Vacation – a Break From Your Normal Routine

Just this past Wednesday I got back from a 1 week vacation with my sister in Puerto Vallarta. It was a great week filled with a whole lot of relaxing and not much else. The perfect vacation.

To me the idea of vacation is that it’s a break from your normal routine. You do something different and for most you take time to relax. That’s what I did!

However, it may mean some difficulty getting BACK into your normal routine.

From my week away, I realized a few things.

1 – I love activity and I get bored pretty quickly by doing nothing.

I think this is an important element because it’s something that I consider in the whole concept of a ‘lifestyle change’. It’s what I consider to be my ‘normal routine’ and it’s all about momentum and habits.

If you’re the type of person that doesn’t exercise regularly and find yourself too tired to workout after work, that is your momentum and your habit. Your normal routine. You’ve built that through repetition. It’s hard to break out of that and into a workout routine because you’re going against your flow so-to-speak.

If you’re like me, and you’ve built a lifestyle of fitness, working out regularly and making healthy food choice are your momentum and habits. A few days of shitty food and no exercise would be going against your flow. After a few days of that you want to go back to your momentum. I found that after about 3 days of sitting by the pool I was ready to get up and move. I wanted a workout!

2 – I planned to rest and not much more.

On that third day I had decided I would go to the resort gym for a workout. However, when I packed for my trip I didn’t bring and running shoes, which of course are required in the gym. I had actually packed socks for my workouts, but at the last minute I recall tossing the shoes aside and saying “I’m only going to wear flip flops this whole week”. I wasn’t able to use the gym, but because I was in a workout mindset I ended up doing a few sets of push ups and pull ups near the pool. I made due with what I had in the moment, but had I planned for workouts I’d be better set.

Vacation - A Break From Your Normal Routine
Poolside push ups

That said, I’m actually a believer in a vacation being a vacation. Not just from work or other things you do, but from workouts too. Unless your vacation is pushing 2 weeks or more, having a week off from workouts can actually be a great thing for your body’s recovery. So I usually plan for the rest and plan to NOT workout.

3 – My metabolism is pretty good at managing calories.

A lot of people complain about gaining weight while on holidays. I get it and it makes sense. Especially when you’re at an all-inclusive like I was because the food and drinks are endless.

For me, because of my lifestyle as mentioned above and therefore the metabolism I’ve created in my body, I realized how well I self regulate. I had some indulgence of food and drink in the first day and a half. After that I felt like I wasn’t as hungry and I didn’t desire drinks as much. I wasn’t being active, my caloric demand therefore wasn’t as high and by filling it with greasy and sugary foods in the first couple of days, my body slowed me down and I didn’t feel hungry.

Again, I’m sure some people may experience the opposite of this and I’m not exactly a normal case here, but I do believe that it comes from my lifestyle and habits I’ve built.

4 – How you come back from Vacation helps dictate your momentum going forward.

Even though I wanted to exercise and I was pretty good at regulating my calorie intake during the trip, I did feel pretty lazy by the end of the week.

When I got back from my vacation on Wednesday afternoon and literally went straight to work. I coached classes at my gym that evening and again the next morning. I love what I do, but I was pretty tired.

I’ll be completely honest, when I came back I was completely planning on skipping my Wednesday night workout. I had plenty of excuses for why it would be best to wait till the next morning. Thankfully I’m slightly *cough* competitive and when one of my buddy’s came in to do the same workout I was supposed to do of course I jumped in.

I felt better afterwards and it kickstarted my momentum back into my normal routine. By jumping back into things, I jumped back on the wagon and regained my momentum of fitness and activity.

I think vacations can have a momentum to them. It’s good to relax and rest and recover if that’s what you’re going for. But doing that for a week or two gets you in that mode. I found that by the end of the week I was more tired throughout the day. I think part of it was from not having the best sleeps in my hotel bed, but also because that was the momentum I built. I had an inertia of not doing anything and my body was getting used to it and adapting.

