Archive for April, 2011

Jean-Luc Boissonneault

Jean-Luc Boissonneault

Here are the claims:

“Burn more calories, tone muscles, improve posture, and reduce joint stress.”
Train muscles your trainers never knew you had.”
It’s the shoe proven to work your hamstrings, calves and tone your butt…just by walking.”

A team of exercise scientists from the University of Wisconsin meticulously designed a study to evaluate the muscle activation while subjects walked in traditional athletic shoes and the new popular toning shoes. The researchers used electromyography (EMG) to record muscle activity in six muscle areas: calf, quads, hamstrings, buttocks, back, and abs.  The result of this study revealed that none of the toning shoes showed statistically significant increases in muscle activation. In other words, there was no evidence to support the claims that these shoes indeed help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories, or improve muscle strength and tone.

Scientifically designed studies are good, but people who wear these toning shoes and blog about them, maintain that their muscles get sore and therefore, the shoes must be working.  On closer inspection of these shoes, one will notice the construction – an inch worth of cushioning and a curved bottom.  When you first put on these shoes, your gait will definitely feel different and previously under-used muscles may come into play. This is probably the cause of the muscle soreness.

Although these toning shoes may not deliver on the advertised claims, there are at least two benefits to wearing these shoes: 1) these shoes could improve the wearer’s balance (more research is required); and 2) these shoes may serve as a bit of a motivator to get inactive individuals moving. If you want to add to your walking workout, carry a pair of hand weights and pump your arms as you walk.  This will boost the intensity of your workout, tone muscles and burn extra calories in the process. If you want to take it one step further, wear a weighted vest (up to 10% of your total bodyweight). If you decide to use weights, take it easy; start slowly with light weights (1 to 3 pounds) so that you do not put undue stress on your elbows and other joints.

Now, go put on your shoes and take a walk…

Make sure to check out Jean-Luc’s blog at www.freeformfitness.ca or his new website at www.jeanlucfitness.com

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Weigh yourselI can tell you the reason I never bothered, tried or even succeeded in losing weight in the past was that I had decided that it was too hard, that I couldn’t do it, that it was just not possible. Until I saw someone else do it and then I thought well maybe it is possible.

I tried and when I started to succeed that’s when my thinking started to change. All it takes is motivation..

If you convince yourself from the beginning that you won’t succeed, if you start and fail and just think that’s the way it is for you and you are different. You are wrong!

Finding the right knowledge and getting in the right frame of mind is key to your success long before you try any weight-loss/exercise regimen. If you have a reason to succeed, if you decide that it is time to do this, that you will change your life, that you will lose weight, that you will conquer your flab.. you’ll succeed.

Our mind is our own worse enemy. We can talk ourselves into or out of something in the blink of an eye. One moment you can be focused and determined to get a workout in and not eat any sweets and in the next moment you are shoving jujubes down your throat or wolfing down a bag of chips.

I call it mindless eating, you eat without thinking about it. It has become a habit. There’s also the little voice inside that insists that that one jujube really isn’t going to hurt you and before you know it that voice has managed to talk you into eating the bag.

Stop yourself before it goes too far. Try putting reminders on your cupboard doors, put up sticky notes if you have to that will help you with your goals.

Sometimes when we’re hungry we just mindlessly grab whatever looks appealing and eat and go. We don’t realize we’ve done it until it’s too late. A little planning, can go a long way. Think about what makes you mindlessly eat food and try to change the routine so that it makes you stop and think before it’s too late.

If your goal is to not have sweets, don’t have sweets. Get the temptations out of your home.. have healthy snacks available and before long when you are getting hungry and reaching for foods you’ll be mindlessly eating but you’ll be eating things that are good for you and actually enjoying them because your body will get use to them, use to getting the nutrients your body needs.

Janet Fougere

Janet Fougere

I often get resistance from female clients after prescribing less reps and more weight. ”Won’t that make me get bulky?”

Too much resistance training is NOT going to “bulk” us women up, it’s just not going to happen. We’re missing the amount of testosterone that allows for that. We have a little of it in our bodies, but not the amounts necessary to create huge muscles.

Sure we’ve all seen the freaky man-women with bulging muscles, but she’s not in the gym two-three days a week for 45 minutes getting that body. She probably training for lots of hours a day, eating bucket loads of protein at each meal & probably ingesting something to grow muscles.

When you work a certain muscle, oxygen and blood flow to that area and can create a tightening feeling creating the sensation that you’re muscles are getting bigger but don’t fret, resistance training won’t turn you into Arnold Schwarzenegger. The sensation doesn’t last long and it’s only making you stronger and building lean muscle.

Here’s to you being Happy, Healthy, Lean and Fit

Make sure to check out Janet’s Blog here!

Spring cleaning

Posted: April 28, 2011 in General

Each year I do a spring cleaning, I clean out my kitchen cupboards, I clean out my closet, I clean all the winter crud out/off my car..

This has become a twice a year thing since I also do this in the fall as well.

In the winter I’m all about clothes that are warm and comfortable, jeans, t-shirts and sweaters. I don’t like being cold so anything else is not very appealing. In the summer I wear skirts, blouses, nicer clothes, it’s a time for me to get a little dressier and enjoy the skinnier me.

