Get The Skinny…right here!

I have restructured my website and I am reposting the page where I demystified myths that I commonly hear from my clients about exercise and nutrition.

« I should really only focus on Cardio if I want to lose weight » 

  • I hear this all the time! People want to lose weight before they get a trainer…it’s like wanting to clean your house before the house cleaner comes over! It’s totally backwards! Research has shown that while cardio alone can help you lose weight, a combination of cardio and weight training is the way to go! Why? When you’re doing your cardio your metabolism is boosted while you are performing that exercise, however as soon as you stop it goes back to it’s normal rate. When you are strength training your metabolism stays increased for up to 48hours after you have stopped the exercise! Which means that whatever you put in your mouth afterwards get broken down and processed much faster (we want this by the way). So get yourselves doing both strength training and cardio! Also, you’ll be toning up those muscles and getting stronger as you lose weight, and you burn a ton of calories strength training as well. 

weightscale
Photo: ayearwithoutmirros.com

“If I do 200 crunches a day I’ll have a six pack!”

  • I’m sorry to burst your belly but we all have a layer of fat over our stomachs, and other parts of our bodies! Until we work on our whole body to get rid of that excess padding; a toned, packed mid- section or any other extremity will never been seen, even if the muscle is there.

AbCrunchesPhoto: Saturdayeveningtpost.com

 

 “No pain, no gain!”

  • This is a great motto to get people motivated to be physically active (use incredibly sarcastic tone here). Being physically active should NEVER hurt! Fine, a little discomfort along the way when your body realizes it has muscles it didn’t know existed is normal (possibly a day or two where going down the stairs and sitting on your toilet is a killer). But pain brings no gain, and generally a very short-lived active lifestyle!

dreadmill

Photo: healthforthewholeself.com

“I worked out for an hour, that vat of ice cream in the freezer is all mine for my Sex in the City tv marathon!”  

  • Whoa there Ben and Jerry! Do not pass go, and do not collect your shameless – “it won’t go to my hips” ice cream pass. Going to the gym for an hour out of a 24hr day when we sit for more than 40% of it will never equate to being active. We lead sedentary lifestyles with bouts of physical activity. We need to move people! Don’t undo your hard work by putting yourself in a sugar coma filled with regret, have a healthy evening snack with a little piece (or spoonful) of your guilty pleasure instead; not only will your body feel better but so will you! (This photo had me at peanut butter and chocolate chips…yummo!! Go for cocoa nibs if you want an even healthier alternative).

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Feel free to ask any questions you have about exercise and nutrition and I’ll share your questions with the answers on my blog!
~Tala

Exercise to be Fit not Skinny!

I loved this poster so much I put it on my desktop.

I have clients asking me all the time, when should I eat? How much should I eat? Which is worse, sugar or fat? Should I lay off having too much fruit because it’s high in sugar? It’s easy to get really confused by your diet so try not to be so cerebral about your food!

Enjoy the healthy foods you are eating. Eat every 4 hours or so, so that you aren’t ravenous when you eat, and as much as possible eat foods that are seasonal so you get the most vitamin and mineral benefits. Best tip ever: STOP EATING BEFORE YOU GET FULL! Eat to nourish yourself, not to fill a void.

Challenge yourself for the next week or two at the gym or at home with tough exercises, heavier weights and see the amazing changes your body makes. You’ll get stronger, leaner and I promise you will feel just as amazing as you are on the inside on the outside too!

Your body is worth taking care of. You will feel the difference in your body, your mind, and lifestyle!

 

 

exercise to be fit 

Photo: evershrinkingdiva.blogspot.com

Feel what happens with an attitude of gratitude

Have an attitude of gratitude (and a little self love) and reap the physical benefits! Recent research has found that our negative thoughts can have an impact on our cortisol levels (cortisol has been linked with weight increases). So there it is, a link between our negative thoughts and physical changes to our bodies! Now imagine what having positive thoughts can do?!

