Happy April T-Lane
Spring is finally here and summer is just around the corner. The hope of longer days, warmer nights, and less rain – fingers crossed – will open up our options to what we can do to stay active. While having a training regime for strength or cardio is fantastic, the winter may have left you with limited options to stay active. Let’s use these upcoming seasons to rediscover our love and motivation for health and fitness!
5 ways to find fitness motivation
- Train with your friends. Make your workouts more enjoyable through accountability and social interaction.
- Take it outside. Head to your local park or playground to get in bodyweight strength training, stretching or a metabolic workout. No need for a mat, just use the grass.
- Do other fitness activities. Maybe you identify as a weightlifter, runner, or yogi. I urge you to take some time to do other activities to help you reach your goals. When you diversify your training you open yourself up to greater knowledge, technique, new fitness growth, and you may even discover something you really enjoy.
- Do what you love. You’re only as strong as your weakest exercise, but take a break from training the hard stuff to do the movements you love and remind yourself how good training can feel. For example, my chin-ups are driving the struggle-bus so when I need to feel motivated I’ll jump to something I’m great at, like an overhead press.
- Have Fun. Open yourself to local events or fun competitions. These things can give you a purpose for your exercise and something to look forward to on the calendar. Looking for something? Ask me about Abbotsford’s Foam Fest!
Macronutrient SPotlight: Fats
What is Fat
This macronutrient is an essential part of our diet that we can’t live without. Each day we require certain types of fat to prevent disease and sustain life. In the average North American diet we unknowingly consume high levels of fat every day. This can result in some serious health complaints including obesity, high blood pressure, and high levels of cholesterol – all of which are leading to an increased risk of heart disease.
What is Cholesterol
For years we’ve been told that cholesterol is bad, but in fact it is only half bad. There are 2 types of cholesterol in our bodies: Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High Density Lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is the “bad cholesterol” that can cause a buildup of plaque in your arteries. HDL, however, is considered “good cholesterol” that carries LDL cholesterol from parts of your body, like that built up in our arteries, and help eliminate it. Once this cholesterol gets back to the liver it can be processed out of the body. We need both types of cholesterol to function, but the danger arises when we have high levels of LDL cholesterol.
Types of Fat
When we say “Fats” we casting a huge net in what we’re talking about. Unsaturated, saturated and trans fats fall into this category and can make everything seem confusing when trying to eat a healthy diet.
Unsaturated Fats – This fat is considered “good” or “healthy” because they come from natural sources, can lower LDL cholesterol levels, raising HDL cholesterol, reducing inflammation, stabilizing heart rhythms, contributing to weight loss, and improves nutrient absorption.
Saturated Fats – This fat type falls in the middle between good and bad. Most foods have this type of fat to some degree, even nutritious ones like chicken or fish. To ensure you are getting saturated fats from the right sources, stick to your unprocessed foods like chicken, fish, turkey, or lean beef and you’ll be in the clear.
Trans Fats – This fat is made through a process called hydrogenation, and unless you’re a nutritionist, all you need to know is that it’s terrible for your body. Trans fats raise bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol, creates inflammation, contributes to insulin resistance (fat gain), and increases the risk of developing heart disease.
|Olives and olive oil
Avocados and avocado oil
Nuts and Seeds (ex. peanuts)
Fish (ex. salmon)
Cheese (ex. feta)
Processed Snack Foods
What Fat Does for You
Like protein and vitamins, fat is necessary to sustain life and can do amazing things for our body when eaten in the right amounts. In addition to the benefits listed above, fat also:
- helps our body process and make use of vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health,
- contains essential fatty acids (EFA) that help our heart and immune system,
- help improve cognitive functions (brain health), and
- aides in weight loss.
Eating Your Fats
|Olives and olive Oil
Avocados and avocado oil
Nuts and Seeds
Cheese (ex. feta)
Processed Snack Foods
1-2 thumb-sized portion(s) at each meal
which OIL IS BEST?
With health foods on the rise, grocery aisles are brimming with endless choices of oils. It can be difficult to understand which oils are best for certain foods and which you should straight up avoid. This guide will help you navigate through the aisle with ease and better understand the most commonly used oils out there.
