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    Healthy Eating Blog

    Cutting Carbs for Summer

    It’s almost here….The first day of SUMMER is approaching fast!  Shorts, tanks, and swimsuits... A whole lotta skin showing in very minimal clothing.  The first attempt of trying to get into these articles of clothing (which have definitely shrunk in the closet over the winter) is devastating.  Panic mode sets in and drastic measures begin.  What seemed liked New Year’s Eve yesterday, is now Memorial Day weekend.  So the pounds we swore off six months ago, needs to happen NOW. "Eliminate all carbohydrates!", is what goes thru most of our minds, but this is not your swimsuit solution.

    Here’s why…


    This is not a good look on anybody.  Your body first feeds off of carbs for energy. They’re so important for energy, in fact, that 90 percent of your brain’s fuel comes from carbs. So when you cut them out, it affects your mood. Making you super hungry and angry (“hangry,”) which prompts you to lose self-control around food and eat everything in sight.  A balanced diet in whole grains combined with lean protein and healthy fats will help stabilize your mood and ward off hunger.


    Getting enough protein in your diet can help you lose weight, and it’s an important macronutrient that will help you build lean, fat-burning muscle mass and keep you full. But when people cut out carbs, that leaves only two macronutrients: Protein and fat. And as good as protein is for you, it’s not a free-for-all.  Healthy fats such as omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and help you feel satiated, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing also.


    Exercise is important for heart health, longevity, and can help accelerate your weight-loss efforts. The problem when you give up carbs, however, is that you have no energy to hit the gym. Because carbs are your body’s preferred source of energy, when they’re gone, so are your energy levels.


    Individuals who cut out carbs completely feel miserable most of the time. The moodiness and lack of energy that comes from eliminating this important macronutrient group, is no way to live.

    The reason why giving up carbs can be so effective for weight loss is because people tend to eat the wrong types of carbs to begin with. Foods like refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, white pasta, sugar, etc.) spike your blood sugar more than the healthier complex carbs that come from whole grains and fruit. Sticking to portioned servings of those healthy complex carbohydrates is key; depending on your level of activity, your diet should be anywhere from 40 percent to 65 percent carbohydrates.

    Sure, cutting carbs can help you drop pounds in the short term. But overall, it’s not a healthy or sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off.  
    June 21st  is the officially summer date.  Suck it up, eat right, and get yourself to the gym!

    Juicing vs. Blending


    A juice is the liquid of the plant, with all of the plants fibre removed.  Juices in our minds, are healing drinks.  They refer to them as “vitamin and mineral infusions.”  Juicing removes all of the fibre and some of the protein from the plants you are juicing.  This means that your body does not have to do any digestive work in order to extract the nutrients from your juice, as they are absorbed directly into your bloodstream.  You can juice any plant that has juice to extract.  Fruits, vegetables and herbs are the most common juice ingredients.



    A smoothie is a drink composed of blended foods.  This means that the foods have been broken down into liquid form but, still retaining all of their fibers. Because the fibres are just slightly broken down but not removed, your body will still have to do some digestive work in order to fully break down and digest your smoothie, but not as much as it would have to if you just ate the produce.  You may find this analogy a little gross, but you can think of your smoothies as being pre-digested for you.  Smoothies are a little more versatile in the ingredients that work well within them.  You can do greens, other veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, superfoods, protein supplements, herbs, spices, really anything that you can dream up you can add to a smoothie!


    Health Benefits:

    Juices are really amazing healing drinks.  Juices are particularly good for people who have damaged digestive systems, who have difficulty digesting vegetables, or are ill in any other way.  This is due to the fact that removing the fibre releases all of the nutrients from those plants, without your body having to do any work. Juices are great to have when you want to do a cleanse of your body.  This is because your body will not be putting any effort towards digestion, so all that energy can be directed to ridding the body of built up waste and toxins. Juicing allows the body to focus on healing while still providing nutrients to your body that would not be present during a fast.

    Smoothies are awesome for those who need a quick meal on the go and do not have time to sit down and eat something.  They are great for a meal before or after a workout, because smoothies are light enough that they won’t weigh you down but they are substantial enough that you won’t feel hungry again in 15 minutes.  You can also pack them full of ingredients that will help with your recovery after a workout. Smoothies are also great for those who are coming off of a fast of any kind, as it will help to re-introduce your body to solid foods again in a more gradual way than jumping straight into eating would.  Smoothies will help to cleanse out your colon, because they contains the fibre that will help to “sweep” out your intestinal tract. These fibers will bind to toxins and usher them out of your system. Smoothies are also amazing for those who want to start introducing more raw foods into their diets, but don’t know how.  You can hide a number of less popular ingredients like dark greens and superfoods under the sweet taste of fruit in a smoothie.


