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.

Posted by & filed under Kickboxing.

We all have that one friend who walks around leaving trails of earthy aroma in the air. Whether you’re a fan or not, essential oils are everywhere, with more and more people raving about the health benefits they are receiving from simply diffusing a few drops of their favourite blend.

With boutique shops like Saje popping up in every mall, and oil reps overloading you with holistic information at every turn, it’s a wonder that we aren’t all walking around with portable diffusers—not quite sure if that’s a thing, but it probably will be soon.

So what do essential oils do? How do they benefit our overall health? Are some better than others? Are they safe?

The truth is there is a ton of information (some credible, some still to be debated) around aromatherapy and it would be impossible to get it all out in a blog post. So, in the event that you are interested in dabbling in essential oils, here is your quick guide.

Aromatherapy can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness like air purifiers, home cleaners, common ailments such as headaches, skin conditions, and digestive issues. They can be used as a single oil or in a blend depending on the user’s desired benefit.

How to Use

Aromatic

Our sense of smell is incredible and when essential oils are inhaled, it is believed that the brain is stimulated for great health benefits. Diffusing oils is the simplest way, or even placing a few drops in cupped hands, works just as well.

Topical

Essential oils are commonly used topically for various health benefits. The oils are absorbed through the skin, into the bloodstream to promote healing.

Oil cocktails are widely used in the form of a roll on, for easy application.

Popular Oils

 

Lavender

Uses: stress relief, healing aid against colds, flus, and migraines, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory

Tea Tree Oil

Uses: Boost immunity, skin conditions, burns and cuts, respiratory conditions, muscle aches, flu, dandruff

Peppermint

Uses: alertness, energy boost, aids in digestion

Eucalyptus

Uses: respiratory congestion, decongestion, antiseptic, muscle aches and pains

Where to Purchase

With increasing popularity, essential oils are now being mass produced and readily available not only in stores, but through various marketing companies. When using oils, it’s best to find the purest brands and suppliers. Many conventional products are filled with chemicals, defeating the purpose of aromatherapy altogether. Keep in mind these products are either being diffused into your home or put directly onto your skin so quality is key.

 

Image:

  1. www.healthline.com
  2. 3. www.saje.com

Posted by & filed under Kickboxing.

How many times have you vowed to lose the same 10 pounds, or promised yourself you would dedicate more effort to healthier eating habits? Suddenly it’s March and you find yourself in the same spot as you were last December.

You are not the only one!

Studies have shown that a mere 39% of people are successful in keeping their New Year resolutions.

So, why set goals at the beginning of a brand new year if they are doomed to fail?

Let’s talk about why they fail in the first place:

  • They are unrealistic
  • The mindset is all wrong
  • You are setting these goals for the wrong reasons

2018 is Your Year

This is the year you will be more mindful about what you eat, you will keep to your workout schedule, and you will prove to yourself that you are more than just a list that has been thrown to the sidelines.

Here’s how you’ll do it:

Set realistic goals

If you are not a very active person, don’t vow to workout every single day because that likely won’t happen. You will likely do this for a week or two, burn yourself out, get discouraged, and there’s an end to that.

Take a close look at your weekly schedule and fit in a workout here and there. Start with two a week and work your way up to four and then five, but only once you have established a rhythm with two. Exercise is addictive so this is bound to happen if you stick to it.

Rather than going on a diet, gradually change your eating habits and incorporate good, healthy food into every meal. Make it a lifestyle, rather than a diet with an expiration date.

Once you begin to see results there’s nowhere to go but up.

Improve your Mindset

Big results happen when small changes are made so with that in mind take the first little step, which is accepting what you are capable of. When you have a bad day, rather than getting down on yourself say, “tomorrow I will do better.”

Do it For You

When going through your list, be sure they are for you. Identify what it is you want to achieve but make sure it’s because accomplishing this set of goals will make you a better version of you, instead of what is expected.

So throw the lists away and believe in the best version of yourself.

Happy New Year from all of us at Energy Fitbox!

Posted by & filed under Kickboxing.

Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes!

That’s a pretty great list of ingredients if you’re hosting a holiday dinner this year. Festive meals should be made up of cozy food like soup, and vegetable roasts so we’ve got all the inspiration for you to wow your guests with a healthy, delicious meal.

Brussels Sprouts

Benefit: Rich in Vitamin C and K

These aren’t on everyone’s love list so it’s important to make an effort with them. With the right seasoning, they can be an unexpected favourite so try Williams Sonoma’s Roasted Brussels Sprout Salad.

Note: Please be mindful of guests who may have a nut allergy

 

Cauliflower

Benefit: High in protein, magnesium, vitamin C and fiber

This is a vegetarian’s dream food because it’s packed with vitamins, and a hearty addition to any meal. It’s great as a starter (think creamy leak and cauliflower soup) or as a side (bread crumb crusted cauliflower steaks mmm). Chatelaine recently put out a whole list of things to do with cauliflower so have a read.