For me, that’s a whole lot different than my normal routine. The key for me was that at the end of the week I broke that momentum and got back into my usual regimen. A couple days later I still feel a little more tired than normal, but I feel myself getting back on track.

Having the break is only good if you can get back on track again afterwards.

~ Chad

You Know What To Do, You’re Just Not Doing It

“You know what to do, you’re just not doing it”

I’ve said this exact quote in many client consultations over the years and it’s a fundamental belief of my coaching model.

I have the assumption that everyone knows WHAT to do, it’s just that they AREN’T DOING IT.

I believe this and bring it up because it’s the most common question we get as coaches:

  • What do I do to work my: obliques, butt, inner thigh, love handles, jiggly bits
  • What do I eat to help me lose weight, gain weight, build muscle, not lose muscle, get toned
  • What’s the best exercise for…
  • What’s the best food for…
  • What’s he best protein, BCAA’s, creatine, Vitamin D, B, A, C, E, F, G, H, I, J, K (you get the point) to take
  • What, what, what…

On some level it may be true that you don’t actually know the answers to these questions. But unfortunately it’s not the lack knowledge itself that’s the problem.

The problem is that it’s that it’s at such a micro level of focus.

And honestly, most people don’t know the perfect, specific answer to these questions fully because it’s always going to take some level of trial and error. (I’ll expand in next week’s article)

However, the micro focus questions are not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the general sense, the higher level view, the bigger picture focus on knowing what to do.

In the big picture we all know what to do:

Exercise more an eat less junk!

Until you are DOING that foundation, the microscopic view of individual vitamins or exercises, as expressed in the example questions above, mean nothing.

First you need the habit and discipline to do what you need to be doing.

I was inspired to write this because I recently watched a Keynote speech from an internet mentor of mine: Gary Vaynerchuk

In that keynote he says:

“Information has never been less valuable than it is today”

If you want to see it yourself, watch about 45 seconds and then come back here. Please. (you can watch the rest later)

His point is that the internet has everything we ever need to know and is literally at our finger tips on our phones. In seconds Google or Siri can tell you anything you want to know.

I digress back to my point.

Not knowing what to do is not your problem, it’s that you’re not doing it.

Getting answers about what to do will take you less than 30 seconds with a google search on your phone.

Heck, I’ll make it even quicker for you with some links:

But the truth remains, whatever knowledge you gain, you’re still going to have to get out there and do it. You’re still going to have to take a step forward and move.

My suggestion: put down the phone and step away from the search. Just go do something.

Anything.

Literally.

Do any damn thing you want that moves you one step closer to your goal.

Once you do, Tweet or Snap me and let me know what you did.

However, the next part is the actually the hardest.

Now you need to keep doing it. Over and over again. You now have to continue the journey.

Key point:

You may not know everything, but you know something you can do to get started. Just start doing it!

And no you’re not going to be perfect at it. No one is.

Snapchat Coaching – Be a Beta Tester

Follow Chad on Snapchat

For the month of February, 2016, I am going to be offering Snapchat coaching to ANYONE that wants it!

What the heck is Snapchat coaching? Let me explain:

First, if you’re not sure what Snapchat is, you may not need to read on. However, if do know it and/or you want a personal coach for a month and are willing to learn new technology, then READ ON my friends!

As an online coach, I’m always looking at how I can best use technology to support my clients. I feel like Snapchat is really starting to take of in the “older” generations now. (25-45+) I also feel like there is a huge opportunity to be able to help someone in a way that other social platforms don’t provide.

To figure this out, I need to test it. To test it I need people. People means you!

For the month of February, I’ll do my best to answer every Snap you send me. Questions about your training, motivation, eating, supplements, ANYTHING. Consider it a one-on-one Q&A.

