Fit Friday: Don’t Forget to Stretch

Welcome to Friday!

You might have noticed there was no Fit Friday post last week. I’ve found 3 posts a week to be one too many while working and actually walking the walk of this healthy lifestyle. For now I’ve decided to drop down to bi-weekly Fit Fridays to give my all to each and every post. You can appreciate that, right? 😉

Now let’s talk about stretching. I’ve learned the hard way that skipping my stretch leaves my muscles tight and sore. Whether you’re lifting heavy, endurance training, or powering through some HIIT, it’s important to stretch afterwards.

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Stretching has a number of benefits in addition to preventing sore muscles:

  • Flexibility
  • Improved circulation
  • Increased range of motion
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Reduced stress
  • And more!

I’ve created a printable sequence of my favorite leg stretches after a hard workout or at the end of an intense week. Pin it, print it, screen-shot it, do it 🙂

Fit Friday: Don’t Forget to Stretch

Hold each stretch for 4-5 deep breaths. For those shown on one side only, perform stretch on both legs.

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Do you stretch post-workout? 

What are your favorite leg stretches?

Liz xo

On the Juice: Lessons Learned & Fave Recipes

I’m halfway through Juice Cleanse 2.0 & not feeling one bit crazy 😉

I can’t believe how much interest I received from people about how to get into juicing or how to start a cleanse. I am so excited to hear that more and more people are catching on to the power of raw fruits & veggies!

Plants = Nature’s Medicine.

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Next week I want to post some FAQ’s I’ve received but as promised, today I’ll be sharing what I learned from cleanse 1.0 and some of my favourite juice recipes. So what doing differently the second time around?

1. Buying the right sized containers!

I thought a set of 500 mL mason jars would cut it. No way. Some of these juices fill an entire 1 L jar, especially if you bulk them up with ice. I hated taking two containers for one juice because you can only carry so much with you to work. I also didn’t enjoy rummaging around for bottles and containers that would do the job and having them leak all over my stuff.

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2. Clearing my schedule (for real!)

I thought my schedule was cleared for the first cleanse but I had tentative plans to travel to Nova Scotia for Canada Day weekend. I ended up traveling with a cooler full of ice and juices prepared for 2 days and it was kind of a disaster. Some of the jars broke and some of the juices tasted nasty after 2 days. I had to re-make a few but lucky for me our hostess had a juicer!

It was also kind of painful to be around people eating BBQ and drinking beer. This time I plan on sticking close to home for the weekend and just hanging out with my guy. We have plans to keep busy but nothing that involves food.

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3. Adjusting my workout schedule

I planned on going to my regular fitness classes throughout the first week and just going easy. If you know me, you know that’s not my style… I pushed myself a little too hard at BodyAttack and Pump early in the week and I was wiped by Wednesday. I finished the week with Yoga and some light weights but this time I won’t be so prideful.

Yes you are recommended to exercise on the cleanse but not intensely. This is my schedule for the current week and I feel pretty great so far:

  • Monday – BodyStep
  • Tuesday – Dance Class
  • Wednesday – 1/2 hr BodyAttack + 1/2 hr CXWorx (core conditioning)
  • Thursday – Hot Yoga
  • Friday – Light weights or Yoga
  • Saturday – Trail hike
  • Sunday – Rest/Stretch

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4. Easing off the juice

Last time I jumped back into solid foods. I started day 8 with a smoothie but I was so excited about a new restaurant we found in NS that I wanted to go there for lunch before we left. I could only finish half but I felt pretty heavy and weighted down; the exact opposite of how I should have felt at that point! I also ate more than I should have at the following few meals and none of it sat very well with me.

The recommendation is to have juices or smoothies for breakfast and lunch on day 8 and maybe have a salad at dinner. On day 9 you can try a salad at lunch. Bottom line: to get maximum benefits you don’t want to go from 7 days of juice to a huge bowl of pasta!

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5. Using a sprinkle vs. a tsp of cinnamon in my evening “Hot ‘n Spicy”

At 9 each night you can juice 3 apples, warm in a saucepan with 1 tsp of cinnamon, and enjoy like a hot apple cider. For whatever reason this made me really nauseous so I tried it without the cinnamon and was fine! I just add a sprinkle for taste now.

