Thursday, February 26, 2015

5 Foods to Eat When You're Sick

We all have been there. You are finally seeing results in the gym, pumping out the iron, eating clean, enjoying the idea of "working out" then out of no where, you get a cold....

Your head hurts, your throat is stabbing you, and your nose is leaking like a faucet....

You ask yourself why? Why now? I just got the hang of being consistent in the gym, and now this....

Do not fear! Below are 5 foods that are proven to help speed up recovery from a cold, and get you back into the gym!

1. Ginger

You might have already knew this because of the nights you were hugging a toilet from either eating something that doesn't agree with you, or you had one too many glasses of wine the night before. Then all you wanted to do was have some Ginger Ale to calm down your nausea and feel normal again....

Well there is some merit to that. Ginger is a natural anti-nauseant. I remember reading an article that you can create your own cold remedy by pouring boiling water over slices of ginger and honey.

Whenever I feel sick, this is my go to all day.

Which brings me to number two....

2. Honey

This delicious treat also has antimicrobial properties to destroy bacteria in your throat. You can either take a tablespoon by itself, or combine it with ginger tea to super punch your sore throat!

3. Cayenne Pepper ( my favorite )

If you know me well, I LOVE spicy food. If my nose isn't sweating from eating a meal, its not hot enough. 

Side note: If you don't usually eat spicy food on the regular, be warned, your stomach might not like it....

A study published in the journal of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology showed cayenne pepper improved one's circulation, digestion, and helped to relieve pain and congestion related to flu like symptoms.

My suggestion.... Spicy curry, go crazy on the spice!

4. Orange Juice

I'm not talking about your children's juice boxes, but if you have a glass of 100% organic orange juice with the pulp, it can give you enough of a vitamin jolt to help you get out of that drowsy state. 

5. Garlic

In my opinion garlic is king. It has many benefits to your health, even if you're not sick. Even a daily dosage of 1-2 cloves is enough to have some sort of benefit.

Garlic ultimately can:

- boost immune function
- reduce inflammation
- improve circulation
- reduce blood pressure
- and more...

So, why not have garlic breath in the name of better health?

There you have it. Combining all five of these ingredients can definitely speed up that cold dragging you down, so you can get back to the gym and crush your goals!


What do you use when you have a cold? What kind of remedy do you follow? Let me know! Leave a comment below!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Weight Loss Journey

As a training coach, many of the clients I've trained think I've been fit my whole life. A freak of nature that eats only lettuce and meat by the pounds, while training 7 days a week, twice a day, on a magical unicorn.

No....not at all...

I personally feel many training coaches out there know of the recipe for fat loss, but have never experienced it first hand themselves.

Which brings me to my personal weight loss story below *cue in fuzzy flashback*

Only some know this, but growing up I struggled with my weight as a child and going into high school. When I entered grade eight, I stood at 5'9 (yes, this is how tall I am right now...) at 200lbs!!

I was a little beef cake!

Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of me back then (why would I keep chubby pics?) to post here, as it was a dark and tough time for me. But the picture below is how I basically felt every day in high school....

All jokes aside, I will be sharing a part of my past I haven't shared to anyone other than to my beautiful girl friend Angel. #suckup

Grade eight and nine were tough years for me. Watching all my friends date beautiful girls, and choosing them as they pleased. Each day I stood on the sidelines waiting, invisible to any female interaction.

Being the way I am, a passionate romantic, this killed me inside. Girls never took interest in me, I did not exist. I remember thinking to myself why I couldn't just score one girl, while everyone else could pick whom ever?

I told myself, the day I find a girl who understood where I came from, I'd spoil her every way that I can. Which makes sense now, if you follow me on Facebook with my valentine/anniversary/special dates, shenanigans with Angel this will explain why I do it for her.

Along with my interest in girls, I became quite self conscious, as I compared myself to other guys I played sports with. Obviously I wasn't the strongest, fastest, or fittest, I just kept putting myself down every day until one summer I had enough and needed a change.

The summer after grade nine I decided to take control of my life and start my weight loss journey.

I remember researching, and probably reading every single page on Men's Health website to figure out what I had to do.

I started eating five meals a day with tons of vegetables, protein and healthy fats. I drank 3-5 litres of water per day, and made sure to had plenty of sleep each night. ( Sounds like the advice I give to clients on a daily basis *hint, hint*)

Lucky for me, the same summer I had an opportunity to attend a football summer camp. At this time there was either a workout, football drills, or conditioning each morning during the week.

This was the easy part, I just had to show up, and do the reps.

The combination of exercise, healthy eating and watching countless hours of the OC, using Ryan #throwback as my body inspiration was the perfect recipe for the miracle I desperately needed to finally accept myself.

By the end of that summer going into grade ten, I dropped from 200lbs to 140lbs!

I still remember people amazed, that I was able to accomplish something like this. They took notice, and what I mean, is the ladies took notice.

Not only did I finally go on dates, but my athletic career boosted as well. I was faster and stronger for sports and I was able to compete with my friends who were fit to begin with.

Now, loosing 60lbs in 2 months is extreme in some cases, but I was determined to loose weight fast and effectively. I barely had any cheat meals as I believed at the time it would destroy everything I achieved through the week.