Last year I went out and bought a bunch of new blouses and at the time, some were tight, some I couldn’t even wear right away. I tried those tops on this year and they feel loose and big… so that was a nice surprise! When I buy new clothes I throw out an old piece of clothing that I no longer fit in. I can’t wait for the day where I can actually buy a top and not have to get rid of anything unless they have been worn out. Not because I have lost, not because I have gained. Because I’ve reached a good weight and I can finally build up my wardrobe and not buying an article of clothing and getting rid of one.

At this point, I only have 2 pair of good jeans (both too big) I don’t want to buy more until the end of the summer, in case I lose weight over the summer.. And maybe enough tops/blouses to last through the week. I have a bathing suit that’s too big and it just always seems like I need clothes and never seem to have much choice. Someday!

This weekend I’m going shopping, I hate shopping but I plan on buying a couple new tops, maybe a skirt or cargo pants. I use to HATE shopping. I got to the point where I could only buy clothes in Plus size stores and that was depressing, nothing seemed to fit. I’m too tall, which still poses a problem. These days, things are fitting better and if I find a top or anything that I like, they usually have my size. Might not fit how I would like but at least I now have a size option. That use to frustrate me so much when I shopped and just couldn’t find anything I liked in my size.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to buying a few new clothes, seeing if I can actually go down a size again. It makes you feel good to shop for new clothes, clothes that fit, clothes that look and make you feel good. I’m glad I don’t hate shopping as much anymore, but trust me I still will always HATE shoe shopping! They just don’t make nice comfy shoes anymore without having to pay an arm and a leg for them!

Anyways I’ll let you know how my shopping goes, hopefully I’ll find a few nice things. Maybe I’ll even post a couple of pictures!

Feeling good today

Posted: April 28, 2011 in Food, General

I actually feel pretty good today, couple days ago I was in agony from the food I ingested over the weekend but took a trip to the Natural Food Pantry at Billings Bridge and the nice ladies there helped me find a few things to help me out. Now I had researched this before going but I wanted to make sure these would help before paying for them, so not only did I ask the ladies there for advice I also asked Guest Blogger and Nutritionist Rachel Hewitt for her advice.

Thankfully everyone seemed to agree that what I was about to buy, would likely help me out. So off I went and bought some Probiotics, Aloe Vera Juice Gel (bought the wrong one) and some digestive enzymes.

The first evening after I got home I took the Aloe Vera Juice Gel out but didn’t realize it was Gel until I tried to drink it and turned the bottle over and nothing came out. I gave it a squeeze and it was jelly.. lol I laughed, said oops and grabbed a spoon. I can say it tasted AWFUL but I took that when I got home as well as the digestive enzymes with my meal and started feeling better pretty quickly, the stabbing pains in my stomach got better… didn’t go away completely but were bearable.

The next day I woke up with a bit more energy and a lot less pain so I took probiotics and digestive enzymes with my breakfast and had some more Aloe Vera Gel later in the day.. I didn’t have much pain at all yesterday and most of my energy had come back by the end of the day..

So today, I woke up, refreshed and with lots of energy… Monday and Tuesday I felt pretty lethargic so having my energy back made me SOOOOOOO happy! I packed my gym clothes and lunch and headed to work.. I have every intention of getting to the gym and making up for lost time since the weekend.

I will continue with the probiotics everyday and the digestive enzymes probably for a couple of weeks until I feel like I have helped my stomach heal enough. A little help never hurt. Aloe Vera Gel will probably be every day as well just for a few weeks, a little more help for my tummy.

I also sent out a list to family and friends of all the foods that are and aren’t safe for me to eat…  these are the people who I normally see or who might be kind (and brave) enough to feed me. Here is part of the email…

NOT SAFE
Barley, Wheat, Gluten, Rye, malt, Modified cornstarch or any type of modified starch, soy sauce (check label), Teriyaki sauce, anything that says MALT…

I can’t eat Pasta or breads unless they say Gluten-Free or are made from potato, chickpeas, corn, rice, coconut, sorghum or tapioca flours, which are safe…

Foods that commonly have gluten in them
Breads, Pasta, Soups(package and cans), some seasoning mixes, Teriyaki sauce, salad dressings, crackers, cookies, cakes, baked goods, gravy mixes or cans, lunch meats, soy sauce, some canned sauces like tomato sauce, meatballs, hotdogs, sausages, Worcestershire sauce

The less ingredients the better and the more whole foods in the ingredient list the better… Dairy, meats (except processed meats or meats with seasoning on them), eggs, Fruits and Veggies are all safe..

A complete list of Safe gluten-free Foods

A complete list of Unsafe Foods

Feeling ugh…

Posted: April 26, 2011 in Food, General

That is the best way to describe how I’m feeling right now, Ugh! I have done this whole gluten-free thing before and the first time I felt SO much worse before feeling better, and I now remember this and don’t feel so freaked out about it this time around. I know they tell you if you go gluten-free you’ll feel better if you have problems with gluten. Some people, including myself, actually feel worse long before I start feeling better, I have less energy, everything in me hurts, muscles, joints, my stomach.. and I know it’s not because I’ve eaten gluten! Most of what I eat is just one ingredient type foods.. still no dairy for a while, even a bit of yogurt bothers my stomach a bit.. I will likely just find a combination of foods that don’t bother me and eat those until my stomach starts feeling better again but I have to say this part, sucks!