Favourite Juice Recipes

The most popular question I’ve been asked is what type of recipes are on the cleanse and what goes into my daily juice. Here are a few of the magical potions that keep me feeling funky & fresh 😉

Turbo Express (serves 2)

This is one of the main juices on the 7 lbs in 7 days Super Juice Diet but I altered the quantities just a tad. I drank this quite a bit after the cleanse because the avocado made it nice & filling for breakfast and it was really quick to make!

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  • 2 apples
  • 1 handful baby spinach leaves
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1/4 lime
  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 3-4 ice cubes

Juice everything except the avocado but pack the spinach between the apples or other hard veggies for maximum juice extraction. Leafy greens don’t juice well alone. Add the juice to the blender with the avocado and ice and let it whir for about 1 minute or until smooth.

Make Juice, Not War (serves 2)

From the lovely Kris Carr, this is my go-to green juice on any day! This one wouldn’t serve as breakfast for me but I like it first thing in the morning, about 1/2 hour before eating. I play around with the leafy greens depending on what’s in the fridge. Sometimes I sub zucchini or extra cucumber if I’m missing other ingredients.

green juice

  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 5 stalks kale
  • 5 romaine leaves
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 big broccoli stems
  • 2 apples or pears
  • 1″ piece gingerroot

Beet Bliss (serves 2)

This is my own simple combination of veggies and beets. If you’re new to juicing with beets, I recommend starting with a half a beet or a very small one. One day I downed a juice with an entire large beet on an empty stomach and wanted to die. Beets immediately go to work on detoxifying your liver and kidneys so you have to work your way up. Sometimes I do this one without any greens, just carrot, beet & apple, but I like it with a little bit of everything just the same.

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  • 2 apples
  • 1 medium sized beet
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 2-3 celery stalks
  • handful spinach
  • 1″ piece gingerroot

No juicer? Try my Smoothie for Lunch! You can  still have it for breakfast but the name was inspired by the veggie content 🙂

Do you have a favourite juice recipe you can share? 

How about a green smoothie?

Liz xo

Juice Cleanse 2.0

I must be crazy right?!

After my first juice cleanse in June, I decided I would do it again in the fall as per Jason Vale‘s recommendation to detox once per season.  I wasn’t 100% sure if I’d have the interest in a second round but I am far more ready than expected. Once a season actually seems to be perfect timing….

  • Juice cleanse 1.0 was the last week of June, just before summer when you want to lighten up before beach season.
  • Cleanse 2.0 is just after the summer, the season of beers and BBQs, and I feel like I need to flush the toxins I’ve thoroughly enjoyed over the past 3 months.
  • If I do a third and a fourth I will schedule them for just after the Christmas holidays and just after the winter hibernation months 😉 Perfect right?

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If you’re wondering how the first cleanse went I posted beforeduring and after the program. Obviously it wasn’t all that crazy because here I am again!

The best part about round two: I have a cleanse buddy! My boyfriend is going to do JV’s 3 Day Detox. I will be doing the full 7 lbs in 7 days Super Juice Diet but depending on how he feels he may add an extra day or two.

We stocked our fridge for the next 3 days and bought a set of 1 L mason jars. I found my 500 mL jars weren’t big enough for most recipes. We will be making our breakfast, lunch, and midday juices the previous night since we both leave for work around 7ish for the day. The nutrients begin to break down once the produce is juiced but if you use air-tight jars and keep them refrigerated you can extend the juice life a little further.

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Notice Ryan’s juices are cushioned in his cooler for biking to work (lol).

So you always have to go out with a bit of a bang before getting back on the wagon. We said goodbye to summer and hello to fall in St. Andrews By the Sea, one of the oldest national historic districts in the Maritimes.

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We’ve been trying to plan a little getaway for a while now plus we had to celebrate Ryan’s job offer with NB Power 🙂 We made sure to fit in some good eats before the cleanse. The vegan options were pretty slim but most restaurants had a veggie burger on the menu.

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For lunch we went to the Red Herring Pub and I got the veggie burger with a spinach salad. Dinner at Gables was linguine with marinara sauce and breakfast was Tim Horton’s but only because Honeybeans was out of vegan muffins. This cafe was amazing. They made coconut or soy milk lattes and yes, they had pumpkin spice! I guess I can’t complain 😉

It was nice to get away for a night and actually relax 100%. When I’m home I can always find something to do plus its a little more romantic to stay in a hotel and have a little date night 🙂

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Can you believe difference in the view from our room at high tide vs. low tide?! Wow!