I say I’ll “do my best” because ONE: my current clients and business are my priority, TWO: I’m not sure how many people are going to take me up on this, THREE: I don’t know how many questions people are going to ask me. Regardless, I’m willing to give it a shot.

So here’s how to get started:

STEP 1: Add me on Snapchat – AnthroChad

Follow Chad on Snapchat

STEP 2: Watch my story every day for general updates about what’s going on and if I’m ever missing questions.

STEP 3: Send me your personal questions

STEP 4: Wait patiently for my answer. If I don’t answer with 6 hours, send it again!

I’m excited, I hope this works and I’m super pumped about how much we can possibly achieve in 1 month!

LET’S DO THIS!!

Chad

Introducing Our Newest Fitness Coach – Shelby Stover

Shelby Stover - Online Fitness Coach

The Anthrophysique family is growing again!

Introducing Shelby our newest fitness coach:

Shelby Stover - Online Fitness Coach

It’s an old motif –

The best coaches are the ones who have had to work the hardest to achieve what they have.

Shelby had done just that, a life of working long hours and not taking care of her diet led to an unhealthy lifestyle, however she decided to change that. This was not a rapid change but a long journey that consisted of a few wrong turns along the way – she was trying to change her life without the guidance of a coach who could have warned her not to trust everything you read on the internet.

She’s arrived at that lifestyle change and learned a valuable lesson in the process – The Simplest Approach Is Often The Best

She believes fitness should be fun and balanced and smart all while you work hard and achieve your goals.

“If you’re looking for an easy road or training program that will have you reading a book while you ‘workout’ than I am not the coach for you; but if you’re looking for someone to help you work hard, smash your goals and help you have a few laughs along the way then give me a shot!”

Shelby is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (NCSA), Certified Pole Instructor (Vertical Dance), Nutrition Coach (Precision Nutrition), Personal Training Specialist (CanFitPro), Pre & Post Natal Specialist (CanFitPro), Team Coach (TRX), Cycling Instructor (CORE Cycling)

If you would like to learn more about Shelby, or contact her for a consultation – you can find her team page here: http://anthrophysique.com/our-team/shelby-stover-online-fitness-coach/

 

Health Tip – Easy Salad Dressing

Bottled salad dressings are usually made with low quality “vegetable” oils like canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil or a mixture of the above. They also usually have high amounts of sugars and preservatives added!

Making your own salad dressing at home takes only a moment, and is a healthier and more impressive option! Here are some guidelines for creating the perfect at home salad dressing.

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice
cracked salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1 clove crushed garlic
optional spices: basil, oregano, thyme
Place all ingredients in a small jar and shake until mixed thoroughly!

Depending on how much salad dressing you like you can increase the quantities and have enough for the entire week. Just store in the fridge, in an airtight container. This recipe makes enough salad dressing for a serving of 2.

Health Tip – Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is a natural way to improve oral and dental health, and also detoxify your body. It’s a tradition from ancient Ayurvedic Indian medicine, used to create balance and overall wellness in the body.

How does it work?

Many toxins are naturally lipophilic, meaning they are attracted to fatty substances. By swishing oil in the mouth the thought is that toxins are pulled from the glands and blood vessels in the mouth, and that bacteria is dislodged from the crevices in the mouth – leaving a healthy and clean mouth. 

How is it done?

1 tablespoon of high quality (organic, cold pressed) coconut oil, or sesame oil is placed in the mouth, first thing in the morning. Do not swallow! Gently swish the oil around (coconut oil will melt from the heat of your mouth) for 15-20 minutes.

Make sure to reach all corners of your mouth, without swallowing the oil.

This process can be quite meditative. At the end of the time spit out the oil, into the trash can or toilet (not the sink), and do not swallow. The discarded oil will be full of bacteria and toxins.

Brush your teeth after discarding the oil. Make this a daily habit, and notice the changes to your oral health!