    Too much fruit – It’s best for your body, and your liver in particular, to avoid juicing large amounts of fruit.  Fruit is best processed in our bodies when it comes with all its natural fibres, otherwise the sugars present are released too quickly into your bloodstream, and your liver has to work extra hard to filter them.  It is best to keep your juice fruit free, or limited to small servings of green apple.

    Spinach or Chard every day – Spinach and chard are high in oxalates which can cause kidney stone issues in those people who are susceptible.  You should do spinach and chard only every other day, as opposed to every day, just to be on the safe side.  Aside from these two greens, you should be fine to juice greens every day.


    Starchy, hard to digest veggies – It’s best to avoid putting really starchy veggies like sweet potato or regular potato, as well as very hard to digest root veggies like beets and carrots in your smoothies.  These ingredients will just be hard for your body to break down, even in blended form.  Stick to the more water rich veggies and leafy greens. Too many ingredients – It can be very easy to get carried away, wanting to add an abundance of nutrition into your daily smoothies.  There are lots of superfoods, powders, potions, herbs, fruits, veggies and leafy greens out there, but you do not have to put them all in every smoothie that you make!  Keeping your smoothies on the simpler side (2-6 ingredients) will be much better for your digestion.  Otherwise it may do more harm than good and calories can be racked up quickly.

    As you can see, both smoothies and juices have a place. Neither is better than the other, but rather they just have different applications and different areas where they shine the most.

    Key lime smoothie: 3/4 cup lime juice, 1 scoop vanilla protein, 3/4 cup almond milk(vanilla can be used) 1 cup of ice and a pinch of salt.

    Healthy Mary: 2 tomatoes, 4 stalks of celery, 1/2 cucumber, 1/4 cup of cilantro, 1 seeded jalapeño, 1/4 lemon.

    Live Life Fitter

    Gym Talk: A Glossary

    It’s that time of the year again.  We are all swearing off those extra pounds that we acquired over the holiday season. First step we seek is usually a gym membership. Joining a gym can be pretty scary. It’s like going to another country. The members can even speak a different language using phrases and words you’ve never heard before. As if just being at a new gym was not intimidating enough, now you have to speak to people and pretend you know what they are talking about?
    Well, I’m here to tell ya, if you feel like an illegal alien in your gym, there are only a few words you need to learn before you will feel like a full-fledged gym citizen. Learning some of this gym slang will not only help you feel more comfortable, but it will help you learn how to maximize your workouts. Lets gym jargon!

    The Players:

    • Bodybuilder: With bulging biceps and X-shaped frames, these larger-than-life gym bodies don’t just happen overnight. Heavy lifting and a strict diet are a few of the prerequisites— just ask Arnold. Some of the not-so-nice names we had to leave out: meatheads, guerrillas, and many other terms.
    • CrossFitter: In the CrossFit revolution, these super-fit (or at least super-motivated) specimens are its humble disciples. Their daily workouts, aka “WODs,” include tens to hundreds (yes, hundreds) of reps of high intensity functional movements, including pull-ups, box jumps, burpees, running, Olympic lifts, and squats. Not quiteNavy Seal-fit? Weight and intensity are both scalable, depending on fitness level.
    • Gym Rat: Don’t bother calling the exterminator. These workout-aholics will do whatever it takes to get their daily burn. Spot them morning,  noon , and night, maneuvering the floor with a cool, “I know what's up” swag.
    • Mr. Varsity: If anyone’s got game, it’s this guy. Boasting “big man on campus” cockiness (errr, charm?), this all-star athlete doesn’t let a day go by without plying his trade. Expect a well-rehearsed variety show of weights, plyometrics, and track work— plus a few winks for the ladies.
    • Powerlifter: Need a hand? These singlet-wearing bundles of might could single-handedly move your entire car. What they might prefer to do? Math (in multiples of 45lbs), and compete in the following three moves: squat, deadlift, and bench press.
    • Personal Trainer: Not only are they fit, knowledgeable, and commanding, the best among these no-fuss pros help clients achieve their fitness goals through safe and effective exercise techniques (and can make stairs a no-go for at least 48 hrs, or until the soreness wears off). There are numerous certifying bodies for trainers, so make sure to check credentials before investing in some serious instruction.
    • Yogis: It’s about more than just downward facing dog for this loose and limber set. Armed with toned, sinewy limbs, Lululemon anything, and a healthy dose of WOOOOSAH, these yoga lovers live and breathe its principles beyond the purple mats.