Broccoli

Benefit: Rich in Vitamins K, C, and folic acid

Broccoli doesn’t have to be boring so don’t boil it and serve with a dash of salt, because you’ll have leftovers all week. Like Brussels sprouts, you’ll have at least a couple people at your dinner table take a pass on the green stuff so lure them in with a well-seasoned roast. Delish has all the tips you’ll need this holiday season.

Sweet Potatoes

Benefit: Vitamins A, C, and magnesium

Aside from amazing health benefits, sweet potatoes are a definite crowd pleaser so be sure to make a big batch. This nutrient rich root is also great as a roast, but even better in unexpected ways like a creamy mash. Check out some great inspiration here.

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Images

 

www.williams-sonoma.com

 

http://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/dinner/roasted-cauliflower-soup/

 

http://www.delish.com/holiday-recipes/christmas/g3619/roasted-broccoli/?slide=4

 

http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g877/sweet-potato-recipes-1009/

Posted by & filed under Kickboxing.

‘Tis the season to fall off track with not only fitness, but your health too.

Not you! You’ve worked too hard to get where you are, so don’t be that person. You can definitely have your latke, eat it, and walk out of the season in shape.

This time of year, the temptations are rampant. It’s so tempting to skip that workout, have that extra cookie, or drink that extra cocktail, and why shouldn’t you?

Here are five ways to have it all:

Stay Active

By all means, skip the workout when there’s a party, but make up for it somehow. Take a morning class, walk to work, or do some burpees before getting in the shower, just don’t avoid getting in a sweat altogether. Tomorrow’s workout belongs to tomorrow, so make sure you get today’s.

Stay Calm

Be extra mindful of your moods during these few weeks. If you feel yourself overly tired, or overly irritable you may be taking on too much. Hosting dinner parties, purchasing gifts, attending dinner parties, can all contribute to a burn out by the end of it so take it slow. Make sure to squeeze in some quiet time, either early in the morning before anyone wakes up or in the evening once the house is quiet.

Cyber Shop

This may seem impersonal, but gone are the days when you can have a pleasant stroll through a quaint street, window-shopping for the perfect gift. The malls are busy, the parking lots are even worse, and people are frantic to the point of being unpleasant so do as much buying as possible online.

Enjoy the Food

Don’t deprive yourself of festive treats, after all it’s only once a year. That being said, try not to eat a dozen jelly doughnuts in one sitting you’ll just end up feeling awful about yourself. Be aware of your alcohol intake as the calories can really pile up as you sip those peppermint cocktails.

 

Image:

http://www.womansday.com/

Posted by & filed under Kickboxing.

There is something to be said about a season that’s made up of peppermint and sugar cookies, gift giving and receiving, tinsel and mistletoe… okay maybe no one uses tinsel anymore, but you catch my drift—it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it’s killing our planet.

The other 11 months of the year do their fair share in harming the environment, but December sees an immense increase in waste each year. Think about it:

  • Wrapping paper
  • Artificial trees
  • Excess food
  • Unwanted gifts
  • Broken Christmas lights

A million tons of holiday waste will be created this season, and landfills will be exploding, come January. Over the years some improvements have been made to reduce garbage like LED lights and cutting your own tree—I mean what’s more Instagram-worthy than that?

So how can you help make the holidays a bit more environment-friendly?

Get a Real Tree

This has made a come-back in a big way and although it might seem like old news, chopping down your own tree is actually quite trendy. Artificial trees might seem like the better option because they can be reused year after year, but no one keeps a tree longer than 6-10 years at which point they end up in a landfill, where they stay forever. Support a local tree farm and at the end of the season your tree will go back to the earth.

Wrap Smart

Beautiful gift-wrap doesn’t need to be from a roll. If it must be try and look for recycled paper, or at least one that can be recycled. Alternatively, wrap with pretty fabric, a nice tea towel, or a reusable canvas bag.

LED

If you invest in LEDs you’ll be saving a whole lot of garbage, and money in the long run. These can be found for both indoor and outdoor lighting.

Gift Giving

Do you ever look around your house and wonder how you got so knee deep in stuff? Do you ever get the urge to grab a garbage bag and ransack your children’s play spaces? This year try and keep gifts to a minimum. Remember that less is more, especially when it comes to your kids. Opt for experiences rather than material gifts.

Food Waste

The issue around food waste is a problem all year round, so just imagine during an entire month centered around parties. Buy local, organic food as much as possible. Support your local farmers and plan your meals so that you aren’t left with an excess amount of food to throw away.

 

image:

Home