Nutrition Tip – Steaming vegetables

We all know the importance of eating lots of green vegetables on a day to day basis, but the question is often how to incorporate them into meals? One of the easiest ways to cook vegetables, that actually increases the nutrition you receive from them is by steaming them.

steaming vegetables

By gently steaming vegetables before eating them you soften the fibres, which make them easier to digest, and bring out their natural flavour and vibrance.

Green vegetables: kale, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, asparagus.

Try steaming any of these green vegetables, over boiling water for 3-5 minutes. You want the greens to be a nice bright colour, and still have a little crunch – this is their optimal nutritional state! 

Ideas for topping your greens:
-Fresh lemon juice
-Cracked pepper and Himalayan salt
-Extra virgin olive oil
-Crushed garlic
-Hot sauce
-Tamari
-Coconut oil

The perfect addition to any meal 🙂 Bon appetite!

Nutrition Tip – Improving Digestion by Eating Fruit

Food combining is the concept of eating food in certain combinations for overall health, improved digestion and weight loss.

There are many concepts in food combining, but the most basic principle (and the most effective!) is to separate fruit from other foods. Fruit digests much more rapidly than grains, meats, dairy, starches, proteins and fats. If fruit is eaten with or after other foods, it can actually begin to ferment and cause gas and bloating!

Food Combining

It’s best to eat fruit on its own away from meals, or 15-30 minutes before a meal.

Eating fruit before a meal can actually jump start your digestion and metabolism, and often crush cravings for sweet foods after eating!

Building a Healthy Heart

chia seeds

You know that big organ beating away in your chest? You know, that life line that keeps going without us really thinking about it.
You’re right, our heart.
Just sit and take a second to appreciate just how amazing our bodies are designed. It’s pretty hard to comprehend how every system works synergistically with one another. Designed to protect, react, feel, grow, thrive.
The heart and vascular system is one of the most important systems our body has. Not only does this system deliver vital oxygen and nutrients throughout our entire body, it also aids in the removal of waste products.
But these days, we sure do like to push our bodies to the limits, and our heart and arteries taking majority of the blow. Stress, processed foods, and stimulants being the big kahunas. Sure, our bodies are designed to adapt, but if we push too far there comes a point when it has to tell us enough is enough. And this message comes out loud and clear, usually in different form of heart disease and stroke. According to Stats Canada, heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada. The major risk factors for these being:
  • Smoking
  • Elevated blood cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Physical inactivity
So what can be done to keep our hearts healthy and happy? Below are 8 simple nutrition or lifestyle recommendations that every single one of us has the ability to adopt for a healthy heart.
1. If you’re a smoker, take the steps to stop.
Probably stating the obvious here, but did you know that smokers who quit this habit cut their risk of heart disease in half over the span of just one year. Amazing, right?
2. Increase your consumption of fiber-rich plant foods
Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, raw nuts and seeds all contribute to a healthy ticker.
3. Reduce caffeine consumption
I’m not telling you to cold turkey cut it out of your system, but instead savouring that cup in the morning, grabbing a green tea in the afternoon, and making sure you have a water bottle with you at all times. Baby steps. Don’t shock the system. General rule, for one cup of coffee consumed, you should be rehydrating with two cups of water.
4. Regular exercise
Regular exercise is extremely important in reducing your risks. And I’m putting emphasis on regular exercise. Not only does moving our bodies help to balance out cholesterol levels and improve the supply of blood and oxygen to our heart, it makes us feel great! Go endorphins go.
5. Magnesium and whole foods
Magnesium is essential to proper functioning of the entire cardiovascular system, and it’s not uncommon that most of us are not meeting the daily requirement of 350mg for men and 300mg for women. And guess what? In nature, magnesium occurs abundantly in whole foods. Best sources being legumes, seeds, nuts, whole sprouted grains, and dark leafy greens.
6. Ease up on the processed foods
For many reasons: reducing empty calories, trans fats and sodium levels. Remember, the closer to the whole form of the food the better. An example of a simple change: Replacing a bag of potato chips with homemade baked sweet potato fries.
7. Watch your sodium intake
Sodium is essential for the heart to function, however in today’s Standard American Diet, the sodium level is through the roof leading to high blood pressure. Staying clear of overly processed foods, getting your whole foods, and lightly seasoning with a high quality sea salt are all steps in the right direction.
8. Love your healthy fats
Fats used to get a seriously bad rep, where all fat was categorized into one big bad scary thing to avoid. I could do an entire blog post just on fats, but for now remember this: steer clear of the bad fats such as highly processed vegetable oils, corn oils, soy oils, reduce saturday fat from red meats, and incorporate in healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, sesame oil, cold pressed olive oil, hemp seeds, chia seeds, free range eggs and cold water fish.
In health and happy hearts,
Jennifer
References
Heart and Stroke Foundation 
World’s Healthiest Foods 