    • Spot: When someone assists another person with an exercise. ie: “Can you spot me?” or “I need a spotter.”
    • Rep: Short for repetitions. This is how many times you do a single exercise in a row. i.e.: “I did shoulder presses for 12 reps at that weight”.
    • Set: 1 Set refers to a group of repetitions done without stopping. i.e.: “Do 3 sets of 15 reps”
    • Super Set: Refers to a combination of complimentary exercises done back to back in one “super set” with little to no rest. For instance, “I did a super set of shoulder presses and lateral raises”
    • Circuit: This is a series of different exercises that are performed back to back with little to no rest.
    • Pyramiding: Doing sets of downward or upward scaling of reps or weight. i.e 4 sets by 12-10-8-6, or 6-8-10-12Intervals: Interval training is when you train at a low intensity for a period of time, followed by a high intensity. (I love interval training!)
    • Tabata: Tabata training is a highly effective style of interval training, doing an exercise for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds, which totals 4 minutes.
    • HIIT: High-intensity interval training is another form of interval training. The exercise strategy alternates periods of short intense exercise with less-intense recovery periods.
    • Resistance Training. Any exercise using resistance, like weight or elastic bands.
    • One Rep Max: The maximum amount of weight one can lift in a single repetition.
    • Negatives: Negative training is when the muscle lengthens during an exercise, called an eccentric contraction. For instance, on a bicep curl, the negative movement is when you are bringing the weight back down. Concentric contraction is what we think of when we flex our muscle, or shorten the muscle (like the beginning of a bicep curl). The negative movement is believed to be a crucial part of muscle development.
    • Recovery: Refers to rest between exercises. Short recovery is best for fat burn and conditioning, long recovery is best for power lifting and bulking
    • DOMS: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise. The soreness is felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after the exercise. To treat DOMS, increases blood flow to the muscle with low-intensity work, massage or hot baths. Increased water and protein can also help repair muscles. Staying still can make it worse.
    • Failure: When you cannot do one more rep. Reaching failure is believed to to produce muscle growth.
    • Maximum Heart Rate: 220 – your age. This is used when determining your training zone.
    • Target Heart Rate: A good target heart rate for vigorous training is 70-85% of your maximum heart rate. For example, for a 40yr old who wants to train at 75%, calculate 220 – 40 X .75 = 135. Or visit the Mayo Clinic’s Target Heart Rate Calculator to get a cool graph.
    • Selectorized Machines: Also known as universal machines, refers to weight machines where you can easily “select” a weight by inserting a pin in the weight stack. Machines are very safe and effective because they isolate the appropriate body part and leave little room for error.
    • Bar: A long straight bar (typically 45lbs) used to put plate weights, used traditionally for squatting and bench press.
    • Curl Bar: The curved bar, known as the EZ Curl or preach curl bar, typically used for bicep curls, can normally weighs 25lbs.
    • Collar: This is the attachment that secures the plate weights on a barbell or curl bar so the weight doesn’t slip off.
    • Free Weights: Typically refers to dumbbells & barbells. Free weight exercises require more balance and engage more muscles than working out on machines. Free weights are more challenging to use, but highly recommended and offer a gym goer more versatility.
    • Cardio: Short for Cardiovascular exercise, normally refers to a fat burning workout on a treadmill, elliptical, bike or aerobic class, although real cardiovascular exercise is designed primarily to work the heart and lungs.


    • Pecs: Short for pectoral muscles (chest).
    • Lats: Short for latissimus dorsi (back).
    • Traps: Short for trapezius muscles, which span across the neck, shoulders and upper back. It’s the muscles you typically think of when you ask someone to rub your shoulders.
    • Delts: Shoulders. You can work the front, middle and rear delts.
    • Tris: Triceps (the back part of the upper arm). This is the part women hate to giggle when they wave.
    • Bis: Biceps (the front part of the upper arm). People often use language like, “bis and tris” for short, when talking about the body parts they trained.
    • Quads: Quadriceps (front of the thighs).
    • Hams: Hamstrings (back of the thighs). Also playfully called Hammies.
    • Glutes: Short for gluteas maximus – a much nicer way to say “butt”.
    • Core: Refers to your trunk – your low back, mid back, abdominals, obliques and stabilizers.
    • Ripped: Someone is ripped when they have very low body fat and muscle separation is visible and defined. i.e.: “That guys is ripped!”
    • Cut: Refers to the sharp lines of definition around muscles. i.e.: “I can see the cuts in your legs” or “she’s really cut”.
    • Jacked: Refers to a guy or girl who has a lot of muscle (like this guy). i.e.: “That guy is jacked!”
    • Juice: If you hear someone say they are on “juice” they aren’t talking about juicing fruits and vegetables, they’re talking about steroids.
    • Pump: This is when your muscle is so full of glycogen and water from training it, it actually will feel like it has been pumped up like a bicycle tire. It will feel tight to the touch and temporarily look swollen (in a good way).
    • Lean Mass: Refers to the amount of muscle you have.
    • BMR: Basal Metabolic Rate, which is the amount of calories you burn at rest.