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Stay tuned for a mid-cleanse update later this week and a recap of Ryan’s first juice detox. I’ll be sharing what I’m doing differently this time around and some of my favorite juice recipes. Until then, let’s hope we don’t kill each other in the meantime 😉 Kidding!

Have you ever done a juice cleanse?

Do you juice occasionally or regularly?

Liz xo

My 1st Attackiversary!

I’m not sure exactly what day, but some day around this time is my Attackiversary!

I’m excited about it because BODYATTACK™ is my absolute favorite Les Mills class and current favorite form of exercise. I am lucky to be a part of the Fredericton Attack Family and I truly believe this program changes lives.

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First off, what is Body Attack and why would you ever want to attack your body?!

BODYATTACK™ is the sports-inspired cardio workout for building strength and stamina. This 55 minute high-energy interval training class combines athletic aerobic movements with strength and stabilization exercises. It’s all about improving your speed, fitness, strength and agility.

BENEFITS:

  • Burn loads of calories (up to 735!)
  • Tone and shape your body
  • Raise your overall fitness and stamina for high energy sports
  • Improve your coordination and agility
  • Develop strength through core conditioning work
  • Enhance your bone health and density
  • Increase your heart and lung capacity through a full-body cardio workout

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I took the above info from the Les Mills site. You can read more on the program here and check out the current release sizzler here!

My first Attack experience was actually last spring when still living in Halifax. My friend Meag took me along and told me to be prepared for an extra challenging, sweaty workout. That it was! After moving to Fredericton last summer I didn’t join GoodLife Fitness until September. I wasn’t used to paying for a gym membership and liked to workout on my own time so I figured I’d continue with at-home workouts. When my bf moved back to school, I needed to get out of the house. I was sick of my living room and lacking motivation.

I started off with 2-3 Body Pump and 2 Spin classes a week but quickly realized I despise spin (no offence spin enthusiasts!) I don’t know why it took me so long but one evening in September, the class time fit my schedule, and I finally gave Attack another try.

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At first I thought I was in the wrong class because we were doing this side flick kick thing that felt awfully dancey for a sports inspired workout. I considering leaving but stuck it out for a few more songs. Once we got into the lunge track, followed by the push-up track, I knew I was in the right place. Never have I ever done so many push-ups in 5 minutes!

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I decided to rearrange my Group-Ex schedule to fit 2 classes per week. This was also around the time I started really focusing on my commitment to my health & fitness goals. Paired with the monthly challenges I talked about in my post, Getting There, Body Attack is what gave me the extra kick I needed to get to where I wanted to be. It was new and challenging everyday and the instructors were ridiculously motivating.

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Some of the regulars in our Attack family have had major success through this program and I can assure you that Attack is for everyone.

Some personal reasons why I love the program:

  1. There are options for every fitness level. For example, you can do push ups on your toes, knees, or with knees under hips. You use your levels to get the most out of your workout. A low option doesn’t mean an easy option! You push yourself a little further each week and you will be surprised at what your body is capable of.
  2. It never gets easier; you just get better. There’s a new release every 3 months and after each one we all say, “this was the hardest one yet!”. Still, we keep coming back and we keep getting through.
  3. The group-ex atmosphere is motivation in itself. When I feel like I can’t kick any higher or even kick another kick, I take a look at the person next to me and see them still kicking. I’m not going to quit if they aren’t! The instructor is yelling things like “you’re NOT tired!” and the guy in the back let’s out a “WOOHOO” in the middle of the toughest track. Hell YES I will keep going!

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Whether you’re a GoodLife member or not, I highly recommend you give this class a try! Any club will give you a free 3-day pass, good for the weights/cardio area and the group-ex classes. You will also get a tour of the facility and maybe even some free swag. Member are also encouraged to bring a friend (for free) to a new release class 🙂  

Join the Attack nation and tell the world, “I don’t workout, I BODYATTACK™!” – Lisa T.

Are you a fan of group-ex classes?

Have you tried BODYATTACK™?

Liz xo

Loaded Apple Nachos

So I have a confession to make…

I have a total blog crush on Oh She Glows! I can’t stop making these recipes. Everything is so delicious, easy, & healthy! I often get asked where I find my recipe ideas and vegspiration and this blog is definitely one of my top 5 resources.

Last week I tried this 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta with Kamut spaghetti and I am hooked. The bf said the avocado left an odd after taste so he mixed a bit of marinara in with his but I think I was just short on the lemon juice & basil. Tonight I followed the recipe exactly and was swooning over every noodle.