Nutrition Tip – Simplicity

Nutrition Tip

Keep it Simple

“In cooking as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.”
– Curnonsky

Not necessarily always, but usually some of the tastiest dishes are also the simplest to make. We tend to think meals have to be extravagant to impress. So this week’s nutrition tip – use fresh, whole, and quality ingredients to see what flavour combinations you can come up with.

Keep it simple.

Weekly Challenge – Nutrition – Gear up your Greens!

20130906-164334.jpg

I recently visited Amsterdam for the first time. What an incredible city to get lost in. The biking, the canals, the food! I had a few recommended lunch and dinner spots written down from a couple foodie friends. One being a new salad bar. Salad bar? Sounds kind of like something you find in the food court of the shopping mall right? Wrong. It was one of the best lunches I’ve had while in the city. This leads us to the nutrition challenge for the week.

Time to get creative with your greens! Why? Because a salad can be so incredibly satisfying (and beautiful) if you know how to build it.

Greens (aka Leaves)
The base which should make the bulk of your green salad. Spinach, romaine, rainbow chard, kale, or a lovely mix from your local farmers market. Up to you, go wild.

Note: If you’re using a more bitter fibrous green such as chard or kale, I like to cut off the ends, roll up the leaves, and chop horizontally to create thin strips of greens. Give the greens a little massage in some olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. A lovely salad base!

Veggies
This is where you get creative with colour and texture. Try shredding the starchier veggies such as carrots, purple or golden beets, summer squash, and sweet potato. Shredded zucchini and fennel are delicious too. As for your juicier veggies, try dicing cucumber or quartering small cherry tomatoes.

Fruit
If you enjoy a little sweetness in your salads, having it come from fresh fruit is a healthy option. Low glycemic fruit such as berries, diced pear, and shredded apple are great options.

Grains
Grains are a nice option for adding bulk to a salad, especially if you are enjoying your salad as a meal. Millet, red quinoa, wild rice are personal favourites, but any gluten-free grain could work. Try cooking a big batch at the beginning or mid week and keep in the fridge.

Protein
If you are choosing an animal source of protein, it is important to go for free-range and organic to ensure you’re getting a good source. The same goes for those that enjoy adding cheese. Try organic goats feta, as this can be easier to digest for some versus cows feta.When it comes to plant-based protein, try sprouted beans such as chickpeas, mung beans, adzuki beans, and lentils. They are incredibly satisfying and filling.

Healthy Fats
The cherry on top! I’m a big fan of the healthy fats, but in moderation and try not to skimp on quality so that you know you’re getting the highest amount of essential fatty acids. Some sources are diced up avocado, chopped nuts (lightly dry roasted or sprouted raw), or a homemade dressing made of extra virgin olive oil or unrefined sesame oil.

Note here: Most salads can keep well in the fridge, just wait to toss in the dressing until you are ready to serve.

Make sure to share some of our favourite flavour combinations in the comments below. The possibilities are endless all year round. Light and cooling in the summer, hearty and cozy in the winter.