At the end of January, I was fortunate to attend a lululemon event that was inspired by the book ‘letters that move the world‘ (you can read more about the event here: the gratitude movement). The book touched on the positive physiological and emotional changes that happen in a person who is either receiving gratitude or giving appreciation or gratitude to someone else. It’s an amazing feeling when someone expresses to you in some way that they are grateful for you, and it is just as great to express that gratitude to someone who has made some sort of change in your life, no matter how minuscule or trivial you may think it is.

gratitude postcard lululemon

So while this evening has stuck with me, I still haven’t achieved what I set out to do, which was to write down why I was grateful for myself! We all need to have an attitude of gratitude and self love, because if you don’t love or appreciate yourself…who will!?

This was an interesting introspective exercise that while I thought would be easy, was actually a little bit more challenging than I had anticipated. However, after sitting down quietly and reflecting, it just flowed from me. I read and re-read my list, and honestly started to feel differently (in a good way). Even if you don’t feel like you need a reminder of how amazing you are right now, you might at some point; and referring to your list of positive attributes will help remind you of your amazing-ness.

Don’t know what to write? Start with something simple, like: I am grateful I have a full set of teeth! Or I am grateful I have a bed. You just need to start.

Need some more ideas?  I have decided to share my list with you all.

Why I am grateful I am who I am:

1: I never take myself too seriously, and release my inner child as much as possible

How is your balance?            Me as a kid : Life is good!

 

2: I respect myself

respect1_robinsharma

 

3: I take care of my health and work hard to keep it working and looking good

Deadlifting at Mansfield Athletic Club

 

4: I laugh as much as possible – I know this is a great shot of me! 

Laughter

Photo: iamDrukpa.blogspot.ca

 

5: I always try to better myself, professionally and personally : like trying new recipe’s!

Tala's Stuffed Peppers Anyone?

 

6: I do things for others willingly because it makes me feel great : for the sake of including a photo, this will also apply to feeding shrimp to a bird in Florida (kids don’t try this at home…that beak was sharp!)

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7: I love and forgive after being hurt because life is too short : Love my sister Kira even though we drove each other crazy at times! 

Sibling love and sibling rivalry! That's family :)

 

8:  I choose to see the good in everyone and everywhere : like this felt heart on the sidewalk! 

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9: I find the positive in every situation and always try to provide a solution : My car buried in snow, I will use this opportunity to get a great workout, and use a bigger shovel! 

lifestyle workout: shovelling out your car!

 

10: I love myself no matter what

lovemyself

Why are you grateful for yourself? 

My top picks on the Oscar Red Carpet

One of my clients put it simply : The Oscars are women’s equivalent to the Super Bowl. I would have to agree, life changing trophies, performances recognized, and people working hard to look so great in at times very form fitting attire!

After watching the red carpet I have identified my top 5 best dressed, and just couldn’t wait to share it with you all!

My number 1: Kerry Washington wearing miu miu…despite Coco Perez’s opinion that she made a mistake (I personally think he made the mistake), she was spectacular in this coral belted gown with the most amazing sparkling nude bodice. I thought it was absolutely fun, classy and perfect for the occasion. I also really want it in my closet, look at that colour!

US-OSCARS-ARRIVALS

 Photo: hufffingtonpost.com

My number 2: Jennifer Lawrence wearing Dior Haute Couture was just the epitome of Oscar grace in this magnificent dusty rose gown. This would make any woman feel like a flawless princess.

JenniferLawrence_redcarpet-fashionawards.com

 Photo: redcarpet-fashionawards.com

My number 3: Zoe Saldana in a dust white Alexis Mabille Couture gown that hugged all the right places, had such a unique decoupage floral neck line and phenomenal flare from grey to black at the bottom. I think I am having a thing for belted dresses!

