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 Nov, 2017
Eating healthy and clean can get particularly tricky when it comes to eating out or going for drinks with friends and colleagues. Restaurants tend to serve food in oversized portions, dose most meals with too much oil, and everything is made with gratuitous amounts of salt and sugar. 



As someone keeping healthy eating in mind, how is it possible to have an enjoyable night out, without compromising your healthy routine? Never fear- we have a few hacks to keep your clean eating in check during a night out!
By Vinson Man 08 Nov, 2017
1. Make A Green Smoothie:
pack your morning with punch, and start with a green smoothie. It’s common for most smoothies to be loaded with lots of fruit and yogurt- instead, try making your smoothie based a bed of leafy greens like spinach, kale, or collard greens. Add a handful of berries for some added sweetness, and protein powder to keep you satiated all morning!
By RRC 27 Oct, 2017

We know ours! Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Bites. Ditch the candy corn and try these no-bake, easy to make, and less-than-10-ingrediant bites!


Ingredients

  • 3 cups of oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4-6 Tbsp ground flax seeds 
  • 1 cup of chopped assorted nuts (walnuts, cashews, peanuts, or pecans)
  • 1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients together in a medium bowl until very thoroughly mixed.
  2. Roll into balls of about 1″ in diameter.
  3. Place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper & freeze one hour.
  4. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

By RRC 27 Sep, 2017

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2  tbsp maple syrup
  • 1.4  cup milk
  • 1/3 cup finely grated zucchini
  • 1/2  flour
  • 3 tbsp oat flour
  • 1/4  tsp cinnamon
  • ¼  tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Optional: chocolate chip, slices of banana, blue berries 

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the vanilla, vinegar, maple syrup, milk, and zucchini in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together all remaining ingredients- flour, oat flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and chocolate chips.
  3. Mix the wet with the dry ingredients, and whisk to make a batter. ***For best results, refrigerate the batter at least 15 minutes before cooking. 
  4. Grease a medium pan and place over medium heat. Once hot, drop on small ladles of batter. When the edges begin to look dry, flip and cook one additional minute before removing from the pan. Make sure to grease the skillet in between each pancake to prevent your batter from sticking. 
By RRC 15 Sep, 2017

Recipe for: 12 Muffins


Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed, raw kale leaves, woody stalks discarded
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly grease a muffin tray.
  2. Tear the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and steam for 5-6 minutes until tender. Once softened, drain the water, and puree the leaves in a food processor.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then beat in the kale, vanilla, lemon zest and juice.
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to gently combine.
  5. Fill the muffin cups ¾ full and bake for 15-20 minutes. 
By RRC 25 Aug, 2017
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women—and claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Having a cardiovascular disease can also take an emotional toll, affecting mood and overall quality of life. While weight control and regular exercise are critical for keeping your heart in shape—the food you eat is the key to a healthy heart. By adopting better eating habits, it’s possible to have lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease and high blood pressure, and take greater control over the quality and length of your life. No single food can make you magically healthy, so your overall dietary pattern is more important than specific foods. Instead of fried, processed food, packaged meals, and sugary snacks, a heart-healthy diet is built around “real,” natural food. Here are some of the best foods to eat for a healthy, happy heart:
By RRC 21 Aug, 2017

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 65 minutes

Serves 10

By RRC 17 Aug, 2017
After exercise and some intense calorie-burning, it is extremely important to replenish your body with the proper nutrients so that your body and muscles can recover. Here are the top 5 snacks to have after a sweaty session on the treadmill:
By RRC 15 Aug, 2017

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Serves 6

By RRC 10 Aug, 2017

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Serves 4


INGREDIENTS

  • 12oz raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, and tail removed
  • 8 oz cleaned squid cut into rings
  • 12 mussels, scrubbed 
  • 8 oz linguini 
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion 
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper 
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced zucchini
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, and 1 tbsp
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp hot chili sauce, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking oil. 
  2. Place the shrimp, squid and mussels on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 8 minutes, or until the mussels open. Remove from the oven and keep covered.
  3. While the seafood roasts, cook the linguini in boiling water until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 Tbsp of the pasta water for the sauce. Set aside.
  4. While the pasta cooks, spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking oil, add the 2tsp of olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and zucchini; stir-fry for 4 minutes, just until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the seafood, pasta, the final tbsp. of olive oil, reserved pasta water, lemon juice, garlic, chili sauce, cilantro, salt and pepper. Toss well and serve. 

Nutritional Analysis per Serving (1/4 of the recipe)

  • Calories 491 
  • Protein 32 g 
  • Fat 17 g 
  • Saturated Fat 2.5 g 
  • Carbohydrates 52 g 
  • Cholesterol 230 mg 
  • Sodium 379 mg 
  • Fiber 3.4 g 

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