I can’t believe I did this to myself again, I was so convinced that if I just stay away from whole wheat and eat gluten in moderation I’ll be fine. I don’t know if it was because I actually ate whole wheat foods recently that things got worse or just because I have added more and more gluten into my life in the last year or so. Doesn’t matter, the fact is I shouldn’t have. Now I know better. It hasn’t been really really bad like the first time going gluten-free.. the first time my stomach was a mess, not happy AT ALL!

This time around, I hardly noticed the aches and pains, they were mild but slowly getting worse. Something needed to be done.. face reality Tiana you are gluten intolerant and likely a Celiac… Can’t wait until this whole feeling awful part gets better, I have no energy, totally drained and always hungry, not at all as bad as the first time but I guess I forgot just how much it sucked.. lol

Needless to say my weight-loss efforts this week have so far taken a back burner as I can’t muster up the energy for workouts.. I’m hoping this will only last a few weeks. I think the last time it didn’t last too long before I started feeling better but can’t remember just how long.

I did check out the scale this morning and noticed it said -0.8.. so hey, at least I’m still seeing a minus! I was a little fearful to look since I haven’t been to the gym for a couple days and didn’t do any sort of exercise in the past day or two.. I’ll see how I feel after work and try to muster up the energy to get to the gym or at least do some sort of workout at home.

I actually think that cutting out gluten, once I start feeling better again I will see a drastic difference with my weight loss efforts. I had lost a bit of weight the first time I went gluten-free and I think being gluten-free made it easier on my body to process the foods properly.. PLUS cutting out so many carbs, breads, pasta, crackers etc.. can only help! I did have a tendency to eat more carb rich foods when I was hungry that were full of gluten, so now I have to resort to healthier options. Not to say that they were bad options before just bad for me because they had gluten in them.

I dread this process, I dread eating out, having to explain to people why I can’t eat certain foods, going to restaurants and not being able to eat the foods I LOVE! It’s not fun at all and it makes it hard for someone like me to go out and eat anywhere else other than your own home. I can see how many celiac’s just stay at home, don’t bother at all with restaurants and dinner at friends homes. Even if you explain it, people don’t really get just how much just a bit can actually hurt you, nor do they get just what foods have gluten in them and which ones don’t. Never again, no more gluten for me. Unless accidentally ingested, which I’m sure will happen..

I’ll keep you posted on how I’m doing..

One of the biggest mistakes people make when grocery shopping is not knowing what you’re looking for. I don’t mean making a grocery list and grabbing what you need. That is definitely something you should be doing but not what I’m trying to get at.. what I mean is labels.

People are afraid of the labels, they trust that what is on the front of the package is all they need to know, when really it’s what isn’t on the front that is the most important information.

When companies package food, their ONLY goal is to grab your attention… to stand out, to get you to pick it up and put it in your grocery cart, and if they did their job right you read the front of the packaging and you think what you are doing is the right thing, the healthy choice but what they don’t want you to know is the truth lies on the back!!

They are counting on the fact that most people don’t read the ingredients, they don’t look at labels.. they’ll deceive, use fancy words, stretch the truth, all to get a sale. That is the job of the front packaging..

With weight-loss, the KEY to being effective, to really losing weight, is knowledge. I have said it many times and I will say it over and over… it’s sorting through all the garbage and finding out the truth about foods that you are putting in your mouth, learning how much food you should be eating, the proper portion sizes, how foods get processed. Even just the basics can teach you so much!

The more you know about the foods you are eating, the way your body works, how it processes foods, how it stores fat, the easier it is to make the right choices.

The thing is, most people are looking for the quick fix. They don’t like to cook or maybe they don’t know how, it’s easier to find something that is already prepared. Well I agree BUT what is wrong with you doing the prep work and creating the meal yourself ahead of time, when you have the time. Freeze it, store it. It is there for a quick meal, a light snack, a grab and go.

Be creative and you’ll find a way.

Snacks are easy, fruits, veggies, nuts, slices of cheese and a few crackers are the basics but you can get even more creative and come up with plenty of quick and easy/healthy solutions. I always have snacks in my purse when I’m away from home.

I never know when something will come up and I”ll be away from my kitchen longer than I thought. I even bring my own desserts when I visit friends and family so I don’t over indulge in something that is unhealthy.

I am sure if you put your mind to it, you can find ways to bring healthier foods into your life. If you are not sure where to start, all you have to do is ask, you can ask me (tiana.macleod@sunmedia.ca) you can ask friends, family anyone in your life who is finding success in eating healthy and losing weight. One thing that you will find is those who have figured it out are usually more than happy to share the wealth of knowledge they have learned and pass it on…we all want to help those around us become healthier and happier!

Take that next step, whatever it is that you need to do to become healthier.. If I can do it, I have 110% faith that you can too!