With the flu and a short week in Toronto, I decided to pack up all of the remaining contents of my Mama Earth Organics food box and cart it up to North Bay for my mom to help me create some goodness.  What came out was a Weight Watcher's inspired one pot meal that's not much to look at, but deliciously flavourful and filling! 
2 TBSP Canola Oil
2 Large Leeks
10 Cups Cabbage, shredded (about 1 medium head)
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 (15oz) can of white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2" pieces
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
3/4 cups of water

Heat the oil in the bottom of the pot.  Add the leeks and cook until soft.  Add the cabbage and cook just until wilted.

Add the thyme, rosemary, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Stir constantly until fragrant (about 30s). 

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. 
Reduce heat and cover.  Cook until potatoes are tender - about 40 minutes. 


You'll hear us time and time again talking about incorporating fitness into your daily routine, but we can also appreciate how difficult that can be when you don't run a fitness studio for a living.

So when Kevin and I took a week away from the gym, we also took our favourite piece of equipment with us.  The following photos show just a few exercises you can do on the go to keep you energized throughout your trip.  The TRX was just about the only bit of colour on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond last week! :o)
If you don't have a TRX and aren't sure what you can do with the equipment that you do have, one of our trainers can help you to design your perfect on-the-go routine for your next trip.  

When I was young and naive I was once a victim of a fitness fad. The piece of equipment in question was an Electronic Ab Exerciser. You strapped multiple, slightly wet patches over your abs, and a machine would send pulses to contract and release your muscles. The box came with a massive ripped dude on it, and a VHS (yes, I’m from that era!) showing how I’d look like Bruce Lee in no time. Well, suffice to say it was a load of bollocks, I got no six-pack, and it was a pain in the ass to set up each time.

The crazy thing is… almost twenty years later it’s still around! It now takes the form of “The Flex Belt”. Watch the start of the infomercial below.

It has quite a sleek production, right? The lovely Denise Richards promotes it, there are several ripped guys with six packs, the FDA has approved it, there’s a celebrity trainer with a “I shit rainbows” smile, and there’s even a Spinal Tap “this goes up to eleven” moment. Heck, it must work. Well surprise, surprise… it doesn’t.

But, everyone knows that, right? But if everyone did, why is it still hanging around 20 years later? And what the hell is the point of this blog? 
Education. You need to know what works for your body, what doesn’t work, why some exercises are better for you over another, and why fads like this flat out lie to you! You do not get a six-pack by walking about with a vibrating fanny pack! You get a six-pack by doing what any successful person has done with their life – through education, and by working REALLY, REALLY HARD.

You've got to have a well thought out plan, including cardio, strength training, ab work, a stellar diet, and you need to stick to it. Only then MIGHT you see the positive kind of bump eroding from your stomach.


PS – In the same way that you should never trust a skinny chef - if you ever come across a person who says they’re a celebrity trainer, or TV personality, do not train with them. They are the devil in disguise, and only make a celebrity’s ego inflate even more. In any case, you should give us “face-for-radio” guys a chance! I’d bet you’ll see much more improvement in your results.

I've read a few great articles on kids and resistance training recently, explaining why we shouldn't be afraid of letting our children participate in resistance weight training.  

Bones across the body mature at various stages of our childhood, and young adult life. Resistance training increases muscle size and strength, and will help protect the child from injury.  Resistance training can also be used as a way to rehabilitate injuries and increase certain sport performance. Careful resistance training won't cause the growth of bones to be stunted or injured, it's the repetitive motion or traumas that most professionals see in their offices when young athletes or active people injure themselves.  Resistance training is done in a controlled condition, and increased only when the child is able and feels comfortable.  It is important to understand the basic body weight movement of all exercises, and obtain the strength to complete those properly first before moving on to weight loaded exercises. Before beginning, the child should have an examination of possible injury risk factors and again be assessed by a trainer. 

A workout should include all components of a regular workout; warm up, cardio, resistance training, making sure to work all major muscle groups, and a proper cool down.  Gains in strength will generally only be seen if a program is maintained. After a 6 week break, diminishes in strength and muscle size will begin, so it is important to maintain a consistent program. Lower weight and higher reps should be focused on when dealing with children in order to avoid any unnecessary stress on vulnerable joints or body parts. Through the program their technique should be monitored to ensure the chances of injury are decreased.

Kids can take part in resistance training programs as long as they are mature enough both physically and mentally. They should be able to listen to and follow instructions given by a trainer to ensure their safety, and to learn effectively. With the help of a professional children can be safe and have fun while exercising! 

If you want to learn more here are the links to the articles, and please don't hesitate to quiz us about kids resistance training!




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