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals 85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

 Photos: Zimbio.com 

My number 4: Along side George Clooney (secretly the oldest man I have a crush on), Stacey Keibler  looked absolutely stunning in this grey beaded Naeem Khan gown with black belt.

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

 Photo: justjared.com 

My number 5: Jessica Chastain glowed in this beautifully beaded and timeless Georgio Armani gown that fit like a glove.

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Photo: Justjared.com

Who were your top fashionista’s for the 85th Annual Academy Awards?!

Sexiest legs and impeccable oral hygiene!

Happy and Snowy Saturday to you all!

As my business develops, I’m finding fun and new ways to keep fit and moving throughout my day and I’ve been getting some great ideas from some amazing people!  Recently, a friend of mine at lululemon St. Catherines mentioned that she was going to start doing squats while brushing her teeth. Genius idea, I had been doing leg lifts for my bum, but why not squats?!

We brush our teeth at least twice a day, and you should be brushing for at total of 2min each time you brush. So for the last 2 weeks I have been doing deep squats while I brush. I can do about 60 deep squats, and 75 pulse squats (times that by two and that’s an amazing amount of squats per day!). It’s amazing what this does for your legs! I feel toned, stronger, and sexier! Summer I am getting ready for you!

Try it, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed! Make it a challenge to always do one more squat than the last time! Track your knees with your second toe, keep the weight in your heels, chest up, shoulders back and try to break 90 degrees with your hips! I realize that’s a lot of instruction…but I need to make sure you don’t injure yourself!

Here is a little video of my morning teeth brushing routine! (It may be a bit more challenging if you don’t have a mechanical tooth brush…but I know it can be done). Who would have thought you could develop sexy legs while keeping up with impeccable oral hygiene?!

Brushing your teeth & toning up your legs

How many squats can you do during a 2minute teeth brushing session?!

Tala

 

 

A video of grace, strength and sensuality!!

TGIF! My aunt sent me this video and I absolutely needed to share it! The 2 beautiful dances are of Cirque du Soleil in Montreal, and now they tour around the world performing this routine. Not only are their bodies completely envious (for both men and women), but the strength, flexibility and sensuality is absolutely jaw dropping. Athleticism, Control and Grace at it’s finest! You want to take 5min to watch this! Click on the Hyperlink below!

Duo Main Tenant  mqdefault

Stay Warm By Doing a Few of These!

I don’t need to spend time talking about the weather in Montreal, but it’s about high time it gets warmer. I opened the gym this morning at 6:30am, by 7:15 I was still sitting at the desk feeling cold to the bone. So much so, that a client actually asked me if I was frozen (apparently my hoodie zipped all the way up, with my shoulders up at my ears was a dead give away). So when he told me that maybe I should do some squats I had this flash of - Could have had a V8 - commercial with someone hitting my forehead with the palm of their hand. Obviously!

So I did 30 Jump Squats and 30 Pushups, which got my heart rate up, and had me feeling warmer.

Squat

So my recommendation for all of you who may be feeling the cold today even in your offices or place of work is to jump it up for as many jump squats and pushups as you can! You’ll warm up and tone up!

Stay warm and look great today!

Tala

Every Minute Counts

No matter how much time you have, you always have some time to do something active! Push-ups, squats, crunches, a quick run. You will feel amazing, and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goals. Every minute counts!

Get out there!

Conquering the sweet tooth with cake pops…in moderation

Happy Monday Everyone!!

So this past weekend we had a small dinner party at home, I love having people over and cooking and baking (although I don’t always do the cooking, I definitely take on baking). I have a big time sweet tooth, I acknowledge it,  embrace it, and I’m working on it :) Acknowledgment is the first step to healing after all! Although refined sugar is probably the worst thing for us, I’m human. So while I have no intention of removing sugar out of my life completely, I can sure as heck tone it down with simple ways to trick my brain into thinking it’s getting more!

