Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekend Soup

I love soups and fall is a great time to experiment with vegetable combinations.  This weekend after picking up groceries I started combining and made a delicious, nutritious soup...

  • 1 Bunch Swiss Chard
  • 1 Bunch Spinach
  • 1 Potato
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 White Onion, 1-2 Green Onions
  • 1 Carton No Sodium Chicken Broth
  • Olive Oil
  1. Chop onions and carrots with food chopper
  2. Puree tomatoes
  3. Chop to desired size the spinach, swiss chard and potatoes. I like mine in larger chunks.
  4. Saute the onions and carrots in olive oil.
  5. Add the spinach and swiss chard and saute.
  6. Add the potato and tomatoes and stir all vegetables to combine.
  7. Add the chicken broth and additional water if necessary.  Boil.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.  I like to also add cayenne pepper when serving.
Serve with toasted whole wheat pita slices drizzled with olive oil. I also made some orzo in a separate pot and added it to each soup bowl for the kids for a more filling meal.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Younger By The Year

Judy 75 doing an advanced plank  hold

We hear so many amazing feats today of people defying the odds and succeeding at physical sports that seem impossible to many.  This past weekend 100 year old Fauja Singh ran 42k in eight hours. He set a new world record as the oldest person to complete a marathon. Surely if you've ever run a marathon you understand. Surely if you haven't run a marathon you understand. To put this into perspective a good night's sleep is eight hours. Or a day at work, mostly seated.  And that's just half the story. He has already set eight world age group records. So it seems that breaking records is not uncommon for some folk.

Push-ups on the TRX
Thirteen days after turning 80, Canadian Ed Whitlock set his first world record  for his age group. We are not talking about just a personal best – we are talking about WORLD records. This is amazing. Quite often I find myself referring to the book Younger Next Year wherein the process of aging is a state of growth or decay. If you're not looking after yourself by way of exercise and participating in actions that help to keep cells young – well you're basically on the slippery slope of decay. Too morbid? Maybe but it does send a clear message. You're far too young and it's too early to be a living, breathing cadaver. So what is holding you back? What is your excuse? It's time to set some goals. A five or 10k.  Maybe you want to skip all that and go for the 1/2 marathon. Do it! Maybe your goal is something different – maybe you just want to get up and exercise. Judy, my 75 year old client has made a commitment to fitness for the past four years. Four years of continued growth. It wasn't always easy for Judy though. There was a time when mobility was compromised and strength was more limited. But she didn't let these get in her way. There was never an excuse. As a matter of fact, she didn't let anything get in her way. And neither should you. Decide today that you will take action.

Enjoy yourself in good health and fitness/gena.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

From Simple Goals to 540km and Beyond!

Success can be measured in many ways and as a trainer I see success on a daily basis with everyone I work with.  Success is not always the end result but rather the decision to get up, move and stay active. I'm around amazing people and over the past months I've witnessed my client reclaim her fitness and change her life. And that is just the beginning...

Gena, before we started working out together I had the worse back problems due to standing all day at work and within our first month the pain started to subside and now its nonexistent. Reclaiming my fitness and taking control of my health was the best decision I made and it has changed me. I am confident and feel like I can reach any goal I set for myself – both physical and personal. I feel like I can do anything! Everyone comments on how great I look but what makes me so happy is that I now motivate my friends and family to get active and take control of their own situations. Receiving your motivating text messages about food, organization, rest or whatever - GOT ME THROUGH! I couldn't have really gotten back into it without your support and caring...that early morning you showed up for our workout and I was not at my best you looked be straight in the eyes and said - “we can work through this or talk about it” - I chose option number one and I continue to choose that option! I'm paying it forward – thank you! 

The Change 
As a competitive gymnast in childhood Joanne had a solid foundation. Now in adulthood Joanne maintained a somewhat active lifestyle through organized sports but we wanted to establish consistency and train without wearing out the body. The challenges Joanne faced were quite common and primarily around structure.  The desire for change was there but as a busy restaurateur work would often run late into the evenings and the demands were compounded by a busy life outside of work. Joanne and I set up a workout schedule and began to meet on a regular weekly basis. We also began to food journal on a daily basis and discuss eating habits.  We communicated very regularly to stay on track and maintain focus.   Today Joanne continues to stay on track with exercise and healthy eating. Is it easy? Not always but it's a lifestyle Joanne has embraced ten-fold! A few months ago we we're setting weekly goals around meals, snacks and workouts and today we celebrate an amazing 540km bike ride to Montreal followed by the upcoming Urbanathlon in Chicago. From simple goals come amazing accomplishments - Congratulations Joanne!

enjoy yourself in good health and fitness/gena.