7 Tips to Stay Fit During the Summer 

  • By RRC
  • 11 Jul, 2017

The warm weather has (mercifully) arrived and if you are anything like us, your mind has turned to planning summer vacation. Summer is in full-swing and so are barbecues, patio drinks, and frozen cocktails. If you feel like you are falling off the wagon, you’re not alone! There are ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle, without compromising all the fun activities that come with summer vacation! Here are our best tips on how to have fun, but also continue to look and feel your best this summer.

1. Workout in the Morning:

Scheduling time to workout in the summer can be tricky. But the longer you leave it in the day, the less likely it is to happen. Set your alarm a bit earlier and get your workout done first thing in the morning. It will rev up your metabolism for the rest of the day, get those happy endorphins flowing, and set the tone for an awesome day ahead. By getting it out of the way in the morning, when spontaneous activities come up after work- patio drinks, barbecues’s with friends, or impromptu pool dates- you don’t have to juggle a workout and and time with your friends.

2. Who said working out has to be a chore?
At times it can be hard to motivate yourself to get to the gym, especially if you can’t stand time on the treadmill or in the weight room. Switch it up! You don’t have to miss out on a beautiful day to get your heart rate up- go for a run outside! Alternatively, try to make your workout a social event with friends. A game of soccer in the park, or organizing rock climb with a group of thrill-seekers is another great way to burn some calories!  And remember that walk with “Fido” always counts.
3. Reset and refresh after an indulgent weekend:
There are some weekends that won’t be perfect. It’s okay to enjoy a few meals out and drinks with friends, but you’re often left feeling bloated and lethargic after a weekend filled with treats. Reset your body with a 1 or 2 day  juice cleanse . Juice cleanses are a great way to shed a few pounds quickly, while still absorbing tons of nutrients and fluids. It also helps you launch back into healthy habits and a conducive routine.
4. Make time for 8 crucial hours of beauty sleep:
Studies show that the less sleep you get each night, the more likely you are to make poor choices. Without sufficient amount of zzz’s every night (experts recommend 7-8 hours), your brain will not perform at it’s optimal cognitive function, and cortisol levels rise. This is a stress hormone that activates reward centers in your brain that make you want food (even when you’re not actually hungry). When you’re tired, you’re more likely to crave that bag of Doritos or bar of chocolate, and you’ll have less willpower to resist those urges. Make time for rest, and hit the lights early at least 5 nights a week!
5. Meal Prep for the week:
After a long day at work and running around doing errands, the last thing you want to do is grocery shop, chop vegetables, and cook a 5-star meal. The easiest solution is picking up some takeout from the fast food joint next door, or munching on the crackers and snacks in your cupboard. How familiar does this scenario look? Instead of reaching for fast food, take an hour on Sunday evening to prep all your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week. This will make reaching for healthier meals easier, and save you so much time! Don’t like spending time in the kitchen? There are plenty of services  around Toronto that can provide you with pre-made, delicious, healthy meals, so you don’t have to spend any time in the kitchen at all!
6. Learn how to read the ingredient lists on your favourite snacks:
Have you ever really looked at the ingredient list on all the foods you eat? Here are some helpful tips when you’re doing your grocery shopping every week:

Does it have more than 8 ingredients? Try to pick up packages that don’t list more than 8-10 ingredients in their product.

Do you know what all the ingredients are? A lot of packages try to fool us with long words or mystery ingredients (what the heck is fructooligosaccharides, maltodextrin, and glucosamine anyways??). If you don’t know what an ingredient is, don’t buy it. Why would you put something in your body without knowing what it is? A lot of these “mystery” ingredients are actually hidden sugars and processed foods that don’t provide any nutrients or benefits for you body at all.

What comes first on the ingredients list? Ingredients are listed in order of weight, beginning with the ingredient that weighs the most and ending with the ingredient that weighs the least. This means that a food contains more of the ingredients found at the beginning of the list, and less of the ingredients at the end of the list. If the first ingredient on the list is “sugar”, you can guarantee that there is very little nutrients or benefits from that food.

Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, dairy, meat, and fish are usually located. The center aisles are usually what contain over-processed snacks, junk food, and frozen meals high in sugar and sodium.
7. Don’t be afraid to miss the bus:
Take the bus or drive to work/school every day? Challenge your comfort zone and try waking up 20 minutes earlier so that you can walk or bike to work instead. Walking is one of the best forms of cardio, and a nice way to enjoy the weather before and after your desk job.

How do you stay active, healthy, and balanced during the summer months? Share your tips and tricks with us!

The Personal Gourmet Blog

By RRC 20 Jul, 2017
In the last decade, nutrition, health, and wellness have become a huge topic of discussion, and everyone seems to have a different opinion on what is best for overall health, well-being, and weight loss! But how much of this information is rooted in fact? Between vilified foods, strict diets, and excessive exercise regimes, it’s hard to decipher what is valuable nutritional information , and what is mainstream nonsense. Here are several “facts” from mainstream nutrition that you should reconsider:
By RRC 14 Jul, 2017

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time 20 minutes • Cooking time 16 minutes

  • 12 oz (375 g) diced boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil
  • 11/3 cups (335 mL) chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) diced carrots
  • 2 cups (500 mL) diced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup (185 mL) diced red bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) diced water chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced green onions
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped cilantro

Hoisin Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) Hoisin Sauce, divided
  • 8 large Boston lettuce leaves
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame seeds
  1. Dust the chicken with the flour and sauté in a skillet sprayed with vegetable oil just until cooked. Alternatively, these can also be grilled on the BBQ! Set aside when cooked through.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet sprayed with vegetable spray, heat the oil then sauté the onions for 5 minutes or just tender and fragrant. Add the carrots and mushrooms and sauté for another 8 minutes until tender, with no moisture left from the mushrooms. Add the red pepper and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the chicken, water chestnuts, green onions and cilantro.
  3. Add half of the Hoisin Sauce to the chicken mixture.
  4. Serve the chicken mixture with the lettuce and the remaining sauce on the side. Garnish with sesame seeds.

***Tips: Make ahead prepare the entire dish early in the day. Reheat gently in a skillet just before serving.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories 262
  • Carbohydrates 31.4 g
  • Fibre 4.1 g
  • Protein 21.3 g
  • Total fat 6.7 g
  • Saturated fat 0.9 g
  • Cholesterol 45 mg
  • Sodium 525 mg
By RRC 11 Jul, 2017

The warm weather has (mercifully) arrived and if you are anything like us, your mind has turned to planning summer vacation. Summer is in full-swing and so are barbecues, patio drinks, and frozen cocktails. If you feel like you are falling off the wagon, you’re not alone! There are ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle, without compromising all the fun activities that come with summer vacation! Here are our best tips on how to have fun, but also continue to look and feel your best this summer.

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