So, with my love for cake, I made cake pops for my dinner party (all of you on facebook that were asking for the recipe, here it is). This was my first attempt at it, and I can definitely say I found a great cake recipe! Please note: I halfed this recipe and it still gave me two full trays of cake pops! For a lactose free option I used Almond milk and it was amazing. I didn’t attempt a gluten and egg free  batter yet but as soon as I do, I’ll post that recipe as well!

 

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What you’ll need: Cake pop mold- I used Nordic Ware (thanks to a Christmas present from my sister), or feel free to hand roll your cake, but then you need to find a dense cake recipe, and this is not it!

Lollipop sticks – Likely in the baking isle of a grocery store, Michaels, or cooking/baking store.

Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe – taken from Kitchn

This recipe would make 48 cake pops so you might want to cut the recipe to suit your sweet needs! 

2 cups white sugar – I used brown sugar instead as a personal preference although it’s not any healthier for you. 
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk – I used almond milk for a lactose free solution! 
1/2 cup vegetable oil – grape seed oil was my healthier alternative 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans, or three 8-inch round baking pans.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixer bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Mix in boiling water – the batter will be quite thin. Pour batter into prepared pans right to the top of the mold.

Now this is where the recipe gets different and specific for cake pops! You’ll want to lightly grease the cake pop pan (say that 3x fast!), pour in the batter (on the pan that doesn’t have the hole to let the air escape) and bake it for 16-18minutes. I rotated the pan after 10minutes to make sure they were baked evenly. Take a toothpick and just make sure that it comes out clean. You’ll need to let the pan cool at least 5 minutes before you tackle opening the mold or risk burning your fingers.

From here, take the chocolate cake balls out of the pan and have get rid of loose excess cake batter, then  let them cool another 10min before sticking them in the fridge for about 30-40min until they are properly cooled so you can ice them!

Icing:

I used straight up white bakers chocolate (feel free to go with whatever chocolate you like). I just melted the chocolate and presto! Cake ball icing! I dunked the tips of the lollipop sticks into the chocolate so that they stuck to the cake better. Let it dry a little and then dunk your cake ball into the icing!

Feel free to do whatever you like, drizzle, dunk, make polka dots, put sprinkles! The world is your oyster, and that cake ball is the blank chocolate canvas!

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The best thing about these sweet tooth satisfiers is that each cake ball is just over a tablespoon of cake batter! So you don’t have to feel guilty if you even decide to go for two! But don’t go crazy now, the icing is the real sugar booster!

Let me know what you think!

Tala

 

Amazing Winter Soup

Montreal has been in a deep freeze for the last 3 days with temperatures plummeting to -38 (including a windchill). The kind of weather that freezes your tiny (and not so tiny) nose hairs upon the first inhale, the kind of weather that has you desperately wishing you had an automatic car starter. All you want to eat in this weather is hardy, hot, comfort food. For me that was a butternut squash soup. Courtesy of Martha Stewart, I found her Pureed Butternut Squash Soup and tweaked it to my own personal liking! I’ve eaten it two different ways the past two nights just to change it up a little.

 

Night 1: Butternut Squash Soup with Cream and Pepper

I replaced the sour cream with fresh cream. Feel free to also use greek yogurt! I added a few shavings of fresh parmesan and ground black pepper. Do not judge my soup decorating skills..I’m a work in progress!

 

Night 2: Butternut Squash Soup with Pumpkin Seeds and Nutmeg

Butternut Squash Soup with Nutmeg and Pumpkin seeds

I left the cream out completely but added raw pumpkin seeds and nutmeg to taste. Delish!!

I made enough soup for 4 servings, but I wish I had made more, it tastes more flavourful on the second day! Not only is this soup incredibly easy to make, it’s packed full of health benefits we need this season!

Butternut squash is low in fat, packed full of fibre, loaded with potassium and vit B6 (needed for good immune system functioning), and antioxidants! For a quick read on more benefits of butternut squash check out Whole Living’s article: Power Foods: Butternut Squash

What soup are you making tonight?!