    The More You Know, the More You’ll Go!
    You don’t have to know all this stuff to get a great workout in. However, in my experience, if you are even the least bit uncomfortable working out in a gym, you won’t go. So, the more you learn, the more confident you will be  – and the more you will go!

    Live Life Fitter my new gym goers!

    Healthy Cookie Recipes


    It's cookie time. Tradition of leaving cookies for Santa started back in the Great Depression. It wasn’t standard practice to leave cookies and milk out for Santa Claus until the 1930s. Historians posit that it was something parents encouraged children to do in order to teach them how to share and be charitable during a time of economic depression. The tradition stuck and Santa’s pants have never fit the same. He visits over  500 million homes where he encounters about billion cookies. If you hypothesize that he takes about two bites of each cookie he is given, it means he eats a total of 336,150,386 cookies and too many calories to count!  Help lean out Santa with these baking tips.

    1. Bananas for fats: The creamy, thickening-power of mashed (ripe!) banana acts the same as avocado in terms of replacing fat in baking recipes. The consistency is ideal, and the bananas add nutrients like potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6. One cup of mashed banana works perfectly in place of 1 cup or butter or oil!
    2. Nut flours for flour: A word of caution: Nut flours don’t rise the same way as wheat flour so an additional rising agent might be needed when replacing more than ¼ cup of wheat. Many gluten-free blogs detail how to streamline nut flour-based baking. And while these flours are typically higher in calories and fat, they also have more fiber and protein. Nut flours do tend to be heavier than classic wheat, so make sure to up the amount of baking powder and baking soda in the recipe so the dough can rise as normal. Another option is to replace only part of the flour in a recipe with nut flour!
    3. Vanilla for sugar: Cutting sugar in half and adding a teaspoon of vanilla as a replacement can give just as much flavor with significantly fewer calories. Assuming the recipe originally calls for one cup of sugar, that’s already almost 400 calories cut out! You can't sub this one in equal ratios, but next time you're whipping up some cookies, try cutting 2 tablespoons of sugar and adding an extra 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
    4. Avocado puree for butter: They’re both fats and have nearly the same consistency at room temperature. The creaminess and subtle flavor of the avocado lends itself well to the texture of fudge brownies and dark chocolate flavorings. It can take some experimenting to get this swap perfect, but generally, using 1 cup of avocado puree per cup of butter works.
    5. Two egg whites for one whole egg:  One egg yolk holds more than half the recommended daily cholesterol for the average adult. Trading out the yolk for a second white will cut out the cholesterol while doubling the protein. If making a dish that requires more eggs, keep one to two yolks for their rich vitamins A, E, D, and K content, but consider swapping out the rest.
    6. Skim milk for whole or 2% milk: Fewer calories and fat with the same amount of protein makes this switch well worth it.
    7. Unsweetened applesauce for oil or butter: Don’t knock this one till you’ve tried it. The applesauce gives the right consistency and a hint of sweetness without all the fat of oil or butter. This works well in any sweet bread, like banana or zucchini, or in muffins—and even with pre-boxed mixes! On your first try, only try swapping out half the fat (so a recipe using 1 cup of oil would use 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce). If you can't tell the difference with that swap, try swapping a bit more of the fat next time around.
    8. Stevia for sugar: The natural sweetener stevia is lower in calories and up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. But watch the grocery bill—this fashionable sweetener can also cost up to 5 times as much as granulated sugar. Since it's so much sweeter, swap with caution: A recipe calling for 1 cup of sugar should be swapped for 1 teaspoon liquid stevia (or about 2 tablespoons stevia powder).
    9. Natural peanut butter for reduced-fat peanut butter:  While they may appear better than traditional Skippy or Jiff, reduced fat versions of peanut butter can actually have more sugar—and an extra-long list of artificial additives—than the classics. Natural peanut butter (preferably unsalted) provides the same sweetness without call the extra junk.