping for meat and dairy locally is a great way to get your products. Sustainable farms take great measures to care for their livestock, and produce quality meat and dairy. Factory farms are under pressure to produce quantity, so the quality is lacking. Look for labels like “grass fed”, “pasture-fed”, and “organic”. When you choose to support local farmers, you are once again choosing to be an active member in the sustainable living movement.

Some wonderful local brands to look out for are: Organic Meadow, Best Baa, Whispering Meadows, Beretta Farms.

Don’t Waste

Food waste is a huge problem in today’s society so do your best to reduce your waste consumption. Become really good at sorting your waste between your garbage, recycling, and green bin. Understand what goes in the green bin and maximize its potential.

Make a meal plan and go grocery shopping accordingly so you don’t have a ton of leftover food at the end of the week. Once you begin to think about waste and its negative impact on the planet, you will be more conscious about what, why, and how you are throwing something out.

Avoid buying plastic as much as possible (Tupperware, cling wrap, utensils, etc). Plastic stays in landfills forever and a day.

How do you contribute to the sustainability of this planet? If you’ve never really thought about it, today is a great day to start.

 

 

Image:

http://wenatcheeriverinstitute.org/

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Kickboxing.

Body positivity is a contemporary movement that encourages everyone to embrace the skin they live in, and refine their idea of what the perfect body is.

The movement works towards a world where no one’s body is the target of shame, and prejudice. The goal is being healthy, and being kind towards not only yourself, but to those around you.

Is this a realistic hope for the future?

With “perfect body” images sprawled across magazines, Hollywood, TV, and social media, it’s difficult to stray from this idea that thin is right, plus size is wrong, tall is better than short, blonde hair is better than brown, or vice versa for all of the above. The reality is, it’s not just larger women and men being targeted, but pretty much anyone with an insecurity about their body. When someone is too large, they need to eat less, try harder, deal with their issues, do SOMETHING to conform to what is right. When someone is too skinny they should eat more—don’t they know anorexia is a disorder?

There is no winning in a world where perfection is so completely unattainable. We have become immune to the idea that our physical being should be without flaw.

So, where do you start?

Begin with your daughters

Lift them up by telling them they are beautiful no matter what. Let them know everyday that being imperfect is perfect. Don’t put yourself down, but if you must, don’t do it in front of them. If they battle a weight problem change their eating habits in a positive way. Model an active lifestyle. Take a fitness class together. If they pick out imperfections, tell them no one is flawless and that’s the beauty of being human.

This, of course is not limited to daughters only. Lift up your boys as well, and make sure they can see beyond the fantasy that is so often flaunted around them. Encourage them to protect their peers, and those who are belittled.

Stand up for others. Not just the plus size body types, but also the skinny girl, just hoping to gain a few pounds.

Eat well. If you are down on yourself for putting on some extra weight, eat better but do it for the benefit of your health and self-esteem, not because it is what is expected. Find a happy balance where you love yourself, and feel great.

It’s normal to pick out imperfections and not only dwell on them, but try ever so hard to fix them to the best of our ability. If they can’t be fixed are we good enough? When it becomes detrimental to our mental and physical being, we need to take a step back and reassess our ideals.