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By the way… I even surprised myself with where I get my vegan protein this week. There are 15 g of protein in a 3 oz serving of Eden Organic Kamut spaghetti! Say what?! Just for fun I thought I’d check out whole wheat noodles… yup, 14 g in the grocery store brand. Fist pump 😉

After my swoon fest I made this Raw Pecan Pumpkin Butter for some fall-inspired dipping and spreading. I also had to make a second batch of the Quick ‘n Easy No Bake Protein Bars. I tried them a couple of weeks ago with brown rice syrup instead of maple syrup. The batter was really dry so I needed to add quite a bit of almond milk. They turned out a little floppy and took a lot longer to freeze enough to cut but still tasted amazing. This time I stuck to maple syrup and, you guessed it… swoon 🙂

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Now for a little something of my own! Inspired by Shape magazine a few months back, apple nachos became an evening staple for this girl. I made a few tweaks to get it just how I like it and it needs to be shared with everyone I know. Make these ASAP!

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Oh and go buy yourself an apple corer/slicer… Possibly one of the best inventions ever. Thanks mom 😉

Loaded Apple Nachos

Prep time: 5 min

Serves: 1

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium apple
  • 1/2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped or slivered nuts
  • 1/2-1 tbsp chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

Directions

  1. Slice apple into 16-20 wedges. I use a handheld apple slicer then cut the wedges in halves or thirds.
  2. Arrange apple slices on a small plate and microwave for ~3 mins
  3. Drizzle with 1/2 tbsp almond butter then sprinkle with coconut, nuts, & chocolate chips.
  4. Enjoy while watching The Bachelor or PLL

You can use a variety of as many toppings as you like but I’ve tailored this to be around 300 calories.

Have a lovely week 🙂

Liz xo

Fit Friday: I’ve Got The Power Walk

Remember when I said 2 strength training sessions per week was one of my goals for September? Well I’ve been sticking to it and I’ve been SORE! But good sore loving it 😉

Yesterday I definitely needed a cardio day but I couldn’t make my usual BodyAttack or Step. I wanted to log at least 50 minutes so I hit the cardio room and here’s what happened:

1. Stairmaster

2. Treadmill

  • 20 minute power walk

Here’s how it ended:

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My butt and legs are begging for a yoga day today 😉

Never underestimate the power of a fast, inclined walk!  I used to love running but I can’t get through 10 minutes now without shooting pains in my knees, followed by days of aching. Not worth it 😦 Yesterday my backside was too sore for any resistance cardio (biking, elliptical) so I opted for the power walk. It’s lower impact but still highly effective. I burned a load of calories and worked some muscles I forgot I had!

The 20 minute sequence of incline and speed changes is below in a printable, pin-able, or screenshot-able form. You can always adjust the speed or incline range to suit your requirements but you know what I have to say…

Be sure to challenge yourself 😉

Power Walk

For more Fit Friday fun check out the Fitness page!

Liz xo

Smoothie for Lunch

Sometimes you just don’t have the time to sit down with a salad or a veggie bowl and its impossible to drive and eat with a fork. Sometimes  you think you’re only options is to grab a PB&J on your way out there door… or even worse, skip lunch (gasp!)

Not that there is anything wrong with PB&J, but let’s get real, it won’t fill a hungry wellness warrior for longer than 30 minutes. In a case like this, my smoothie for lunch is just the answer. In lieu of September being the new January, it was the perfect fit for the smoothie of the month!

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My recipe was featured on @yourdailyshake on Instagram last month and the Rednek Guzzler was kind of a hit! If you’re diggin the large glass mason jar with a built-in straw, check out www.originalrednek.com.

This will take you five minutes tops. All you have to do is chop some celery & quarter an avocado, then throw everything in a blender and let er rip. On top of that, I promise that a cup of fruit will totally mask the taste of the veggies. It will not taste like you are drinking celery water. If you’re still not sold, that’s why God made agave nectar 😉

Smoothie for Lunch

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups coconut water
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 4-5 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1 cup spinach (handful)
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 1 tsp agave (optional)

You can play around with this recipe and sub pineapple for mango, cucumber for celery, interchange your greens, or use almond milk for the liquid. I highly recommend including the avocado for creaminess and using a whole cup of fruit for sweetness!

For more smoothie ideas check out more Smoothie of the Month posts:

Liz xo