Made from olives and is an unsaturated fat.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): Comes from the first press of the olives. It is “cold-pressed” which means it is done without heat, in a dark environment and the oil is then sealed in light eliminating jars. This type of oil has the most nutrients and health benefits.
Olive Oil: Comes from the second, third, and fourth press of the olive. Usually done with heat to exact all remaining oil. Some of the flavour and nutrients are stripped away in this refinement process.
Health Benefits of EVOO: Fights inflammation, reduced risk of heart disease, reduced risk of stroke, reduced cancer risk, alleviates depression symptoms, and promotes brain health.
How to use this: Olive oil has a low smoke point* so it is best to use this in dressing and dips, and avoid heating.
Made from the flesh of avocado and is a cold-pressed unsaturated fat.
Health Benefits: Reduces bad cholesterol, improves heart health, enhances nutrient absorption, reduces arthritis symptoms, and reduces inflammation.
How to Use it: However you like! This oil has a high smoke point* and stays liquid at room temperature making is extremely versatile. Dressing, dips, sautéing, frying, or marinades. This is the ideal oil to use.
Virgin Coconut Oil
Made from the flesh of coconuts and is cold pressed to preserve nutrients and flavour.
Health Benefits: Can lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol overtime.
How to use this: Has a moderate-high smoke point*. Could be used in sautéing or roasting for flavour. Try it as a substitute for butter or margarine.
Made from rapeseed. After the seeds are collected they are washed with chemicals, deodorized to remove the bitter smell, bleached to lighten the cloudy colour of processed oil, and exposed to high heats.
Health Benefits: In the refinement process of making this oil the nutrients are stripped away and the oil itself often turns rancid.
How to use this. Don’t. This oil’s original use was for lamp fuel and the heavy processing used to create the oil makes it an undesirable fat source for your body.
This is made in a factory using genetically modified crops. The crops and seeds are then washed with chemicals, and deodorized at high heats. In cases of margarine, this refinementprocess is taken a step further through hydrogenation. Hydrogenated oil trans fats are created and the oil remains solid at room temperature.
Examples: Soybean, corn, cottonseed, sunflower, sesame, grapeseed, safflower, and rice bran oil.
How to use this. Don’t. This oil contributes to inflammation, cancer, heart disease and high LDL cholesterol levels.
This unsaturated fat is ground into a fine powder and then cold pressed to extract the oil.
Health Benefits: Can reduce high blood pressure, alleviate depression, lower LDL cholesterol, aids in hair and nail growth, and reduces the symptoms of menopause.
How to use this: Do not heat and use sparingly. Too much leads to a strong taste and smell. Add it into your smoothie or dressings for the additional health benefits.
*Smoke Point: the temperature at which an oil burns and begins to smoke. When an oil is heated to this temperature a burnt flavour added to the food and the beneficial nutrients are destroyed.
Work it Out
Try this 10-minute fat blasting and body sculpting workout that you can do on the go, at the gym, or at home.
Instructions: Perform each exercise for 30 seconds and take a 10-20 second break before moving on to the next exercise.
Repeat for 2 – 3 rounds
- Speed Walk or Run
- Mountain Climbers – from the ground or a raised surface (ex. desk, stairs, truck bed)
- Walking Lunges
- Front Plank
try these new recipes
Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 2 tbsp avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
- 4 chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 white onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 cups each shredded carrots and cabbage
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Lay cut side down in a pan with 1 /2 inch of water. Bake at 400 F for 30 – 40 minutes, or until tender. Once cooked scoop out flesh with a fork so it breaks apart into strings. Set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together soy sauce, garlic, sugar, ginger, and pepper. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken until browned. Add onion and celery and cook until tender. Add cabbage and carrots, cooking until heated through.
- Add spaghetti squash and sauce mixture to skillet and mix until well combined. Serve immediately.
Greek Grilled Chicken Wrap
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper (as needed)
- 6 Tbsp greek dressing
- 4 burrito sized whole grain tortillas
- 3/4 cup hummus
- 3 cups chopped lettuce
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium cucumber, diced
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- Brush chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken until cooked through, about 6 – 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let rest 10 minutes. Dice into cubes.
- Transfer chicken to bowl, pour greek dressing overtop and toss evenly to coat.
- To assemble wraps, spread 3 tbsp hummus over each tortilla, top with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese. Wrap up and enjoy!