I religiously followed my diet and workout routine and never missed one day.

I wanted to share this story with everyone to express my understanding to clients and readers, the struggle to make a life style change.

I hope I've inspired some of you to start implementing some life style changes to reach your fitness/fat loss goals!

Now go out there and be awesome!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Coffee is my best friend

I think we can all collectively agree that coffee, is the nectar of the gods.

Waking up first thing in the morning, and brewing that warm and delicious drink can determine whether if, you'll  have a good day or possibly murdering someone....

I personally feel that without coffee, there's no point for the rest of the day....

Now, lets get down to the nitty gritty..... Here are some points to consider when it comes to your daily dosage of coffee and how it affects your body.

  • Genetics. Your genes play a huge role to metabolize this stuff
  • Coffee tends to interact and influence certain hormones and neurotransmitters in the body
  • Performance. Coffee can enhance your athletic performance in the gym and sport, even though there are some nay sayer's out there stating coffee "dehydrates" your body. 
  • Power Naps. This one is my favorite, having a small dosage of caffeine before a nap, can enhance the quality and in turn give you more energy when you wake up ( I love naps, nothing beats it. I'm taking about 20 minutes top, not 1-2 hours by the way!...)
To make this blog entry shorter, I'll elaborate on a few points I mentioned above.

Lets break "it down" shall we?

1. Your Genetics... They determine whether you'll be bouncing off the walls for 8 hours and can't fall asleep at night, or you'll have a small boost lasting 15-20 minutes, and you're completely normal later in the day.

There are two categories to put yourself in. You're either a "slow metabolizer" or a "fast metabolizer" of caffeine.

If you're a slow metabolizer, its suggested you should cut your caffeine consumption to a minimum dosage. If you are drinking 4 cups a day and can't seem to have solid quality sleep, this might be the issue.

Along with poor quality sleep quality, here are few other things that coffee has an influence over
  • higher risk of miscarriage
  • Increased blood pressure
  • even a non fatal heart attack aka "jammer"
On the flip side, fast metabolizers can drink coffee like water, and not have adverse effects like the ones above. So, good news, go ahead and have that espresso at 4pm in the afternoon to get you going! 

I personally fall under this category. At one point I was drinking 8 cups of coffee a day... I know, I can hear all of you right as you're reading this. But I've experimented going off coffee for a month and my energy levels stayed the same, and along with other things, nothing changed. But that's whole other blog entry, most likely....

2. Hormones

Cortisol and insulin are both affected by the consumption of coffee during the day. Each play a vital role to your well being, and considering there are a lot of people who drink coffee on a daily basis, read up this next section!

Coffee can increase your cortisol levels, but it depends on how often, what time in the day and if you have high blood pressure.

So, when am I supposed to drink coffee you might ask?

The morning? As you wake up, your natural cortisol levels are already high, so adding a cup of coffee wouldn't do you any harm. Where as later in the afternoon and evening, your cortisol drops. Then if you spike it again, you'll be flying down a roller coaster of hormones and might do more harm than good to your body.

So, to sum up.....  Coffee is safe on the most part depending on the individual. Be smart with your consumption if you tend to get jumpy after a cup. Those who can tolerate coffee, you can rest easy knowing you are not doing harm to your body, so........

Again, feel free to comment below!


Armstrong LE. Caffeine, body fluid-electrolyte balance, and exercise performance. Int J Sport Butr Exerc Metab 2002;12:189-206

Earl RW. Essentials of strength training and conditioning
National Strength Training Association, 2nd ed. Human kinetics.
Champaign, IL, 2000.Borer KT. Exercise Endocrinology. Human kinetics.Champaign IL. 2003.Groff JL &gropper SS.
Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. 3rd Wadsworth Thomson Learining. 2000. ed.Harvery RA, Champe PC eds.
od Nutrition, & Diet Therapy. 11th ed. Saunders Publishing, Philadelphia, PA. 2004.Pawlak L. Stop gaining weight. 1st ed. Biomed General. Concord, CA. 2004.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

For all those who don't have "time."

This one will be a short one as I know people already don't have "time" for anything.

So.... For all those who struggle with healthy and clean eating during the week, because cooking takes WAY too long. I've included four slow cooker recipes for you that are easy and delicious!

Over the holidays I caved in and bought myself a slow cooker. If you do not have one, stop what you're doing and go get one. This thing changed my life! It has made it easier to prep and cook my meals for the week.

I can throw in any meal into this thing before I go to bed, and 10-12 hours later (I usually pass out by 8pm every night) I wake up and I have my food ready for the next couple days. The only thing I regret is not getting the biggest slow cooker Walmart had to offer...

Now I find myself constantly on pinterest, pinning new recipes, every night before bed. I have realized I have wasted a lot of time, but at least I have over 1000+ recipes for my slow cooker.....

Now that I have you attention I think you should go out an invest $60 dollars into a slow cooker.

Below are the recipes I have tried, and are my go to's during the week.

Curry Chicken

Mashed Garlic Cauliflower

Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup

Over Night Oatmeal


If you have any other questions on nutrition or recipes let me know, and I'll share my knowledge!